Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Taro root chips

This is actually the second time I've tried taro root.  The first time I found the texture so disgusting I couldn't eat it and had to put it in the compost.  Having done a little more research, I decided to give it another try.  Starting fresh, as it were.

Here's what taro root looks like in its natural state, i.e., not very prepossessing on the surface, but perhaps concealing secret virtues:

...not involving slime.  Taro is naturally very slimy.  Unless you like that in a vegetable (and some do; witness people's taste for okra), what you need to do is pre-cook it before you do anything else with it.  In this case, following the advice of an apparently pre-Photoshop and pre-super-awesome Mahanandi (this means there's hope for all of us :-P) I made taro chips.  The photo at the top of this post shows boiled and peeled taro root sliced up and dredged in a mixture of canola oil, ground red chili, garlic powder, turmeric, and salt.  I have to say right here that this spice mix is a definite go and I can see myself using it on all kinds of substances.

Then I cooked it at 350F for about 20 minutes.  I didn't broil mine, as I was on kind of a timer with the rest of the meal, mainly a mushroom omelet.  Here are some beauty shots of the omelet.  First, the filling, just Earth Balance, shallots, mushrooms, salt, pepper, and a little white wine:

Yes, exotic mushrooms are on sale at T & T right now!  Then, the omelet itself, the recipe from Vegan Brunch whose perfection knows no equal and that I am sure you're all well sick of me raving about by now.  But here it is, with a little of the muenster cheeze from Joanne Stepaniak's Uncheese Cookbook grated over it:

Sigh...this has so been eaten, but I wish I had it to eat again.  Finally, the finished supper, with a little salad of chayote and cucumber dressed with sesame oil and salt:

It was a good meal, but re the taro, unlike chayote and mo qua, I think I'll leave it alone in future and stick with the humble (and delicious) potato.  The chips definitely weren't slimy, so my gratitude, Indira, for the recipe, but still...potato has such a nice mild sort of buttery-starchy taste, for all it's such a near relation to deadly nightshade, that this tasted like, well, like less, beside it.  Sorry, tropical people, who don't have potatoes and have to eat this instead.


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  2. Oh to be able to dine at your house. I've said it before and I'll say it again. (Maybe as often as you mention those omelets.)

    There's a Chinese restaurant here that makes a mock sparerib with what I think is a gluten product, and they use taro for the "bone." It's not slimy at all. I did something similar with seitan spare ribs for a cookbook tester recipe and didn't precook the taro. Again, no slime. The taste wasn't something I'd go out of my way for, but not slimy. Weird.

  3. I am relieved I don't have to make Taro now. I don't know if it is related, but Yucca is supposed to be good.

  4. I'm with you on the slimy vegetable front...I think I can do without them...the taro chips look great though.

    I have to agree with Andrea...I'd love to be able to stop by your place around dinner time: it just looks so colorful and delicious and full of different textures.

  5. Andrea, oh, well, maybe there's a non-slimy variety that you were lucky enough to get. I'd like to have seen that sparerib though. Taro is so soft I'm having trouble picturing it...My first try was mashed and it ended up like something you'd buy for kids to scare each other with at Halloween parties.

    Shenandoah, you're officially off the hook for cooking taro! Yucca I'd like to try though. It's on my list if I can find any.

    I'd love to have you all over for supper. We could each make something and empty out my poor fridge!