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Old 08-16-2006, 01:28 PM   #1
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Do you have a secret ingredient?

Or maybe you picked up a little trick you'd like to share. I, for instance, put a teaspoon of cinnamon in my scratch chocolate cake recipe. I just did it one day and, "wow". Been doin' it ever since. Care to share?

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Old 08-16-2006, 01:37 PM   #2
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Soy sauce.

It gives savory food Umami

I put it in almost everything.
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:37 PM   #3
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Used to be I would put Old Bay on lots of things. It's great on hash browns.
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:49 PM   #4
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well, it's a secret....


use left over coffee in gravy. Good stuff.
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:53 PM   #5
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While it's definitely not what I'd call a "secret" ingredient, I have to say that I find a squeeze of fresh lemon (or sometimes lime) juice adds just the right "something" to many many different things - both sweet & savory. I go through a lot of both.

What's more of a "secret" ingredient for me would be the addition of good-quality canned anchovies to many Italian dishes & vegetable sautes. Chopped/minced & added to sauces, olive oil when sauteeing, salad dressings, etc., it adds a wonderful depth of flavor that even folks who claim to hate anchovies like.
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:53 PM   #6
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maybe not so secret, but I like to put a little powdered ginger in my peach desserts.

love all the ideas above.
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
What's more of a "secret" ingredient for me would be the addition of good-quality canned anchovies to many Italian dishes & vegetable sautes. Chopped/minced & added to sauces, olive oil when sauteeing, salad dressings, etc., it adds a wonderful depth of flavor that even folks who claim to hate anchovies like.
ANCHOVIES! I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF THEM!!

Anchovies add umami, also. I, too, like to sneak them into things like salad dressing -- especially when people claim to not like them.
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Old 08-16-2006, 04:34 PM   #8
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dried celery leaves

during the gardening season, I dry the leaves from my celery stalks. Blanch for 1 1/2 minutes and dry in a food dehydrator. You could use store bought celery, but the flavor will not be nearly as intense as home grown celery. I use it in the winter sprinkled in most soups, in meatloaf, on scramble eggs, in potato salad and egg salad, it is a must for potato soup and corn chowder. Adds a nice flavor to dishes. And it keeps me from having to purchase celery out of season .
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Old 08-16-2006, 04:42 PM   #9
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I use a tiny pinch of freshly ground nutmeg in my cheesy creations.
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Old 08-16-2006, 04:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
While it's definitely not what I'd call a "secret" ingredient, I have to say that I find a squeeze of fresh lemon (or sometimes lime) juice adds just the right "something" to many many different things - both sweet & savory. I go through a lot of both.
I too put lime in a lot of things. It can really brighten up a savory dish. If a recipe calls for lemon more times than not I substitute lime - especially in cocktail sauce. A lot of soups I order in a restaurant lack something - I usually just ask for some lemon or lime and add it - it works especially well for tomato florentine or a Mexican/tortilla soup.

I consider lime juice my secret ingredient in my pesto - it really perks up the flavor.
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