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zoramargolis

Abundance - Everything in Moderation ... Including Moderation

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Last night I had enough caviar for the first time in my life. A very generous friend gave a dinner party in honor of my birthday, and she obtained four kinds of excellent quality American caviar (from Kelly's Katch and 911-caviar). Hackleback, paddlefish, whitefish and salmon. Eight ounces of each. Two pounds of caviar on ice, served with warm blini and creme fraiche, for seven people. And to wash it down, a Terry Thiese import champagne (the name escapes me) recommended to my friend by Joe Riley. For the first time I was able to say, "Thanks, I've had enough" when there was still caviar in the tins. OMG. I was in heaven. I couldn't have been given a better gift.

A different experience, at a different time--we were car camping in Cape Hatteras a few days after a hurricane had been through, and the surrounds were pretty much deserted. We asked in town and were directed to the home of a waterman, and bought a half bushel of oysters from him that he had gathered earlier that morning--for $5! This was in the early seventies. We bought an oyster knife and a few lemons at the store and sat in our tent, shucking incredibly fresh oysters and slurping them down until we were absolutely stuffed. And there were still a large number of oysters remaining. The next morning, I made fried oysters and scrambled eggs for breakfast, and we'd had enough. As I recall, we gave the rest to another camper who showed up. It was a s**tload of oysters!

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My brother is known for his dictum "The important thing when you're having caviar is to have a lot". Kelley's Katch makes that affordable for those of us not encumbered with great wealth. Happy birthday Zora.

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Speaking of abundance... I have too many clementines.  Way too many.  I am going to make the citrus pound cake from Smitten Kitten subbing clementines (she has used grapefruit http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/01/cake-paradisi/ ).  I also saw a bunch of recipes for salads with clementines so I will get some ready to toss in some salads this week.  Any other ideas?

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Speaking of abundance... I have too many clementines.  Way too many.  I am going to make the citrus pound cake from Smitten Kitten subbing clementines (she has used grapefruit http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/01/cake-paradisi/ ).  I also saw a bunch of recipes for salads with clementines so I will get some ready to toss in some salads this week.  Any other ideas?

Maybe blasphemous on this site but perfect for kids' play when the snow isn't suited for snowballs?  Kidding.

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Speaking of abundance... I have too many clementines.  Way too many.  I am going to make the citrus pound cake from Smitten Kitten subbing clementines (she has used grapefruit http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/01/cake-paradisi/ ).  I also saw a bunch of recipes for salads with clementines so I will get some ready to toss in some salads this week.  Any other ideas?

Melt chocolate and dip the sections in halfway and serve as a dessert or snack.  Salads are definitely a good use.

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Mine is still right here:

"Most Outrageous, Extravagant Meal Of Your Life"

On a similar subject, just last weekend (Friday night) I went over to a friend's house, and we opened a bottle of 1990 Dal Forno Romano Amarone I'd given him as a gift about 6-7 years ago (my only clause was, "you have to drink it with me when you open it"). Well, I cajoled him into opening it, but felt *very* guilty for doing so (last Friday night marked a special occasion for me, and I wanted to have a crazy wine).

Anyway, I was sitting on a ridiculous double-magnum (a four-bottle bottle) of 2005 Nicolas Potel Volnay Vielles Vignes that had suffered a cruel fate several years ago: It was exposed to extremely high heat for several days, and was almost surely cooked. I'd decided to give this to my friend as a "thank you / novelty" for opening the Amarone, and right before I left to go, I took my finger and pressed down on the cork to see how tight it was - the cork fell right into the bottle.

I walked into his house holding a bottle that weighed close to 20 pounds. He looked at me like I had lost my mind (it was just the two of us, and we were only going to have a couple of glasses). "There's an explanation for this," I said, and proceeded to tell him. Well, long story short, we had no choice but to try the Volnay since the cork had already dropped into the wine, and sure enough, it was completely cooked. Damn.

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Speaking of abundance... I have too many clementines.  Way too many.  I am going to make the citrus pound cake from Smitten Kitten subbing clementines (she has used grapefruit http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/01/cake-paradisi/ ).  I also saw a bunch of recipes for salads with clementines so I will get some ready to toss in some salads this week.  Any other ideas?

Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest, cut into thin strips and cook in sugar syrup.

Cut away the white pith and slice the clems crosswise into wheels. Julienne some fennel and make a slaw with the clem wheels and a light citrus vinaigrette.

Squeeze and make juice.

Make tangerine curd, or a tangerine tart.

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Clementines have very thin skins, so I'm not sure they would work for marmalade.  Based on Food in Jar's note on canned clementine turning bitter in storage, I wouldn't recommend doing canning that include the skin.  I think they need additional acid to work for making curd.

I would suggest putting some of the extras (make sure they're not bruised or too soft) in plastic grocery bags and storing them in the vegetable crisper.  Oranges can last for months when stored this way, without drying out or going moldy. In addition to salads, if seedless they might be good frozen into homemade popsicles.  They would also make a decent orange juice (though that seems very decadent).

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I made a really good slaw with cabbage, jalapeno, carrot, radish and pieces of clementine with a little vinaigrette.  That clementine cake I said I was going to make, which by the way is awesome with some nutella on it.  I didn't do the glaze and was really happy with it.  I also juiced some and made a vinaigrette with it as inspired by another thread on here.  And I ate a couple.  There is one left, sitting on the counter which will be for lunch tomorrow.  There is also some juice left in the fridge, enough for another cake, or some other use.  

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I seem to be one of the few people who gets large abundances, perhaps because I have such a small kitchen and such large ambitions.  In this installment of abundance in the kitchen:

I have a large container of what was supremes of grapefruit segments in syrup(juice) in which I ate all the grapefruit.  But I was thinking I could easily turn this into a grapefruit simple syrup.  What should I do with a pretty fair quantity of grapefruit simple syrup?  I kind of like the idea of cocktails, but don't have any recipes that come to mind?  I am soon going to also have leftover peach syrup from canned peaches that I will make into simple syrup, for that I was thinking maybe add to iced tea.

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I seem to be one of the few people who gets large abundances, perhaps because I have such a small kitchen and such large ambitions.  In this installment of abundance in the kitchen:

I have a large container of what was supremes of grapefruit segments in syrup(juice) in which I ate all the grapefruit.  But I was thinking I could easily turn this into a grapefruit simple syrup.  What should I do with a pretty fair quantity of grapefruit simple syrup?  I kind of like the idea of cocktails, but don't have any recipes that come to mind?  I am soon going to also have leftover peach syrup from canned peaches that I will make into simple syrup, for that I was thinking maybe add to iced tea.

There's a grapefruit margarita recipe in The Martha Stewart Cookbook (the one with the pale green cover).   It doesn't use a simple syrup but I think think this came out well when I made it.  It's right next to her orange-lime margarita recipe, which is really good and does use a simple syrup.  If you want to be safe, you could just go ahead and make the simple syrup and then add the rest of the ingredients to that.

1 1/3 cups grapefruit juice

juice of 1 lime

2/3 cup tequila

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

1/3 cup sugar

Fill a blender container with chipped ice, add the other ingredients and blend until frothy.  Pour into salt-rimmed glasses and garnish with lime slices and mint.

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There's a grapefruit margarita recipe in The Martha Stewart Cookbook (the one with the pale green cover).   It doesn't use a simple syrup but I think think this came out well when I made it.  It's right next to her orange-lime margarita recipe, which is really good and does use a simple syrup.  If you want to be safe, you could just go ahead and make the simple syrup and then add the rest of the ingredients to that.

1 1/3 cups grapefruit juice

juice of 1 lime

2/3 cup tequila

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

1/3 cup sugar

Fill a blender container with chipped ice, add the other ingredients and blend until frothy.  Pour into salt-rimmed glasses and garnish with lime slices and mint.

Pat, this sounds fantastic.  Thank you for the good idea.  And Hubby could probably use a margarita, he's been working a lot!

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Again abundance.... this time cucumbers!  I was going to make some quick pickles that could be in the fridge, any good recipe suggestions?  We really don't love strong pickles, but mild quick pickles on sandwiches seem to be something we both like.

I was also going to make a cucumber, tomato salad with red wine vinaigrette.  I will still probably have a couple more cucumbers, how should I use them?  I need to use them pretty quickly.  I wish I had room for a juicer in my kitchen.

