The best way to be a good cook is not to worry about being a perfect cook. Give up on perfection, or at least any ideas you may have that perfection is a fixed thing against which you must measure everything you do. Nothing we cook will look will look exactly the same as a picture in a magazine or taste the way our friend’s dish did. Even a familiar recipe will not offer the same result from one day to the next time we make it.
We at Tiny New York Kitchen like to experiment with flavors. Often we reach into our well-stocked pantry and use the essential flavor builders to take a dish to the next level.
Essential Flavor Builders To Keep On Hand:
Vinegars: Vinegar’s complex tang is the secret ingredient in many recipes. We shake a bit of sherry vinegar into bean soup, and add rice vinegar to coleslaw dressings. If you had to choose just one vinegar, we would recommend the mild rice vinegar, but we also keep balsamic, sherry, malt, and cider vinegars on hand.
Anchovies: A filet of anchovy blended into a marinade or dressing adds savory flavor without being too overtly fishy.
Chili Paste: We keep chili paste or bottled Sriracha for drizzling over rice and adding to meat marinades.
Red Pepper Flakes: Many dishes get better with a little kick from red pepper flakes.
Soy Sauce: Soy sauce is a way to add umami flavor and a little salt to dressing and soups.
“Work With What You Got!”
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