Chefs know what flavours go together and what quantities are best for each dish. That comes with getting it wrong, often, and then spending time refining the dish for the outcome they want.
I think as home cooks we think chefs start with preparation of a dish and end up with perfection, the first time! I’ve listened to so many chefs and foodies say quite the opposite – it takes time to get it right – so why do we think that we’re not worthy in the kitchen unless we are creating masterpieces (and frankly, who has the time for that)?
So I’m throwing out a challenge to all of us. For this week lets create something new, just 1 dish, from a flavour we already love.
For example, if you love the garlic and parsley combination think about what you can add it to. How about boiled baby potatoes / lightly steamed broccoli or beans / or even a piece of fish – put it together (with a little oil or butter to carry flavour) and there you have it, something new from something you already love. It will make our wholesome cooking a little more exciting.
Start with your inspiration, and then go through your daily/weekly meal repertoire and think about how or where you can add the zing of flavour.
Some other combo’s you might fancy: Honey & Mustard; olive oil and fresh lemon juice (man this combo goes well with most fresh stuff a squeeze and dash will liven up most dull dishes); Chilli, Ginger & Garlic…the list goes on. Think about your favourite foods and what it is that you love about those dishes, and use those flavours to zing up your everyday meal.
I’ve recently been into herbed mayo. For special occasions, I make my mayo from scratch (because it is THAT easy with a stick blender) but otherwise I use store bought mayo (yes it’s processed, but I chose my battles) and add a handful of herbs in for that zing! Yesterday I was making a slaw dish with the most beautiful red cabbage, and why could this side dish not get a herbed mayo treatment? No reason at all, so I added quite a bit of fresh lemon and only used enough mayo to gently coat the veg. I’m not a fan of slaw where the veggies aren’t the hero. There’s just something about those colours with the extra herby flavour punch that takes me back for seconds….
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