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What secret/special ingredient do you add to certain food/dishes?



  • Akom
    Akom Posts: 159 Forumite
    My tips would be :

    For the mash on a cottage pie add some horseradish sauce. It really goes well with the beef mince.

    Nutmeg in your mash. Mmmmmm.....

    My real secret ingredient is 'Ras El Hanout'. This is a moroccan blend of spices. I picked mine up from a market in Marrekesh however you can get it on the internet. It may even be in some supermarkets. Add this to things like casserole, homemade burgers, meat balls etc. It adds a really different flavour to everyday cooking.
  • thriftlady_2
    thriftlady_2 Posts: 9,128 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    Alcohol -to everything:D

    OK I'll be a bit more specific -dry sherry, just a splash- to mincey things (not curry), Chinesey things (Shaoxing wine is better though), gravy and in cheese sauces.

    Brandy in pates and liver dishes, vermouth or white wine in tomatoey sauces and risottos.

    I also like good spice blends. Ras El Hanout is a favourite of mine too and also Bha'rat (sp?) I love these in lamb stews or chickpea and veg stews to serve with couscous.

    Smoked paprika is a huge favourite of mine too. Great with fried potato, peppers, fried eggs.
  • gingin_2
    gingin_2 Posts: 2,992 Forumite
    Really good thread!

    I add mushroom ketchup to a lot of savoury dishes. I sometimes add an anchovy fillet to lamb dishes. If I am making gravy with the pan juices, I add a dash of soy sauce to make the gravy richer and darker (and omit salt). I sometimes add custard powder to fairy cake mixture but add a little less sugar and flour, to make up for it.
  • Akom
    Akom Posts: 159 Forumite
    Whenever i go on holiday i always pick up some local spices. It's great when you get home as it's a good reminder of your holiday when you cook with it.
  • Chris25
    Chris25 Posts: 12,918 Forumite
    Photogenic First Anniversary First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    ............a splash of sherry to mushroom soup & like thriftlady I add it to some Chinese dishes too.

    creamed horseradish in mash to top my fish pie.

    nutmeg in swede and also in broccoli soup.
  • Most of the above, and always ground cinnamon to mince dishes.
    de do-do-do, de dar-dar-dar ;)
  • I always had a teaspoon (ish) of cocoa powder to my chilli con carne - makes it lovey and rich (it doesn't make it taste of chocolate) and a capful of white wine vinegar and a couple of pinches of sugar to my tomato-based pasta sauces.
  • nesssie1702
    nesssie1702 Posts: 1,345 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    I add mustard to my cheese sauce

    some dark chocolate and a teaspoon of honey to my chilli - also use a blend of spices (fresh chilli, smoked paprika, cumin and cinnamon) in the chilli rather than just chilli powder.

    Add red wine to my chilli, bolognese and shepherd's pie mince base

    White wine or vermouth to a spaghetti carbonara
  • I add a heaped tsp of horseradish sauce to my gravy when having roast beef.

    A couple of tsps of horseradish to 800g of mince when making homemade burgers.

    A couple of pinches of medium curry powder to my homemade chicken/lentil/potato/carrot soup.
  • chika
    chika Posts: 848 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Freshly grated nutmeg in baked beans, turns the mundane into marvellous!

    Also Maggi cubes, you can get them from the bigger tesco or any west indian, carribean or african shop. Use them as general seasoning in everything but they are especially good in dishes using red meat.
    There are many things in life that will catch your eye, only a few will catch your heart. Pursue those.
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