M-m-m...don’t you just love the flavor of vanilla? We like to make vanilla ice cream for dessert. Of course we use seeds from a vanilla bean to flavor the cream and sugar that turns into this rich and creamy frozen treat. If you watch any of the cooking shows on Food Network, you’ve probably seen chefs on these shows scraping a vanilla bean to use in a dish like this. The process of scraping the bean looks so simple when they do it. They take a very sharp knife and slit the bean lengthwise, then scrape out the tiny seeds from the pod. These "seeds" cling together (like a paste since they’re moist and sticky) as the knife is run through the pod.
If you’ve tried this yourself, only to find it isn’t quite so easy to slit the narrow pod lengthwise because it’s hard and leathery, try this trick. Soften the pod by steaming it for 1 to 2 minutes in a steamer or in a sieve over boiling water, then cool it slightly. It will be much easier to slit. Also, when scraping out the seeds, do this over a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper. Otherwise you will lose some of the sticky seeds because they’ll cling to your hands or even get under your fingernails as you try to pick them up. Ugh.
Vanilla beans are expensive. Once you’ve scraped out the beans, don’t throw out that precious pod! Use it to make flavorful vanilla sugar for your coffee or to sprinkle on your cereal.
Suzanne and Wendy
Tips, tricks, and yummy creative ideas.
Creative Caravan Club