Monday, 16 November 2009

Bam! Lets knock it up a notch

I am not a fan of 'bog standard' even if I am using time saving ingredient from the supermarket I like to add something to them to bring out their best.  Unfortunately none of the mustelids on earth have yet evolved into a Spice Weasel, so what to use instead?

My first port of call is a pepper grinder that contains a mix of Bristol blend pepper[1] and crushed dried chillies. I use this pretty much anywhere I am using black pepper (including making pepper crusts) and it adds a nice smidgen of extra pep when going to full on chillies isn't required. It gives that something extra even when all you are doing is personalising a pizza by adding extra toppings or trying to enliven some pasta and pesto.

Next is mustard and horseradish, any sane omnivore will have these in the house for roasts etc but I find for day to day usage I am more likely to put them in things than on them (to the extent that while having cooked with Colman's mustard flour for probably 2 decades I have only recently used it to make mustard). Both go well in mash, potato or otherwise, and while I have always used mustard when turning B├ęchamel into Mornay I have found recently that if I am going to be putting that over vegetables then horseradish goes lovely in there as well. They also are part of my salad dressing armoury when I break all good rules about how to make a Vinaigrette[2]

There are many other things that in their place liven up stuff but that is some of the generic and besides I dread to think what the food police would think of my pickled cabbage products in toasted sandwiches habit.

[1]black, white, green and pink peppercorns with added pimento
[2]That reminds me I need to right up my Caesar salad and seafood sauce recipes.

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