Some of you may be like me in that there are recipes and ingredients I learn of and love, but if for any reason they don't go into the roster of frequent rotation, I am apt to forget them. I mean to be more mindful of that, but lest new acquaintance be forgot, I have a few "keepers" from the year past, and would love to hear of other's discoveries over the past year.
Leading my list with a couple of items I learned of through this forum:
1. Roasting asparagus with some olive oil and sea salt. It never occurred to me to do this till it was mentioned in a thread here. This one is definitely in heavy rotation at our house now, I doubt we will ever steam it again, though still sometimes sautée.
2. Lemon powder from King Arthur for "jooshing" up the lemon flavor in baked goods. This was suggested in a thread I had started looking for the most lemony possible lemon cake. It may have been PastryGoddess, who I know had some excellent suggestions, and whoever it was, soooooo many big thanks!
Not from this forum, but from a newspaper article boyfriend saw: Baked fennel and cheese with herbs. This one now sees heavy rotation for us, and we sometimes add some sausage and have it as a meal by itself.
Ingredients (which can be easily tweaked to be healthier with less cheese, more veg, etc.)
Two or more fennel bulbs
1 cup Mozzarella, grated (while we love fresh, we actually prefer the firmer packaged stuff for this for meltiness in this dish)
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup bread crumbs (even better if Italian seasoned; can use more if wanted)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Garlic cloves (suggest at least 2, we use 4)
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
Some oregano (could be up to a tablespoon, less if bread crumbs are seasoned)
Red pepper flakes (not essential, but they add a lot to the flavors, we use about 1/2 teaspoon)
Slice the fennel bulbs cross wise about 1/2 inch thick, and boil for 5 to 10 minutes, or steam (they need to be well on the way to "soft" - we used to boil, now just steam in the microwave)
While fennel is boiling/steaming, mash up fennel seeds with garlic and salt (we use a mortar and pestle, but could be done in small food processor, or chopped together), then mix this with the oil and pepper flakes.
Lay fennel bulb slices in a casserole dish, no need to be fastidiously neat, let them overlap.
Sprinkle grated mozzarella over fennel slices.
Sprinkle half of the bread crumbs over mozzarella
Drizzle about 2/3s of the oil/garlic/spice mix over bread crumbs.
Sprinkle grated parmesan and remaining breadcrumbs, then drizzle remaining oil mix.
Bake at 350f for 20 minutes.
I admit, I am hoping to pick up some more good new ideas from those of you inclined to share!