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

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

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,

post #2 of 29

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.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #3 of 29

Y'all never heard of steak? Ya know; salt, pepper, and heat. That's the dish.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.

 

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 29

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.

 

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 #5 of 29

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

 

 

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 

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...?

post #7 of 29

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.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 29

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

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #9 of 29

Ky, add ramps to your list.

post #10 of 29

Stuffed Cabbage does not need garlic or onion.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #11 of 29

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.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 29

Stuffed Cabbage does not need garlic or onion.

 

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

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #13 of 29

Like the "Tic-Tac" commercial*: Sure, but why would you?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

Stuffed Cabbage does not need garlic or onion.


* Can you breathe without Tic-Tac? Sure, but why would you?

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #14 of 29

How did I know you would answer this?

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

Stuffed Cabbage does not need garlic or onion.



It does if you want it to taste good.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 

 

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!?
post #17 of 29

The beliefs of the Jain prohibit garlic and onions in their diet. Here is a page of recipes from their cuisine in India.

http://www.jainuniversity.org/jain-foods.aspx

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 #18 of 29

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

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #19 of 29

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

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #20 of 29

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

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #21 of 29

 otherwise we'd just settle for what is available, but what if we want to take it to the next level?

 

I reckon, Phillip, that here's where we part.

 

Your idea seems to be that by piling on flavors you automatically improve a dish.

My idea is that by understanding how flavors work together you can be creative with what is available. Trust me, living as I do in a culinary wasteland, I don't have much choice. Not only that, but,  if you presented the same five, or seven, or twelve ingredients to five cooks you would wind up with five different dishes.

 

Think of the ingredients in a dish as members of a theater troupe. There are stars and there are supporting characters. In a dish, all the ingredients with supporting roles should do just that; support the star. Nothing else. Most of the time (and despite what you see on virtually every cooking "reality" show), you should not be able to distinguish all the ingredients in a dish. If they weren't there, you might have a sense that something's missing. But only the stars and major supporting roles should make their specific presence known.

 

A better analogy, perhaps, would be to think of a dish as a symphony. Everything comes together to produce one pleasing sound. If the second violin is off, however, then the balance of the number goes out the window. So it is with flavors. You should be aware that there are sweet flavors in the dish. But you should not be able to identify most of them more precisely---just as you are aware of the string section in an orchestra, but not any specific instrument that isn't soloing. 

 

Here's a real world example. When I bring it up as part of my work, most people react negatively to anchovies, with one form or another of "I don't like them!"  When I point out that they eat them all the time they deny it----until I ask, "do you like Ceasar salad?" They aren't even aware that anchovies are a key ingrendient in Ceasar dressing. But if it was left out, they'd miss it. Then I ask them if they like Worcestershire? This time there are usually positive responses. There are two ingredients that give Wocestershire its unique flavor; one is called anchovies, the other is called tamerind. You don't taste either of them, per se. But if either was left out you have a totally different condiment. So I then point out that they really do like anchovies; they just don't know that they do.

 

In short, in any well-constructed dish, the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts.

 

So now, let's look at your Moraccan Pheasant. That you enjoyed the "new" version more we'll accept on faith. But, from your description, I would also suggest that you have reversed things, changing it from a pheasant dish to an onion dish, in which pheasant is one of the supporting cast.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC Sunshine View Post

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



This IS possible and can probably be very tasty, I'll give you that.  I make my tomato sauce sometimes with onions, sometimes without.  I have never made it without garlic though so I cannot personally attest to it being good without.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #23 of 29

Garlic is pretty important to pizza sauce, red and white. Even the barbecue sauce or hoisin sauce chinese pizzas both use garlic in the sauce.

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 #24 of 29
Thread Starter 

KY - you make some interesting analogies there. But my decision was more of a strategic one to add the additional onion, in accordance with many carefully considered factors... I wanted to aromatize the onions in cumin and safron while adding some mild sweet crunch. 

 

I thought they paired well with all the other components (without destroying the quartet!), like you say the whole is greater than the sum of all parts... More of anything else would have sent some other component out of kilter. That is what I love about them...they are so versatile. Hence garlic and onions are always in abundance in my home, I never run out of them.

 

Another factor - I think the pleasure you get is also dependant on what you feel like at the time, you know that feeling when you could really hit the spot with precisely something or rather. Like now I could just chomp my way through an orange, mint and chocolate pecan bar and it would hit the nail directly on the head.

 

Perhaps I am mistakenly lead to believe they are like salt and pepper in cuisine all over the world except the link in this thread which I must read! 

 

I am going to experiment with google using the negative function

 

ie "recipe" -garlic -onions that could be interesting.......

 

I'm too dependent on these things...! 

post #25 of 29

Almost same thing applies to A1 sauce . Most people if asked will tell you they don't like most of the things that are  the ingredients. Yet when they are all married together it is good and most people like it.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #26 of 29

Precisely the point, Ed. And one we've all been trying to make: that overall flavor is a balancing of component tastes.

 

I never looked at the A-1 ingredients list. OMG! I don't think it so much that people wouldn't like the individual ingredients as not knowing what the hell they are. Raisin paste. Crushed orange puree. Ooh, ooh. Down near the bottom of the list: Dried garlic and onion. Knew it had to be in their somewheres. biggrin.gif

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 

Always wondered how tasters take it so far - to reach finished product... I bought some fruit and nut bars the other day and all ingredients were so finely calibrated... I suppose it falls under several categories - of - having staff with razor sharp palettes, discovered by accident, rigouros tastings with lots of people, stealing analogs from other recipes etc......  

 

Happy Holidays All.... 

 

Best wishes from London, UK

post #28 of 29

I like this thread!

I'm also an onion and garlic eater and find it difficult to cook without it. They are very versatile in my opinion and taste completely different whether eaten raw or slowly cooked through and through (the onions get very sweet and slow roasted garlic is just divine). I like them on or in toasted sandwiches, pizzas, stir fries, pasta sauces etc etc.

 

The only dish that I can think of at this moment that I (used to) eat without is choucroute (spelling?). Love the stuff, but can't get it here.

Maybe I should try and make my own but that's a different story all together.

 

And I couldn't agree more with all flavours having to be balanced !

Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

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Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

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post #29 of 29

I am a garlic and onion freak... But if I was to choose something without using onions or garlic or anything from that family for that matter.. I would probably do something like grilled zuchinni and squash some bell peppers maybe.. with just a little salt pepper olive oil and some balsamic for my veggies with the dish.. then Id probably do some roasted potatoes with some butter and fresh herbs maybe some bacon and parmesan thrown in for a bit more of that saltiness any good american loves for my starch.. Then for my protein I would probably char grill a nice fatty ribeye with some whole butter pats seasoned with a generous amount of S&P and grilled medium rare maybe a little plus right under medium after being rested... then top it with a nice bearnaise made with some Tarragon reduction made with just dried tarragon white wine and some black pepporcorn reduced., cayenne pepper, dash of worsh, lemon juice, salt and white pepper.. No Onions or garlic in that dish for sure... but i bet it would be good.. never tried it but i might have to make it now.

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