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Bonus Blog: Layered Seasoning, More Flavour!!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

I was sceptical about this article from last week's Globe and Mail which advises that we should use MORE salt when cooking.

MORE SALT? Heresy, really. We're supposed to be reducing sodium, Harrumph!! Blood pressure, doncha know??

But . . . the food professional chefs make tastes better. (Talking serious cuisine here, not fast food natch: not the unholy triumvirate of salt, fat, sugar: no no no).

So I went out to dinner with DH on Wednesday night: had pecan crusted chicken with a wonderful cranberry coulis and bitter greens . . . and a flourless chocolate cake with strawberry and triple sec cream Mmmmm. Worth every calorie.

And I was noticing the balance of flavours, the layering of flavours. And remembering the Globe article. And thinking about how much I loved last week's "soup o' the week", my minestrone. But also thinking about how I could punch up the flavour by cooking more like a chef.

So: today I made minestrone again.

But this time I used more pinches of flaky sea salt at every stage of the cooking process. (Sea salt has less sodium and more flavouring power, apparently).

And: I added some "bitter" with thinly sliced brussels sprouts.

Plus: I added some "acid" with balsamic vinegar.

Kept the umami: Parmesan and mushrooms for that meaty lip-smacking savouriness.

You know what? I'm thinking that this week's minestrone is even better than last week's. The flavour is layered, intense: not more calories, not more salt overall . . . just a different approach.
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