Secret Ingredients from a Chef’s Pantry

Secret ingredients from a Chef’s pantry are always valuable. When it comes to sating your cravings, nothing beats the way a chef whips up dishes that always seems to tickle the taste buds. Years of training, experience, and sharpened skills behind the kitchen undoubtedly set master chefs apart, but in a time of social distancing when dining at your favorite restaurant seems like a distant dream, then it may be the right time to pick up a new skill and try to recreate your comfort food at home.

For aspiring home-cooks who wonder what kind of ingredients they need in their pantry to spice up their dishes, master chefs swear that you only need to master two ingredients first to give your dishes a lip-smacking kick. If you’re wondering how to boost the quality of your home-cooked meals, then the list below explores different hidden weapons that can take your dining experience to the next level!

Secret Ingredient #1: High-Quality Salts

Salt is truly the heart of every dish in the world. While it seems like a straightforward flavor, salt can bring out the nuances of your spices, dialing up the best-tasting flavors in your dish up to eleven. It’s a ubiquitous ingredient, but one that can change our relationship with food when it’s gone. 

In that regard, one of the best ways to up your game when seasoning your dishes is to replace table salt with Diamond Crystal Kosher salt. Instead of grabbing a pinch of coarsely-grounded salt that is hard to gauge, kosher salt comes in various forms – from coarse, fine, to everything in between.

More importantly, the size makes it an excellent season for drawing out moisture from the meat on top of being easier to control, making the MVP in your kitchen. 

Secret Ingredient #2: High-Quality Peppercorns 

Salt only tackles half the battle when it comes to bringing out the delicious flavor profile of your dishes, but the other spice that completes the rest of the palate is fresh peppercorns. Think of pepper as the yin to salt’s yang, one that adds a bold kick to your dish. If salt brings even the most muted flavors in a meal, then pepper should create a mouth-watering “body” that complements stronger tastes like beef. 

Beyond black peppercorns, you can also play around with white peppercorns for a lightly-fermented taste. If you want to increase the richness of your food, then Malabar black peppercorns are the right choice for upping the aroma and pungency of your dishes. 

The Bottom Line: How Two Spices Can Make All the Difference in Your Culinary Pursuits

There is a world of flavors and spices worth exploring, but for aspiring home-cooks, understanding the relationship between salt and pepper can make all the difference in your culinary pursuits. Mastering salt and pepper already hones your skill in the art of seasoning, so it’s worth exploring what these simple spices can do to make every dish a gastronomic experience.

How Can Food Fire+Knives Help You?

Are you looking for ways to hone your cooking skills or discover more secret ingredients from a Chef’s pantry? Here at Food Fire+Knives, our professional chefs in Charleston offer cooking classes that can help sharpen your skills so you can recreate your favorite restaurant-grade recipes in the comfort of your home. Get in touch with us and see what our personal chefs can whip up for you!

Published By Michael Casciello