Post by applecrisp1 on Feb 5, 2018 14:12:19 GMT -5
I'm typically pretty good about not buying an ingredient/spice/special condiment for a recipe and then have it just sit in the cabinet/fridge and end up not using it or hardly using it. I often will just leave out the the ingredient (if I think I'll just use it once or twice), make a sub or just find a different recipe. If I think I will like it and use it --- then that's different.
Well not always of course, there are those things that I end up not using or not often. For example that bottle of dry sherry that I used once or twice. Same deal with the rice vinegar (I should use in a dressing....) That jar of tumeric from the Clinton era......
And I have bought some new ingredients that I end up really enjoying and now use.
Any ingredients that you just had to get, are still on the shelf, you just used once, ended up not liking it, or better yet, it became a new favorite?
We use rice vinegar a lot -- mostly for dipping sauce for pot stickers or making a cucumber salad, but other things too.
Which reminds me of the can vinegar I had to order after reading about it on the CLBB. I don't remember if there was a particular use or if I was just intrigued, but I use also that one when I want a sweeter or milder vinegar.
The things I don't use up tend to be condiments. When my oldest son if home, he likes pesto for sandwiches, but the rest tends to go unused. Curry paste - I tend to use other forms of flavor and heat I feel more in control of. Or something to have on hand for that emergency meal --something quick that gets lost on the freezer. Jellies or jams - we make homemade and most purchased stuff or gifts get tried but not finished.
Something I bought out of curiosity that turned out to be a keeper was coffee flout at Trader Joe's --- but they stopped carrying it. I had to search the web and found that I can buy it in bulk at Sprouts. Not nearly as close, but close enough that I can go on occasion. Oh, and an ancient grains/rice mix we sampled at Costco. Nothing earth shatteringly new, but adds variety to the rice options and it is quick cooking.
Post by applecrisp1 on Feb 5, 2018 17:18:09 GMT -5
That reminds me of the pricey bottle of walnut pesto that I bought at the farmers market (shopping outside in the nice weather is prime for impulse buying) and I think I only used 1/2 of the jar. And I will be using that walnut oil this week....
I've never heard of coffee flour before so just looked online. It sounds interesting, bet it gives a nice flavor.
I'm with you, finding a new ingredient/item that you like, whether something more novel or something you can enjoy often is always good.
There are a few condiments that I have that I don't use that often, but keep pretty well (refrigerated) and I like so I don't mind having bought them. For example, harissa and pomegranate molasses come to mind. The latter does not even need to be refrigerated. Then there are those that I use for baking (e.g. barley malt syrup) which I only use in one recipe (bagels) but again keeps indefinitely in the fridge.
There are, however, those things which I bought because of all of the hype over them which I just did not care for no matter how hard I tried to like them. The big one that comes to mind for me is powdered peanut butter. JUST CAN'T STAND THE STUFF!! And I tried it in so many different ways thinking/hoping it might be good in one of them. Nadda! Not for me!! My latest ingredient is chickpea flour. I want to try making socca as well as using it in a pizza crust. I think I will like it since I love chickpeas but time will tell. I guess this is part of the fun of being a "foodie"....buying/experimenting with new ingredients/recipes and seeing which ones work for you. hey.....everyone has to have hobbies!!!
Post by soupandstew on Feb 8, 2018 18:09:45 GMT -5
I've ended up using my pomegranate molasses more than I thought I would, but not necessarily in whatever recipe that made me think I needed it. In my usual fashion, I lost whatever inspirational recipe prompted my purchase so now I'm just free-styling it on things like pancakes, cornbread, pork chops, sweet potatoes and anything else where I think sweet & tangy will work. But I'm still seeking inspiration for the granulated honey sitting in the pantry.
"Being bitter is just the ego clinging on to the past." Brendon Burchard
soupandstew-I like sherry vinegar to finish off a soup when it needs a little touch of acidity. 1-2 T. usually gives a pot a nice flavor and brightens the pot. It's also yummy in a romesco sauce. And pomegranate molasses is nice in a homemade vinaigrette. I often add 1 T. to a balsamic vinaigrette. I may decrease the vinegar a bit and if the recipe calls for a sweetener like honey, I may dial back that just a touch. Another use is muhammara which is a tasty roasted red pepper spread.
I *thought* I'd made a bad buy at Penzeys -- their "sweet curry - regular," but then I decided to sprinkle it on some Delicata squash (along with other spices like hot pepper flakes, garlic salt, lemon pepper and the other things we always put on: brown sug, butter). OMG That addicted me so much to the spice, that I began adding it to all my soups I make in my Instant Pot. NOW, I'm almost out of it and can't stand being without it so we are making a special trip to go buy some from our local Penzeys.
(Why I originally didn't think it was for us: we use HOT curry, not SWEET. Sweet on savory foods usually is a turnoff. So is cinnamon. So is nutmeg (golly, I hate that stuff). But I've learned to love the tang of those if used in moderation...along with curry powder. OHHHH soooo good. Gotta go get more. It's even good in cream of cauliflower soup. ANY soup. Anything. LOVE IT NOW!! Still buying Madras HOT, however. Addictive.)
