We’ve all experienced this not-so-great cooking situation: you spend a ton of time following a recipe, creating a meal, and the end result is bland and boring.
Over the years, we’ve picked up quite a few tricks to make sure we never end up in this situation. Even if a recipe has left a lot to be desired in the taste department, there are so many simple things you can do to turn a meal from ‘meh’ to ‘hot dang!’
In the next few weeks, we’re going to cover a lot of flavor territory in our latest Cook Smarts 101 series: How to Maximize Flavor and Create Delicious Meals Every Time You Cook.
I’m so excited about this series, because having the confidence and smarts to flavor your cooking means you’ll never have to settle for a bland dish ever again.
“Having the confidence and smarts to flavor your cooking means you’ll never have to settle for a bland dish ever again.”
Today we’re going to kick off our series with 3 of our simplest flavoring secrets! With these three small (and easy) changes in your cooking, you’ll see a difference in the taste of your meals and also adopt the habits and mentality of a master cook!
1. Increase flavor by increasing surface area
It’s really hard to flavor a big chunk of meat or a big block of tofu. However, if you chop it up into smaller pieces, you have more area that gets exposed to seasoning and caramelization, which means a tastier piece of protein. It’s one reason why stir-fries are so good. Smaller pieces of chicken coated in sauce is usually tastier than a big chicken breast covered in sauce; there simply is more surface area for flavors to seep into and adhere to.
2. Salt throughout the cooking process
Unless you’ve been explicitly told by your doctors to lower your salt intake for medical reasons, don’t be afraid of salt. It’s a crucial part of cooking and truly enhances the natural flavor of your ingredients. Salt and tenderize a piece of protein a day before you cook it, and you’ll see a huge difference in the taste of it. If making a soup, saute, or stir-fry, add a dash of salt with each ingredient to give your meal more time to develop flavors.
3. Trust your taste and don’t be afraid to go off-roading
Employing this last tip is how you go from an average cook to an amazing cook. I know it’s so much more comfortable following a recipe, but recipes are just guides. Regardless of what the recipe says, you have final control over the taste of your food, so never settle for a bland dish! If you’ve used the two tips above and your meal is still not super tasty, there are still plenty of ways to impart flavor into your finished product.
We hope these 3 simple secrets will already up the flavor of your cooking. If you want to learn more about cooking and flavoring based on your intuition, check out Nourish our 6 week online cooking course aimed to help you cook without recipes!
Check out the rest of our How to Maximize Flavor series. Here’s to no more bland meals!