Tip of the Week: Big Flavors, Little Time

This may be one of the most useful things that I have learned since I have started cooking! It always seems like I’m in a hurry to prepare lunch or meals for myself. That used to mean I wasn’t able to develop flavors quickly enough for something satisfying. I have learned a trick to creating deep and well blended flavors in a matter of minutes with this simple tip!

I used to think that spices needed to cook for hours to develop their full flavors. To a certain extent, that is true. There is a way to get pretty darn close without all of the time. I will heat a pan and toast my spices. I have done this with and without oil, but I prefer using a bit of olive or coconut oil. This allows the spices to heat up and release all of their oils and flavors in a much shorter time than simmering. A lot of times, I will sweat garlic and onions, then add in the spices and cook for another 5-10 minutes. This does a couple of different things. First it starts to cook out the raw flavor of the spices. Then, it helps everything blend together with the rest of the aromatics.

More often than not, I will be so crunched for time that I will cook on high heat to expedite the cooking process. It doesn’t necessarily work for everything, but I do it more than I like to admit. This tip is really useful in times like those! I get the flavors and textures I desire in a half hour or less!

If I didn’t know about this simple trick, I don’t know how I would prepare some of the meals that I do. I must admit that it isn’t the solution for everything, nor is it always better than simmering a pot of soup for hours, but it is a great solution for people who want to pack as much flavor into a dish in a short amount of time!

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