All the people I’ve ever known to be truly good cooks have one thing in common: a real willingness to experiment. New ingredients, new ways to use old ingredients—just refusing to play by the rules set out for them by their mothers or Betty Crocker. In honor of experimenting in the kitchen, here are new uses for old ingredients, and a few new ingredients as well, to encourage you to look at your pantry with fresh eyes.
This is a pepper I’ve recently discovered. The shishito pepper is the East-Asian cousin to the Spanish padron pepper. They’re great roasted, or just sautéed in a pan. My brother stole this recipe from Chicago’s The Girl and the Goat. You just sauté the peppers in olive oil, and throw parmesan cheese over the top. They’re addicting, and one in every ten of these is actually spicy—if you’re looking for a weird fun fact.