Three Simple Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Ingredients
HERE ARE THREE TIPS TO HELP YOU MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR INGREDIENTS.
JUST ‘PESTO’ IT
Don’t get stumped by not having the traditional pesto ingredients. Instead, use what you have on hand. Think of a pesto as a technique, says Chef Chandler Rothbard. Grab some oil, think about what you want to blend in, ask yourself if you want the spiciness of garlic (it’s OK to leave it out), add nuts or seeds, some salt and some citrus zest or other acid. To achieve a vibrant green pesto, start with cold greens and blend them with a little oil. Then add the remaining ingredients and con-tinue to blend, trying to minimize the amount of time you process them while reaching the desired consistency.
A good standard brine formula to quick pickle vegetables is 3 parts water, 2 parts vinegar, 1 part sugar. This formula results in sweeter pickles, says Chef Justin Yu, so you may want to adjust for a less sweet taste. Place your vegetables into a glass jar, boil liquid with spices and pour it on top of whatever you’re trying to pickle. Let cool, cover and chill.
INTENSIFY FLAVORS WITH REDUCTIONS
One of the simplest ways to boost your food’s flavor is by reducing liquids, such as stock, by boiling or simmering. This creates a concentrated flavor and adds complexity to your food. A vegetable stock prepared with scraps, for instance, can be reduced and frozen in an ice cube tray, says Peder-sen, then added to food for an extra layer of flavor. Don’t stop with stock. Have leftover white wine? Reduce it and use it to season your foods.