The folks at our Penzey's told me the sweet or regular curry powder is essentially the same as the hot minus the heat, so you can get the regular and add hot pepper to it. You can't take the heat out, so that's been what I generally do.
Post by erin elizabeth on Feb 9, 2018 8:07:52 GMT -5
Well, the first thing I thought of was the local wheat flour that I picked up at a market this summer, stuck in the freezer, and have never used! But, for the most part, I seem to pick up spices. Just the other day I ran into World Market to pick up some smoked paprika for chorizo and I also bought some sumac. I know I have some recipes in my to-try folder with it and I know I can use it to mix up some za'atar, but I don't have immediate plans for it! I once bought some Chinese five spice and it hung around forever, but it still smelled so strong when I opened it and I did end up using it all and even buying more eventually. The herbes de Provence didn't fare so well and it seemed to lose its potency more quickly. Also have a bottle of Everything Bagel from TJ's hanging around. Such interesting things in this thread! I've been considering gochujang and harrisa and pomegranate molasses for awhile, but haven't acquired them yet
Cat batty- I am not a fan of curry at all but I also like Penzey's curry. FYI-add a bit to your chicken noodle soup next time you make a pot....it gives it that "mmmmm, something is different but yummy special taste" to it!! I also tend to accumulate spices that I use, but some not fast enough before they deteriorate. I guess that is just the nature with dried herbs/spices-they don't have indefinite shelf life so I have come to expect some waste with them.
Erin-I really like sumac and zata'ar, the slight bitter edge it can give to things. Try sumac on socca, flatbreads, pita (or homemade pita chips)if you make them. Both are also good in hummus or baba ghanoush, fish, chicken kabobs, souvlaki, on roasted vegetables etc... And if it makes you feel better, I had some herbes de Provence too which deteriorated quickly, as well.
It was specialty flours in our house - the Husband was into flour blends for a while we went to the co-op and got all sorts: sorghum, buckwheat, rye are the ones I remember. I still have several small tubs of something in the freezer with a cup or less. I should just pull those out and use'm up.
And for a while I was making my own gluten free flour mix, and after a couple years of mixing my own, I realized I could just buy a small bag of Bob's Red Mill when I needed it. So now I have these half bags of potato starch, rice flour and something else also languishing in the freezer.
Ah, speaking of Penzey's, which jiggled the early morning brain cells - I have two bottles of cardamom pods in the cupboard. Bought that when I was trying to teach myself how to cook Indian food.
Post by swedishcook on Feb 11, 2018 10:48:19 GMT -5
A jar of ginger marmalade has been sitting in the fridge for over a year. I know it was intended for something baked. Should probably just spread it on toast and be done with it. Regarding cardamom pods, an Indian friend of mine served hot tea with cardamom pods.
It was specialty flours in our house ... So now I have these half bags of potato starch, rice flour and something else also languishing in the freezer.
Check out the King Arthur Flour website for recipes to use the potato starch. I have a bread recipe (not GF) that it can be used in, but I sub potato flakes rather than buying another ingredient.
If you use a peel to bake bread or pizza, rice flour is great for sprinkling on it to prevent the dough from sticking since it doesn't absorb water as readily as wheat flour. I also sprinkle some on parchment squares when I form balls of pizza dough for later use. Would probably work to keep fresh pasta from sticking too, though I haven't tried that yet.
Charley - Your Trader Joe's bottle sitting until growing old made me laugh because I have had many bottles of mysterious things from TJ's sit unused, too. I think I have several right now. I think it's those taste tests they offer. I get all jacked (usually) when I'm in TJ's. I drink the wine, I drink the coffee, I eat the food and drink samples...and then I'm hooked on whatever they are selling but too often the jars get home and then just sit around.
I *can* vote for their Alfredo Sauce (in a jar). I doctor it up...sauteed onion, garlic, bell pepper, broccoli, artichoke hearts, cilantro, parsley, pinches of spices. Cook for a bit. Then boil some pasta and toss it and some of the pasta water AND some half and half...and maybe some Parmesan...maybe a small lump of butter... It's good. I do same with other brands from market, too. When I want something easy and fast.
BTW: The Instant Pot does a nice job on almost whole broccoli (head broken into 3rds, say) for 1 minute, then manual pressure release (not natural...I think that might over-steam it). I was surprised at how nice it came out. Not mushy. Then I placed that in a bowl and continued to use the IP (on SAUTE) for making the sauce. That Saute setting is very handy. I use it lots. I set it to low and gave it a stir every now and then, mostly when I added ingreds. I turned it off for a bit while the pasta was cooking. LOVE it! And gonna do that from now on.
Anyway, it would sure be nice to have a thread that tells of great PRE-MADE stuff we can buy and use (or doctor up). Especially those interesting ones from TJ's.