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What is your newest favorite ingredient??

I bought a container of pimenton (smoked paprika) and have been using it on everything
sparingly. What are some other newish ingredients I can add to my cooking repertoire?

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  1. Aleppo Pepper!!
    It's not quite as hot as cayenne but has a bit of a bite with a spicier taste.

    Sumac powder:
    Not as strong as lemon zest it has a fruity citrusy flavor.

    Za'atar:
    You can buy it at spice markets or make it yourself. It's great on anything from meats, poultry and veggies. It's kind of tangy
    1/4 cup sumac
    2 tblspns dried thyme
    1 tblspn toasted sesame seeds
    2 tblspns dried marjoram
    2 tblspns dried oregano
    1 tspn Kosher salt

    12 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      Sounds like we may shop at the same spice website, Gia. World Spice? Anyway, that's where I get my Allepo pepper and sumac.

      As for the OP's question, I've been playing with different peppers. Tellecherry has been my primary pepper for... ummm... let's just say a very very long time. But lately I'm also enjoying Allepo pepper, Urfa biber (pepper from Urfa, Turkey), Szichuan pepper, and grains of paradise. All peppery, some more than others, all interesting.

      I've also discovered that using ground dried (real) wasabi makes a very interesting "condiment" just sprinkled dry on foods. When used this way it has a nutty flavor that I never precieved when mixed with water into a paste and allowed to "develop". I now prefer it sprinkled on sushi instead of the paste form, whether real wasabi or fake. But I've never tried sprinkling fake wasabi. hmmm... I wonder....?

      1. re: Caroline1

        I bounce between Penzey's and my new found spice on-line shop Savory Spice Shop:
        http://www.savoryspiceshop.com/index....

        I've been using Tellicherry peppercorns for about 15 years now, Caroline. I first bought the one pound bags White Flower Farm sells and gave them to friends and family as gifts. I was surprised when some folks complained the pepper was too "strong." (???????) Now I only order it for myself from Penzey's, tho.

        1. re: Gio

          When I was a kid and young (and maybe not so young?) adult, as I recall all pepper was Tellicherry, even the preground Schilling in the red and white can.. Now you have to look for it. It's like we've been downgraded from sturgeon caviar to lumpfish without our permission! Thanks for the link.

          1. re: Gio

            http://www.savoryspiceshop.com/extrac...
            I was a Savory Spice Shop customer when I rec'd this item. So surprising, so many uses!

            http://www.savoryspiceshop.com/giftsh...
            Gio, Have you ever purchased their gift sets? The popcorn gift set is a huge hit with several of my friends. The honey dust is particularly good.
            I find World Spice better priced than Savory Spice on indiv. spice orders but the gift sets @ Savory are a great deal.

        2. re: Gio

          If you like Aleppo pepper, these Chicken kebabs are to die for!

          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

          1. re: newfoodie

            HillJ:
            It only took me 2 days to notice your post and Newfoodie's. Not bad. LOL
            I have not bought any of Savory's gift sets, but thanx for recommending them. Their shipping is wonderful, tho. Now that both you and Caroline mentioned World Spice, I'll have to look into that source too. Yesterday I got a few things from Kalustyan's in NYC and their packaging was absolutely bomb proof. First time order from them... couldn't find what I wanted around here.

            Newfoodie:
            Many thanks for the kebab link. Looks scrumptious.

            1. re: Gio

              World Spice will blow your mind. They do not take credit cards, but they ship your order to you immediately with an invoice in it, which you then pay by check and mail back to them. I was dumbfounded! Seemed like yesteryear! And their prices and products are great too.

              1. re: Caroline1

                Couldn't agree more Caroline1. World Spice rocks. Their loose teas are also fabulous. I wish more businesses would offer their invoicing method.

                1. re: HillJ

                  Ohhhhh....I like that company already. I won't tell you that some scum just charged 1000.00 $ on my credit card. It was not swiped so it must have been hacked. Thankfully my cc co. has fraud protection! !! And good for me for catching it in time!

              2. re: Gio

                Gio, Ask me how many x's I've missed a reply on CH! N.p.!
                When you order from WS, give the cinnamons a go. Fantastic!

                1. re: HillJ

                  Thanks again HillJ. I'll surely give them a go in future!

            2. re: Gio

              gio, my lebanese friend makes a chicken livers with sumac dish that mr. alka flips over!

              1. re: sparkareno

                wow, that sounds good, where did you find it?

                1. re: geminigirl

                  You can get it online but I found it at both Ralph's & Albertson's in SoCal. It's more of a smoky flavor than bacon but I like it on scrambled eggs and baked potatoes. I got the regular but they also have peppered & hickory. It was $4.99

                    1. re: geminigirl

                      i can highly recommend using the bacon salt on a turkey and avocado sandwich. it's a really fabulous combination that is greater than the sum of its parts.

              2. I am a little frightened, because I read the title of your post & immediately thought, smoked paprika. My other newfound passion is nori sheets, which I cut into strips, toast in the oven & snack on.

                    1. re: buttertart

                      Biscuits, cornbread, pie crust (for savory fillings), french fries, bacon, and on and on and on ...

                  1. Star anise. Not new, by any means, but I've started added it all sorts of things - makes such a difference in Asian recipes and is my new "secret" ingredient in homemade marinara.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: thursday

                      Here's another "secret" to you new secret ingredient.

                      If you drink coffee, ground up some star anise and add just a touch (and use a light hand) to your coffee before brewing. Does wonders.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Mmm, thanks, I'll give it a try! I've tried a little cardamom with my coffee, which is good once in a while.

                        1. re: scuzzo

                          Because I was lazy, I put on one whole pod of star anise with my Dunkin' Donuts Decaf in my mini drip pot and made about 3 cups of coffee. it was very nice!

                        2. re: ipsedixit

                          ipse, tried that this a.m. with my one cup of joe...very very nice. I"ve also tried cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla in my brewed coffee (separately) but I like this "flavoring" the best! Nice call...now to find some aleppo pepper...do they sell it in Asian food markets?