Friday, January 8, 2016

A Tweak Here, A Tweak There

Sometimes even the most delicious of recipes needs a little oomph.A tweak here , a dollop there can elevate any recipe from tasty to memorable.This is what makes a good cook, whether in a restaurant kitchen or in a home one.

This is my mantra.If I can make a recipe better,I will. Dishes and meals should not only be filling and nutritious but extraordinary . Even simple breakfast dishes can be turned into ambrosia with a tweak. Takes eggs for example. Even the simplest dish involving them can be boosted up by a dash of tarragon. Add this versatile herb to scrambled eggs for a nice brunch main dish. It can work wonders in an omelet au fine herbes. too.One of the best tweaks is adding club soda to beaten egg before scrambling. This results in the lightest, fluffiest scramble ever.I've also added whole cream to eggs which resulted in a more dense, custardy but insanely delicious dish. A cup of chopped ham also added oomph too.Waffle and pancake batters can also benefit from tweaks. Add a healthy dose of nutmeg or cinnamon  for a spicier , earthier flavor. Almonds and pecans are another great add in, giving both crunch and texture. Syrups can  be made special too. Add a squeeze of orange juice or  for a different spin. Drop in some blueberries and strawberries right before serving for color and flavor.

Lunch and dinner recipes always benefit from a tweak. Everybody loves a grilled cheese however make it like a croque Monsieur for a truly memorable meal. Instead of baking it in an oven or broiling it, fry it in butter . I do my own spin on it by buttering the inside, subbing in Gruyere along with a layer of sliced ham. The traditional recipe claims that  bread should be dipped in a flour and egg mixture before assembling but I feel this takes away from the crunch and flavor. Another favorite to tweak is the savory Italian bread pudding.The recipe has been in my family for decades. It's a flavorful layering of Italian or french bread,and Swiss cheese , baked or steamed with a good helping of beef broth. The last has been replaced by vegetable broth to be more vegan. Cabbage is added for crunch and color. Now I've been experimenting with aged Swiss will will give this usually mellow dish bite. Homemade Italian sauce is always deserving of a little twist. With mine , there comes a generous amount of oregano and vegan Iitalian sausage. The last is loaded with peppers so it gives the sauce a great zing.I love it on refried polenta but it can be perfect gracing rotelli too.

Tweaking here and there is perfectly fine.It add zings to everyday recipes, giving them pizzazz and zing. Go  off the beaten path and revamp that family or favorite recipe.

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