Your favorite main course that excludes garlic and onions as ingredients?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by philip terry, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. philip terry

    philip terry

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    In my opinion, all the best main courses do include garlic, onion but..... what is your favorite dish without these vital ingredients?

    I really need to think this one over myself.... :)

    Thanks,
     
  2. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Just the other day I roasted a large filet of salmon rubbed with olive oil, salt, pepper and hot paprika.  The sides had onions and garlic though.  I have a hard time thinking of a main without onions and/or garlic.
     
  3. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Y'all never heard of steak? Ya know; salt, pepper, and heat. That's the dish./img/vbsmilies/smilies/licklips.gif

    There are a few, certainly. But, in general, you're right. Most main dishes have some sort of allium; onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, chives. Something in that family as part of the aromatics.

    It's been said that onions are the only universal ingredient because it's the only one used in virtually every cuisine. I don't know if that's actually true, but it's completely believable.
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Steak, pork or chicken cutlets in a pan fry/sear/pan sauce, lots of seafood options, eggs benedict is something I enjoy for dinner now and then. Cheese souffle.
     
  5. durangojo

    durangojo

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    i not only agree with phillip, i will also add that to me garlic and onions are a food group....they're not?...but right off the top....

    even though garlic and onions are part of a recipe, these foods can all be adapted quite successfully...

    tamales

    burritos

    enchiladas

    chiles rellenos

    anything with chipotles in adobo sauce

    risottos(beet, mushroom, asparagus, gorgonzola, peas,etc. etc. etc.)

    lasagne (eggplant, vegetable, italian sausage)

    lots of pasta dishes(alfredo, creamy basil pesto or sundried tomato sauce, carbonara)  all with lots of parmegiano reggiano

    anything curried...stews, tagines etc.

    stir frys

    grains  

    roasted vegetables

    souffles

    joey
     
  6. philip terry

    philip terry

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    it's difficult... that's why I asked the question :)

    KYHeirloomer, how would you describe in words the difference in flavor for each of those ingredients you mentioned...?
     
  7. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    One thing to keep in mind, Philip, is that unlike the wine folks, we really don't have a common language precise enough to describe these things. Most of our terms are so broad as to almost be meaningless. For instance, sugar, molassas, etc. are all described as sweet. But so, too, are carrots. And late-season turnips. And onions.  Yet, few would claim that sugar and carrots have the same flavor. And, for sure, neither of them resemble onion. As noted above, there is more to flavor than just the four receptor tastes.

    A lot, too, depends on the sensitivity of one's palette. You ask, f'rinstance, for differences between those alliums, when, in fact, there are often greater differences between different varieties of each one. White common onions, and red torpedo onions are both onions, but they have distinctly different flavor profiles. And, when it comes to garlic, give it up. There are on the order of 550 varieties, with vast flavor differences among them. Peple with less descerning palettes might not tell them apart, whereas those with more sensitive receptors notice even slight differences.

    Once you throw in other factors, such as heat, you can really come a cropper trying to describe these nuances. Again, with garlic, there are different levels of heat, different parts of the mouth where you sense it, different ways the heat presents.

    Even such authorities as Chester Aaron use descriptors that really don't mean all that much. Here, for instance, are a few garlic varieties and how he describes their flavors. I would submit that, after reading them, you really don't know much more than you did:

    Siberian: Strong flavor, quite hot.

    Armenian: Strong earthy flavor.

    Inchelium Red: Mild but lingering flavor; can sharpen with storage

    Red toch: Raw taste described as perfect garlic flavor

    Chesnok Red: Good aroma and rich, lingering flavor

    Xian: Taste is not too hot but very rich

    Xian happens to be one of my favorite garlics. Having tasted it I, perhaps, understand what he means by "very rich." But left to my own devices, I wouldn't have used those words. I might describe its flavor as deep and mellow. But, again, unless you've experienced it, "deep and mellow" as as meaningless as "strong earthy."

     these foods can all be adapted quite successfully...

    Yeah, they can be, Joey. But why would you want to?

    Me, I'm on your side: if alliums aren't a food group they should be.
     
  8. durangojo

    durangojo

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    no, ky, i don't want to...i was answering the question asked...i think.....

    joey
     
  9. curious mac

    curious mac

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    Ky, add ramps to your list.
     
  10. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Stuffed Cabbage does not need garlic or onion.
     
  11. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Ky, add ramps to your list.

    Wasn't intended as an all-encompassing list, Mac. There are so many possibilties, even ones more commonly available than ramps, such as shallots.

    If you want to really experience alliums that taste different, try rakkyo, top-setting onions, and bulbing leeks other than elephant garlic. Some really unique flavors there.
     
  12. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Stuffed Cabbage does not need garlic or onion.

    Need? Mebbe not. But a little onion in the filling sure doesn't hurt.
     
  13. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Like the "Tic-Tac" commercial*: Sure, but why would you?
     
    * Can you breathe without Tic-Tac? Sure, but why would you?
     
  14. chefedb

    chefedb

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    How did I know you would answer this?
     
  15. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    It does if you want it to taste good.
     
  16. philip terry

    philip terry

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    Perhaps a good test of ingenguity for a chef, coming up with something 'great' without taking the easy options... The question revolves around “what can the chef accomplish” given this constraint.

    Thanks for the names.... I put continual effort into drawing any distinction (no matter how small) between varieties of ingredients. I think this is the road to utopic cookery... otherwise we'd just settle for what is available, but what if we want to take it to the next level? Perhaps discussing it here is not the easiest medium to find answers about flavor variations. Although, we can talk in terms of what gives us the most pleasure, what is compatible with some of these unusual varieties of onion/ garlic.... any interesting findings. As for the wine tasters, I think they are just so used to reading adjectives all day from the wine bottles, that they incorporate these into their everyday vocabulary like - "artichokey, apricotty, citrus notes etc...."

    I did an experiment yesterday by doubling the amount of garlic and red onion I would usually use in my morrocan spiced pheasant, given this discussion. I also had another version without it.

    I also added extra raw red onion towards the end to give it a bit of extra kick and extra crunch. It definitely intensified the pleasure I got from the dish. The one without did not come close. 

    Garlic and Onion to me are inescapable.... unless I can be proven wrong with a recipe!?
     
  17. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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  18. chefedb

    chefedb

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    I make it sweet and sour Jewish style .Mine taste good without it.
     
  19. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

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    How about Pizza?  Can easily see many not using either garlic or onions.
     
  20. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Philip !  Is that your opinion, or general fact????  If it is fact don't bet on it.