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Old 08-06-2008, 12:00 PM   #1
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ISO Seasoning and Spices Info

First post here, nice to see so many good topics on the forums so far. I hope I got an okay section for this topic since it is really general.

I'm always having a hard time getting my food to have additional flavor. It doesn't seem to matter whether it is a steak, chicken, or a pasta, I can never seem to get the extras I throw in there to taste.

Are there some general guidelines for seasoning? I'm starting to just throw random things into my dishes just to see if I can get the taste.

I guess it could be something simple like not putting enough in, but I can't imagine that being it since, I think anyway, I'm putting in more than enough.

Any advice or links are welcome and I look forward to coming back here soon for help and to help.

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Old 08-06-2008, 12:10 PM   #2
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Welcome to the site. I moved this to the herbs and spices section.

Give us a little more info. What are you cooking and how are you cooking it. What are you adding and how much. When in the cooking process are you adding it? That will give us a better idea of why it is not tasting the way you want.
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Old 08-06-2008, 12:24 PM   #3
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Sorry about that, a sub- sub- forum.

Let's say chicken breasts that I'll grill. Once thawed, usually while wrapped in lukewarm water, I'll take them out rinse them, dry them off with some paper towels. Then I'll lightly rub them with some olive oil to keep them from sticking and getting the spices to stay on. Usually, I'll rub some garlic powder, dried minced onions, papirika, salt, pepper, little crushed red pepper. That is pretty standard I would assume.

As far as steaks, I'll go a little heavier with the amounts and maybe even some brown sugar.

Pasta seems to be the hardest though. I tried my own sauce a while back and failed terribly, so I'm back to the jars. Usually, I use two Bertolli alfredo with a box of Fetticuine. I'll throw in some sauted onions, mushroom, and red pepper. Even with those, though, I don't get much flavor, no matter how much I put into the pan while cooking. The alfredo sauce seems to just be right out of the jar regardless of what I put in it.

I'm sorry I can't get specific about amounts, I don't really keep track. As I look through most recipes, I always think they use too little. It is pretty safe to say I'm easily into multiple tablespoons with most of the ingredients.
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Old 08-06-2008, 12:41 PM   #4
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With the chicken, first off, never defrost in luke warm water. Defrosting in water is great, but it needs to be cold water to be safe.

What I would recommend is putting the spice mixture on ahread of time. Defrost and dry the chicken. Rub the spice mixture on 24 hours before you are going to cook. Rub a good amount on. Wrap the chicken in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for a day. If you can't do 24 hours then just do as long as you can. Even an hour or two will help. What will happen is the spices will penetrate the meat instead of just being on the outside so you will get the flavor all the way through.

You can actually do the same thing with the steaks.

When you cook up your onions, mushrooms, and peppers, make sure you are adding salt. Salt is used to bring out flavors. A lot of people either do not add it or do not use enough. Some people have medical conditions which necessitate they cut back on salt, but if that is not the case with you then try using a little more.
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Old 08-06-2008, 12:48 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips.

It certainly seems like when I do get flavor, it is just on the outside. It doesn't ever seem to be quality like at good restaurant with the flavor through out the meat. I'll try to do a bit more prep.
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Old 08-06-2008, 01:28 PM   #6
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1 - Sounds like you just need to put more on.

2 - How old are the seasonings you are using? Even dried herbs can go a little stale if they sit around too long.
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowlingshirt View Post
1 - Sounds like you just need to put more on.

2 - How old are the seasonings you are using? Even dried herbs can go a little stale if they sit around too long.
Everything I use is from the little little plastic containers you find at the store. Lawrys, McCormick, or w/e is there. None of them has been sitting around or open to the air.

More I guess is the answer, though I just thought I was already going a bit heavy. Seems like spicing up some food can get expensive...lol.
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:09 PM   #8
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The stuff you buy from stores could have been sitting around for who knows how long. You are better off buying spices from places that specialize in them. The are usually even less expensive and the quality is MUCH better.

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Old 08-06-2008, 02:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach View Post
Sorry about that, a sub- sub- forum.

Let's say chicken breasts that I'll grill. Once thawed, usually while wrapped in lukewarm water, I'll take them out rinse them, dry them off with some paper towels. Then I'll lightly rub them with some olive oil to keep them from sticking and getting the spices to stay on. Usually, I'll rub some garlic powder, dried minced onions, papirika, salt, pepper, little crushed red pepper. That is pretty standard I would assume.

As far as steaks, I'll go a little heavier with the amounts and maybe even some brown sugar.

Pasta seems to be the hardest though. I tried my own sauce a while back and failed terribly, so I'm back to the jars. Usually, I use two Bertolli alfredo with a box of Fetticuine. I'll throw in some sauted onions, mushroom, and red pepper. Even with those, though, I don't get much flavor, no matter how much I put into the pan while cooking. The alfredo sauce seems to just be right out of the jar regardless of what I put in it.

I'm sorry I can't get specific about amounts, I don't really keep track. As I look through most recipes, I always think they use too little. It is pretty safe to say I'm easily into multiple tablespoons with most of the ingredients.
In this example, how many chicken breasts do you usually make? Are they boneless or skinless? Bone-in chicken has more flavor, IMO. I personally prefer skin-on chicken, but this can prevent seasonings from penetrating the meat. To get around this, you can gently loosen the skin, but don't detach it, and rub seasonings directly on the meat, then let it sit in the fridge for a while, as GB suggested. HTH.
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:13 PM   #10
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All the chicken I cook is boneless breasts, probably 2-4 halves. I don't like chicken skin and it really is too fatty for my want. I'd rather go nuts with the ice cream and brownies than chicken skin, unless we're doing battered fried chicken.

I'll definitely try the overnight technique. See if I can get some flavor to penetrate and stay inside the chicken once done.
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