I have a bunch of small ideas to add flavor to meals, and quick ways make store bought taste homemade, none were enough for a whole post. So, I have gathered them into one flavor idea packed post, and I hope you’ll share some of your ideas too. So, first, I make jar tomato sauce taste more like fresh made by adding a freshly chopped tomato to the sauce.
Easy and simple, it gives an extra bit of texture to the sauce, and a fresh tomato taste to your pasta dishes.
Do you make garlic bread at home for meals? Add a bit of Parmesan cheese to punch it up a bit. I microwaved this one, but I really like it better done in a stovetop pan or under the broiler to brown the cheese.
Ever wonder how the restaurants get that light and cheesy tomato sauce? I do it by simply adding ricotta cheese to it. I tried cream first, but like the lower fat and fuller flavor of the ricotta.
This is DH’s favorite tomato sauce, and even better with a fresh tomato added.
On another day, I might add a tomato and some chopped green onions.
Somehow adding those fresh onions seems to bring the freshness up in the whole dish.
Topping off each serving with a bit of Mozzarella or Parmesan finishes it off nicely.
I did a post recently on how I use Flavored Oils to punch up the flavor in many dishes.
Baking it at 350 degrees for 15 per pound gives a golden brown skin with moist juicy meat.
Yum, hungry yet?
I’ve talked about the use of specialty salts before too, Around the World in Salt. Our friends own The Spice and Tea Exchange in Asheville, and they have an immense selection of specialty salts and peppers, along with teas, sugars, olive oils and candles.
Bold smoked salts work well on mild flavors like eggs, or my Shrimp Flower Appetizer. There is no more or less sodium in a specialty salt than in regular table salt most of us use. Certainly if you are salt sensitive, this wouldn’t be for you, but a nice freshly cracked black, green or pink peppercorn would be a nice substitute.
Smoky flavors are also a flavor booster on my Heirloom Tomato Avocado Salad.
This meal is so fast, you won’t believe how quickly it gets to the table. Low carb and gluten free too!! Just saute a fish filet, turn it and add fresh spinach. Cover and cook about 5 minutes and serve with a tomato salad. See my Weeknight Fish Dinner for all the details.
Long time readers will recognize my Asian Inspired Salad from the Japanese Inspired February event last year – a month of projects and recipes inspired by the Japanese culture. This is simple and fast, with the flavor kick of my homemade Sriracha Mayonnaise. In fact, I like that Sriracha Mayo so much I’ve started putting it on sandwiches and tacos too. Adding the fried onions to lots of vegetable dishes as well punches up flavor with an added bit of crunch to top off a yellow squash casserole or a Baked Spinach dish.
Lastly, I was recently in a nostalgic mood, and remembered this sandwich from years ago. We ate it a lot as a newly wed couple, as it was inexpensive. The recipe is from an old magazine ad for Starkist tuna, and is called Cheesy Charlies. Just make some tuna salad your favorite way, spread it on a piece of bread, and top with grated cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and lightly brown. Serve hot. This time, I made this with colby-jack cheese, but grated cheddar or mozzarella would work too. Whatever you like.
What is your favorite tip to add flavor to your meals?
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