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CRAVING DIFFERENT FLAVORS—NO RECIPE NEEDED

May 06, 2021 1 Comment

CRAVING DIFFERENT FLAVORS—NO RECIPE NEEDED

Last week I talked about RPA (Read, Prepare, Adjust) and how to adjust the flavors of the foods you are cooking to your liking.

But what do you do when you want to make something with more exotic flavors? Mexican to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, or Chinese, maybe Indian, or a little Middle Eastern or Thai to change up your routine.

For years, I searched for recipes that would give me those great flavors I was craving. It certainly was a creative solution but when I was writing Le kitchen Cookbook: a Workbook, I decided instead to make a chart that listed the predominant herbs and spices used by those cultures to create their distinctive flavors.  

Caribbean

Chinese

French

Greek

Indian

Chili
5 Spice Powder
Bay leaf 
Basil
Cardamom
Cilantro
Black pepper
Chervil
Bay leaf
Cayenne
Cinnamon
Chili
Chives
Cinnamon
Cinnamon
Cloves
Cinnamon
Fennel
Cloves
Coriander
Curry
Cloves
Garlic
Dill
Cumin seeds
Dill
Fennel seeds
Marjoram
Fennel
Ginger
Garlic
Garlic
Nutmeg
Garlic
Mustard seeds
Ginger
Ginger
Parsley
Mint
Turmeric
Nutmeg
Green onion 
Rosemary
Nutmeg
Oregano
Sesame seeds
Saffron
Oregano
Parsley
Sichuan pepper
Sorrel
Parsley
Tamarind
Star anis
Tarragon
Thyme
Thyme
White pepper
Thyme

 

Italian

Mexican

Middle Eastern

Spanish

Thai

Basil
Chili
Cinnamon
Bay leaf
Basil
Fennel
Cilantro
Cloves
Cayenne Pepper
Chili
Garlic
Cinnamon
Coriander
Fennel
Cilantro
Oregano
Coriander
Cumin
Garlic
Coriander
Parsley
Cumin
Dill
Oregano
Cumin
Rosemary
Garlic
Garlic
Paprika
Curry
Saffron
Oregano
Ginger
Parsley
Garlic
Sage
Saffron
Mint
Rosemary
Ginger
Thyme
Nutmeg
Saffron
Mint
Oregano
Turmeric
Parsley
Poppy seeds
Sesame

©Excerpt from Le Kitchen Cookbook: a Workbook (pages 49–50)

Start with simple ingredients such as chicken breasts, shrimp, or flank steak. Add a vegetable or two and serve with white or brown rice. It’s a simple dinner that changes with the spices you use. 

Here is an example if you want to create a little Chinese flavor:

Ingredients
Garlic, chopped fine
Ginger, peeled and chopped fine
Sichuan pepper, ground
Soy sauce
Broth

Directions
If the sauce needs to be thickened, use a cornstarch slurry:
           Use 2 tablespoons of cold water; add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch on top,               do not stir, wait until the cornstarch is completely absorbed before stirring.

  1. Cut a boneless chicken breast into one-inch pieces.
  2. In a sauté pan heat the oil, sauté garlic, add the grated ginger and Sichuan pepper, cooking just enough to release the flavor.
  3. Add more oil if needed, sauté the chicken, add a splash of soy sauce and a little chicken broth.
  4. Continue cooking until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Taste and adjust the flavors.
  6. Add a little cornstarch slurry to the pan and stir over heat to thicken the sauce.
  7. Serve over rice.

For a little variety try:
Adding a little creaminess by adding sour cream or a little yogurt to the sauce. Depending on the spices, you can add a chopped tomato to add great flavor.
 
I realize I am not giving you a recipe to follow. But that is the best way to learn. Jump right in and taste what you are cooking.

Don’t forget, if you want to repeat what you made, you are going to need to write down how you made it.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun and enjoy the process.

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1 Response

Adrisse Brandt
Adrisse Brandt

May 13, 2021

This is brilliant. Thank you.

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