Have you tried any new ingredients lately - during the pandemic?

7 months ago

And if so, did you like them or dislike them? Would you use them again?

Have you had to make substitutions because of shortages (or for other reasons)?

I thought of this topic before I thought of how I would answer it.

Recently I have been using a lot of chile de arbol because I want to conserve my chocolate Habanero sauce, as I did not have a crop of chocolate Habanero chilies last year. I did have a few that were on plants that were a couple of years old but not enough to make sauce. I found a good source for these chilies in Cathedral City - Cárdenas Market - where I buy a lot of Mexican products. They have a huge inventory of dried chilies, and they go through their inventory rather quickly, meaning that the chilies they have are very fresh. The flavor of these is much better than the ones I've had in the past, which I think may have been too old. For me, their flavor comes close to the chocolate Habanero chilies, and they are pretty potent - I have to avoid breathing the fumes when I chop them, and this is unusual for a dried chili. I generally take remove all the seeds, but when I made pizza last week-end, I chopped up a couple to sprinkle on the pizza and left the seeds in. They turned out to be quite a bit hotter than the cayenne that I had been using, and this was cayenne that I had grown and dried myself, and so it was also very fresh. For me, chilies de arbol is more of a rediscovery, and I'm happy to have done this. I was inspired by Pati Jinich, who uses these chilies in several of her recipes.

Speaking of pizza, since we got an Ooni pizza oven last year, we've been making a lot of pizzas, and so I bought some Italian 00 flour to try out. I really could not notice a different in the pizza crust, and so I will not buy this again for pizza. The last pizza I made, I used 14% whole wheat flour, and I tend to like this type of crust better - I think I'll go to 20% next time.

Checking my Amazon orders from 2020, I can see that I ordered some Napa Valley Verjus Blanc, to make Brad Leone's recipe for mustard. I will not be buying this again and will use white wine instead of Verjus in the future. I think Brad used Verjus because it is non-alcoholic, and he has young children, but even if wine is used, it would be such a tiny amount that I don't see how it would be a problem. However, he said that Verjus gave the mustard a better flavor, but I disagree with him on this one.

I don't remember any other specific experiments I've done in the past year, but that doesn't mean that I did not do any. I've been using bebere spice mix a lot more than I used to, but this is not new to me. I use Marcus Samuelsson's recipe for this, and I especially like it in lentils.

Comments (21)

NV Kitchen and Bath
Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars99 Reviews
Montgomery County's Most Experienced Kitchen & Bath Remodelers