Sunday, November 20, 2011

Secret Ingredients

I guess all cooks have their secret ingredients, the thing which adds zing to their dishes. I thought I might give some of mine as one often forgets them when listing ingredients in recipes.

  • Curry - always add 1-2 tspn brown sugar
  • Spaghetti sauce  and Chilli - Always add 2 tspns of concentrated sun dried tomato paste in addition to tomato paste
  • Jamaica pattie mix - add 1 tsp sun dried tomato paste
  • Seasoning chicken, beef or lamb for stewed chicken etc- Add 2 tspn sun dried tomato paste
  • Curry - use1tablespoon of ginger chopped fine
  • Curry - shot of good rum or half cup of brown strong beer (not Guiness)
  • Any stews - Add one or two small tomatoes chopped when cooking meat it enriches the gravy and/or sun dried tomatoes which are sweet and add a lot of flavour
  • Fresh herbs just before finishing especially coriander always adds a freshness to a dish but according to the dish, parsley also good, not so much thyme as that needs to cook down.
  • I use coarse sea salt all the time in anything cooking a long time as its much nicer flavour
  • I use coarse sea salt on chops and steaks along with ground black pepper just before cooking, the sea salt gives you pockets of sudden sharpness as one eats the meat which normal salt cannot do, also on roasting a chicken use coarse ground salt and coarse ground black pepper as a skin rub.
  • When stewing chicken Caribbean style, always use dark soy for the seasoning and even add some to the pot about half way through cooking as it makes the chicken darker and also adds a richness to the gravy.

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