# Recursive foodJune 29, 2016 8:10 AM   Subscribe

Searching for foods (or recipe ideas) along the theme of recursion (i.e., repetition of items in a self-similar way). At some point I'd love to have a dinner party with the theme of recursion. Further info and examples below.

First, I want to clarify that I'm not simply looking for a list of "foods stuffed inside other foods," a la turducken; recursion includes an element of self-replication. Examples of "recursive" foods in my thinking:
• Cookies and Cream ice cream made with "Cookies and Cream Oreos" (totally a real thing, although discontinued)
• Root beer floats made with root beer float flavored ice cream (also a real thing! Edy's makes it!)
• Sourdough bread, kombucha, or other foods that are made using a "starter" from the previous batch, which in turn contained the previous batch's starter, ad infinitum
posted by duffell to Food & Drink (32 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

Best answer: Romanesco Broccoli is a (sort of) recursive fractal.
posted by soelo at 8:19 AM on June 29, 2016 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: You would be right in asking if, in writing my Ask, I fouled up; turducken may be a poor example of a poor example, since all three food items are, in fact, fowl.

A better bad example may be whole stuffed camel.
posted by duffell at 8:20 AM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There's a thing where you make a salmon mousse or fish pate and then sculpt it into the shape of a whole fish for serving. photo.
posted by aimedwander at 8:22 AM on June 29, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: You could try to replicate Mission Bowling's chicken-fried chicken, wherein the chicken is breaded with “actual fried chicken skin that par-cooked and ground into the batter”.
posted by Maecenas at 8:23 AM on June 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Oscar Meyer makes chili-cheese hot dogs, so you can make chili & cheese chili-cheese dogs. Also, I'm not sure if this counts, but I make stuffed bell peppers that have include the diced pepper tops in the filling, and I think I've made stuffed eggplant that uses diced eggplant in the filling.
posted by amarynth at 8:29 AM on June 29, 2016 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I once baked chocolate chip cookies with Oreos inside. You just kind of wrap the cookie dough around the Oreo before you bake it. I see no reason why you couldn't do this with a store-bought chocolate chip cookie instead of the Oreo. The chips might melt a bit but that'd be ok.
posted by bondcliff at 8:31 AM on June 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Consider also serving drinks made with Droste cocoa.
posted by redfoxtail at 8:38 AM on June 29, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: bondcliff's suggestion makes me think of another recursive cookie variant: you could also make your own sandwich cookie filling, and sandwich it between a pair of whole oreos.
posted by baf at 8:38 AM on June 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

How about eggs filled with quail's eggs which are filled with roe?
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:48 AM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

In one sense, if you grow vegetables in a garden which is fertilized with composted kitchen scraps, the resulting produce would be recursive along the lines of your sourdough/kombucha example.

Similarly, brewers often use yeast from one batch of beer to ferment the next batch (though typically only for a few generations as the flavor profile starts to change at a certain point).
posted by nickmark at 8:54 AM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have not personally tried this, but in one of Ruhlmann's books he describes a technique used by a chef he's familiar with to make chicken stock by adding stock ingredients to previously made chicken stock rather than plain water.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:58 AM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Any beverage (but sherry or Madeira might be the most iconic) produced using the solera method.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:04 AM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wrap miniature sausages in bacon, then wrap them in ham.
Use pizza rolls as a pizza topping.
Use a panini press to make recursive sandwiches by making a sandwich and then pressing it inside another sandwich.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:21 AM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Make cake batter ice cream, and then use it to make a cake out of melted ice cream if you do this with funfetti I believe you will have made the funnest fetti
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:23 AM on June 29, 2016 [4 favorites]

What about bread pudding made from waffles and cooked in a waffle iron? (Self-link and not my best work photowise, but hopefully helpful.)
posted by veggieboy at 9:37 AM on June 29, 2016 [3 favorites]

Twice baked potatoes are pretty much potato-stuffed potatoes.
posted by hydrobatidae at 10:02 AM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You could make a platter of fiddlehead ferns laid out in the shape of a fiddle head!
posted by cortex at 10:15 AM on June 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

In the sourdough family is Amish Friendship Bread, which uses a starter*. (Considering that the recipe has instant pudding as an ingredient, it is probably about as Amish as the internet.)

*Caveat: I've never actually made this; I've had well-meaning relatives foist wads of starter dough on me a couple of times but they wind up going straight to the back of the fridge for a couple of months before getting thrown out.
posted by usonian at 10:49 AM on June 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have not personally tried this, but in one of Ruhlmann's books he describes a technique used by a chef he's familiar with to make chicken stock by adding stock ingredients to previously made chicken stock rather than plain water.
Double consommé is a consommé made to double strength. There are at least three methods of producing a double consommé, the first of which is doubling the quantity of meat used in the recipe, the second of which is producing a normal strength consommé and reducing it to half its volume,[3] and the third of which is producing a consommé with all water in the recipe replaced with equal quantities of an already-prepared consommé.[4] It is often found in other cold-cuisine items, especially those that use aspic, or natural gelatin.
posted by kenko at 11:31 AM on June 29, 2016

Best answer: Decorate the table with plastic dinosaurs.
posted by zippy at 11:54 AM on June 29, 2016 [13 favorites]

Response by poster: zippy, that's genius. Took me a second.
posted by duffell at 12:26 PM on June 29, 2016

Yogurt and many other cultured dairy products can be made from a starter (though commercial ones typically aren't since the balance of the culture tends to shift over time). Serve with some form of dried yogurt, like yogurt covered raisins or pretzels.

Baked apples stuffed with applesauce in a cider reduction for dessert?
posted by carrioncomfort at 1:32 PM on June 29, 2016

Make nachos by melting cheese over nacho cheese Doritos
posted by rmless at 1:34 PM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

You could stuff big prawns with shrimp salad made with those tiny salad shrimp.
posted by drlith at 1:46 PM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have made coffee using Water Joe.
posted by Kangaroo at 3:49 PM on June 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

I came in to recommend Romanesca as well.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 8:06 PM on June 29, 2016

Best answer: For a dinner party, you should send out invitations that look like this.
posted by Mayor West at 9:51 AM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Are fractal cookies of any interest?

Sierpinski triangle cookies also an option.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 4:35 PM on July 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: From ManyLeggedCreature's first link: Pizza3
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:07 PM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Recursive Ice Cream Cone
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:58 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Recursive Ice Cream Cone

That's excellent, but come on, we need to take it one step further and make one of the ice cream scoops an "ice cream cone bits" flavor.
posted by duffell at 2:11 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

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