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What New Foods Have You Tried?: Like It? Hate It? Share Here!

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Today on The Chew, they were talking about just this topic, and quinoa came up. They made a roasted vegetable quinoa salad that had a lemon based dressing. Mario Batali was having none of it. He said if you have quinoa you might as well have sand.

Graham Norton described it (in front of snooty Gwyneth Paltrow) as "a cross between couscous and cat litter."

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I find the texture of quinoa really awful, and the flavor less nutty and more....metallic (even after rinsing). I have yet to cook it so it comes out tasting good and I have TRIED (cooking it broth, adding cheese) it has so little volume. I have bought Seeds of Change quinoa and brown rice which I do like, and a friend made an amazing pesto quinoa (but I suspect it ALSO had a rice component).

 

I have also heard conflicting information on HOW to cook it: most directions say to cook it like Rice, but it took me 30 years to figure out how to cook rice right every time, and rice cookers wouldn't exist if it wasn't really easy to fuck up cooking rice, like when I fucked up rice quinoa never seems to absorb all the water it claims you need (a 2 to 1 ratio). My brother and few other places have said to treat it more like pasta.For something that barely tastes good it's more trouble than it's worth. It just will remain something I eat off a cold/hot food bar or out in restaurants, aka, cooked by anybody but me.

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Maybe I'm just a super lazy anything-goes type, but I've never understood why it's difficult to cook rice. When I used brown rice for the first time I had to add more water at some point, so I just did that, and let it cook for 10 minutes more, and then just checked it again. The one grain-based meal I don't like cooking is polenta because it can make a mess when you lift the lid to stir, which you have to do pretty much continuously at some points. It is delicious though...

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I cook quinoa as I would rice. I find it gives me upset stomach if I don't cook it down to a certain point where it absorbs the water. To add flavour, I will toast the rinsed quinoa in some butter before adding the water or use stock instead of water. I mainly use quinoa in salads which I don't eat a lot of to begin with.

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I love polenta - and I'm a little OCD so just about always stirring, so I don't get hit with any blurps.  There's also an oven method that requires no stirring - yay!

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Question:  Never made any grains that were not white rice (Asian, so I have to have sticky rice).  I was taught by Mom to let my rice soak in water for at least 40 minutes prior to cooking (on the stove top).  Does this make a difference when cooking other kinds of grain?

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Question:  Never made any grains that were not white rice (Asian, so I have to have sticky rice).  I was taught by Mom to let my rice soak in water for at least 40 minutes prior to cooking (on the stove top).  Does this make a difference when cooking other kinds of grain?

 

A lot of nutrition and health experts recommend soaking grains, beans, legumes, etc. the night before cooking. Apparently, this will help release nutrients so that your own body can digest it better. It also shortens cooking time.

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I don't soak grains for more that 10 minutes or so, but I soak beans and some legumes overnight. @DeLurker, I'll try the 40 minutes rice soaking, thanks.

I love polenta - and I'm a little OCD so just about always stirring, so I don't get hit with any blurps.  There's also an oven method that requires no stirring - yay!

I very rarely cook anything in the oven, but one thing I like about oven-made polenta is that you can grate any cheese and crack eggs on top and omg. The downside is that I have no control over the texture. Sometimes I like polenta almost runny until it cools off, to eat with a lighter cheese and sour cream, for example. Btw, have you ever had oven-baked polenta as a dessert? I've never cooked it myself, so I don't have a recipe.

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I was taught by Mom to let my rice soak in water for at least 40 minutes prior to cooking (on the stove top).

 

 

I've never done this, what does it do for the rice? 

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I very rarely cook anything in the oven, but one thing I like about oven-made polenta is that you can grate any cheese and crack eggs on top and omg. The downside is that I have no control over the texture. Sometimes I like polenta almost runny until it cools off, to eat with a lighter cheese and sour cream, for example. Btw, have you ever had oven-baked polenta as a dessert? I've never cooked it myself, so I don't have a recipe.

 

I do the stove top polenta - don't think I've tried the oven method.  I've had leftover polenta for breakfast, but not as a dessert.  Now I'm dying for it!

 

Poking around, there was this on Chowhound:

Okay...your son is right on.

Make polenta as you usually do, but stir in 3Tbs. of sugar per cup of cornmeal. Towards the end stir in cinnamon to taste. Serve with a little more sugar sprinkled on top for a little texture.

