“ Do you have a perplexing spice question? Send me an email. “
Over the years, I have developed an appreciation for good reference materials that guide the cook, rather than dictating to the cook. I believe this especially true of spices and seasonings.
The trick to creating an interesting dish is to maintain “harmony” by keeping the flavoring elements in proportion with each other. For example, try using sumac in lieu of lemon in your next fish marinade. To add a rustic Italian touch, bag the oregano and try using a topping of lightly fried fresh sage for pasta.
While, playing with a flavoring palate is great fun, just remember, proportion and function will be your gauge to success. If the recipe calls for a dash of lemon, a tablespoon might turn the dish bitter.
If the recipe calls for butter, a light cooking oil may fulfill the same role. However, if the success of the recipe rests on a buttery base to carry flavor, (think Hollandaise sauce) butter should be used. Still other ingredients like culinary Lavender or Dill Weed shine when used sparingly.
Whether it’s the incorporation of clever flavor combinations, mastery of that ethereal chocolate soufflé, or the creation of an inspired table setting, cooking can be a delicious way to express your personality.