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Learning Tastes

What exactly does that mean?  “Learning Tastes”?  In its simplest form, it means understand why your food tastes good.  An example of this would be making a chicken dish and marinading the chicken in a tangy BBQ sauce or in chocolate sauce.  Of course you know to pick a BBQ sauce over a chocolate one when it comes to chicken, by why?  Chocolates good right?!  Yes, but not with chicken.  Even if you don’t live tangy BBQ sauce, you still know it would go better with chicken than chocolate.  This same concept works in all areas of cooking and is how you can become quick an amazing chef with very little effort.

Let’s say you are in a rush to make dinner and don’t have a plan on what to make.  You look in the fridge and you have a bunch of vinaigrette salad dressings, some cheese and a few other odds and ends.  Check the freezer and you find some concentrate juices, chicken, frozen veggies and maybe some frozen fruit.  Over to the pantry and there’s a box of mac and cheese, some pasta, a can or two of tuna fish and not much else.

Right there you can use the chicken and concentrate orange juice to make a tropical tasting dish!  Just add half 1/3 of the can of concentrate (lemonade, orange juice, cranberry and even apple add a lot of flavor), a cup of water and the chicken cut into strips to a skillet/frying pan and cook over medium heat until the water is gone from the pan (but don’t burn it!).  You can add some BBQ sauce if its orange concentrate, some honey and pepper if its lemonade, some raisins and almonds if its cranberry!

Don’t want to use the chicken?  See those frozen veggies?  Grab those, toss a wide variety in a bowl and microwave for a minute at a time until thawed (keep the cover on the bowl to help steam them).  Make some pasta, drain and immediately add a vinaigrette and the veggies!  Poof!  Quick tasty pasta salad.

Or how about that mac and cheese?  Get the tuna and a veggie of your choice to add to the mix when its done!

See!  Three meals ranging from gourmet sounding to something perfect for the kids to enjoy!  Quick, easy and tasty.  I keep a full stock of sauces, gravies, dressings, etc. on hand at all times to help make the most boring dishes extraordinary!

It all comes back to knowing what to add.  And how do you do this?  Read.  Read the ingredients of your favorite dishes.  Learn the most common complimentary flavors.  If you love fries and ranch dressing, why not try some on your next baked potato?  Or why not add a smidgen to your potato salad?  See how that works?