I've served this with apples and pears that I've sauteed in butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a cast iron pan until very soft and caramely.

source:  http://www.chowhound.com/post/dessert-polenta-283774?page=1 

 

Someone on that Chowhound string mentioned Indian Pudding on Epicurious. 

 

I'm supposed to be limiting carbs and sugar, so (unfortunately) won't be trying them out any time soon.

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I've never done this, what does it do for the rice?

I have no idea why it works, but I've just recently started soaking my basmati rice for 30 minutes (then drain, and use fresh water to cook).  The result is the lightest, fluffiest rice.

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I love polenta - and I'm a little OCD so just about always stirring, so I don't get hit with any blurps.  There's also an oven method that requires no stirring - yay!

I love the oven method! No more polenta splatters on my cabinet.

Put me on the list of people who don't like quinoa. Quinoa and kale are two of my least favorite food trends over the last few years.

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I've learned to like quinoa. I don't mind the flavor. I usually cook mine in vegetable or chicken broth. I have a pretty good recipe for quinoa with herbs and tomatoes and parmesan. I hate the appearance of quinoa. It looks like maggots or embryos of tiny insects or something.

 

I like farro. Several years ago I had a salad with farro in it and just couldn't figure out what the grain component was. (That was before farro became popular.) I saw Giada DeLaurentiis cooking with it on her shows and tried to find it in the stores. I went to a Persian grocer and tried to explain what I wanted and the guy sold me spelt. LOL! Needless to say, it wasn't successful.

 

I think I like the texture and flavor of farro better than quinoa, but if they are both good for you, I'll eat them. Nice alternatives to rice or pasta.

Edited by grisgris
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I've never done this, what does it do for the rice? 

I only did it because this is how my Mom taught.  I clearly wasn't an inquisitive child.  Or adult apparently.

 

I called to ask after reading your post and she told me that 1) because this is how she was taught growing up; 2) she used to work in high end restaurants in Taiwan and this was ALWAYS done and 3) it improves the texture of the cooked rice because it allows for more uniform cooking of the grain as the water absorption permits heat to transfer more quickly to the center of the grains.

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I had a Chinese cooking class in college and we were taught to cook rice that way. Wash, soak and then cook in a half n inch water. The rest of the technique rendered perfect rice rice no matter the amount you needed. No stirring. 

 

To test: put at least the equivalent of one cup of rice in a bowl and rins wash in at least three waters. Then cover rice with 1/2 inch clean water. Hint, measure by using the joint of your finger. One joint is one inch.  Soak rice 30 minutes to an hour. Drain and put rice in suitable sized pot. Add fresh half inch water.  Bring to a boil and cook until only large bubbles form. Cover with lid, lower heat to lowest point and cook until done. Once you are used to the routine you can cook rice for thirty and have it come out perfect. Remember, there is no reason to stir rice. Ever.

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I called to ask after reading your post and she told me that 1) because this is how she was taught growing up; 2) she used to work in high end restaurants in Taiwan and this was ALWAYS done and 3) it improves the texture of the cooked rice because it allows for more uniform cooking of the grain as the water absorption permits heat to transfer more quickly to the center of the grains.

 

Well, my kitchen is under remodel and my stove has been out of commission for quite a while before that so I have been unable to (literally) boil water for a while.  Once my new appliances come in, I can't wait to make rice and pasta again, yay!  Now I'm going to try the pre-soaking method so my rice is light and fluffy.

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Yesterday, Mrs. Obama & some students from local DC schools did the annual fall harvesting of the White House Kitchen Garden. Afterwards, she & the students ate a lunch consisting of a salad made up of some of the vegetables & other things they'd just harvested, along with chicken. The salad also prominently featured kale, farro & 2 varieties of quinoa. I thought of you all here when I saw that.

Here's the link to the recipe, in case anyone who likes the dreaded kale, farro & quinoa (or anyone else) might like to try it.

http://www.letsmove.gov/blog/2015/10/07/kitchen-garden-vegetable-salad-bowl-zesty-chicken-quinoa-and-farro

Edited by BW Manilowe
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I appreciate what Michelle Obama is trying to do for kids and obesity, but does that recipe really sound like something the average family is going to have the time or ingredients to prepare, particularly the lower income families that her movement is targeting? Not to mention that most kids who are not indoctrinated into foods like kale and farro would even eat? It would seem more productive to focus on simple, healthy recipes with a more limited list of ingredients to get kids and families started in the right direction.

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Just bought some sour cream in a tube (looks like a gigantic toothpaste tube) - think it was Daisy brand.  While I have had sour cream before, the packaging was new to me and it was pretty awesome.

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I just checked out the kale and quinoa recipe above and Good Lord! I was exhausted just reading the recipe, what with all of the chopping, slicing, dicing, cubing, etc. And that was before I even got to all of the cooking and fluffing of the grains. And it sounds like you need a lot of pots and pans, unless you cook each grain one after the other, rather than having them all on the stove at once. I think I would have to start cooking today to have that recipe ready for dinner Saturday.

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Just bought some sour cream in a tube (looks like a gigantic toothpaste tube) - think it was Daisy brand.  While I have had sour cream before, the packaging was new to me and it was pretty awesome.

Tube food is awesome.  This is the only way I buy tomato paste now, and minced ginger.  much less waste this way.

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I just discovered tube tomato paste in the last 6 months - I love this!

 

I haven't tried tube ginger although I have been tempted.  My Mom (Taiwanese) would die of embarassment if I did not use fresh so I automatically get a guilt spasm each time I consider it.

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Trader Joe's has everything pumpkin right now. I'd been wanting to try pumpkin pancakes, and was happily surprised that their flyer announced they had pumpkin pancake mix. Tried it this weekend and it was good! Debated buying the frozen pumpkin waffles but resisted.

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Did you try TJ's pumpkin Pop Tart, er, Toaster Pastry?  yum.

 

Oh, I forgot about those! May have to make a return trip...

 

I wanted to try the bagels too, but couldn't find them. Good ideas about adding the canned pumpkin. I've been wanting to try some recipes using that - read somewhere that there may be a shortage of it this year.

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I thought TJ's overdid it with the pumpkin mania - they had pumpking tortilla chips which does not appeal in the least.  The only new thing that interested me was the Pumpkin Greek yogurt.  Just tried it and I have to say it was disappointing.  It might be suffering by comparison to the Noosa Pumpkin yogurt which I am pretty sure I raved about earlier.  I'm sticking with my tried and true TJ's Pumpkin Spice Coffee (and stocking up on it).

 

I recently found Noosa Coconut yogurt.  I was a little underwhelmed at first, but found I was practically inhaling the stuff.  So Noosa Tart Cherry, Pumpkin and Coconut are all big wins in my book.  Saw nothing particularly special with the lemon, mango and peach flavors though.

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Graham Norton described it (in front of snooty Gwyneth Paltrow) as "a cross between couscous and cat litter."

 

Ha!  That reminds me of a guy I used to know who had Grape Nuts for breakfast almost every morning.  I could her him crunching cereal from several rooms away. I told him he should just fix a big bowl of gravel from the back yard and have that for breakfast.

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Ha!  That reminds me of a guy I used to know who had Grape Nuts for breakfast almost every morning.  I could her him crunching cereal from several rooms away. I told him he should just fix a big bowl of gravel from the back yard and have that for breakfast.

 

 

I used to stir Grape Nuts into yogurt, but if I was ever interrupted before I could finish eating it, it turned to concrete. I shudder to think what it did to my insides.

I went to college with a girl who poured hot tea on her Grape Nuts (sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen, ba-DUM-bum!).  It grossed me out a little (these were the days before I would even eat oatmeal), but at least there was no infernal crunching!

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I went to college with a girl who poured hot tea on her Grape Nuts (sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen, ba-DUM-bum!).  It grossed me out a little (these were the days before I would even eat oatmeal), but at least there was no infernal crunching!

 

I had a friend who loved cereal, but hated white milk, so she put orange juice on her cereal instead.  I think she also used to put chocolate milk on it sometimes, but I might be mixing up two friends.  My brother doesn't like milk so he would eat his cereal dry.  So, there was definitely much crunching at the breakfast table growing up.

Edited by BooksRule
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Orange juice story - about 35+ years ago I was making Thanksgiving dinner for my Dad and stepmother and friends that were in the middle of moving. I grew up with a milk based gravy from drippings. In the rush of getting all the last things done, I grabbed orange juice instead of milk for the gravy. When I realized what I had done, I just forged on. The gravy was delicious. :)

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A splash of fresh orange juice is great in gravy.   Nigella uses the juice of a clementine in her turkey gravy that includes allspice and honey.

