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General Cooking (rec.food.cooking) For general food and cooking discussion. Foods of all kinds, food procurement, cooking methods and techniques, eating, etc.

dried vs fresh stinging nettle



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-09-2005, 10:28 PM
Dale
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Default dried vs fresh stinging nettle

Hello all,

I have a Bulgarian recipe (from Traditional Bulgarian Cooking by Atanas
Slavov)that calls for 2 lb of fresh stinging nettle. At a specialty
store I managed to buy a bag of dried nettle. I'm guessing that I can
substitute the dried nettle, but I don't know how much I would have to
use. Any ideas out there? Or do you think I should go pick my own fresh
nettles?

Dale Gerdemann

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11-09-2005, 10:43 PM
Victor Sack
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Default

Dale wrote:

I have a Bulgarian recipe (from Traditional Bulgarian Cooking by Atanas
Slavov)that calls for 2 lb of fresh stinging nettle. At a specialty
store I managed to buy a bag of dried nettle. I'm guessing that I can
substitute the dried nettle, but I don't know how much I would have to
use. Any ideas out there? Or do you think I should go pick my own fresh
nettles?


I have never used dried nettles, but usually people will use 1/3 as much
dried herbs as fresh. That said, I would indeed pick my own fresh
nettles, especially if I could find young ones (they taste better and
don't even sting). What's the recipe, anyway?

Victor
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 11-09-2005, 10:57 PM
OmManiPadmeOmelet
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Default

In article .com,
"Dale" wrote:

Hello all,

I have a Bulgarian recipe (from Traditional Bulgarian Cooking by Atanas
Slavov)that calls for 2 lb of fresh stinging nettle. At a specialty
store I managed to buy a bag of dried nettle. I'm guessing that I can
substitute the dried nettle, but I don't know how much I would have to
use. Any ideas out there? Or do you think I should go pick my own fresh
nettles?

Dale Gerdemann


Just be sure to wear gloves...

I have horrible childhood memories of that stuff.
I understand it's very nutritious, but I'd never go near it. :-(

It HURTS! Then itches for hours.
This if you even just accidently brush up against it.
--
Om.

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." -Jack Nicholson
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2005, 07:17 AM
jacqui{JB}
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Default

"Dale" wrote in message
oups.com...

I have a Bulgarian recipe (from Traditional Bulgarian
Cooking by Atanas Slavov) that calls for 2 lb of fresh
stinging nettle. At a specialty store I managed to buy
a bag of dried nettle. I'm guessing that I can substitute
the dried nettle, but I don't know how much I would
have to use. Any ideas out there? Or do you think I
should go pick my own fresh nettles?


You'll probably get better suggestions if you post your recipe, but I'd
hazard a guess that anything which requires two pounds of a fresh leafy
green isn't going to be the same if you use a dehydrated product. Your
dried nettles simply aren't going to rehydrate properly.

You could give it a try (and hopefully post a follow-up, since I'm sure I'm
not the only one who'd be curious as to your results), or you can find an
alternate use for your dried nettles. Herb tea comes to mind. Nettles are
a good source of vitamin C, as well as a good antihistamine. Unfortunately,
I seem to have mislaid the reference book I want, so I can't give you more
info.

But as for your recipe, if I were you, I'd wait until spring and then go out
to gather my own fresh, tender, young nettles.
-j


  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2005, 08:54 PM
Dale
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Default

Well, I've tried the recipe now and everyone agreed that it was the
worst thing I've ever cooked. Briefly the idea is to make a kind of
porridge with 2 pounds of fresh stinging nettle in 4 quarts of water,
thickened with flour and ground walnuts. It's served in a dish with a
fried egg on top.

Instead of 2 pounds fresh nettle I used 200 grams of dried. Even though
it was dried, I was surprised at how fresh it looked and smelled. I
think it was only partially dried and sold semi-fresh. On the other
hand, it had a lot of stem pieces in it, that made for unpleasant
eating experience. But the main problem was that it had an extremely
strong flavor.

My girl friend, who is Bulgarian, says that it definitely was not like
what her mother and grandmother made for her when she was a girl (about
50 years ago). Maybe I should try again someday with fresh nettles, but
at the moment I'd just like to get the taste out of my mouth.

If anyone is interested in repeating my experiment, I'd be interested
to hear about it. I'll try making a couple of suggestions:

1. Maybe try mixing the nettle with spinach to reduce its flavor.

2. Dried nettle is probably not the way to go. Part of the problem, I
think, is that the nettle I had was intended for making tea. So the
stem pieces were not considered to be a problem.

3. Think small. 2 pounds of nettle is way too much for an experiment.
The 200 grams of dried nettle that I used exploded into a huge pot,
which I guess I will have to dispose of.

Dale

  #6 (permalink)  
Old 13-09-2005, 06:12 AM
jacqui{JB}
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Default

"Dale" wrote in message
oups.com...

Well, I've tried the recipe now and everyone
agreed that it was the worst thing I've ever cooked.
Briefly the idea is to make a kind of porridge with 2
pounds of fresh stinging nettle in 4 quarts of water,
thickened with flour and ground walnuts. It's served
in a dish with a fried egg on top.


Sounds really interesting.

But the main problem was that it had an extremely
strong flavor.


If you're still game in the spring, when the nettles come up, gather some
fresh, young nettles and give it another go. Nettles are mild enough to eat
very lightly steamed at that time of year, and your dish sounds like it
would make a great, light spring supper.

Thanks for sharing the results of your experiment.
-j


  #7 (permalink)  
Old 14-09-2005, 10:26 AM
Dale
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Default

I may try it again with some variation. Perhaps I should use fresh
nettles. But now my girlfriend assures me that Grandma back in Bulgaria
used dried and powdered nettles (and supposedly it tasted good). I
suppose I could force my dried nettles through a sieve and that would
at least get rid of the big indigestible chunks. Then I might get
something like Grandma used to make. But I have a hard time imagining
that it would taste better than fresh nettles.

Dale

 




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