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Vanilla Pods


Echilon
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I bought some vanilla pods a few days ago because I've never tried them. Is there anything simple and interesting I can make with them? I was planning on putting them in to some custard. Any ideas?

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split one down the middle and stick it in your sugar bin and shake it around well ... to make vanilla scented sugar... then use it for baking, in coffee or tea ..anyplace you would normally use sugar

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Dear Echilon,

Vanilla is a fantastic ingredient! You can do a lot of things other than baking.

I'll give you two choices:

1. Go to www.arizonavanilla.com and click on the "Recipes" link. You'll see some ideas on how to use vanilla in salad dressings, and even rubs for your pork chops!

2. For additional uses of vanilla, I would recommend the "Simply Vanilla, Recipes for Every Day Use." This book will tell you how to make extract, vanilla oil, salads, savory dishes, side dishes, and desserts using your vanilla.

You can find it in the Arizona Vanilla website too.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I can be reached at (480) 396-4552.

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split one down the middle and stick it in your sugar bin and shake it around well ... to make vanilla scented sugar... then use it for baking, in coffee or tea ..anyplace you would normally use sugar

I do the same thing but with fleur de sel instead of sugar. Makes a nice finishing salt, haven't really done anything else with it so far. I have a container of the coarse salt with pods in it and a container of the salt that I ran through a processor with some dry leftover pods that I'd used the seeds from. The processed salt/pods is more aromatic at this point but the other has nicer texture for finishing.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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  • 1 month later...
I do the same thing but with fleur de sel instead of sugar. Makes a nice finishing salt, haven't really done anything else with it so far. I have a container of the coarse salt with pods in it and a container of the salt that I ran through a processor with some dry leftover pods that I'd used the seeds from. The processed salt/pods is more aromatic at this point but the other has nicer texture for finishing.

This sounds really interesting. Can you tell me some of the things you have used it for?

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A couple other things I keep around that use vanilla:

Vanilla oil -- just put half a vanilla pod in a squeeze bottle of light olive oil (or other fairly neutral oil). This is great with fish, scallops, beets, etc.

Vanilla Balsamic -- add a vanilla pod to a small bottle of Balsamic vinegar. Very intense and delicious. We made a salad dressing with this recently, and it was terrific. Also good on figs. Try reducing the vinegar by half, too.

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Split the pod, scrape the black mushy stuff (the seeds) into a bowl of good yoghurt with a little bit of sugar for a much nicer version of the yoghurt you started with.

Dylan Moran: Stay away from the local delicacies. They're local for a reason: no-one likes them!
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Just as people often use vanilla pods to flavor sugar, couldn't you also place a couple of them, split, in a sealed jar of good coffee beans? That might be worth trying...

I'm not sure if it would have long enough to do anything unless you could vaccuum seal them again i think the beans would just go stale after a while. And I guess if you did vaccuum seal them it wouldn't do anything anyway.

"Alternatively, marry a good man or woman, have plenty of children, and train them to do it while you drink a glass of wine and grow a moustache." -Moby Pomerance

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I bought some vanilla pods a few days ago because I've never tried them. Is there anything simple and interesting I can make with them? I was planning on putting them in to some custard. Any ideas?

Here is a thread with more than you would ever want to know about vanilla including lots of good ideas and where to get them for hell cheap.

"Alternatively, marry a good man or woman, have plenty of children, and train them to do it while you drink a glass of wine and grow a moustache." -Moby Pomerance

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I honestly haven't done much with the salt so far other than finishing. I use it on salads and scallops and have tried it on many things, even duck breast, just out of curiosity. It doesn't help some things as well as others but so far there hasn't been anything that made me say "I wish I hadn't done that". Vanilla seems to adapt pretty well to almost anything. I used some with a couple recipes I'd been wanting to try for a while and finally got around to. Caramel tarts... chocolate tart shells filled with salted caramel, topped with bittersweet ganache and spinkled with vanilla salt and an olive oil based chocolate mousse that I served sprinkled with the vanilla salt. Neither recipe called for the vanilla salt but I thought it would work well and it did. I want to infuse some black and pink salts with vanilla so I can get the flavor and some color going at the same time.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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