It’s easy to get stuck in a cooking rut. You come home from work late, you cook up a chicken breast with some vegetables, you sit down in front of Netflix, and there goes your night.
The key is to create variation in your food with new techniques, flavors, and ingredients. We recently spoke to a handful of chefs throughout the country, who told us their personal favorite ingredients to cook with. From basics like olive oil and soup stock to more exotic things like pink peppercorns and Kaffir lime leaves, their advice will remind you that cooking is a creative art — have fun! Play!
Tim Griffin, Brick House Tavern + Tap
Stock: “Throughout global cuisines, stocks are utilized as a foundation for table-fare and a way to be resourceful with all the parts of animals and plants. At home, I make stock each week and turn them into soups, reductions, and sauces.”
Garlic: “Pungent, sweet, roasted, black garlic and even burnt. Acidic, pungent, spicy. A little bit can really balance out a dish. Also, it’s good to keep vampires away.”
Wine: “I grew up in a house with a little sign on the wall that said, ‘I love cooking with wine and sometimes I put it in the food.’ Wine is great to balance out dishes by adding sweetness, tannic notes and acidity. Oaked wines can add smoky characteristics and vanillin. Old vine wines can add prune and raisin notes.”