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Bay leaves, take them out, or crumple them up and mix em in?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Are bay leaves suppose to be taken out? That's how I've always used them but I've seen a couple people crush them up and using them like they would a spice like basil or oregano.

What is the correct way to use bay leaves?

:DTIA:D

PS. Happy Canada Day if you are North of the border.
post #2 of 12
http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/food-...ay-leaves.html
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Looks like I should stick with whole.
post #4 of 12
Yeah -- Those things can be lethal. I'm forever inserting instructions to remove them before serving into recipes I work on.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #5 of 12
For serving to guests, remove. I usually leave them in when I'm cooking at home. My wife started a tradition with the kids of whoever gets the bay leaf gets a wish. So now they all want bay leaves.

You can remove the stem and powder them in a grinder/mortar & pestle or even buy them powdered though they lose flavor fast. Some charcuterie uses this and some times I use a bit of ground bay as a final correction in a soup or stew.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
I bought a spice rack, and it came with the crumpled ones, I'm going to dump those out and put whole ones in.
post #7 of 12
Take them out as they are not digestible and the body cannot break them down:crazy:
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #8 of 12
I take them out (I always count how many I put in), but have lately been thinking of grinding up the dried ones and using them like other ground dried spices. If I could get fresh - I'd prefer them. Love the flavour they impart for soups, stews, casseroles etc. Soooo good with lamb.
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #9 of 12
I worked at an Indian restaurant that would blend up stewed bay leaves in the sauce, ad as a mix in Garam Masala (as stated i the linked thread above). They are't poisoous and are only picked out because they are tough and dry. When they are blended in they add a depth of flavour that can be quite intoxicating.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #10 of 12
On the link, i noticed someone (don;t remember who) said they heard of someone choking on a bay leaf and dying.
A little perspective - i think there is probably not a single thing we eat that hasn;t killed someone. You can die of a chicken bone, but we don;t remove the bones from the roast chicken; you can die of any smallish piece of food that you swallow whole and goes the wrong way, but we don;t puree all the food we serve to avoid that. So, yes, you could also choke to death on a bay leaf.
But bay leaf is not pleasant to get in your teeth and on your tongue when it's in small pieces with their sharp edges, which is reason enough to either remove them or blend them really to dust. And the damage to the digestive track, i guess that is another consideration, not true of other foods (unless your guests like to chew and swallow their chicken bones!)
As for the egg shell damaging the intestine (from the linked thread) - I imagine the acid in the stomach would dissolve an egg shell alm,ost instantly (since even vinegar will dissolve egg shells, and stomach acid is much stronger, something not true of bay leaves), At least it would soften the edges - so unless we're talking about damage to the esophagus, i tend to think that the story about them perforating the intestine is unreliable - but then i have no hard data on that.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #11 of 12
Because I want the dining experience for me and my guests to be as pleasant as possible, I always use whole bay leaves, and remove them before serving the dish. So whether leaving them in poses a danger becomes a non-issue.
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #12 of 12
Although I've read a few times to crumble and leave in, I always just use for flavor and take out.
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...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
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