Clever cooks have an arsenal of secret ingredients to amp up flavour, from umami superstars to sweet and sour heroes, these players punch hard and a little goes a long way.
- IN GOOD PASTE - Highly concentrated, tomato paste is great in sauces and soups, or whisk with oil, seasonings and herbs to use as a pizza sauce.
- FISH POWER - For an umami boost in Mediterranean dishes, anchovies can’t be beaten, and generally you only need half a dozen or so to make a big splash. Try melting several anchovies in olive oil as your frypan heats up as the start to a pasta sauce or a sauce for a stew. Spike steamed greens or potatoes with a few anchovies, or stuff them into slits in the flesh of a leg of lamb to be roasted.
- TASTY TRIO - A trio of olives, capers and garlic add a bitter-salty burst: chop them to go into salad dressings, toss through sauces, or sizzle them till golden and dot over steak, fish or pasta (this alone plus a glug of olive oil can make a fabulous pasta).
- SPICE IT UP - When used the right way, spices can complete the flavour profile of a dish and mean you don’t need to reach for the salt. Consider what types of cuisines to lean towards and stock your spice drawer accordingly. There are a few multiplayer spices that work well across cuisines: black pepper, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, chilli flakes, turmeric.
- SURE CURE - Cured meats can be stored for a decent amount of time and can be used in small amounts to amplify so many dishes. A little sautéed chorizo or pancetta makes a meal of potatoes, eggs, rice, beans or pasta or can marry with a few inexpensive items to top a pizza.