It is well worth while getting in a few items that you keep in your food cupboard. - things like salt, pepper, an assortment of herbs and spices. A small amount of these goes a long way to liven up or make delicious any recipe. Don't worry about getting them all at once, buy a few every week or month depending on what you can afford. They also last a long time. All of these items can be bought locally in town.
Once you have these you can start expanding to add - ginger, cardamon seeds, fenugreek, dill, tarragon and more.
Save all your small jars that you get other things in and start making up your herb and spice collection!! Or ask on Facebook for others to save their jars for you!
It is well worth while getting in a decent salt - rock or sea salt is best. Use while you are cooking and you will find that you need less at the table. A small amount of salt goes a long way. It bring out the flavour of the food and makes a huge difference to the taste.
Black Pepper gives alot more flavour than white pepper. It works really well with salt on raw meat just before your cook it. It help bring out the flavour. On finished dishes it also gives that slight kick that again makes all the difference to the taste.
Smoked paprika offers a delicious smokiness as it is made from peppers that are smoked and dried. Although smoky in flavour, it is not hot. It is perfect for adding a depth of flavour to paella, stews, soups, casseroles, pizza and pasta.
The cumin plant is closely related to parsley, caraway and dill. Both the whole seeds and ground cumin can add nutty warmth, pepperiness and smokiness with a faintly musty aroma to all manner of dishes. It's also often used as an ingredient in chilli or curry powders and other spice blends like garam masala.
Cooking with turmeric is best in things like juices, smoothies, and stocks. It adds an immediate yellow colour and enhanced earthiness to preparations like roasts, rice, or scrambled eggs. Your Indian Korma will have hit in! An ingredient of most curries!
Garam masala can be made from many different spices, but some of the most common are cinnamon, peppercorns, cardamom, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, mace, and nutmeg. To create your own blend, toast whole spices to bring out their flavour, then grind them.
You can but Italian herbs together or separately. They all have distinct flavours and you will have had them in most Italian meals including pasta and pizza.
Whole chillies are cheap. Remove the seeds and chop fine. The seeds are where the serious punch is so if you want something with a mildish flavour, get rid of the seeds. You can freeze chillies and use from frozen. Alternatively but chilli pepper. Give a pop to even then blandest food. Add to stews, curries, gravy and more.
Powdered or in bulbs.
It doesnt taste anything like it smells. Most bought pasta dishes and pizzas have garlic in so you will probably already like it. Try adding it to soups, pasta dishes. When using onions, cut up into tiny pieces a few bulbs of garlic and add to the onions. Delicious!
Soya Sauce is a great staple to add to food that tastes bland. Add to rice, stews, even on savoury porridge to give a slightly salty taste. It s better for you than adding too much plain salt too!
There are loads of types of bringers - wine (red and white), distilled, malt, rice, and cider. It's not just for chips.
You can use it to add flavour, a bit of acidity or you can use it as a marinade or in a dressing. Its uses are endless. Experiment and you will be surprised!
Sugar isnt just for sweet things. Sugar like salt, brings out flavour. A small tea-spoon goes a long way. In meal cooking rather than desserts an type of normal sugar will do, Don't add too much though!!
Not just for Bloody Mary's!
Worcester Sauce has a powerful umami flavour, which comes from the anchovies or soy sauce. It's sour from tamarind and vinegar, sweet from molasses and sugar, and spicy. Although it contains similar flavours ketchup and brown sauce , Worcester sauce is more concentrated than other condiments, and designed to be used a few drops at a time.