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Favorite Secret Ingredient In a Recipe?

Favorite Secret Ingredient In a Recipe?

Old 11-10-2020, 11:47 AM
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Default Favorite Secret Ingredient In a Recipe?

Do you have a hidden, secret spice, or ingredient in a recipe that makes that recipe beyond amazing? I'm not talking about the obvious, like bacon in Mac n' Cheese, but something that no one eating the food would ever guess is in there. Something that makes that recipe sing! Here are a couple of my secrets.

1. A pinch of curry powder in white, clam chowder
2. A dash of nutmeg in cooked spinach
3. A couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast in white, or cheese sauce

I have a lot more, but you'll have to beat me over the head with a wooden spoon to get them out of me.
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Old 11-10-2020, 01:17 PM
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Mmm, probably not too uncommon, but I *love* a tsp or so of cocoa in my chili. It just brings an extra level of yum to the pot!
My mom always put a dash of nutmeg in the spinach, I love it and do that now too!

Just one more? ;-)
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Old 11-10-2020, 01:23 PM
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I keep Mac and cheese powder from the bulk store and I mix a couple of tablespoons with milk to add to my creamy soups like potato or cream of broccoli.
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Old 11-10-2020, 01:53 PM
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Was just showing the hubby the secret to my stock this weekend -- and that is I stick a couple of whole cloves into the onion chunks. Sometimes maybe I have to start with a knife tip, but it helps hold the skins on to the onions. So, if I use a whole onion, maybe I'll have up to 10-12 cloves for a pot of beef stock, and probably half that for chicken.

It adds a richness you can't quite place but you can notice when it's not there.
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Old 11-10-2020, 02:29 PM
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hhmmmmm ..... can't think of any secret ingredients in my recipes.
Or is that more like "strange" ingredients? than secret!
But then again, maybe there are, and they just seem normal to me!

CheshirePat ... yes indeed!! My favourite chili is one with cocoa as a main ingredient.
Tropit ... while I don't make clam chowder, I do like a wee bit of curry added to cream of cauliflower soup. It just seems to amp the taste a tad, yet you don't really taste the curry.
IceBlossom ... now that's an interesting twist ... cloves with onions!

As for secret ingredients ... my sister has a friend years ago openly admitted that when she shares a recipe, she leaves an ingredient out, or changes the quantity. Still a do-able recipe, but the final taste is missing that MIA ingredient and thus, just not as good as her cooking!! *sigh* .......... Hard to believe she would do that. Even harder to believe that she admitted it.

Last edited by QuiltE; 11-10-2020 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 11-10-2020, 03:44 PM
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Toast your ready made bacon bits before adding to your dish, twice as good flavor.
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Old 11-10-2020, 04:25 PM
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I always have these extra boosts in my pantry
Heavy cream powder
Real cheddar cheese powder
Buttermilk powder
Caramel powder
Sazon Seasoning
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Old 11-10-2020, 05:40 PM
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Preserved lemons
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Old 11-10-2020, 05:54 PM
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I add white or brown sugar to almost all tomato based things - spagetti sauce, chili, "hot dish", salsa - -
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Old 11-10-2020, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
I add white or brown sugar to almost all tomato based things - spagetti sauce, chili, "hot dish", salsa - -
I do that too!!

I donít use a lot of salt; however, when I do, I use Kosher.
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