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Don't tell anyone, but when I cook I use...


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Lawry's Seasoned Salt.

A funny thing happened: We were in a diner and someone at our table said they had the "best home fries ever." I took a taste and said, "Tastes like Lawry's Seasoned Salt," which was used liberally in my home growing up. The waitress told me I had a great sense of taste (I guessed the secret ingredient!). I forgot how good that stuff can be when used appropriately. It has been given new life in my kitchen.

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Ground Dried Mushrooms.....never heard of it.....a brand or photo of package Please.

I buy dried wild mushrooms from Costco. Then I grind them in the coffee grinder I use for spices. I throw them in a LOT of stuff - homemade hamburgers, meat loaf, gravies, sauces, pretty much anything that needs that extra flavor.

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Nutritional yeast... a little 1970s granola, but a good way to add a savory element and cheesy flavor to non-dairy or vegan dishes without cheese. I rarely use it when cooking for guests, but I will occasionally sneak it in.

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Knorr chicken or beef stock powder.

The chicken for me - BIG ( 1 kg) jar in the cupboard - sometimes it is just the thing to bring it all together

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Ground Dried Mushrooms. I also use garlic powder and onion powder. And I use eel sauce anytime someone else would use steak sauce or bbq sauce - say in homemade hamburgers or meatloaf. Don't tell my daughter. The idea of eating eel sauce makes her want to hurl.

Eel sauce? sounds quite interesting. Brand name or source?

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I have been known to be the gravy lady for a number of women who are petrified about the Thanksgiving turkey gravy. I make turkey stock ahead of time with roasted wings and necks, but I finish it with....Campbells Golden Mushroom soup and a touch of sour cream or cream. No threat of clumping on reheat and it adds some depth. I have never tasted this stuff in any other application. The ladies have no clue - they are just happy that their families are happy and that the stress level is way low.

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Lawry's Seasoned Salt.

A funny thing happened: We were in a diner and someone at our table said they had the "best home fries ever." I took a taste and said, "Tastes like Lawry's Seasoned Salt," which was used liberally in my home growing up. The waitress told me I had a great sense of taste (I guessed the secret ingredient!). I forgot how good that stuff can be when used appropriately. It has been given new life in my kitchen.

This reminds me of the Hy's Seasoning Salt that I keep for seasoning steak, meatloaf, chili and chicken.

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The Almighty Vegeta.

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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Better Than Bouillon is my "secret ingredient" in many things. I've kept mine in the fridge for several weeks (never lasts much longer than that), but I always use a clean spoon for every dip so as to introduce no contaminates. I will also sneak anchovies into many dishes to give it a little umami.

Brenda

I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

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I'm not "ashamed" to use anything I think will work, from seasoning mixes to ketchup and anything in between. Sometimes a squirt of Heinz is just what rounds out a tomato sauce, even if it's one made from glorious freshly picked still warm from the sun batch. In the end, it's just tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, a couple spices.

Balsamic or rice vinegar go in many things as well.

Smoked paprika, mostly for the smoky taste.

My favorite salad right now is raw kale (just the curly parts) and broccoli tops with a sauce made of about 1/2 thousand island, 1/4 olive oil and 1/4 balsamic vinegar.

I never use campbell soups, but that's pretty much only because I did not grow up around them and have no idea which one can be use in what way. I'd use them in no time if I'd think they'd work, but I rarely make things with thick sauces or gravy.

Reading about pure MSG makes me want to run out and get some of that as well, I know no shame in the kitchen :cool:

I don't run a fine dining restaurant, what ever works will be used (and fine dining restaurants probably use all kinds of shortcuts as well, why not?).

Of course within reason, I'd not use some cheap crap on a $30 steak, :laugh:

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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eel sauce:

roast eel heads and spines until they are golden brown and cripy. it a pot combine real mirin and soy sauce (and when I say soy sauce I mean for example kikkoman koikuchi shoyu) in a ratio of 1:1. Add the roasted eel parts and reduce to half the volume on a low simmer strain, chill, and refrigerate.

This is for real "eel sauce". The sauce that is used when roasting eels. To make what is known in America as eel sauce you can thicken this recipe with cornstarch slurry at the end of the simmering.

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Interesting comments.

Many talk about sneaking in some added savoriness with some form of umami hit.

I don't tell when I add refined white sugar or white vinegar.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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