For most home cooks, using a French coffee press to create a tasty soup broth, a panini press to “grill” meat or a microwave to make a delicious custard might seem unconventional. However, during a time of year when many are cooking warm, comforting meals inside their kitchens, these ideas on making the most of small appliances and available ingredients start to make perfect sense.
“Pressure cookers are becoming a popular kitchen tool — you see them everywhere,” said Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “Many people, however, might not know what to do with one — or that it’s actually really easy to get different kinds of flavors and meals from it.”
He continued, “Cooking in 2014 and beyond is going to be about maximizing the appliances you have on hand and using ingredients in multipurpose, creative ways to get the big flavors we all crave. For example, there’s a good chance you have something as simple and affordable as tea in your kitchen cabinets — did you ever think about using it as a cooking liquid, a savory spice rub or even adding it to a marinade?”
According to Vetter, these tips and others like them were inspired by the Clever Compact Cooking trend from McCormick’s Flavor Forecast 2014: 125th Anniversary Edition. The trend, which highlights the inventive ways home cooks are creating bold flavor, has helped cultivate a new kind of cooking — and a thoughtful, efficient way to explore flavors — relevant in all kitchens everywhere.
New ways to create big flavors
Savory steep — Make Vegetable “Pho” with Tea Broth using a French coffee press. It’s the perfect base for a vegetable version of Vietnamese pho, a comforting noodle soup.
Microwavable desserts — Prepare Easy Lemon Tea-Infused Custard with Candied Apricots in individual serving cups in the microwave. The bright flavor from the lemon tea is perfectly complemented by ground ginger and candied apricots.
Pressure cooking 2.0 — Cook Cajun Spiced Chicken Risotto in a pressure cooker for a creamy dish with just the right bite to the rice; no stirring needed. Or, make Corn Chowder with Smoked Tea and Chorizo in about 30 minutes.
Indoor grilling — Grill Tea-Rubbed Pork Chops seasoned with ground black tea, Chinese Five Spice and grated orange peel on a Panini press for big, grilled flavor any time of the year. A crisp citrus broccoli slaw balances the intense flavor of the pork.
One Pot Wonders — Using one pot for Greek Spaghetti requires a small amount of water and no draining! Greek mountain tea and oregano build the foundation for a Greek-style sauce with feta cheese and Kalamata olives.
Visit FlavorForecast.com for more flavors, trends and recipes to try in 2014.