It’s been a full six months since I created a Kitchen post. This is not a cooking blog so, quite laugheably, that post has 400% more likes than any other. Clearly keto is slightly more popular than christian living or mission sharing.

Despite not writing about it, I have indeed still been cooking. Approximately three times a day of course. Kids don’t let you get away with foolish things like meal skipping. Which is a good thing; I would probably shrivel away to nothing if I lived alone.

Instead of sharing a “recipe” with you (in quotes because you know nothing is exact around here), I decided to share a few tricks of the trade, some simple and fun techniques you can easily add in to your usual routine.

SALT

  1. Use whole, large salt grain for flavor, not saltiness. That is, when you’re making a dish, especially with some sort of broth or sauce, toss in a bit of those big granules right away to start dissolving and work their magic. Taste test before serving to adjust actual salinity.
  2. Salt raw onion you want to caramelize. It draws out the juices which helps to achieve that golden gumminess.
  3. Two things you’ve maybe never thought to add salt to:
    1. Oatmeal: few shakes of salt along with your vanilla and cinnamon (and cardamom if you’re me!)
    2. French toast custard blend. And some brown sugar. Going for a slightly salted caramel flair.

Garlic

Unless I’m making garlic bread (which is basically never), I plan to never scourge myself with mincing garlic again in my life. It’s sticky and burny and then you throw it in the dish and boom. Bye garlic. Didn’t know you were even there. Contrarily, if we slice the garlic into little sheets, or at the most, large pieces, the garlic softens as cooked and converts into a seriously happy bite. But my very favorite garlic burst is created by separating individual cloves from the head, but leave them in their peel. Toss them in whole to anything with a little liquid. Fish them out at the end, then squeeze out some sweet garlic paste straight on your meat or vegetables.

Chilies

Even if you aren’t a spice lover, you can still confidently incorporate a chili flavor into dishes. Get a small bag of chile de árbol, which is a dried chili, long, thin and red. Next time you broil meat or make a stew, select an intact chili and toss it in. The flavor will seep out while the spiciness remains confined to the seeds inside.

Acid

Maybe it’s because I have several lime trees in my yard, maybe it’s just my prickly personality, but I love a good splash of spark. Asparagus don’t make it to the table without a squeeze of lime. Mushrooms are simmered in Worcestershire and red wine vinegar. Salad dressing? I usually double acid it. Apple cider vinegar and lime, plus the tomato juices that leak out. Weird maybe but so complex and delicious usually the meal ends with a “mommy, can I drink the rest of the salad dressing?” To which I promptly reply: no. No, you most certainly may not.

Unsweetened, plain yogurt deserves a permanent place in your fridge. Curry, shawarma, muffins, marinade, smoothies, dip….. it is a one stop shop for a lot of individual dairy products.

I’d love to hear from you. What are some of your favorite shortcuts to flavor? Do you use any of mine??

Happy cooking!

p.s. we’re driving down the highway. Just passed the men between the edge of the road and the swamps with turtles for sale. Speaking of the kitchen. There I draw the line. No turtles in my pots please.

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