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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What unusual ingredients to you add to common dishes to improve them?<br><br>
Ketchup goes in some of my stir-frys.<br><br>
I'm fairly sure you can come up with better than that,,,
 

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Cocoa powder in chili<br>
a pinch of sugar in marinara<br>
cornstarch in stir fry (its not really unusual but a lot of people don't know about it)<br>
vodka in pie crust
 

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I put cinnamon in most of my baked goods. I also use soy sauce or tamari in most of my gravies and soups.
 

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Peanut butter in chilli - it adds depth to the flavour. You need just enough to deepen the flavour, but not enough to recognise the taste of the peanut butter. (I use about a tablespoon full in a chilli for 4 people.)<br><br>
The idea originally came from the World Food Cafe in London, if I remember correctly.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>luvourmother</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2839348"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Cocoa powder in chili<br>
a pinch of sugar in marinara<br>
cornstarch in stir fry (its not really unusual but a lot of people don't know about it)<br>
vodka in pie crust</div>
</div>
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Okay....so what effect does the cornstarch have? And how much vodka do you put in a pie crust, and why?<br><br>
I NEED TO KNOW!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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cornstarch thickens stir fry sauces, its how Chinese restaurants get that thicker sauce. its added near the end of cooking, i mix a few tsp with water or broth until it makes a "slurry" then add it to stir fry sauce ( you can take cooked veggies out and just make the sauce or not, works both ways)<br><br>
i use equal parts water and vodka in pie crusts, its usually 2 tbsp of each. the vodka helps the dough be more workable, gives it almost a playdough texture rather than the sometimes crumbly and delicate texture of regular pie dough. the vodka also helps make a flaky crust because it evaporates at a different rate than the water does.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>luvourmother</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2839371"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
cornstarch thickens stir fry sauces, its how Chinese restaurants get that thicker sauce. its added near the end of cooking, i mix a few tsp with water or broth until it makes a "slurry" then add it to stir fry sauce ( you can take cooked veggies out and just make the sauce or not, works both ways)<br><br>
i use equal parts water and vodka in pie crusts, its usually 2 tbsp of each. the vodka helps the dough be more workable, gives it almost a playdough texture rather than the sometimes crumbly and delicate texture of regular pie dough. the vodka also helps make a flaky crust because it evaporates at a different rate than the water does.</div>
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Thanks. I do use cornstarch when I am cooking a curry - but with stir fries I generally use just a variety of spices and soy sauce, as there is not a lot of sauce. I'll try adding a bit of cornstarch next time.<br><br>
I've never heard of using vodka in a pie crust before, I'll definitely be trying that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>luvourmother</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2839348"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
a pinch of sugar in marinara<br>
cornstarch in stir fry (its not really unusual but a lot of people don't know about it)</div>
</div>
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+ 1 to both<br>
Everyone should know about these.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>angie54321</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2839367"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Peanut butter in chilli - it adds depth to the flavour.</div>
</div>
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That's wicked, thanks!<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>angie54321</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2839369"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Okay....so what effect does the cornstarch have?</div>
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luvourmother is right about thickening. Asian foods can often have sauces that have the consistency of water (think; soy sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar) this all adds up to quite a liquid dish. Cornstarch helps veggies cling to the sauce and makes it a lot more flavoursome as a result, I find<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>luvourmother</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2839371"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
the vodka helps the dough be more workable</div>
</div>
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cool!
 

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Impeach the gangster
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Some finely chopped celery in chili. (Would probably go good with peanut butter and cocoa powder too.)
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>luvourmother</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2839348"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
cornstarch in stir fry (its not really unusual but a lot of people don't know about it)</div>
</div>
<br>
Just you and a zillion cheap-arse chinese restaurants around the globe. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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nothing super secret, but I love coriander in all kinds of dishes.
 

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lemon juice in water. Makes the water taste like something . you dont even need that much just a tiny dash. I also use peper in lots of things. Peper in my opinion can make a bland thing taste good without having to add any salt i hate salt.
 

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I keep it a secret whenever I put tofu in baking, if that counts! Otherwise people wont eat it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br>
and alcohol in everything <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Identity_thief</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2840048"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I keep it a secret whenever I put tofu in baking, if that counts! Otherwise people wont eat it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br>
and alcohol in everything <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"></div>
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Alcohol in everything....I like that idea <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
I use tofu a lot but it is obviously unrecognisable half the time: I had a conversation with my husband and son at the dinner table the other evening, after I had made a spinach quiche. I was telling them how healthy it was for them, with all that spinach and tofu. My husband said 'tofu? Where's the tofu in this?'!<br><br>
Hmmm, darling, you do know I don't eat eggs, don't you, and the white/yellow bit in quiche is normally the eggy part?! Where's the tofu? Pffhh...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Identity_thief</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2840048"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
[...] and alcohol in everything <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"></div>
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I love when alcohol comes through in flavours.<br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Kindred</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2839979"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
[...] i hate salt.</div>
</div>
<br>
wut!
 

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to make a healthier hummus i dont use tahini. my recipe...<br>
3 cloves of garlic<br>
can of chickpeas(keep the water they come in, in a seperate dish to make the hummus smoother later)<br>
lemon juice. to taste<br><b>soy sauce</b> 1 -2 teaspoons maybe more<br>
it tastes a bit different and you can add any other flavorings you like but i love it!<br>
mince garlic add to food processor, add chickpeas lemon juic and soy sauce and begin to process. add the "chickpea juice" until it it the desired consistency. A LITTLE AT A TIME!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Identity_thief</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2840048"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
and alcohol in everything <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"></div>
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I love cooking with alcohol! Sometimes I even put some in the food...<br><br>
I ALWAYS put cinnamon and a square of bakers chocolate in chili.<br><br>
I add nutmeg to my dark leafy veggies (kale, collards, chard)<br><br>
I also put vegan mayo in my brownie mix, but thats a southern thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>AndrewFL</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2848448"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I also put vegan mayo in my brownie mix, but thats a southern thing.</div>
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The rest were useful suggestions but forgive me if I skip this one!...
 

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I like to add cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and sugar to plain peanut butter.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>theLaika</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2851529"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
The rest were useful suggestions but forgive me if I skip this one!...</div>
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Lol, you dont taste it! It just makes them SUPER moist
 
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