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Frivolous use of expensive ingredients


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What's the most frivolous/wasteful use of a "luxury" item you've done/witnessed?

I am thinking of this as I just ran out of salt and was forced to use Sel de Guérande for boiling potatoes :wacko:...

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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What's the most frivolous/wasteful use of a "luxury" item you've done/witnessed?

I am thinking of this as I just ran out of salt and was forced to use Sel de Guérande for boiling potatoes  :wacko:...

I don't know if that's a waste, per se, except that it will be dissipated by the water. Ever since I discovered Fleur de Sel, I put it on everything I would normally salt! I still have generic sea salt in my salt grinder, but for the most part I only use my Fleur del Sel. :wub: Oh, I forgot that I now exclusively use Truffle Salt on my eggs. Yum! :raz:

Carolyn

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

J.R.R. Tolkien

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A friend brokers wild mushrooms in the mountains near here. She gave me half a flat of Matsutake (worth about $300) which I carefully prepared in a variety of ways for a few days. Finally, I'd had enough and froze the rest, about a pound or $150 worth. :blink: Needless to say, they did not survive.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Where I work we're bistro fine dining with a sushi bar, but we also do catering to all the office buildings around. One day we had a lunch order for a bunch of tuna sandwiches in box lunches, but we didn't have any canned tuna on hand (it's not really on the menu, but if you order it, we're making it!). I'm sure you can see what's coming next...

The boss took a couple pounds of sashimi-grade ahi and boiled it to make tuna salad with....*sob*

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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My most waistful would be using flor de sal to salt pasta water once..

The most waistful I can think of is someone ordering a well done steak.. Freezing Crab and other seafoods comes to mind..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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As to most wasteful recipe, how about the following?

"Introduce an olive into the beak of an ortolan; place the orTolan in a clean turkey eggshell with its head emerging from the shell like a baby chicken's; plaCe the eggshell over embers; the fat on the ortolan melts until it covers him up to his beak and perfumes him; when the fat has evaporated you replace it with Alicante wine; and after five minutes you serve it like a soft-boiled egg. Do not eat the ortolan, only the olive in its beak"

Edited by Daniel Rogov (log)
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From today's USA Today,

at the luxurious Avenues [a restaurant in Chicago], Graham Elliot Bowles presents a slice of $40-a-pound foie gras atop a spiced Rice Krispies treat and adds pulverized Altoids mints to the lamb jus to boost the minty effect.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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From today's USA Today,
...and adds pulverized Altoids mints to the lamb jus to boost the minty effect.

I always use fleur de sel for everything, including boiling potatoes...I have a glass jar handy in the cupboard - never really thought about it...but I guess it is sort of expensive-ish.

Crushed Altoids and crushed mints of other varieties seem to be frequent fliers in British recipes...my husband was a confectioner for many years and has a dozen or more recipes in his repetoire that call for crushed mints mixed into the batter or fillings of cakes and pies. Not a big leap to the lamb from there, and in fact, I may try that at the weekend!

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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As to most wasteful recipe, how about the following?

"Introduce an olive into the beak of an ortolan; place the orTolan in a clean turkey eggshell with its head emerging from the shell like a baby chicken's; plaCe the eggshell over embers; the fat on the ortolan melts until it covers him up to his beak and perfumes him; when the fat has evaporated you replace it with Alicante wine; and after five minutes you serve it like a soft-boiled egg. Do not eat the ortolan, only the olive in its beak"

Ever the keeper of arcane culinary knowledge... :wink: Might I suggest using the olive in a martini?

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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As to most wasteful recipe, how about the following?

"Introduce an olive into the beak of an ortolan; place the orTolan in a clean turkey eggshell with its head emerging from the shell like a baby chicken's; plaCe the eggshell over embers; the fat on the ortolan melts until it covers him up to his beak and perfumes him; when the fat has evaporated you replace it with Alicante wine; and after five minutes you serve it like a soft-boiled egg. Do not eat the ortolan, only the olive in its beak"

This one's hard to beat! Have you heard the "This American Life" episode when they describe eating ortolan at Francois Mitterand's last meal. Very entertaining!

http://207.70.82.73/pages/descriptions/98/116.html

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Saffron in mashed potatoes.

Come on, gimme a break!

Eric

RestaurantEdge.com

I did the same thing!

I used some saffron I had saved for so long, waiting for that special recipe to come along, I was afraid it would go bad.

SB (but at least the potatos were good) :smile:

i don't see why this one would be a waste, actually. saffron flavored mashed potaters sound great to me.

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I watched a sous chef use fleure de sal to soak up oil and the floor. It hurt so bad he had to be reprimanded and then couldn't figure out why I was giving him shit for useing such an expensive and quite tastey salt for floor oil when the iodizd was right there. What a shoe maker.

Although I still think salt is a waste of time as our birk's (shoes) loose the ability to be slip resistant with a fine layer of salt on the floor get a mop you tool. :wink:

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i don't see why this one would be a waste, actually.  saffron flavored mashed potaters sound great to me.

It wasn't a waste. It's just that I'd anticipated using the saffron to make something rather exotic.

In retrospect, teaming the cheapest and most expensive ingredients in my kitchen was a great idea!

Now, if it had been instant mashed potatoes? :shock:

SB (should order some more saffron) :raz:

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In retrospect, teaming the cheapest and most expensive ingredients in my kitchen was a great idea!

Heh, that reminds me of this post in which ronnie_suburban pairs up caviar, sour cream and tater tots. The kicker: he had the caviar and sour cream lying around the house but had to drive out and buy some tater tots.

PS: I am a guy.

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A friend brokers wild mushrooms in the mountains near here.  She gave me half a flat of Matsutake (worth about $300) which I carefully prepared in a variety of ways for a few days.  Finally, I'd had enough and froze the rest, about a pound or $150 worth.  :blink:  Needless to say, they did not survive.

For future reference:

You can dry any type of mushroom and it will actually concentrate the flavor. After they are completely dry (they crumble like a cracker at this point) you can store in an airtight container for up to 6 months - sometimes longer. They will dry at room temperature in about 10 days, more rapidly if there is just a little heat and moving air, for instance, if you have on open space on top of your refrigerator, you can spread them on paper towels on a sheet pan and there is just enough heat and air movement to dry them in 4 or 5 days. If you have a convection oven and can turn on just the fan without heat, they will dry even more rapidly.

I never waste anything like this. A friend brought me a basket of black trumpets last year and I dried them and used the last of them, still very flavorful, in September.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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We once stayed with my husband's sister for about a week. As a thank-you, we picked up some really nice steaks for a special dinner the night before we were leaving. Prime beef, not sure of the price per pound, but 4 steaks ran us close to $100.

Took 'em back, cooked them up, and watched my brother-in-law pour A1 over his.

Husband was kicking me under the table, and I had to work very, very hard not to say anything.

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