I'd like this thread to be a repository for new ideas that you've learned from chefs or cookbooks, or experience.
Today with Sara Moulton, Jasper White talked about a Portuguese dish with clams, in which a bay leaf is "browned" in the oil to release its flavors. He said the Portuguese always do this. News to me, but it makes sense. He made a clam and chorizo "cataplana."
He said the shellfish dishes are called "cataplana" after the Portuguese copper hinged pot used for cooking shellfish. http://www.cookingtreasures.com/conte...
Chef White said that clams should have a silvery-gray tinge to the shells, and that after three days the shells become pure white, because of the calcium leaching up. So... whiter clamshells mean older clams.
From experience: Yesterday, we made "Caprese-Plus" Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Salad, and I put the leftover marinated tomatoes [with the basil, oregano, sliced garlic and a wee bit of rosemary, olive oil and (a little balsamic and a little red wine) vinegar] into a baggie in the fridge. I just made a tomato sandwich with the tomatoes, and it was so very, very nice and flavorful, although the tomatoes could've been firmer (next time, I'll purposefully marinate them just for the sandwich, and not overnight). Now don't freak out, but it was like a regular tomato sandwich, but with the marinated tomatoes. (Mayo on squishy white bread, yes, in fact it was!). Try it, tomato lovers, you'll like it.
So... please post here any new ideas on flavors, techniques, ingredients, etc.