Wait, what? 2011? I must have drunk too much red wine again. Damn you, Pinot Noir. You are too tasty.
Actually, I’m reaching back into my archives to retrieve a post that I wanted to share a year ago but never did. Surely I am not the only blogger who has more ideas than she can execute and sometimes comes back to those ideas later. And as much as there are food trends (I hear kale is out this year?), when you come across something wonderful in the kitchen, it’s worth remembering (kale, I still love you). So it’s in that spirit, and in the knowledge that I have no sense of time or expiration dates, that I bring you my five favorite kitchen discoveries from 2011.
* Indian bay leaves. My Indian friend Amutha introduced me to these, and they are fantastic. Strong, herbal, a little spicy—these bay leaves are so much more interesting than their Mediterranean counterparts. I use them in any recipe that calls for bay leaves.
* To refresh wilted lettuce, rinse it, then dunk it into a bowl of ice water for a while. Even just a few minutes can turn slightly wilted lettuce into crisp, sprightly leaves. (I found this tip on Melissa Clark’s blog.)
* The easiest way to make quesadillas: broil them! So fast, so delicious, and lower in fat too, if you’re paying attention to that sort of thing.
* The versatility of flax. Using flax “eggs,” as seen in this recipe, or a sprinkle of flax on oatmeal as a nutrient boost, I’ve really gotten into the habit of including flax in my cooking on a daily basis.
* Kentucky Dodgers! These thin pancakes, made with leftover cornbread crumbs, became a kitchen favorite for me in 2011. I haven’t made them in a while, and I haven’t posted the recipe here at all, but now I think I need to amend both of those errors. The recipe is in Crescent Dragonwagon’s terrific book The Cornbread Gospels.
Now, let’s see if I post my list of 2012 kitchen discoveries before 2014…happy cooking, y’all!