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Old 03-09-2008, 10:14 AM   #1
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Combining acids & aromatics, etc.?

I was watching the Food Channel a couple of days ago, and there was a guy on there saying something about all you need to do to cook is combine an acid (vinegar or wine, etc.) with an aromatic (onion, etc) with ??? and you'll have something delicious. These weren't his exact words but something to that effect. I tried Googling for more info but couldn't find anything.

I would love to learn more about this. I'm doing Weight Watchers Core program and would love to combine what I'm allowed to eat, make things taste good and try new things but yet keep it simple for a busy schedule. I'm tired of their recipes. This guy made it sound so simple.

Can anyone recommend a book or a website or something I could read to learn more about this? Any advice would be appreciated.

Diane

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Old 03-09-2008, 04:58 PM   #2
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I don't think this person was talking about an actual "technique". I could be wrong though

It's just a way to cook with many options. White wine with fresh rosemary makes GREAT chicken (with the addition of kalamata olives, chopped tomatoes, etc.); vinegar combined with bay (also garlic and peppercorns) results in Adobo chicken OR pork; buttermilk and rosemary make a great marinade for chicken or chops; red wine and thyme make a great chicken stew (sure with other things thrown in) - I wish I could find the reference though - it may shed some light on what was actually in this person's mind.
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Old 03-09-2008, 05:53 PM   #3
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diane, i have NO idea if this is indeed the show you're watching, but it sounds pretty darn close:

EA1G08: The Pouch Principal

that's a link to alton brown's "good eats" show, the episode is called "the pouch principle". he mentions, near the end of the show, that the easy method for doing this stuff is to pick a meat/fish, then an aromatic, maybe a veggie, some spices, wrap them up in the pouch, bake for a little while, and poof all done. the char he uses to pick these things is near the bottom of the link in there called "transcript", which is indeed a word-for-word of the show, so you can determine if this was what you were watching.

even if it wasn't pouch cooking is very low-fat, and should offer you a lot of alternatives to the crappy ww recipes. good luck!
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:05 PM   #4
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Kitchenelf, I wasn't sure where to post this question. I thought maybe it would be considered a technique for creating my own recipes. If an administrator feels differently, I won't be offended if the thread is moved or if someone wants me to go to another forum.

Fireweaver, That wasn't the show I was watching. It looks interesting though. I'll read more.

I found some library books I'm interested in. I'm not interested in recipe books but learning techniques and how to create my own recipes.

I have a lot to learn. I guess I'm what you would call...culinarily challenged. :-D

Thank you both for
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:16 PM   #5
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This could certainly be a technique and is fine just where it is - and I'm not sure why I confused aromatic with some herb, or spice

If you find out where you heard this please post a link.
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:47 PM   #6
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I used to have a chart from Family Circle magazine (it's around here somewhere, misplaced during the kitchen renovation last year) that showed how to combine ingredients for the primary flavors of different cuisines. Add meat and veggies to taste.

Here is something I pieced together that might be what you're talking about. This is just a guideline with basic ingredients to choose from - you don't have to use them all, and these cuisines have lots of other flavors as well, but it might get you started.

French
------------
Saute shallots or onions and garlic with olive oil or butter,
season with herbs such as parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary, Herbes de Provence,
add red or white wine, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or white wine vinegar,
finish with cream or butter.

Italian
------------------
Saute onions and garlic in olive oil,
season with basil, oregano, sage or parsley,
add red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar, or red or white wine,
finish with Parmesan cheese.

Mexican
--------------------
Saute onions and garlic in corn oil,
season with Mexican oregano, cumin, and chile peppers,
finish with cilantro and crema.

Thai
-----------------
Saute shallots, ginger or galangal and garlic in peanut oil,
season with kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, cilantro, turmeric, cumin, and Thai basil,
add chiles, chile paste, fish sauce and coconut milk.

Chinese
----------------
Saute onions, garlic and ginger in peanut oil,
season with coriander, chiles, Szechuan peppercorns, five-spice powder, star anise,
add rice vinegar, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce or soy sauce,
finish with sesame oil.

Greek
-----------------
Saute onions and garlic in olive oil,
season with oregano, parsley, mint and dill,
add wine or lemon juice,
finish with feta cheese.

Middle Eastern
---------------------
Saute onions and garlic in olive oil,
season with coriander, turmeric, parsley, cumin, cardamom, sumac, cinnamon,
add tahini or lemon juice,
finish with feta cheese.
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:19 PM   #7
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GotGarlic,

Thank you! That's a huge help. A chart of what blends well together is wonderful. That will definitely get me started and then I can expand on it as I read more. Last night when I googled "blending flavors" I got hits, whereas before I didn't, so I think I could have worded my question better, but like I said, I'm culinarily challenged and have a lot to learn. :-D

I copied your chart in MS Word and will print it off and keep it in the kitchen.

Thank you!!!
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:34 PM   #8
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Great - I'm glad I could help
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