Flavours are essential for good food
Mid January, winter has now arrived, it's a longtime to payday so I think we need some home comfort and that for me means a cosy home, a warm drink and a hearty, tasty, healthy yet not pricey delicious meal. There's nothing more reassuring when you are out in the cold than knowing there is a tasty plate to come home to.
However, how often have you decided that – you know what ! I am going to have a day off. I won't cook today – we'll go out. The anticipation is great – something to look forward to, maybe meet some friends and an opportunity to wear that new top. Another bonus too is that you can choose exactly what you fancy. Disappointingly – and I don't say this lightly. How often is the meal a let down ? I can forgive not the best service if in the end I am presented with an honest, flavoursome plate of food. However flavour is so often missing !
What though is flavour ? What does it mean ? If food with no flavour is described as bland and flat then a plate of food full of flavour is a bit like a good film – it has a beginning, a middle and a good ending. It has a couple of surprises and leaves you feeling satisfied and wanting to know more about the main characters.
Flavour of course is more than just taste. Our tongue gives us the ability to recognise salt, sour, bitter, sweet and savoury but flavour is much more. Our sense of flavour comes from receptors found in our nose. We smell and also see our food and this helps to layer up what we describe as flavour. Many people recognise spice and flavour used in Far Eastern cuisine but in the West we also use a wide variety of herbs and good stocks to enhance the flavour.
When I am preparing food this layering up is used to develop and build up flavour. I love it ! I never cease to be thrilled by the development of flavour using different ingredients, seasonings, stocks, cooking methods and presentations.
This week I give you my Cottage Pie recipe. Of course a cottage pie can be knocked up quickly but with a bit more time and attention to detail you can enjoy the perfect cottage pie – fit for a king.
Take two days to make this delicious dish. I know that seems a lot of work – it isn't. It's quality and the recipe makes enough for three family meals so freeze some for later. This recipe is gluten free but use plain flour instead of rice flour if you prefer.
Enjoy this very cold week readers x
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