Happy New Year

If you’re thinking of mulling some wine tonight, may I suggest the combo above:
A brandy soaked pear lightly studded with cloves
Some cinnamon sticks
Part of a scraped out vanilla bean pod – about 1/4 or 1/8th of one
When I mulled some wine using these spices, it came out lightly mulled and tasty. I enjoyed the vanilla a lot – really rounded out the clove flavor (sometimes cloves are too much for me). Just be careful you don’t leave it simmering too high – I mulled nearly all of the alcohol out of this. I had several cups of it with no effects at all. You wouldn’t mind that even if you were looking to catch a buzz because this is one tasty beverage.
In a bit I’ll be picking up CVS and Manhattan Maka – they’re spending the weekend with Albany John and me. Neither of us are big NYE partiers, so they figured they’d come up and spend the weekend with us – you know, doin’ nothin’.

Have a good New Year’s Eve my fluffy little meatballs!

Fuzzy Squash Curry

Sometimes I think I should have a tag that says “Nyah Nyah, this is what I get to eat”.

Albany John made a curry from the fuzzy squash I bought and also tossed in some onions, flax seeds, yellow mustard seeds, napa cabbage, and a roasted acorn squash with some curry flavoring and coconut milk. It tastes like it’s creamy, almost like he plopped in a bunch of romano cheese, or sour cream. But nope, none of that.

Acorn squash is usually a little too sweet for me in savory dishes, but it is great here – with all of the other flavors going on it adds just a touch of sweetness to round out and enhance the heat and complex spices.

Crown Royal Cask No. 16


I was just over at Empire Wine yesterday to pick up some boxed wine when a box of Crown Royal Cask No. 16 caught my eye.

I love Crown Royal and the $29.00 price tag also caught my eye. Evidently, it normally retails for much more. Empire Wine priced the retail value at $80.00 per 750 mL bottle.

You can probably see how it caught my eye. It’s encased in a sturdy black container and has shiny golden writing on the outside of it. It’s a blend of whiskeys that have been aged in cognac barrels. Or so the pretty writing tells me.

After you open the black container up, the bottle is also swathed in a Crown Royal bag with gold colored embroidery, but the bag itself is black instead of the usual purple.

And finally, after getting through all of those pretty layers, you get this pretty bottle. The top is a plastic screw top. Kind of odd, I thought it would be metal or something, not plastic.


I popped the bottle open and poured them into my snifters. I think it looks cute. I doubt it’s proper, but oh well. Cuteness reigns supreme in my house.

It smelled very sweet – lots of caramel/brown sugar notes and vanilla. I could sniff this all day.

Taste-wise, I am not a fan of it. It was a little smokier than I would have liked and had a very harsh acidic finish. I was not expecting that kind of a finish. The overall mouthfeel felt lighter than the regular Crown Royal. The overall flavor was more floral than sweet, which was a bit of a surprise given how sweetly it smells. More of a cognac than a whiskey, I suppose.

An ice cube in the drink mellowed out the harshness – let it sit a few minutes to water it down just a bit.

I will try this again later today on the rocks, but overall, I think I prefer the regular Crown Royal to Crown Royal Cask. I will probably also try it as an old fashioned, but I think it might just mask the taste. We shall see.

At any rate, it was worth a try for that price. It would also probably be an impressive gift to someone for only $29.00 since it normally retails for much more.

Xmases

Ho, ho, hooo oh boy am I wiped out from so many Christmases! The first Christmas started on xmas eve at Bro and Margarita’s casa. My dad also came up and joined up for dinner – Margarita made shrimp gumbo!


First up were salads. And bro’s big mitt.


We had just enough gumbo to go around. It was a great turn out, too. Albany John laughed at us because we didn’t put in things we didn’t like or find. So we left out the okra and bell peppers? So what? This was just delicious. Thick, shrimpy, and great over a heaping bowl of rice.

I can’t wait to make gumbo myself. It wasn’t too hard, just time consuming.

The next morning we had another Christmas by picking up my sister from my Mom’s to hang at my place with my Dad until Christmas with my mom. We unwrapped a few presents with my Dad and sister, and my dad seemed surprised to get so many presents to unwrap. They were only a couple, though. Get used to it, Pops!

After 2nd Christmas, my sister, Albany John and I headed over to my Mom’s for 3rd Christmas. My sister set the table – looks nice!

