This is a guest post from Stephanie Holguin at Foodie-isms. Since I’m a beginner cook, and she’s an experienced foodie mom, I asked her what tricks she has for making meals taste great. If you’re slightly obsessed with food, you’ll love (or shall I say ‘like’) her facebook page.
What is the best way to turn a normal tasting meal into something fabulous? It all comes down to adding more flavor.
I enjoy playing with spices, oils, and other condiments to create new and interesting flavor combinations. When I started thinking about this article, I asked myself, “How to choose just a few?” My cabinets and pantry are filled with hundreds of ways to enhance and flavor food. How was I going to pick just a few basic seasonings?
It turned out I was getting ready to be put to the ultimate test while preparing to leave for vacation where I would be spending 7 days on a sailboat. I had preordered the basic food supplies for the week: beef, chicken, fish, fruits, vegetables, bread, butter, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Normally, when I prepare for this type of trip I always pack a supply of seasonings. To enhance the taste I decided to take just three spices with me: Kosher Salt, Fox Point Seasoning and Peppadew. And here’s why:
1. Kosher Salt: salt enhances the natural flavors of food. I prefer using Kosher salt for cooking and sea salt for table use. Kosher salt provides a softer ‘less’ salty essence than regular table salt. I always travel with kosher salt if my vacation destination includes a kitchen.
2. Fox Point Seasoning: this flavorful seasoning has shallots, chives, garlic, onion, and green peppercorns. It can be used on vegetables, fish, poultry, and salads. While on this trip, I used this seasoning with butter to baste fresh fish (the ultimate fast food), sprinkled into scrambled eggs and pasta, and added to sour cream to use as a topping for potatoes, steak, and chicken fajitas.
3. Peppadew:this sweet piquante pepper and cilantro seasoning is fabulous. I used Peppadew to sprinkle onto avocados and fresh tomatoes, to season steaks and enhance both shrimp salad and egg salad.
Ultimately it is easy to take a mediocre meal and turn it into a fabulous flavorful meal by simply adding seasonings. Combine your favorite seasonings with butter (for basting or creating a sauce) or add to olive oil (for roasting vegetables or marinating meats), and you’ll taste the difference.
What are your favorite spice combinations for flavoring meals?