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Ingredients I Lust For

February 1, 2011

I did a quick ingredient inventory tonight while in front of the television. I wanted to try to get a feel for what my future quests will be like and to keep an eye out for things even before I start preparing for a particular recipe. It should come as no surprise that butter and salt come up the most often in the recipe ingredients followed closely by black pepper, eggs and sugar. Cream didn’t appear as often as I thought it would but it definitely is a third ranking ingredient along with lemon juice, chives, onion, milk and dark brown sugar.  A surprisingly common ingredient in the cookbook is dried thyme. Not surprising in that it is an arcane item, but because so far all the recipes I have made call for fresh thyme.  I have compiled a list of the ingredients that I will need eventually that I think are unusual and possibly hard to find. Some of them might even be easy to find at my local grocery store, but they aren’t items I have ever purchased. In no particular order:

  • unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder – Who knew there was a difference?
  • live female lobster – The reason it matters is because I will be harvesting the roe. I can hardly wait.
  • hot paprika – It makes sense, but so far I haven’t seen anything labeled specifically as hot paprika
  • liquid smoke – I don’t expect this will be hard to find, but I also never expected to be purchasing any
  • tarragon vinegar – I thought this one might be a sub-recipe, but I guess you can actually buy it this way
  • apple cider vinegar – Before this project is over I will have 6 different types of vinegar in the house
  • fresh raw vegetables – never heard of  ’em
  • miracle whip – See liquid smoke.
  • Open Pit barbecue sauce – haven’t seen it at the store. This may be an internet purchase.
  • shallots – Not hard to find, but a month ago I didn’t know there was a difference between a shallot and a scallion. I was very wrong.
  • curing salt – I have already purchased five different types of salt and will have eight by the time I am done.
  • steel-cut oats – Evidently it matters. People rave about this oatmeal so I am not going to mess around with the type of oats.
  • veal stock – aka Bambi juice.
  • bison flank steak – Ground bison is easy to come by, but I have not seen any steaks.
  • sushi grade salmon and ahi tuna – OK, this one isn’t weird to me, I am just excited about eating it.
  • fresh beets – Until yesterday I had never seen a beet without using a can opener first.
  • fresh coconut – I have seen these at the grocery store, but I have never had an excuse to buy one before. Do coconuts migrate?
  • Gruyère – I have only recently in my life begun to branch out in my cheeses so this one will be new to me.
  • spun honey – I’m picturing dizzy bees.
  • Carbon’s Golden Malted Pancake and Waffle Flour – This one is so hard to find that Mitch actually included a second version of the recipe where you don’t use this flour.
  • wasabi paste – See sushi grade salmon and ahi tuna.
  • salmon roe – This is going to seriously cut into our champagne budget.
  • fresh pea tendrils – the same recipe describes shelling peas so I am really hoping that once I have the peas in hand it will be obvious.
  • Russian banana fingerling potatoes – I did not make that up.
  • pork butt – This one seems harmless, but I have a very good working knowledge of the pork products available in the Twin Cities and I don’t recall seeing this one.
  • Kitchen Bouquet – I am reasonably certain this doesn’t mean getting flowers for the kitchen, but I may get some just to be safe.
  • antelope shoulder – Surprisingly, this is readily available from a few websites.
  • pectin powder and calcium water – I have never done any canning or jarring before. I am going to use these ingredients as an excuse to go here.
  • rabbit tenderloin – And we will love it, and hug it, and call it George.
  • fresh black truffles – The truffle loan is being processed as I write this.
  • rib roast of bear – You’ve got to be !@#!$^ kidding me. Where am I going to get bear?

Damn Good Food Quote of the Day: Since you had to buy the whole coconut anyway just to shave all of 1 ounce over the pasta, do one of two things with the rest: (1) add the coconut milk to the curried butter and shrimp; or (2) make me a coconut cream pie. God, I love coconut cream pie.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2011 1:48 pm

    oh, yum, steel cut oats. i eat them every morning. you can make them in the crockpot over night if you don’t have time in the morning to cook them (on the stovetop they take about 25-30 minutes). add almonds and blueberries and a dash of milk….

  2. Mary Jo Koplos permalink
    February 1, 2011 1:07 pm

    Hey, thanks for the link!
    – I used to use Kitchen Bouquet all the time when I was in the food biz. It just colors sauces, etc. a nice dark brown.
    – They have peeled coconuts for sale at my coop (Mississippi Market), as well as steel cut oats.
    – Wait for the Farmers Markets to get really fresh beets. They are an early season crop as I recall.
    – You can get bison flank steak here: http://www.northstarbison.com/Buffalo-Meat-Bison-Steaks-Sirloin-Tenderloin-New-York-Strips.aspx

    • February 1, 2011 4:04 pm

      Thanks for the tips. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for some help in the responses to this post. The beets are for this weekend so I won’t be able to wait for the farmer’s market, but I can see a peeled coconut being a huge time saver.

  3. February 1, 2011 7:40 am

    I’ve actually had Russian banana fingerling potatoes. They look like fat fingers but taste pretty much like a potato. They are great for pot roasts and stews.

  4. Kira permalink
    February 1, 2011 7:16 am

    At least two of those I know where to find. The rest, you are on your own.

    • February 1, 2011 8:42 am

      Do I get to pick the two that you’re going to help with?

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