Dangerous Greatest Hits
Before I start, know that this is not a copout post. Oh you know how it is — you’re waiting for the next great episode of Family Ties and then you find out it’s just a collection of Alex P. Keaton’s greatest moments and you’re pissed. Well that’s not this, mmmkay? But actually it kind of is.
It’s not that I’m stringing you along with reruns because I have no new ideas, though. Here’s how the idea for this post, “Top 10 greatest dangerous food discoveries,” came about. My husband and I were out for dinner perusing a menu last week when we saw tilapia on there, and when we did we both gagged and scoffed. We had learned from my blog post on getting live tilapia from the tank at the grocery store, (mostly due to the associated Twitter foodie response to my mention of tilapia), that tilapia are often raised in pig sewage in China, so we’ve never really touched it since. Phil said, “You know, that’s the best thing your blog has ever done for us — told us about the revolting nature of tilapia.” I began to argue with him that there were greater discoveries, and so we agreed that now might be a good time to round ’em up in an “in case you missed it” post. So here are the remaining nine of my top ten dangerous food epiphanies:
9. Biltong is tasty
You may recall that Biltong is the beef jerky of South Africa. I bought some mail-order style from some South African Torontonians and nearly slapped it down on a pink-cake laden baby shower buffet table, then sheepishly snuck it back into my bag for two reasons: 1. So that my aunt wouldn’t disown me for ruining her pink table. 2. So that I could scarf more of it down over the coming weeks. Don’t pass it up if you happen to find any.
8. Eating Christmas trees is very festive
Rather than brushing your teeth with a tree, try adding spruce tips to shortbread to get a really Christmas-y cookie. I think they’re ripe for the picking around now — spring — but that raises the slight challenge that you’ve got just over nine months until you’ll be needing cookies. I just give the delicious advice, the logistics are entirely up to you.
7. An apple married to a grape (grapple) is a union made in heaven
It’s an apple, but it smells like a grape. Whenever my kids have seen a grapple in a store since this post they beg and cry for one. I’d call that a successful post. They’re not nearly as enthusiastic when they see a turtle in the freezer case at the T&T, so I really need to celebrate the wins rather than focus on the losses.
6. Horseradish is wicked easy to make
(that was back in the days when I was blogging with iPhone pictures!)
If my husband had remembered this learning he would have chosen it as the most useful thing my blog has done for shizzle. He loves horseradish, and if you make it yourself you can control how hot it is. It takes seconds, people. If you’re a horseradish person, you gotta try your hand at it.
5. Santa Claus melon is a winner
Here’s another thing my kids now see in the grocery store and beg for. The. Best. Melon. Except of course for watermelon, and if you eat that, please don’t forget to do something with the rinds.
4. The zucchini flower — not just another pretty face
Need a show-stopping appy? Stuff flowers with cheese and fry ’em up. Nothing but lovely.
3. DIY pate
Maybe dealing up chicken livers yourself grosses you out, but if you’re going to eat pate, why wouldn’t you eat it as fresh as possible? Easiest thing ever. Go for it!
2. Legit eggplants are white
Hey, know where the name “eggplant” comes from? White ones! And this was one of my favourite recipes — a very garlicky cold eggplant salad that’s worth doing. I’ve made it many times. It’s healthy, too.
And last, but not least…
1. Quail Eggs
They’re pretty. They’re power-packed. They’re bite-sized, enabling great appys (“enabling.” Let’s take a moment and be grateful that I’m not writing business-speak stuff anymore). And best of all, they don’t aggravate my egg intolerance! Don’t buy them when you see them for $8 for 18 at a snooty niche grocer, pop into a Chinese grocer and nab them for $3 instead. I love that it’s thanks to my blog that my son asks for “chicken eggs,” for breakfast — thanks to me, he has to specify. But he loves these too. Don’t miss them!
Well, that was fun. I love being a dangerous cook and can’t wait to find new ingredients that might make this list. Stay tuned for more Family-Ties-montage-type posts about “best recipes ever,” and “epic dangerous food failures.” Not to mention pending posts on goat revisited with the help of a retro Jamaican cookbook, and another on a workshop I’m going to that will teach me how to prepare whole sea bream. Stay dangerous, people! And thanks as always for stopping in! These adventures are a gabillion times more interesting with suggestions and comments from my online friends.