A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Spice Pastes and Gravy Enhancers

Is this cheating? We had a lovely tofu curry last night (red curry paste, coconut milk, onions, carrots, cashews, and baked tofu squares.) I use Thai curry paste, both red and green, for some curries, although I have also made many curries from scratch.

The same goes for Mexican mole dishes. I have laboriously made the traditional chocolate-and chile sauce for turkey Mole Poblano, and I have also used the spice paste pictured here.

In a slightly different category, my extended family frequently uses chicken bouillon granules to beef up (ha!) a soup or sauce. Grammy used something called Gravy Master, and I know we used to have some dark, evil bottle of Kitchen Bouquet at one time. Many people can't cook without a bottle of Maggi seasoning around.

Do you have a dirty secret--Tomato soup? Worcestershire Sauce?


Eva said...

Great post! Herdez Salsa Verde is a secret filler ingredient in various salsas and dressings around our house. It's tart and fresh tasting and seems to round things out just right.

I also have a real dependency on Pacific Natural Foods Free Range Low Sodium Chicken Broth. Every few months it's on sale at the local health food store for $2 a carton, so I buy a whole bunch and use it in everything. It tastes real -- not at all like regular canned chicken broth. It goes in sauces, soups, some dressings -- everywhere.

David Wade, the Edison of the cookbook, a wonderful/terrible old TV chef of whom I am something of a scholar, used two such filler ingredients constantly: MSG powder and Worcestershire powder (his own brand). Oh, you just wait until I get my David Wade site up and running. Many horrors await.

Anonymous said...

There's a bunch of Thai cooking videos in this website you can watch to learn to cook Thai food

Kris said...

I forgot to mention a very critical additive: generic bottled balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing. In the past I used "Italian" dressing, but I'm all up to date now.