Here’s some perspective from guest blogger, Loic Savrimoutou from Lodawg Kitchen. Over the years as I’ve fed my curiosity in cooking (more like eating), I’ve picked up a few cheeky, simple ways of elevating ordinary food to food that tastes more complete.
Here’s a few ingredients I use to give my food that extra oomph.
Fresh herbs are a super easy way to add real flavour to your cooking. There’s no calories, and the options are endless.
Some suggestions: a few thyme leaves in an omelette or in sauteed mushrooms. Chopped coriander stirred through a stir fry or smashed avocado goes alright. Rosemary on some freshly roasted potatoes sounds like a dream. And who could forget basil in a red pasta sauce?
I used to overlook stock in recipes but how wrong I’ve been. Stock is such a simple way of adding flavour, and you can buy it right off the shelf. I prefer liquid stock, but you can use stock cubes if you find that you don’t use stock often.
If you’re making a sauce based dish (think bolognaise, chilli con carne, ragu, beef stroganoff), adding stock will add a depth of flavour and richness – without overpowering it. As a general rule, match the type of stock to the meat i.e. chicken stock for chicken dishes.
Cured meats like prosciutto, bacon or chorizo are great to keep in the fridge. They keep for a while and act as a ‘standby’ for extra flavour and go with bloody everything.
Who could deny that eggs and avocado would not benefit with a little bacon? Doesn’t sliced chorizo just belong in baked eggs in tomato sauce? My personal favourite – prosciutto, can be wrapped around a roasting chicken, chopped and served on pan seared asparagus or even on its own on a fresh baguette.
Funny to think that the pungent veggies I revolted from as a child, serve as a perfect little side nowadays. The crunchiness, cool temperature and tart flavour is obtained by merely spooning it from the jar. Fermented veg has also seen a resurgence in popularity with their health benefits linked to gut health.
With its increasing popularity, it’s easy to pick up some sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles or other ferments (beetroot, cabbage, sweet potato, carrot) and whack it in your fridge. Better still, fermented veg lasts for ages, provided you use a clean spoon.
Well known, widely used, but often overlooked. Lemon can be used to either marinate meat, or as a finishing touch on grilled fish, roasted chicken and salads. I like to keep a couple on hand at all times as they’re cheap and chances are you’ll use them before they go bad.
Limes are also useful, particularly if you’re into Mexican food (guacamole, finishing touch on chicken tacos) or Vietnamese and Thai food.
Loved these taste-enhancing tips? Here’s more wisdom from the YFM blog: