Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Kick it up in the kitchen

Let's start this off by saying SEASON YOUR FOOD. 

Now that that's out of the way...I am not a spicy food person, but I do like a little kick now and then. It changes things up from my usual array of spices and my taste buds appreciate it. If you are also leery of food being too spicy, there are ways to add flavor and a little kick without burning your mouth off. And ways to season your food without overdoing it.

Check your Pantry
What spices do you have in your pantry? I hope you at least have a solid selection to season your food with, including some that are going to kick it up a notch to borrow an Emeril saying. Think about which spices you would prefer, and make sure you have them easily to hand as you cook. Chef  Curl Ardee is Black-woman owned spice company and her mild seasoning is kicky AF. I love Penzey's, of course - their Fox Point and Roasted Garlic are two of my favorite seasonings of all time.. I am also hugely into the McCormick blends, which I didn't even know existed until I started following Tabitha Brown on Instagram. 

Slow your Roll
When seasoning food, start slow, especially if it's spice you're adding. You can always add more but you can't subtract. Keep that in mind, because it can be all too easy for the spice to overpower the actual taste of the dish, and that is not what you want. Subtle and delicious is the goal. 

Understand How Spices Work Together
Spend some time considering how different spices work together. This will help you know something of equal importance - which ones simply don’t go together at all. Once you are clear on this, it'll be easier to create delicious meals that appeal to your palate. I promise you will look forward to vegetables more when they are seasoned well. 

Being Basic is Cool
A lot of cooking comes down to having the right sauce for the dish, which is why it’s important to be able to cook some of the most basic essential sauces out there, including ones you can add a spice to, like an aioli. MFD does like spicy food, and a sauce like this is a good way both of us can enjoy it - I can make it and split it and MFD can add more. This is a great, super simple recipe to make sriracha aioli from scratch. That can then be used as a side to so many dishes, or as a dip. Aioli is king, but it's a straightforward and easy thing to put together. If you add a feather to your cooking cap this year, let this be it. A nice sauce elevates boring old baked chicken breasts or pork loin, you know? Once you master this, move on to hot mustard - I'm going to try the one from Dwardcooks this year.

What new cooking ways are you trying this year?


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