Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Seasoning

I haven't talked too much about the failures but there have been several throughout this journey.  Some were failures in my eyes only and some were failures in Sergio's eyes and some just were awful for both of us.  Those recipes that are not successful will never again be attempted. I won't even try to make it my own because they literally have left a bad taste in our mouths. 
   
Some of the key elements to the failure involved a lack of knowledge on my part regarding seasoning a technique.  For instance, if a recipe only calls for some oregano and vegizest, I now am aware that there will be a substantial lack of flavor in that meal.  If there is no garlic or onion in the recipe I need to stop and examine the recipe as a whole because do I honesty want to eat a recipe that intentionally omits garlic? I don't, but that's what my taste buds call for, a big mouthful of flavor.

In my mind I can look back and a recall the old solution in those instances...SALT!  If it was pasta lacking flavor I must have forgot to SALT the water, or the stock must be low-sodium and needs to be SALTED.  Now I am trying my best to use more spices to help enhance the flavor of food.  I now use garlic powder and onion powder, basil, thyme, oregano and crushed red pepper in almost every dish.  Seasoning can also come in a liquid form; such as carrot juice, balsamic vinaigrette, vegetable stock, chicken stock, almond milk, coconut milk, pomegranate juice or even the juice from a can of tomatoes. 

On the technique end of things I have learned to ignore all instructions that mention "sautéing" and "with water" in the same sentence.  I've learned now that if one is going to omit oil from the sautéing it is better do it on a hot, dry pan rather than in water.  When you use water, you are steaming and it creates a much different texture and flavor base.  Another technique that really helps extract flavor when you are going without salt, is roasting.  I don't like to have the oven on too much now that we are living in Texas, but roasting vegetables also creates a great flavor to mushrooms, peppers, onions, garlic  nuts and seeds.  I'm still learning so I'm sure I'll be sharing more tips as I progress.

Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Agreed! I use all of those spices you mentioned plus cayenne, basil and Italian seasoning. I think even marinating the foods helps too. My friend was telling me she marinates Kale in spices for a day and then cooks them. Great post!

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