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I just made a new recipe for chicken with apple cider gravy.  The book said it would also be nice with pork.

 

When I have orange juice that I don't feel like drinking, I make oatmeal with it instead of using water or milk.

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Bircher Muesli as made traditionally in Switzerland and parts of Germany can involve soaking grains or oats in juice, apple or orange juice.

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Whole salt and pepper shrimp from head to tail! I'm going to be traveling in Thailand/Vietnam in a few months and figure I gotta get used to trying new things. It was actually pretty tasty purely in terms of flavor, but no lie, eating the shell and tail is like munching on crispy cellophane. 

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I haven't seen the Hot Chocolate M & Ms, but I did just try the Café Latte, and I heartily endorse.  Sadly, I missed the last of the pumpkin spice.

 

I also endorse Trader Joe's Turkey and Stuffing kettle chips.

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I guess this qualifies as a new food - I stocked up on alcohol at a big retailer outlet today for the holidays. While I was in line, I saw these chocolate miniature bottles filled with booze. I couldn't resist. I love chocolate martinis, so the one filled with vodka was yummy!

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Hot chocolat m&m's?? What the what? I must find these.

According to this article, http://www.delish.com/food-news/a44573/target-exclusive-holiday-mm-flavor/, the Hot Chocolate M&Ms should be at Walmart stores. There's also a Café Mocha flavor that's supposed to be at Target, & a White Peppermint flavor which appears to be available in lots of places, including through eBay & amazon.com.

Over Halloween, they also had Pecan Pie & Pumpkin Spice Latte M&Ms. The Pumpkin Spice Latte ones are/were at Target; not sure about the Pecan Pie ones. You can probably still find both through amazon.com.

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While I was in line, I saw these chocolate miniature bottles filled with booze. I couldn't resist. I love chocolate martinis, so the one filled with vodka was yummy!

 

I remember getting a gift box with quite the collection of those about 20 years ago.  It was fun.  Two of my favorite things - chocolate and liquor.  I think the one with Grand Marnier was my favorite.

 

Whole salt and pepper shrimp from head to tail! I'm going to be traveling in Thailand/Vietnam in a few months and figure I gotta get used to trying new things. It was actually pretty tasty purely in terms of flavor, but no lie, eating the shell and tail is like munching on crispy cellophane.

 

I love cooking shrimp with the shell on, but not so much eating the shell, because of the texture.  I make an exception for the absolutely delicious whole prawns at one of my favorite Thai restaurants, though. 

Edited by Bastet

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According to this article, http://www.delish.co...iday-mm-flavor/, the Hot Chocolate M&Ms should be at Walmart stores. There's also a Café Mocha flavor that's supposed to be at Target, & a White Peppermint flavor which appears to be available in lots of places, including through eBay & amazon.com.

Over Halloween, they also had Pecan Pie & Pumpkin Spice Latte M&Ms. The Pumpkin Spice Latte ones are/were at Target; not sure about the Pecan Pie ones. You can probably still find both through amazon.com.

 

I'm not sure about M&Ms, but I know that Hershey's kisses freeze great.  That comes in handy when there's a flavor that is only available during a holiday season and when it's gone it's gone until next year.  I personally love the Hershey's Kisses with Mint Truffle filling and they're only available at Christmastime.  I buy a few (I'm not going to say how many!) after Christmas when they're on sale and freeze them.  I get some out now and then all through the rest of the year.

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What is this saving chocolate in the freezer of which you speak?  Nothing tastes better than chocolate straight out of the freezer, so unless it was in a big box labelled "liver" there really wouldn't be much point.....

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I saw Joann Weir make figs stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped with prosciutto and grilled. I had to wait for figs to come in season, but boy howdy were they good. I know it's not new, but it was new to us.

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Today at a staff meeting we had pizza and snacks.  Our office assistant brought some Cheetos Sweetos.  They look like little Fun-yuns, but have a buttery, cinnamony flavor.  I found them to be very addictive and plan to buy some soon.  Apparently, they came out earlier in the year on a limited basis and are now back on a limited basis.  Delish!

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