Creating what Chef Shelley calls “levels of interest” enhances any kind of cuisine, giving it complexity and a bigger taste. In making soup, for example, she illustrates: “You can chop onions, carrots, and potatoes, and then add seasonings to your pot and boil it, but it won’t be as complex as if you sauté the onions, carrots, and some garlic, and then put it all in the pot. Now I’m layering the flavor. It doesn’t make cooking the soup any harder, but it makes it a lot tastier.”
For another flavor tip, Chef Shelley urges cooks to consider these elements—salt, sour, bitter, and sweet—when preparing a dish. “If you include these four flavors in most of the things you cook, or at least two or three of them, the dishes will be more flavorful, more complex.” In her Spaghetti Squash with Spiced Pecans and Gorgonzola (pictured above; see Recipes for method), the squash is sweet, the lemon juice sour, the cheese salty, and the pecans add a spicy kick. “Now that’s flavor-packed,” Chef Shelley pronounces.
For recipes from The Chopping Block, click here.