Shrimp. OMG Shrimp. I parked myself in front of this and ate for a while. Christmas at my Mom’s was kind of weird for me since there was someone there I wasn’t expecting to be there. It just kind of threw me off and made me feel awkward. So I did what I normally do when I feel awkward in social sitations – filled me gullet.


Bro didn’t feel awkward though! Here he is taking a “nap” after food.

We left my mom’s earlier than we thought, so we headed over to Mama and Papa Amherst’s early. Presents unwrapped, etc. Always a good time with them.
Brekkie the next morning was finish pancakes with BACON! Bacon inside! And sesame toast with butter and jam. Yummy. The pancakes were fluffy, light, and still insanely rich (since they’re Finnish freakin pancakes). Oh man, they were amazing.


Dinner was later that afternoon/early evening. Mama Amherst set the table and here you can see her pouring some vino for all of us.


Papa Amherst made capon, which is a castrated rooster that pretty much doubles in size. It was juicy and moist – kind of like a turkey and chicken. Papa Amherst also let us nibble on some skin. The skin was crispy and fucking good, good, good!


For dessert Papa Amherst made panna cotta with apple cider on top. You can tell I couldn’t wait to tear into it – mine’s the one with a cookie jammed into it.


See the pretty layers? Mama Amherst has a good eye – she told me to take this shot. You can really see the orangey layers and white panna cotta.

After that, we went to our friend’s place for a house party. It was an okay house party, but some cliquey or antisocial (I can’t really figure out which) folks so I ended up falling asleep in a bedroom around midnight. Party animal, eh, notsomuch.


The next morning we were also being lazy and slept in until noon. Then we headed to Antonio’s in the center of Amhesrt for some slices.

I got this incredibly bland pesto pizza. I have no idea why it was so bland, it just was. Okay, maybe tomatoes in December aren’t a good idea, but pesto… pesto! I even saw pine nuts. I just can’t figure out why there was zero flavor. I launched a full on condiment assault, which doctored it up enough for me to eat.
While the toppings were oddly bland on my slice, the crust was very good. Crisp and crunchy on the bottom it was reheated very nicely. The bottom crust was thin, with the outer crust being pleasantly chewy and soft.

They have a whole lot of slices to order from, and this one appealed to me the most. I forget how much it was, but three slices cost a little over $9. Yowie. But then again, pesto ain’t cheap.

Albany John ordered a tortellini pizza. An odd combination, but a good one. I might try this one in the future when I make pizza at home.

For dinner, Mama and Papa Amherst took us out to Arigato. They had a new lower place that was open. Lots of shiney lights. Me likey! The menus alone were impressive.


I got a spicy salmon hand roll. Quite nice. No complaints here. This was very tasty and spicy.

I also ordered the miso ramen for $10. This was delicious. A rich pork based broth with miso! It included tamago (the yellow squiggles), pork strips, fish cakes, egg, cabbage, bean sprouts, and ramen noodles. I loved it and slurped up every bit of it.


Albany John ordered the teriyaki Chilean sea bass. It seemed a little on the small side, especially for $16.95, but it was perfectly done. Very moist – falling apart and tender. We also realized after leaving the restaurant that our menus had mentioned something about salad and ‘milk tofu’, but we never got either of them. Didn’t really matter since we were both pleasantly full from our meals, but be aware.


Mama and Papa Amherst ordered Hibachi and we got quite the show! Here you can see some teriyaki sauce being cooked down. Wow, it was very syrupy sweet. Maybe ask them to cook it down less if you also prefer it more on the salty side.

And a cute bunny leftover ‘baggie’ of Mama Amherst’s leftovers sitting next to a cup of tea. The barley tea was great – I’ll have to look at the Asian markets in the area and see if I can find some. It was almost like a meal in itself and perfect for the cold weather – hearty, and very warming.

So that was my many-Christmasified weekend! It was filled with lots of family, some awkward moments, and tons of good food. I’m glad that everyone fit into the whole thing. Also, all that shrimp really rocked it out and brought Christmas to a new level.


Happy Holidays from Albany John, Albany Jane, Dad, Margarita, and Bro!
I think we look like evil robot/mannequin creatures from Dr. Who.

Enjoy your holidays, whether they’re on Mars, Earth, or in a Tardis.

