Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Walk on the Savory Side with Tahitian Vanilla

It’s natural to associate vanilla with sweet desserts, but vanilla also works on the savory side. Vanilla in savory dishes is more common in other countries than in the USA. Just as salt brings out the umami in foods, vanilla brings out the sweetness in naturally sweet seafood like lobster, shrimp, and scallops or meats like pork, duck and venison. Think of all the recipes for these dishes that call for a sweet sauce. Just add a little bit of vanilla to take it over the top. The seeds from an inch or two of a Tahitian vanilla bean can impart depth and complexity to sauces for seafood, pork, poultry, and even barbecue. So if you’ve been baking and have a little vanilla bean left over, save it for the savory side. 

Here are 7 delicious recipes to help you put your partially used vanilla beans to good use:

Tahitian Vanilla Seared Sea Scallops with Lemon Coconut Risotto and Vanilla Bean Buerre Blanc

Pan-Fried Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Tahitian Vanilla Cream Sauce

Seafood-Citrus Salad with Vanilla Bean-Black Pepper Vinaigrette
Sweet Potato Gnocchi in a Brown Sugar Vanilla Cream Sauce

Arugula and Pear Salad with Creamy Pear and Gorgonzola Vanilla Dressing 

Vanilla Balsamic Chicken

Muscovy Duck Breast with Red Wine-Vanilla Sauce

Tahitians have long-used their incredible vanilla in cream or wine sauces for seafood dishes - but plenty of other savory dishes can go from ordinary to extraordinary with this ingredient. Happy cooking!