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I always liked Julia Child's suggestion of peeling, seeding and cutting into batons, sauteing in butter and serving them as a hot side with a bit of S&P

My other thought was tzatziki and make kabobs or a pita sandwich

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raita? I've seen many recipes for a cold buttermilk/yogurt soup with cucumber and mint and they look delicious. I also take the (peeled) spears and either sprinkle with chili powder and salt (lime optional), chaat masala (if you have any) or splash with some soy sauce and wee bit of seasoned rice wine vinegar and let sit for at least an hour (you can also add some fresh grated ginger if you'd like).

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raita? I've seen many recipes for a cold buttermilk/yogurt soup with cucumber and mint and they look delicious.

This buttermilk/yogurt soup from Ellie Krieger is good.  It calls for half an English cucumber, but I cut up a seeded one around the seeds, since it was a fine dice anyway.  I used all or most of a fairly small to medium cucumber.

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I have an old cookbook, now out-of-print, with recipes to make when you have too many garden vegetables.  Looking under "cucumber," there are several types of canapés suggested, soup, salads, stuffed cucumber rings, cucumbers in sour cream, fried cucumbers, cucumber sauce (with yogurt), lots of pickles, cucumber dip, and shrimp and cucumber fried rice.

The stuffing for the rings calls for cream cheese, sour cream, parsley, walnuts, chives, paprika, anchovies, and black pepper.  That seems a little too "kitchen sink" ingredient-wise to me, but YMMV.

The salad that looks most interesting is a salmon salad with cucumber dressing (1 cup minced cukes, drained, mixed with salt, dill, and 1 cup sour cream, then chilled; poured over mixture of torn lettuce, chunked salmon, celery, broccoli. and cherry tomatoes to serve.)

Most intriguing of all is the shrimp and cucumber fried rice (2 peeled, seeded cukes, cut into half moons, sautéed with celery and green pepper; 1 lb shrimp thrown in with a bit of salt and sugar, cooked until pink; more oil added to stir-fry onion and more celery; served over 4 cups of cooked rice that has been reheated mixed with 2 beaten eggs and 1 Tbsp. soy sauce)

I think I might actually make the cuke dip (1/2 cup finely chopped cukes, 8 oz. cream cheese, 2 Tbsp. sour cream, minced garlic, black pepper, minced parsley, 2 tsp. wine vinegar, and paprika).  It calls for 3 Tbsp. of paprika, but that seems like a lot.

Finally, according to the book, complementary herbs are basil, chervil, chives, dill, mint, and parsley.

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So I made quick pickles with two cucumbers, apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes and garlic salt (I added some fennel seed).  I sliced one that I used this week in sandwiches and salads.  I still have two more that will be used in one of the above ways, if I can get to Whole Foods and get some of my preferred lactose free dairy products.  That stir fry, soup and dip all look pretty good.

I had a bunch of squash that I roasted now they are billing chilled with some balsamic, they will either go in a hummus sandwich or in a salad.

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A new abundance.... I have a bunch of stale crackers I am turning into crumbs.  Anyone have any good recipes- even Betty Crocker type casseroles that are good- that uses cracker crumbs?

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if they're saltines or similar mildly flavored cracker, crab cakes or fish cakes would be my go-to.  

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I have a jar of tostitos cheese dip that someone brought over.  Any good way to use it besides nachos?  

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use some mixed with plenty of hot sauce and olive oil and toss veggies in it to roast, serve with a dollop of sour cream on top, sort of a riff on Buffalo wings for veggies

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3 hours ago, ktmoomau said:

I have a jar of tostitos cheese dip that someone brought over.  Any good way to use it besides nachos?  

Use it for mac and cheese or scalloped potatoes. Maybe add some fresh cheese to dilute the processed-ness.  You could also use it in or for a broccoli or cauliflower and cheese sauce. It would work in place of cheese whiz for something like a Philly cheesesteak (or chicken cheesesteak, etc.)

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Since you all haven't failed me yet... any ideas for using leftover cranberry walnut bread that was cut into serving size slices.  I know the normal thing would be a bread pudding or french toast, but I was hoping for some less sugar filled ideas (If I weren't watching my figure it would be french toast sticks for sure). 

I thought about making them into croutons? Or maybe using them in a strata?  

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