December 09 Food Spending

Grocery shopping is one of my favorite things to do, but I am trying to reign in my monthly food budget. It has gotten a bit inflated in the last couple of months, and I need to bring it back down to something more manageable.

Here is what I’ve spent in December thus far on grocery shopping: Approximately $238.
That does not include any meals out for the month. Just groceries bought at the store. Below is a list of food I have bought this month and some photos of grocery store trips. I have tried to be as detailed as possible.

I also bought some wine and a liqueur once this month for $30, so it would be $268 if I include that. However, if I subtract the beer purchases, then the food portion is only about $200, which is right about where I want it.

That said; I could play around with numbers all I want. I feel good about the results of this month since it was a “bring it in” month. Reflecting – I ate very well, and am able to see room for improvement.

I thought it would be neat for you to see what I buy.

You might think “Geeze. She buys the cheapest eggs she can.”
It’s true. I go through a lot of eggs – about 6.5 dozen for this month at a total of $7.34. It would be more than double that, around $16.50 at the Co-Op for their Cornell Farms eggs, which I am calculating at $2.75 each. That price may have gone up. The difference overall in what I spent VS what I would have spent in this pricing is $9.16. It will be something to consider in the future.

Grocery shopping is something that reveals some personality, I suppose.

I would love to buy local, conventional everything, but sometimes I cannot. I could compromise by becoming vegan or vegetarian. That would certainly solve my budgetary problems. But there is also part of me that loves meat, hence the factory-farmed chicken and the more ethical ground meat from Cardona’s. I try when I can, but ultimately, sometimes I make less than ideal purchases. I didn’t buy much seafood at all, though. That was a big personal accomplishment. I love seafood.

I also did not purchase much booze this month. So that’s pretty good too. At any rate, here’s the stuff:


12/2 Lee Market: $1.26 $0.76 bean sprouts and $0.50 cliantro

Stewart’s: $1.19 1 dz medium eggs


12/5/09 $8.15 Save-A-Lot: $0.79 3 Cream cheese bricks – same price as Aldi, $3.99 bacalao, $1.99 2 oz vanilla extract – same price at Aldi, but in plastic container at Aldi.

12/5/09 – Hannaford, $16.90 Eggs ($1.99 / 18) , milk ($1.55 1/2 gal 2%), sugar ($2.69 5#), flour ($5.89 10#), apricot preserves ($2.39), raspberry preserves ($2.39)

12/16 $17.70 Asian Supermarket, $1.58 Jalapenos, $3.59 dried shrimp (no dyes), $2.03 Boy Choy Sum (greens on the left), $1.72 Fresh lotus root ($1.79/lb they look like plastic-wrapped potatoes), $1.59 daikon ($0.59/lb), $1.59 Napa cabbage ($0.65/lb), $1.49 1# bag shallots, $1.52 Fuzzy Squash ($1.19/lb), $1.99 easy-to-use chopsticks (gift)

12/15 $1.19 Stewart’s 1 dozen medium eggs

12/14/09 $10.26 Aldi, $3.89 1# medium shrimp, $3.29 6-pack of White Castle Cheeseburgers, $1.99 jalapeno salsa, $1.09 Mushroom pasta sauce. Canned tomatoes were $0.89/can, but smaller than the $1.00 cans at Hannaford.

12/13 $30.18 Hannaford: $16.99 30 pack of Labatt Blue beer, 2 2-ltrs seltzer, 1 2-ltr gingerale, coffee, 1/2 gal milk

12/17 $30.21 All Star Wine and Spirits: $6.99 Ballatore supmante bubbles, $12.99 Praline Liqueur, $7.99 1.5L Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon (ended up giving cab sauv to Sistah)

12/17 $2.97 Target: 3 dozen large eggs @$0.99 each

12/17 $3 Halal Market: 2# Semolina flour
12/17 $10 trip to veggie cart: apples, grapefruit, other produce I can’t remember

12/19 $23.60 Hannaford: 30 pack Labatt beer, 1 tray chicken breast

12/20 $18.18 Roma Food Importing: $15.19 5# meatloaf mix meat ($2.99/lb special, when buying 3+ lbs), Fresh oregano $2.99

12/20 $21.49 Cardona’s Market: $5.99 peeled whole tomatoes, $6.78 smoked mozzarella, $8+ Pecorino Romano (@$9.98/lb)

