Great post and too true. As a chef, the greatest challenge in teaching people how to cook is not ingredients, recipes or technique — but understanding about tasting and tweaking seasoning and actually do it each and every time. Here in Thailand condiment sets are on every table everywhere, and balancing hot, sweet, sour and salty is second nature to every diner. You exposed the secret to great taste.
The kids will be thrilled! Butter beans are awesome. As is chorizo. I want to make this right now! Stay happy. Good tip well written J.. Think some people think the more seasoning you add the better it should be? Thus I found most seasoning preference depends basically where you were raised as everyone has their own personal taste especially when it comes to seasoning food. We were brainwashed based on how momma cooked. What bothers me is when I see someone immediately start adding salt, sugar or pepper on everything before even tasting the food? They add sugar if they over salted and you wonder why we have so many issues today?
I grew up not using salt in anything, then when I went to culinary school, I learned how to season to taste. It was amazing!
the absolute beginners guide to the art of seasoning
A couple foods that can take and benefit greatly from a lot of salt: spinach and potatoes. Then we remembered to add salt, and suddenly all the flavors came out to play! Just like magic! For the pepper, if I can give you a gourmet advise for add.. Use Kampot Pepper, this pepper is very tasty and fragrant.. It is a very simple ingredient but it can change a lot. Interesting post, but what about all the other seasonings available?
I find I am more adventurous when I am just cooking for my boyfriend and myself because I know he prefers it seasoned to an excess! A trick my mother taught me when you over salted food was to toss a potato in it.
The potato soaks up salt. As long as the potato will not kill the dish then pull it out afterwards. My daughter and I are sharing this for lunch, her face is bright red, her hands are unspeakable and she is beaming! I found this post incredibly interesting. As a result, we never had salt in the house, and sort of looked at people like they were piggy junk food addicts if they heaped on salt at restaurants etc.
Great post: I like the idea of removing a little portion of a dish and seasoning this as a guide to the amount required for the whole dish. Speaking of, adding a peeled potato to an over-salted soup, pasta sauce, tagine, braise, etc, and cooking for mins will absorb much of the additional salt : just taste as per usual until it resumes a desired level!
The author actually did an experiment with potato to see whether the potato could absorb the excess salt. But seriously, it works. I made this for dinner, over toast made from German bread, with a beautifully cooked egg on top firm white, runny yolk as inspired by the picture. So good! What a useful post!!!
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Seasoning is one of the biggest mysteries of cooking to the new chef, and your guide breaks it down beautifully! I love fresh ground pepper, but recently I have been using Grains of Paradise as a replacement. Seared steaks with a Grains of Paradise crust is a must try! Rule 1: Taste as you go. The solution: Dip a spoon into the pot and taste early and often. Rule 2: Stick to a theme. Certain flavours belong together. Think of basil, Parmesan and balsamic vinegar in Italian cooking, or ginger, soy sauce and miso in Japanese dishes. Pair ingredients that are part of winning flavour combinations, like the fish sauce, coconut milk, chili and cilantro in Thai-Style Coconut and Meatball Soup ; or the cinnamon, cayenne pepper, chocolate and vanilla in Spicy Mexican Peanut Brownies.
If blending flavours seems a bit overwhelming, or you need a quick fix for a weeknight dinner, try a prepared spice blend, like our Sensations by Compliments Seasoning Grinders, to remove the guesswork. Rule 3: Build layers of flavour. The right mix of ingredients creates a complex harmony of tastes.
Savoury aromatics, such as garlic, onions, leeks, celery and carrots, and herbs, such as bay leaves, parsley and thyme, are the foundations of great flavour. Another good habit is, whatever amount of seasoning a recipe calls for, add half at the beginning and then add the remaining half a little at a time at the end, tasting as you go. Black pepper is right up there with salt as one of the most important seasonings in the culinary arts.
For that reason, there's no excuse for using that pre-ground black dust they sell as pepper at the store. That product is a throwback to the era of salt and pepper shakers.
23 Spices Every Beginner Cook Needs
These days you can buy whole peppercorns in a more economical grinder or a disposable glass grinder, and it'll do the job just as well. There's a couple of reasons pepper you ground yourself is superior to the pre-ground kind. Like all dried spices, black pepper starts to lose its potency as soon as it's ground. So grinding it yourself means it will be more flavorful.
Additionally, pepper should have texture. The crack of fragments of peppercorns will do wonders for a steak , above and beyond the spiciness it adds. The crunch alone is the reason to grind your own.
Simply put, herbs are leaves. Thyme, oregano, basil, parsley, these are all leaves. For the most part, fresh herbs are better—more flavorful, more aromatic, more colorful. Sometimes, dry herbs are the only feasible option, and using dry herbs is not a cooking mistake.
The mistake is adding them at the wrong stage of cooking. When you're cooking with dry herbs, add them at the beginning of cooking. Add fresh herbs toward the end. The reason for this is that fresh herbs contain more volatile oils and a little bit of cooking is all they need for their full flavor and aroma to bloom. Dried herbs, on the other hand, take a bit longer to activate.
Indeed, if you're using dried herbs in a preparation such as salad dressing where there is no heat at all involved, it can take a few hours for the flavors to be completely released. Spices are any other dried part of a plant, whether it's the seeds, bark, buds, roots, or what have you. So, while unlike herbs, spices are already dried and will still go stale in a relatively short amount of time. You should assume that any pre-ground spices are already stale before you even buy them. That's how quickly the essential oils will evaporate.
The solution: Get a cheap coffee grinder and grind your own spices.
Related Seasonings, Cooking With Spices
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