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Jenise

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Which dried vegetables do you keep on hand for seasoning?

by Jenise » Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:24 pm

A friend was startled the other day when I threw a few large pinches of dried celery into a chowder I was making. She said, "Well, I guess if you don't have fresh celery....", to which I had to say, "but I do" and then explained how dried celery is chewy in a way that I find very appealing. It adds celery flavor but also a texture element that fresh celery doesn't have. Most of the time you wouldn't want it to, but in something like a chowder where part of the excitement is the chewiness of the clams, the addition of chewy celery bits is a plus. I buy it from Penzey's.

Similarly, I add unreconstituted dehydrated bell pepper flakes and dried minced onion to Sloppy Joe mix toward the end of cooking. It's a childhood comfort thing--the first Sloppy Joe I ever had was made with both added at the end of cooking, no doubt a result of indifferent Girl Scout campout cooking than anything deliberate, but it was my first taste of a Sloppy Joe, and I loved it and wanted to preserve it that way forever. About once a year, I get a jones for that. And one version of taco filling I make also gets the dried minced onion toward the end of cooking in addition to the fresh onion that was sauteed to start the mix.
These are all instances of where dried is better than fresh.

In the reverse department where fresh is best but not always possible, I keep a lot of mushrooms on hand, usually a wild mushroom mix, shitakes, wood ears and cloud ears. Because of a really toxic allergy to same, I no longer keep porcinis around. Dried chives are also useful in a pinch, like right now when my herb garden's fresh supply was wiped out by winter weather. Also in this category and in my pantry is dried burdock root.

An item that doesn't quite fit either of the above categories because there's simply no such thing as fresh in this part of the world is lily bud, without which hot and sour soup seems all wrong. I also adore it in a soy-based sweet marinade for duck.

I also always have a couple whole chiles on hand in dry form, some anchos and chipotles at a minimum.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Cynthia Wenslow

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Re: Which dried vegetables do you keep on hand for seasoning?

by Cynthia Wenslow » Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:32 pm

A variety of chiles and mushrooms, but that's it. Maybe I lack imagination. :?

I always have fresh herbs in pots, summer or winter.
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Stuart Yaniger

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Re: Which dried vegetables do you keep on hand for seasoning?

by Stuart Yaniger » Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:38 pm

Quite a few dried seaweeds (nori, hijiki, wakame...). For fast food application, a blend called "Furikake" which has seaweed, sesame, dried carrot, dried spinach, dried pumpkin, dried celery, and dried mustard leaf.
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Which dried vegetables do you keep on hand for seasoning?

by Mike Filigenzi » Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:42 pm

Like Cynthia, I'm pretty much limited to chilis and shrooms. Sounds like it would be interesting to expand a bit in this arena.


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Karen/NoCA

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Re: Which dried vegetables do you keep on hand for seasoning?

by Karen/NoCA » Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:58 pm

celery flakes
dried parsley
A few types of dried mushrooms
pasilla/ancho chili pods

Spring must be near, because a trip out to my garden area last week, I saw the French tarragon, chives, New Zealand spinach, cilantro, arugula, up and thriving! Love this time of year.
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Carl Eppig

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Re: Which dried vegetables do you keep on hand for seasoning?

by Carl Eppig » Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:22 pm

We use most of the above as well as sun dried tomatoes. Have been using a lot of instant minced onions lately as dear wife cannot handle strong onion flavor or the fat they are cooked in with her diabetic/reflux diet. So if you see them in my RCPs freely substitute the real thing for them.
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Bob Ross

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Re: Which dried vegetables do you keep on hand for seasoning?

by Bob Ross » Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:35 pm

Mushrooms -- about six types today.
Celery
Tomatoes
Peppers -- four kinds today.
Sweet corn
Green peas
Green onions
A couple of vegetable mixes -- especially a Dutch blend that I'm re-stocking just now.
Burdock
Garlic
Seaweed -- three versions today.
A Japanese blend that I've run out of -- have to go to Edgewater and stock up.

I got a taste for dried vegetables hiking right out of the bag -- and often use them to make soups and stews while hiking. I often add them to dishes, especially near the end of cooking, to add a bit of mouth feel, or pop up the flavor a bit.
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Cynthia Wenslow

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Re: Which dried vegetables do you keep on hand for seasoning?

by Cynthia Wenslow » Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:40 pm

Carl Eppig (Middleton, NH wrote:We use most of the above as well as sun dried tomatoes.


Oops. Yeah, I forgot about them and I regularly make several recipes that call for them.
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Jenise

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Re: Which dried vegetables do you keep on hand for seasoning?

by Jenise » Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:57 pm

Sundried tomatoes--I keep the ones in oil on hand. Have to, I'll eat the dry dried ones like candy and they don't last!

Stuart--I understand nori for sushi. What are the others used for?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Jo Ann Henderson

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Re: Which dried vegetables do you keep on hand for seasoning?

by Jo Ann Henderson » Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:10 pm

tomatoes
onions
garlic granuals
lemon grass
parsley
assorted herbs (tarragon, sage, bay leaves, thyme chives, etc.)
shitake mushrooms

That's about it! Need to expand my horizons apparently!
"...To undersalt deliberately in the name of dietary chic is to omit from the music of cookery the indispensable bass line over which all tastes and smells form their harmonies." -- Robert Farrar Capon
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Stuart Yaniger

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Re: Which dried vegetables do you keep on hand for seasoning?

by Stuart Yaniger » Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:44 pm

Anyway, hijiki has a slightly sweet flavor and the firm texture makes a nice contrast with well-cooked tubers.

Pedant alert: mushrooms and tomatoes aren't vegetables.


Hijiki...is it kind of like cloud ear mushroom in texture? If so, I know which one that is. I've eaten it, but never prepared it.

And yeah re mushrooms and tomaotes--we know, we know! But they're used like them, so....

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