Sunday, November 25, 2012

On Different Kinds of Wheat, Part 1

Whenever I read a recipe that includes some variant of a common ingredient, my eyes glaze over and I usually stop reading it. For example, I was just reading a recipe for tostadas that uses leftover Thanksgiving turkey and takes only 15 minutes to make. Everything looked good until I came to this:
Anaheim chili
I don't happen to have an Anaheim chili on hand. Furthermore, I'm not even sure I could get one at Wegmans. And if I can't get it at Wegmans, that means I can't get it at Aldi, Tops, Price Chopper, or BJ's. And if I have to look farther than that, it's definitely not happening. Not for tostadas using leftover Thanksgiving turkey. I don't want to buy special ingredients in order to use leftover turkey.

To be fair, I often come across recipes that look promising and I have time to buy whatever I need for the recipe. My eyes will still glaze over when I read
poblano pepper
I just don't want to put much thought or effort into buying—and using—varieties of fresh chili peppers. I might change my mind someday. I changed my mind about cilantro. Somehow I not only tried it, and, although I didn't even like it, I hung in there with it until it became one of my favorite herbs.

What does this have to do with wheat?

Well, when I read a recipe that calls for, say,
white whole wheat flour,
my eyes don't glaze over. White whole wheat—both soft and hard—which I can grind into flour for maximum freshness and immediate use, is a staple item in my kitchen.

But your eyes may glaze over when you see anything but
listed as an ingredient in a recipe.

If I lived in the Southwest, I could easily find many varieties of chili peppers.
Anaheim Chili Peppers
Poblano Chili Peppers

Here in Syracuse, New York, it isn't easy to have wheat of any kind on hand, let alone grind it fresh for immediate use. But it can be done. I think it is worth the effort. I'd like to help you do it. So come back for Part 2.

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