Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Punch Up Your Dishes

Sometimes food just screams to be embellished.Soups that need zing ,pasta dishes that need zest.Adding just a pinch of that or a sliver of this is all it takes to elevate your meal or even snack to the next level.It's an easy, fun and creative way to punch up any food. One of the most accepting foods is soup.A simple broth can be turned into a special potage by adding pasta or veggies.I recently brought home a simple onion soup from a local and favorite diner.It was just a plain beef broth with onion pieces.To turn it into more of the French classic,I add a generous slice of French bread covered with two slabs of Emmentaler cheese.Three minutes in the microwave and I had a tasty bistro classic.The bread and cheese added so much oomph to it.One of my favorite culinary canvasses is vegetable broth. Cook up plain rice in it for a more flavorful side.Top with a big blob of good French butter for a quick late night snack or a light supper before going to a party.Another idea is adding beaten egg and bread crumbs to make the Piedmontese specialty pane pesto or breadcrumb soup.Sub in shredded spinach for the eggs for the Roman favorite stratichella soup.You can also use any broth, whether that, beef or chicken when soaking bread for stuffing.Also canned soups can have the same kind of zinging up.Toss in oregano or Rosemary to tomato soup along with a tablespoon or two of olive oil.You can also add orzo or smaller sized pasta as well.Even canned pea soup can be made zestier with easily made bread crumbs and a tablespoon or two of minced ham. Even standards like pizza can be zzzuzzhed up.Take a plain pizza and add minced garlic or sliced scallions.Open a can of chicken chunks .Scatter the pieces before naming to create a yummy alternative.You can also take Italian cold cuts and diced them for a topping for pre made or home made pie.Some seafood lovers add crab or shrimp to theirs for extra zing.Mashed potatoes, whether homemade or packaged, can also be spiced up.True, there are instant mashed potatoes that already have garlic and cheese added.However you can also add Parmesan cheese to give it some depth or flesh it with beef or ham bits.Want an eye opener.Add dried chili flakes to that mound for some fun unexpected heat.Those veggie sides can also be punched up with the addition of pepperoncino or almonds for a more elegant almondine dish.Make a garlic or lemon spiked butter and dab onto green beans or broccoli.Squash can be made earthy with the addition of cinnamon or nutmeg and a maple butter or creme fraiche topping.Even raw veggies like tomatoes can be tasty, with an olive oil and garlic bath.Serve with generous slices of Italian bread for extra pep. A simple corn dish can be turned into something sublime with the addition of creme fraiches,fresh ground pepper and French sea salt.A diced green pepper can also be added to corn for zesty side inshore served cold for an unusual salad. There are some foods that donned jazzing up.That's why we haves spices and herbs to do it along with other fun add INS like butter and cream.Experiment with those hokum dishes.They'll be transformed into fun ,exciting dishes inn time.

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