12/20 $6.50 Aldi: $3.50 meat, $1.99 10# potatoes, bacon

12/21 $45.70 Hannaford: $3.49 Cabot Cottage cheese, $3.96 4 32 oz cans diced tomatoes, $1.98 2 cans crushed tomatoes, $3.96 4 cans whole tomatoes, $1 2 tiny cans tomato paste, $1.98 2 packs frozen spinach, $1.98 2# Orzo, $6.98 10# spaghetti, $3.89 Ricotta, $1.50 2 tropical sparkling waters, $2.69 Minute Maid Low Acid Orange Juice, $3.99 Smart Options grated cheese, $3.49 chipotle Tabasco sauce, floss, $4.44 whole chicken, $1.19 kraut $5 off coupon

12/22 $7 Dollar Tree: 4-3 oz Feta cheeses, Ssips Iced Tea, WestSoy Soy Milk, Dessert Topping

Ragu


Fresh pasta and ragu time! Blogger decided to get picky about posting pictures, but I think you’ll get the idea.


First is the onion/garlic stage, where you cook them up before doing anything else. I also tossed in some minced shallots when the onions were nearing cooking completion before adding the garlic.


I chucked in some meatloaf mix ground meat with the onions. I got this at Roma Importing in Latham, NY. They have a special, where if you buy 3 or more pounds, it is only $2.99/lb. They have hormone and antibiotic free meat, so this is a good deal.

And when you cook it up, it smells fantastic. This meatloaf mix is made from a mix of pork, beef, and veal. Much better than just one of them.

Not pictured is adding milk to the meat after it has browned/cooked all of the way through. I’ve heard tell that it adds to the meat’s tenderness.


While the milk is being cooked into the meat, pop open a bottle of red wine. Sistah gave this to Albany John and me as a Christmas present. It is a bottle of The Show cabernet sauvignon. She had a whole bunch of wines to choose from, and let me have my pick. Naturally, I was drawn to the one with the brightest label and coolest font.

Pop it open and start chugging!
Oops, wait. Save a bit. Then start chugging.

Add the wine to the ground meat once the milk is absorbed. This is my favorite step – the mixture smells FABULOUS. My kitchen was already meaty, but the wine cooking into it just added another level of richness. You only need a little bit of wine. It just adds flavor. Too much ruins the dish and overwhelms everything.

I really liked cabernet sauvignon. I should remember to use it again for a red cooking wine. Not too sweet, and not too dry to cook with. Drink-wise, I let Albany John have at it. It was a wee bit too dry for me.


Then once the wine’s cooked off you can finally add your tomatoes. I got a large can of whole tomatoes with basil from Cardona’s Market for $5.99. I think it was 108 ounces. I squished each tomato with my hands, and then added the rest of the liquid. And a bit of water. And the dry herbs to season it up a bit.


I usually use crushed tomatoes, so this sauce was a little thinner than I am used to, but I like it. The other creations I’ve made of ragu sauce were so thick.



Oh, and while it was simmering away (I mean, you do cook bolognese sauce for at least 2 hours), I made fresh pasta with semolina flour. I used entirely semolina flour and found it added a nice chew / bite. Much less mushy than AP flour. AP flour noodles seem more like goulash and suited to Western European cooking than Italian dishes.


Semolina all the way, baby. I like 1.5 C semolina flour, 2 large eggs, bit of olive oil, dash of salt, and water to combine. Let it sit 20 minutes and then you can start rolling it out. I rolled mine out to level 5 (pretty thick) and cut out chunky pappardalle noodles by hand.

Fresh pasta cooks up really quickly – normally it’s only 3 minutes or so, but since these were thick and fat noodles, they were about 6 minutes to cook. I plunged them in ice water and then topped them with piping hot bolognese sauce. And some bowls got slatherings of fresh pecorino romano (also from Cardona’s, at $9.98/lb)

This was a pretty good recipe! I estimate it cost about $12-13 for the entire pot. $1 more for the fresh pasta.

I don’t remember exactly how much meat I used, but if I am being generous, I would say 1.75 lbs. So $5.24 for the meat. $5.99 for the gigantic tub of tomatoes. Herbs are negligible since I’ve always got them in the pantry.

