Your dirty little secrets, please.Posted by Evan Leeson on Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
Tags for this Article: cheat, fail, rescue, salvation, secret, shortcut, trick, work-around
Ok, Foodists, time to tell all. Time to lift the veil, pull back the curtain and open the kimono. What’s your favorite secret cheat in the kitchen? What’s that little product or technique that you worry would expose you as a fraud to all your sophisticated foodie friends, but you just can’t do without (and likely don’t want to)? What small deviant utensil in your otherwise authentic toolbox literally lets you have your cake and eat it too?
In light of the great tradition of showing one’s own before being shown, I’ll tell you my one cheat that I refuse to do without. I always have three jars of this stuff on hand, and using it just makes people happy. I don’t use it often, but when I do I do so with confidence and no regrets.
I use it when I am in a serious hurry, or if something has gone terribly wrong with my fond, my pan drippings, or my seasoning, and my window of happy-making is rapidly closing. I use it when I forget to thaw the stock, or forget to buy it. I use it when in spite of all my creativity and planning things are looking a little naked or dry and I remember the French insight that “it’s all in the sauce”.
What is it? Well, it is a little line of products called “Better than Bouillon” by Superior Touch. These bases are very, very tasty and concentrated. One tablespoon goes a long way in making a gravy, soup stock, sauce or seasoning a dish that just didn’t get enough time browning or caramelizing.
Superior offers the standards of all bouillon manufacturers including beef, chicken and veg (the veg is awesome), as well as clam and even lobster. No MSG. Gluten-free. Organic versions are available. 1/3 less salt than other bouillons is claimed. Sadly, the provenance of the beasties turned into paste in the processing is unknown, but the plant is in Ontario, California.
Sooo there it is. I’ll take the heat. I encourage you to try these if you haven’t. There’s no excuse for not doing things right when you can, but when you can’t or when you have a fail on your hands, these little miracles can save your, uh, sauce.
Now its your turn. Tell us your cheat. Reveal all in the comments below and we’ll see who has the best work-around, shortcut or outright cheat for saving time and reputation in the increasingly demanding kitchens of today.
The confessional is open.