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Your go to ingredient

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

So everyone has that go to ingredient or set of ingredients they use in a lot of their dishes because either they are just comfortable with it or they feel it just adds that signature flavor to their dishes.  Mine is bay leaf and thyme.  I use this combination for most of my sauces, soups, and stews and just find that it gives a nice earthy and floral flavor to my dishes.  It just adds that extra background flavor that makes everything delicious.  I also use fresh bay leaves and it totally makes a difference.  I had a chef once who made his chicken stock with 25 bay leaves and 2 bunches of thyme and it was delicious.  Just don't blend them up in your dish.

 

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post #2 of 10

25 bay leaves in stock almost makes me want to never eat stock again, that sounds horrible.  As much as I love herbs I think less is more. 

 

Olive oil is my go to ingredient.  I don't entertain other oils very often.

 

If my husband didn't hate them so much I'd toss peas into just about every dish I make.

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post #3 of 10

25 bay leaves? May be he was making 10 liters of chicken stock.

These days my ingredient is Dou Pan Jiang, the Szechuan paste. Besides classic Chinese cooking, i'm using it for Western dishes: tomato sauce, quiches, tarts, roasted pork and chicken rubbings, fried pasta, etc. Wife insists it's not healthy at all (lots of MSG), but...

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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ordo View Post

25 bay leaves? May be he was making 10 liters of chicken stock.

These days my ingredient is Dou Pan Jiang, the Szechuan paste. Besides classic Chinese cooking, i'm using it for Western dishes: tomato sauce, quiches, tarts, roasted pork and chicken rubbings, fried pasta, etc. Wife insists it's not healthy at all (lots of MSG), but...


Doubanjiang has always intrigued me. You know, the idea of chilies crushed with broad beans and salt and then fermented for months in clay barrels, they must have acquired a really complex flavour by that time. Unfortunately, I wasn't impressed by Lee Kum Kee's commercial version of it (plus, it contains soybeans, which is not Szechuan), it just didn't taste natural to me (like chili with beans and lots of stock cubes). I normally have no problem with fermenting food and am doing it on a regular basis, but if anything is fussy, then doubanjiang is the definition of the word. Also, I will need a traditional recipe given by someone from Szechuan who makes it regularly. But still, I've been playing with the idea of making my own for a long, long time. Perhaps, one day, I'll give it a try and then let you know a few months later about the result.

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayertplsko View Post


Doubanjiang has always intrigued me. You know, the idea of chilies crushed with broad beans and salt and then fermented for months in clay barrels, they must have acquired a really complex flavour by that time. Unfortunately, I wasn't impressed by Lee Kum Kee's commercial version of it (plus, it contains soybeans, which is not Szechuan), it just didn't taste natural to me (like chili with beans and lots of stock cubes). I normally have no problem with fermenting food and am doing it on a regular basis, but if anything is fussy, then doubanjiang is the definition of the word. Also, I will need a traditional recipe given by someone from Szechuan who makes it regularly. But still, I've been playing with the idea of making my own for a long, long time. Perhaps, one day, I'll give it a try and then let you know a few months later about the result.

 

May i ask how are you using Dou Pan Jiang?

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #6 of 10

Hand crushed black pepper makes everything better (crushed with something hard on a cutting board, in a mortar and pestle or in a very coarse grinder

 

Coriander seeds, crushed, for meat

 

Garlic, onion, shallots

 

do we need to mention way enough salt?

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ordo View Post

 

May i ask how are you using Dou Pan Jiang?


In fact, I have so far used it just once as far as I remember and it was a Szechuanese dish. I've got Fuchsia Dunlop's cookbook Sichuan Cookery, so that's my reference for Szechuan.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayertplsko View Post


In fact, I have so far used it just once as far as I remember and it was a Szechuanese dish. I've got Fuchsia Dunlop's cookbook Sichuan Cookery, so that's my reference for Szechuan.

 

I see. But you know, there's a little more about Dou Pan Jiang than your one in a life experience.

May be we can talk about that in another occasion.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #9 of 10

Try this combination:  Onion powder, granulated garlic, kosher salt, black pepper.

 

I knew this guy who dusted everything with this.  He made a huge tub of this and had it on the catering line.  If he wanted color he would use paprika.  Sometimes he'd use dried parsley.  But man di the people love this. It tasted like msg.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ordo View Post

 

I see. But you know, there's a little more about Dou Pan Jiang than your one in a life experience.

May be we can talk about that in another occasion.


That's actually what I was saying. I was just unimpressed with that brand, I'm sure doubanjiang is a great product otherwise, that's why I was thinking about making my own as I'll probably be unable to get a decent one.

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