This Incarnation’s Ragu Recipe:

5 yellow onions, diced
6 shallots, diced
1 whole head garlic, pressed
olive oil
1.5-2 # ground beef, pork, and veal mix
¾ C milk
½ C cabernet sauvignon
1 large can of whole tomatoes (108 oz) canned with basil

Dried parsely, marjoram, oregano, basil, salt

Heat olive oil over low heat in pan. Add diced onions and cook until almost translucent. Add shallots, cook until both are translucent.

Add garlic. Cook until fragrant (just a few minutes).

Add ground meat and turn heat up to medium/high to brown.

Add milk and reduce heat to low, so the milk is at a simmer. Stir occasionally until milk is absorbed by the ground meat.

Add wine. Stir occasionally until the ground meat absorbs it, too.

Add tomatoes – squish and crush the whole tomatoes by hand into the pot, and pour all the liquids in once finished. Add a little bit of water to the can to get all the tomato out, and pour that into the pot as well.

Add dried herbs and salt to pot. Stir to combine.

Once everything barely comes to a simmer, leave it to cook on low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring every 20 minutes.

Downstate Saturday

Friday night Bro, Margarita, Albany John, and I drove down to Orange County, NY. We were planning on going into Queens the next day, but after seeing the weather reports; it looked like we might have gotten stuck in the city on our way out.

We changed our plans to stay in the Orange County area for Saturday. It ended up not snowing much at all, but with our luck if we had gone into NYC a blizzard surely would have hit it.

Albany John and I spent the night with Sistah. It was a good time. She made these really good chocolate nugget cookies and put a little Hershey’s chocolate syrup in the batter, too. I thought it just tasted extra buttery. Yummy, crunchy goodness.

The next morning we reconvened in Florida at the diner in town. I think it is called Marina’s Diner/Deli. Bro, Margarita, and I ordered coffee, my Dad got tea with milk, and Albany John ordered the manliest drink on the menu – a hot cocoa. They even delivered it with whipped cream, which was when I started calling him princess.

Albany John and Bro were hungry. Their meals came with free soup, and they ordered Matzo ball soup. They said the broth was good, but the ball was a little gummy. It looked really big to me.


Here’s what Bro ordered – Sweet Pippy was it ever good. The fried clams. It looked like those frozen ready-to-eat clam strips you can buy at the store, but boy did they taste great! The clams were all soft and nicely clammy – not rubbery/chewy and vaguely like seafood. These were delicious. I stole a few from his plate.

I would definitely vote this dish the star of all of our dishes.

Albany John got the shrimp basket. Both baskets came with fries and soup. They were both around $8. These were also excellently fried and juicy. The oil tasted very fresh and new. A nice crunchy breaded exterior gave way to a moist shrimp interior. I stole more than a few from Albany John’s plate as well.

My dad just got an egg on hard roll sandwich that you can see in the background. Margarita got a club sandwich. I got one of her triangle slices because she couldn’t finish it. It was also good. Crispy bacon – just enough to compliment the turkey. The turkey slices were also moist, and there was a nice balance of lettuce to make you think you were eating healthy food. The mayo didn’t bother me, but I still find it to be a rather superfluous condiment. Slather some butter or brie on there, and then I’ll get back to you.
I ordered 2 eggs over easy. They came with homefries and toast. The toast was wholewheat, but came slathered in margarine. Ew. I’m not a big margarine fan. I think toast should come unbuttered. I picked off and ate the crusts and dipped them in the egg yolk. The eggs came out perfectly. The homefries were okay, but more potato pieces than anything else. No crispiness at all.
Service was also nice. I like going downstate because invariably you almost always get a “Want some cawfee, hun?” type waitress and they are all very good at their jobs. We’ve got a couple of places like that up here, but not nearly enough.

After that, we headed over to our old hometown, Washingtonville, NY. It is also home to Brotherhood Winery. America’s Oldest Winery. Which is now owned by a Chilean grape master guy who bought it from the last owners in the 70s who didn’t take care of it.

We took a tour of the wine cellars. I mean, figure if Bro and Margarita are leaving, why not?


Bro, Margarita, and my Dad. We got a tour all to ourselves. Very neat. Our tour guide, Dennis, was very knowledgeable. For instance, I never knew that Brotherhood was one of the only wineries allowed to keep producing during the prohibition because of the amount of sacramental wine they made for the churches. Hunh.



It was very dark and I am a moron with my camera, so even after Albany John looked at it, I still had trouble taking pictures. Here is Dennis walking us down a hallway. OF DOOM!
Nah, just kidding (although Brotherhood puts on a great spooky cellars Halloween even). Just walking into another part of the cellars.

