Cooking is an investment of time and money. The goal is getting the maximum return on that investment. Timing and temperatures are one thing, taste is another. Don’t be afraid of salt. Not now, not ever. “Season everything” are the first words you learn in a kitchen. Whether all chefs remember that mantra is another thing.
Vegan food gets a bad wrap because growing up every dish had meat in it. Every burger, every pizza, every pie. But it wasn’t the meat tantalizing our pallets, it was the seasonings throughout the dish that encouraged our cravings.
In this series I’ll be peeling back the culinary curtain and walking you through some of the tricks that make that Chimichuri Eye fillet cost $35. And the reason we love mexican food.
Seasoning doesn’t start and finish with just salt and pepper. There is a whole world of flavour to make your #foodporn taste as good as it looks. Lets make vegan taste great.
How To Make Vegan Food Taste Like Meat
"When in doubt, add cumin."
An old joke thrown around in the back of every restaurant. We laugh, but only because its true. Cumin is the concealer of seasonings. If it doesn’t taste better, add some lime zest and juice. IF THAT doesn’t work, start again.
Got a surplus of beetroot bolognese but no zucchini noodles or truffle cabbage to have it with? Add cumin, spinach, tomato, gluten free corn chips of choice and some capsicum. Call it a Taco Bowl.
Too true Stan, too true.
Paprika is perhaps the underdog of the seasoning world. Often over shadowed by its street wise brother, Smoked Paprika. Sweet Paprika as its called, can really fill in empty spaces in a dishes over all sensation on the pallet.
Here’s a tip to help you remember which seasoning to use when:
“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire”
“Make it sweat, make it sweet”
If its being roasted or BBQ’d use smoked paprika. This helps release the actual smokey flavour instead of just tasting like bitter sand.
If its getting baked, or in a pan sweating out; use sweet paprika, this adds more of a caramelised capsicum note to the dish.
Cumin and paprika are big players in South American cuisine. With a balanced dose of these 2 cholos you could make all vegan dishes taste like meat. Substitute any meat for a been or sweet potato or even cauliflower and still have the perfect burrito or quesadilla.