Creative: Three Flavor Sensations
Turn everyday meals into restaurant-quality
sensations with these three simple twists on onions, garlic and
peppers. Once you master these simple ingredients, you�ll find you can
use them in all sorts of culinary creations, from sauces to relishes
to vinaigrettes. Give these three flavor sensations a try. You�ll be
amazed at how often you turn to them!
Why: Caramelizing onions turns this
eye-stinging cooking staple into a sweet, buttery, almost nutty
flavored condiment. The rich, deep brown onions are great on pizza,
grilled meats, or stirred into sauces and dips, they�re an astounding
addition to blue cheese dip!
How: Heat a large saut� pan over
medium-low. Add a few tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil and then
plenty of sliced onions; they�ll shrink down a lot so start with at
least 4 cups. Lightly salt the onions (to draw out moisture) and cook
over low heat, stirring occasionally. As the onions cook, they release
natural sugars and will begin to turn a deep golden color. Low heat is
key to this process, it may take up to 30 minutes but it�s well worth
the time. Refrigerate the onions for up to one week or freeze for up
to one month.
Why: If you like garlic, you�ll
love it roasted. Even if you don�t, you might be surprised to find
that you have a taste for it when it�s roasted. Roasting mellows the
bite of fresh garlic, creating a rich, almost sweet condiment that can
be added to almost anything. Try it in mashed potatoes, mayonnaise,
sauces, salad dressings, butters, on pizzas, or simply spread onto
How: Take whole heads of fresh
garlic and cut off the tops just to expose the cloves. Drizzle a
couple of tablespoons of olive oil into the cut part of the garlic
head, then wrap in aluminum foil. Roast in a preheated 350� F. oven
for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the cloves are soft when pierced
with a knife. Unwrap the garlic and allow it to cool enough to handle,
then remove the cloves from their papery shell by squeezing the whole
head so the cloves slide out of the cut opening in the top.
Refrigerate garlic for up to one week or freeze for up to one month.
Why: Roasting peppers not only
separates the tough skin from the flesh but it brings out the pepper�s
flavor by concentrating its natural sugars. There are endless
possibilities for roasted peppers. Use them to top pizzas and salads,
or add them to Mediterranean-style sauces and relishes.
How: Place the peppers on a baking
sheet and roast in an oven preheated to 400� F. for 30 minutes,
turning a couple of times during roasting. When the peppers are soft,
remove them from the oven, place in a plastic bag, and let stand for
at least 10 minutes. They will steam in the bag, and it will help
loosen the skin further. Simply peel off the skin with your fingers,
but don�t be tempted to rinse the peppers as you peel; doing that will
just wash off the flavorful oils. Refrigerate roasted peppers for up
to one week or freeze for up to one month.
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