This was my favorite room because they were aging wine in casks. It smelled so sweet! Here are some labeled barrels, likely too fuzzy for you to make out. Just pretend they all say “Awesome Wine in Here”.


We only bought the tour ($6 per person) instead of the tasting flight with it ($5 per flight, or $10 for tour and tasting with free glass), but Dennis still gave us a few samples of wines to try. Not as much as a full flight would have been, mind you, but still, it was good to try some wines before buying them.

We were also offered some free tastes before the tour by another person, so as long as you are interested, they will let you try a little bit before buying. This definitely helps for someone like me who is generally indecisive. “Oh, they both taste so good. Let’s get both!”


After buying a case between us all (it’s 15% off!), we headed over to the Christmas House on Helms Hill Road. It’s right behind Round Hill Elementary School. My Dad remembered how to get there. Here he is either taking a picture or shooting a video.

It looks like it’s jam-packed full of crap. Maybe it is. But it’s all brightly lit and decorative when the sun sets, and during Christmas time they even let people inside their house, which is beautifully decorated as well. If you are in the area, definitely check it out before Christmas – they’re open in the early evening if you want to see the inside of the house.


Also in the same area is a drain pipe. It’s been there for as long as I can remember, and it pours off water from some water bottling company in the area. YehYeh used to like getting it when he was in the area when we were little.


I had an empty growler in my trunk, so we filled it up to have later on that evening with dinner. It’s clear and crisp. But still, it’s just water. It’s mostly nostalgia.
Albany John was skeptical. “It’s water from a drain pipe… How do you find about this?”

My Dad just shrugged and said “Everyone in town just knows about it.”
Well Albany, now you do too. So if you pass Round Hill and see a drain pipe spewing water, feel free to grab a drink.


My Dad ordered some takeout from Tin Lune in Florida, NY when we got back. For Chinese takeout they do a pretty good job. They do low-salt, low-oil, which I just think tastes better. Too much grease in takeout Chinese food, you know?

Dad also broke out the good tea for us! Tie Guan Yin. This tea is really expensive, but after they steep, the little curls of tea release into whole leaves. It’s got a great flavor and you can get many cups out of one initial serving of tea.

Overall, we didn’t get to do what we initially planned, but I think that just hanging out as a family for the weekend was a nice way to spend our time together. I had a really good time. Margarita is really a sister to me, it’s always a good time when we hang out. Bro can really come up with some hilarious stuff to say, too.

How to Prepare Fresh Lotus Root

Have you ever tried lotus root before? It might look like some weird, strange veggie, with all of its holes. Like a vegetable swiss cheese. But it’s not weird at all. It’s mostly textural. Lotus root is a delightfully crunchy vegetable. Not as dense as a raw carrot, but with the same feeling of crunchiness.

This is what a whole, fresh lotus root looks like when you buy them in the store. You can also buy them vacuum-sealed or canned ready-to-eat. It looks kind of like a two connected potatoes. I just opted for a small amount. These two segments were just under a pound and cost $1.72. I purchased it at the Asian Supermarket on Central Ave, Albany, NY for $1.79 per pound. They were very fresh looking, and wrapped in plastic.

I rinsed the skin off (it was a little slimy/tacky) peeled the skin using my handy, dandy vegetable peeler.


Normally you see lotus root as thin slices. I’ve actually never seen it cut up any other way. I broke out the mandoline and sliced them through. Now we’ve got some uniform, pretty lotus root slices!


If you take a nibble now, it will taste a bit tannic and dry out your mouth a bit. It’s not terrible or horrible, but it dries out your mouth a little.

You can soak them in a little vinegar water for a few minutes to get the bitterness out of them. I just used a splash of vinegar in my water.


You can also boil them for a few minutes to cook the mouth-puckering-ness out of them , which is what I did. Just put some vinegar with water in a pot, bring to a boil, and add lotus roots to cook for 3-5 minutes. Not long at all.

After that, they’re all done. You can eat them as is for a crunchy, vegetal treat, or add them to other dishes like I did to Albany John’s salad. Other applications for lotus root can be soups/stews, stir fries, or just plain frying. I have yet to try fried lotus root slices. Since it’s so bland in flavor, I wouldn’t hesitate to add it to non-asian dishes as well. The slices are just so pretty!