What ingredient is "new" to you? Have you recently added something to your repertoire?

Looking for some inspiration. What have you recently "discovered" and are excited about using?

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  • 23 Comments

23 Comments

Rosie's D. July 23, 2019
Shishito peppers. I get them freshly picked from a local place called Wasawillow Farm. They told me rinse and dry. Leave them whole with seeds intact and blister in a hot skillet. Add salt and pepper and a splash of soy sauce. Oh my, did this old dog learn a new veggie trick. Sometimes I just crunch away on the raw ones as I give them a rinse because they are that good.
 
Picholine July 22, 2019
Cilantro-Lime Rice goes with everything! Fresh peas out of pod found in bags in grocery store they are crunchy and I add to salads and many other things.
 
Miss K. July 19, 2019
Ramps. Didn't even know what they were until last year and now I'm hooked. Darn it! They are insanely expensive and not available, generally speaking, where I live. I think they are in season for all of 1/2 a nano second. I make Ramp Chimichurri Challah Bread and Caldo Verde soup with them.
 
Mobar July 23, 2019
One very wonderful spring tradition here in the western North Carolina mountains is to go ramp hunting with my grandkids. Ramp butter, pickled ramps, ramp and potatoes - so many delicious possibilities! I worry though that now they are popular they will be over harvested...
 
Brinda A. July 19, 2019
Flavored salts of all kinds! Smoked salt, sour salt (with citric acid in the salt itself), herby salt, volcanic salt from Iceland...I'm trying anything and everything. Goes great with grilled or roasted vegetables, on top of simply sauced pastas, on tofu and tempeh, on an avocado, on ripe peaches and plums...the list goes on.
 
Happygoin July 19, 2019
Brenda, I have trouble with all these salts. I’m not good at figuring which would be good on what food.

I think the fact that it’s two flavors (ie. salt and smoke or salt and acid) that throws me.
 
Happygoin July 19, 2019
Sorry...autocorrect on your name
 
Brinda A. July 19, 2019
Totally. And no prob!! Well, I try to put these more flavorful salts on foods that are a bit lighter in flavor (but bring a lot of texture to the party), ie tofu. In the smoked salt's case, a good rule of thumb is to put it on anything you'd grill—veggies like peppers, onions, zucchini; even stone fruit like peaches and plums and apricots, even pineapple. You're kind of mimicking the smoky flavor with the salt.

As for sour salt, goes great with anything you'd put salt and something acidic/citrusy on together—guacamole, stewed beans, margarita rims, key lime pie, mango in a fruit cup (kind of like a Tajin kind of thing!) and so on!

Herby salts would again be great on things you'd normally add herbs and salt to—yogurt or sour cream for a dip, pastas of all kind, roasted veg, maybe even a lighter meat like pork or turkey or chicken.

Sky's the limit!
 
Happygoin July 19, 2019
Hey, thanks for that! Excellent tutorial.

Next time I win the lottery, I’m buying some. (I made a funny there...)
 
Erin A. July 18, 2019
My coworker Ella turned me (and many others!) onto Huy Fong's spicy Chili Garlic Sauce and I have been using it a lot lately in soups, drizzled over almost any savory dish (noodles, proteins, etc.), and per Ella, in dressings! https://www.amazon.com/Huy-Fong-Chili-Garlic-Sauce/dp/B0016L34GO
 
Stephanie G. July 18, 2019
Thanks for the info about the fish sauce. I recently recoiled from buying some when I saw the price. Sounds like it's worth it.
 
Happygoin July 18, 2019
Stephanie, I’m not sure how easy it is to find Red Boat Fish Sauce. If you have a Whole Foods near you, that’s where I found it. Or maybe Amazon? It’s definitely worth it though. What a find...
 
Jennifer July 17, 2019
Ingredients new to me: verjus; wine flour.
 
Liz D. July 17, 2019
Aji Panca paste. Bought some to make Peruvian Sopa Seca (https://food52.com/recipes/80701-peruvian-chicken-basil-pasta-sopa-seca) , but have been adding it to marinades & sauces. A little spicy, but pairs well with fruit flavors
 
Smaug July 16, 2019
No, and I'm about due. When the weather cools down I plan to try some dried beans from Ranch Gordo and see if it's really that different.
 
dinner A. July 18, 2019
I have been really into these for a few years and think the Yellow Eye and Eye of the Goat beans are particularly great. I usually cook them in the evening and allow to cool covered overnight on the stove (they're pretty much sterilized), then refrigerate until using. This makes them hot weather-compatible at least for me.
 
Happygoin July 18, 2019
Also try Marcella Hazan beans at Rancho Gordo. It's a nice story why they're named after MH and they really are creamy and delicious. I love keeping them cooked in the fridge for summer salads of all sorts.
 
Mobar July 23, 2019
I recently ordered their box of 20; it’s been like Christmas in July! There is most definitely a better flavor and texture difference.
 
Happygoin July 16, 2019
I was always really timid about fish sauce. Then it was recommended Red Boat brand. What a revelation! Now I use it often. The stuff is amazing.
 
MMH July 16, 2019
In the last 2-3 years we have really come to love cooking with boneless skinless chicken thighs. The portion size is great. They are quite versatile and they are so much more flavorful than breasts.
 
Emma L. July 16, 2019
My husband and I are newly into pork chops! And we keep wondering why we haven't cooked with these more in the past. Searing two in a cast-iron pan takes basically no time—and feels like a nice treat for dinner. I've also been happily working my way through a jar of spicy fermented bean paste. I use it for spicy mayo, a honey glaze for tempeh, and soups.
 
Eric K. July 16, 2019
This question rocks. Thanks for asking it!

I've been on the chili crisp bandwagon like everyone else: https://food52.com/blog/24111-best-chili-crisp-lao-gan-ma Marinated a chicken breast in some the other night and it came out divine. And I'm never above a late-night instant ramen (save the seasoning packs for later), spoonful of chili crisp chopsticked into the drained noodles.

Though not "new," I recently rediscovered an old favorite combo of mine, bacon and fresh thyme, and have been figuring out ways to infuse everything with the pair. Chicken thighs, omelets, even salad dressings: https://food52.com/recipes/59533-red-leaf-salad-with-warm-cherry-bacon-vinaigrette It just reminds me of something I've had before... I used bacon and fresh thyme a lot when I first started cooking, I guess.
 
Nancy July 16, 2019
Another rediscovered gem.
Had not made a quiche in years.
At a dinner party about 2 weeks ago, the hostess served some (not clear - was it an alternate main or a side dish?).
Anyway, it was great.
Then a week later I had some Swiss chard dying the fridge, and all the ingredients for quiche.
Found a Martha Stewart crust recipe, whipped it up, made my old remembered filling and voila, dinner and a few leftovers for lunches.
Her crust was terrific!
And the whole episode reminded me that French cooking (aside from temples of haute cuisine) is essentially a frugal one, using up everything (if possible, before it goes bad.
 
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