You don’t have to be an award-winning chef to prepare delicious meals. Making finger-licking dishes with common ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen is easy. You only need to know what to add and how to turn your cooking into a real treat. Suppose you’re wondering how to bring some spark to your meals. Here are some common ingredients that will take your dishes from ‘meh’ to ‘wow!’
- Fresh cheese
Why not sprinkle a bit of cheese on your pasta, soups, tacos, and salads to give them the rich boost of flavor they’re missing? Thanks to the rich sodium content, you don’t need too much cheese to enhance your meals. Be sure to stock your refrigerator with different cheese types, preferably low-fat options for variety. It also helps to know how to melt cheese if you want to provide a stronger flavor to some dishes like burgers and sandwiches.
- Vanilla extract
Vanilla extract is easy to get but, unfortunately, very underestimated in most kitchens. It adds a sweet flavor boost without requiring you to add mounds of sugar to your cooking. Contrary to popular belief, vanilla extract isn’t only useful when baking. You can use this crowd-pleaser in almost every dish, from savory sauces to grills and marinades. It can work magic on various meat-based dishes and even improve your drinks.
What’s a kitchen without some salt? Salt can make an enormous difference in any meal and can enhance flavor on its own. The problem for most people is how much salt to use. The only way to avoid overusing salt is by applying salt to taste. Salting to taste means adding just enough salt to make your dish taste adequate. And that’ll depend on your tastebuds. When in doubt, add salt in smaller portions until you’re satisfied with the taste. Alternatively, you can let someone else do the tasting for you. Doing this is particularly helpful if you’re cooking for other people for the first time.
- Heart-healthy oil
Oil is another ingredient that plays a massive role in most meal preparations. The only problem with oil is that it has too many health risks – that is, if you’re using the wrong oil. Vegetable oil is the most common type, but research reveals that it’s also the most dangerous for your heart health. It’s best to explore healthier options made with unsaturated fat. Good examples include extra-virgin olive oil, canola oil, and coconut oil. You can use heart-healthy oil for roasting, sauteing, and deep frying your dishes.
Yes, you read that right! Wine is an important ingredient to have in your kitchen and works basically as an acid ingredient. You can use it to tenderize the outside of your meat, offer a touch of flavor, and enhance your marinades. The alcohol content can also make other ingredients taste much better and work wonders when you sautee your vegetables. Plus, you’ll enjoy cooking with wine if you love drinking it.