When I was growing up I was taught that a secret is a secret and you never share it, pinky-swear. When my best friend told me she had a crush on the boy down the street and made me triple-promise not to say anything to anyone, to this day I have never broken that promise.
But growing older I learned that it’s okay to share a secret once in awhile. When you get blamed for eating the last cookie and it was your brother who took the last cookie from the cookie jar, or who sipped the milk right out of the carton.
I run the Test Kitchen here at Mr. Food, and think it’s okay to share some of our kitchen secrets. Secrets like, how to tell if your baking powder is still fresh before you use it, so that you don’t have to throw out your cake when it doesn’t rise. Secrets like that are meant to be shared.
One ingredient that I feel is my secret weapon in a lot of what I cook has to be…
Chicken broth. It does a whole lot more than serve as the base of many of our favorite soups. For instance, it’s what makes my cream sauce have flavor rather than being boring. It delivers the punch to my mashed potatoes, pasta dishes, and stir-fry’s without adding all the fat and calories. That’s right, you can sauté foods like veggies and meat in chicken broth rather than butter and oil, can you believe it? And most of us know by now that we can use it to cook grains like rice, as it gives much more flavor than water alone. Yep, it’s a necessary ingredient when making risotto, shown above in the picture.
Hope my secret ingredient (not so secret anymore) will help you flavor up some of your favorite recipes. But I’m still not going to tell you who my friend had a crush on…I just won’t!
Do you have any secret ingredients or cooking tips you’d like to share? We’re always eager to learn more about how you cook at home, so please tell us below.