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



  • I add tomato ketchup to anything the kids might not like - a fair bit at first so it tastes ketchupy and then lessen it off over time.

    Really good for de-spicing spicy dishes and also for adding a tomato tinge to things they might not like.

    I also add mustard to cheese sauce.
    It's not paranoia if they really are after you.
  • Lemon juice is my secret ingredient.

    If you're cooking something (sweet or savoury), taste it and think it needs "something" but don't know what, add a bit of lemon juice - it really does the trick
  • A little bit of finely chopped fresh ginger in my curries. It just gives it that "zing".

    What I call a "knobble" of ginger does four servings and only costs me pennies, but it is the first thing the bean counters take out of commercial recipes.

    PS. Like Thriftlady, I also always cook with alcohol. Sometimes, I even add it to the food.
    The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in my life. :)
  • Saab
    Saab Posts: 46 Forumite
    I steam dark green veggies, like broccoli and curly kale, usually in a sieve over the carrots or other veggies...but I always sprinkle a teensie bit of caster sugar over the green veg first, it takes away the bitterness.

    I never do swede alone, always with three or four carrots, then mash them together, with black pepper, a knob of butter/spread and again a sprinkle of caster sugar.:o

    Maggi is my most used item to add a 'dash' of though...apart from in cakes of course.:p
  • Triker
    Triker Posts: 7,247 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    For tomato based sauces I add a real good glug of milk. Makes it stretch much further and mellows out the metallic tomato taste, especially if made with tinned toms.:D

    Also when using a tin or jar of summat, I always add the magical addition of the same volume of water, again stretches the sauce/meal much further.:D
    DFW Nerd 267. DEBT FREE 11.06.08
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  • use indian fried chicken powder for home made popcorn flavourings (makes them nice and spicy).

    Dash of rice vinegar to risotto.

    100% cacao on coffee.

    tiny amount of cinnamon in coffee.
  • I use Maggi, Worcestershire sauce and red wine in my spag bol, makes it lovely and rich - also use Maggi in my gravy and cottage pie (along with good old HP sauce!)
  • I add Mushroom ketchup or Worcestershire sauce to anything meaty (stews, cottage pies, etc) to increase the savoury meatiness. :D

    English mustard to cheese sauce and cheese scones.

    Cayenne pepper to anything which needs a bit of heat.

    Dukkah spice mix (mixed with olive oil) to roast veg before roasting it.

    Zahtar Spice Blend mixed with a little olive oil to chicken pieces or whole chicken before roasting.

    Dark chocolate to chilli con carne.

    Smoked bacon or pancetta pieces, fry and add to macaroni cheese, I also add sliced tomatoes on top.

    Smoked sweet paprika to tomato sauce.

    Cumin seeds (toasted and then ground) to any tomato based sauce and to the meat mixture for beef or lamb meatballs.

    Onion marmalade to the gravy for sausages.

    Noilly Prat (dry white vermouth) to the chicken roasting tin to deglaze it and start the gravy.

    Roasted garlic to mashed potatoes.

    Melted butter, chopped red chillis and finely chopped rosemary to mashed sweet potatoes.

    Smoked sea salt (M&S sell it) to steaks and white fish/seafood after cooking. It's expensive but you don't need much so it lasts for ages.

    Anchovies to roast lamb (before roasting it)

    Balsamic vinegar to puy lentils after cooking for great depth of flavour.

    Fennel seeds to the pan with the onions when cooking pork sausages for bangers and mash.

    Fresh herbs (especially chopped flat leaf parsley) to lots of things - at the last minute and also as a garnish.

    Wasabi to frozen peas before microwaving them in a bowl.

    A teaspoon of finely grated parmesan to the raw eggs for omelettes (increases the 'egg flavour' but you can't taste the cheese)

    Chopped spring onions, chopped coriander and Blue Dragon sweet chilli dipping sauce to cream cheese or greek yoghurt for a quick dip.

    Rose Harissa paste to greek yoghurt for a quick dip or to use as a 'sauce' for lamb kebabs or barbequed chicken.

    Lots of freshly ground black pepper to almost everything. :D
    "The happiest of people don't necessarily have the
    best of everything; they just make the best
    of everything that comes along their way."
    -- Author Unknown --
  • thriftlady_2
    thriftlady_2 Posts: 9,128 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    You are making me hungry CC:T
  • to thicken anything add all bran instead of flour....its brilliant and gives added fibre without the children knowing...
    Oh how I dream............
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