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Do you get fed up with the same old flavours when you cook your typical dishes? Help is at hand! With just a few simple steps, you can give your favourite dishes a fresh new twist.
Here are 15 easy and affordable ways to make your food taste better, courtesy of Quid Corner.
1. Season your steak with salt 40 minutes before cooking
This is a contentious debate among chefs, but most agree that seasoning at least 40 minutes before cooking results in better flavour, as it allows moisture to return to the steak.
2. Don’t seed tomatoes for sauce or soup
The seeds and surrounding “jelly” contain the flavour and will take your dish to the next level.
3. Let your food cool before eating it
Studies show our taste receptors are temperature-sensitive.iii Hot temperatures will stifle taste, so let your food cool before serving up.
4. Use beer in chili con carne
Good ale, with its hoppy bitterness, will greatly enhance the flavour of the peppers and adds an overall sweetness to the dish.
5. Improve guacamole with yoghurt and sour cream
They will add zing to your guacamole and will also give it a pleasing creamy texture.
6. Spice up sauces with cayenne pepper
This hot pepper will significantly spice up sauces and marinades. Just use it sparingly if you don’t want to set your mouth on fire!
7. Don’t chop garlic in advance
Garlic’s unique flavour comes from a compound called allicin, which is not formed until after its cells are ruptured. Leave the garlic cloves whole until the last minute to maximize their impact.
8. Use the browned bits from frying onions in gravy
These bits, known as fond, are packed with flavour. After frying, scrape the bits off the pan and drop into the gravy.
9. Fry spices before adding them to your dish
Food experts recommend cooking spices for a minute or two in a little oil to release the flavours.
10. Use anchovies in tomato sauces instead of salt
Give your sauces a unique umami boost by substituting salt for anchovies. Their bold, savouriness packs a real flavour punch.
11. Add lemon zest to pasta at the last minute
Add at the very last minute to preserve the bright, zingy flavour.xiii But only use the thin coloured skin, the white pith underneath has a bitter taste that could ruin your dish.
12. Add fresh mint leaves to a salad
Fresh mint leaves will add a bright freshness and really make your salad pop.
13. Use parmesan rinds for stock
It has a rich, nutty flavour that comes out in long-simmered dishes. Add a chunk of frozen rind to the pot for a tonne of extra flavour.
14. Roast vegetables on high heat
This concentrates vegetables' flavour and brings out their sweetness. Cut vegetables into small pieces and crank up the heat.
15. Use rooibos tea instead of vegetable stock
The tea adds a sweet and fruity herbal flavour to any dish and makes a tasty alternative to stock.
With these quick, easy and affordable tips, you can pack your meals full of flavour and serve up restaurant quality food at home!