There are some teeny tiny things you can do to takes your dishes that take them from yum to dayyyyum gurl.
Number 1 – Pre roasting, I have noticed that with recipes that call for foods like potatoes, chickpeas, cauliflower, butternut, etc., they taste a lot better when you roast them separately rather than just adding them straight into the pot or pan. If you have a recipe that calls for one of these ingredients, try dry roasting them in a heavy-bottomed skillet, or in a roasting tray in the oven. Add in the spices you would add in the recipe. This will most definitely add flavour to the dish than just adding it in normally.
Number 2 – Mix fresh and dry ingredients. When a recipe calls for a herb or spice, or even tomatoes, mix the ingredients, use a combination of fresh herbs and bottled herbs. Mix dry and fresh chillies, cut up a fresh tomato and mix it with your tinned tomatoes. This will give some depth to your dish.
Number 3 – Cook your food in stock. The fastest and easiest way to inject a lot of flavour into your food is to cook it in stock, rice, pasta and potatoes can all be cooked in stock. This will add a great flavour for your base ingredients, and also reduce the amount of salt you need to add into the dish.
Number 4 – All about that pressure. Become friends with your pressure cooker. I always found our pressure cooker intimidating, the noise the steam makes, waiting before you can take the lid off, washing the damn thing afterwards. It all sounds scary. But, a pressure cooker will make your one pot dishes taste so amazing without taking the whole day to cook. When you use a pressure cooker, I mostly use mine for curries, start with building your flavours, adding spices in, letting them toast and bring out the flavours, add in the ingredients that need to release juices, like onions and mushrooms, adding the stock that will tie everything together. Now comes the best part, what we Afrikaans people call ´´it´s time for the ingredients to talk to each other´´, this basically means that the ingredients will all infuse and combine and make it all lovely and yummy.
Number 5 – Soup Powder. When a recipe that calls for a thickener like flour or corn-starch, try adding in a flavourful soup powder, cream of mushroom soup, brown onion soup, tomato soup etc. They add do the same thing that flour or corn-starch does, but they do add in more flavour.