If you’re having trouble finding the best ways to create meals for your friends and family, it may simply be a matter of finding the right ingredients. When applied appropriately, the right spices and additives can turn any meal from bland to fantastic.
You won’t even need to make sweeping changes to your recipes. By simply adding a pinch of the right flavorful spice, the people you’re serving will instantly be engrossed in your food. Here are a few ideas that amateur chefs can use to bring a certain kick to their meals.
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Pepper jelly is a less common condiment to use for your meals, but that just means your food will be all the more unique for using it. Pepper jelly, as the name suggests, is made from certain types of peppers, meaning its flavor provides a combination of the sweet, tangy taste that grape jelly provides and a hotter spicier variety that you might find with meat basters.
Use this to add a signature taste to your chicken or fish dishes. You don’t even have to make it yourself; it’s easy to buy pepper jelly online, so what are you waiting for?
Plenty of chefs use nutmeg to sweeten their baked goods, and it’s easy to see why. Nutmeg is a classic baking spice but can be freshly grated into cream sauces, custard, eggnogs, whipped cream, roasted vegetable dishes, stewed greens or infuse ground nutmeg into mulling spices, tea, or coffee.
It’s versatile enough to be used in anything that could use a sweet touch but recognizable enough that you can almost always feel its impact, even in a dish with several flavors mixed in. Nutmeg is especially great for drinks or sauces, so don’t be afraid to experiment with it.
There are several types of cinnamon that can liven up your dishes. Vietnamese cinnamon is globally renowned for its high oil content and strong, spicy flavor. Most known in the US as a perfect complement to baked goods like apple pie, cakes, muffins, and cinnamon rolls, cinnamon paired with chiles is incredible in its own right.
If you’re eager to try something new, add a teaspoon of cinnamon to your morning coffee, as it goes great with pumpkin spice or cold brew. Just don’t eat it all at once, as tempting as that can sometimes be.
Madras Curry Powder
Chances are, you know what curry is and how it can alter your meal’s taste and consistency. It’s a common popular spice for a reason, after all. Madras Curry powder specifically is perhaps the best variety of spice for amateur chefs to use, as its milder taste and earthy texture make it easy to add to any dish that needs a small dose of heat.
Not only that, but it’s salt-free, so if you’re concerned about what sodium will do for you or your guests’ blood, this is a great flavor to add to any dish you can.