If you want to try and spice up your weekday meals, then this guide will help you to make the best choices possible. After reading this guide you will be able to say goodbye to those boring meals forever.
Swap Salt for Acid
You may think that salt is the way to go if you want to boost some of the flavor in your soup or even your stew. That being said, you should try and add some lemon juice or even vinegar instead. The great thing about acid is that it competes with the bitter compounds in your meal, so in other words, it brightens the flavor. If you just add an eighth of a teaspoon, you will soon find that this can go a very long way.
Use Coarse Salt
If possible, you should use kosher salt or coarse salt when you are seasoning your meat. The great thing about using bigger grains of salt is that it helps to distribute the seasoning more evenly and it also clings to the surface. You don’t need to use a lot of salt either, so don’t feel the need to go overboard.
Step up the pepper
When you apply pepper to meat, you need to be mindful of whether or not you are doing it before you season your meat or after. This will impact the strength of the bite. If you prefer to have a much more assertive pepper flavor, then try and season the meat after it has been seared. This will keep the pepper away from the heat, helping to preserve some of the more volatile compounds. If you season before you cook, then you may find that this helps to tame some of the punch that pepper offers. Want a nice peppery, spicy dish to get started on? Why not check out this jalapeno cheddar cornbread muffins recipe.
Season Cold Foods Properly
Believe it or not, when you chill cold food, this will dull down the flavor. If you want to combat this, then you need to season your food generously. If you want to stop yourself from overdoing it, then add a bit of salt before you chill the food and then add some more salt before you serve if you believe that it is required. This will help you to achieve that right balance.
Incorporate Fresh Herbs
Incorporating fresh herbs, whether it is oregano, rosemary, sage or even marjoram will help you to bring out flavor. The great thing about cooking herbs is that this helps them to release maximum flavor and it also ensures that the texture is far less intrusive. Try and save the more delicate herbs, whether it is cilantro, parsley, chives or even tarragon for the last minute because if you add them to the dish too soon, then they will lose their flavor.
Common staples for your pantry that have umami flavor include anchovies, Worcester sauce and anything with glutamates. Try and mix a teaspoon of soy sauce into a chilli, or even try and add some minced anchovies the next time you do a chicken braise.
If you have added far too much salt, spice or sugar to your dish, then you may find that the damage is done. In a lot of cases though, you might be able to mask some of the more overpowering elements by adding something from the opposite spectrum. You also need to account for liquid reduction when seasoning a dish. If you season something so that it tastes good before simmering for hours, then after this point, you may find that it is far too salty. If you can, you need to try and season with a light hand throughout the cooking process and then add a little more right before you serve. If you do believe that you have slightly overdone it with the salt, then add something acidic such as lemon juice, tomatoes or anything else similar. If your food is spicy then try and add cream, olive oil or butter.
Even if you have a soup that is cooked perfectly or even a pasta dish that you love, you have to remember that everything can benefit from a burst of flavor at the last minute. One way for you to achieve this would be for you to add some garnish. Gremolata is a great way for you to do this, and it consists of minced garlic, herbs and citrus. You can also make a herb butter by putting shallots, herbs, minced garlic and more into it, and then by spreading it on hot meat.