I believe that using of two or three basic ingredients is enough to cook a great tasting dinner. For me, it is important to choose the right combination of the ingredients and use the fresh ingredients always. Hard to say which one is the number one ingredient used in my kitchen. All they are important and helping me to cook the perfect quality dinners.
I start to cook the most of my dishes with using a good quality olive oil. I preferably use greek or a spanish olive oil. I use an olive oil to cook or bake chicken, beef and fish or simply to drizzle the salad or dish right before the serving. To finish a salad or pasta it is good to use a lighter, extra virgin olive oil. To make fish or meat it is better to use an olive with more distinctive taste.
Tomatoes are a special ingredient’s category for me. I use tomatoes to cook a plenty of pasta sauces, different curry dishes. Either fresh or those canned, whole, peeled plum tomatoes can be cooked in many different ways. I also love to use a cherry tomatoes, simply halved to make a fresh tomato and onion salad or to cook a fresh and easy tomato pasta sauce.
I use them a lot to add special spicy touch to my dishes. Both fresh and dried are great to use for cooking. If I want to make a milder tasting dish I deseed them usually. To make the dish tasting more spicy I cook the whole fresh chilli pepper usually.
Garlic has its specific taste and aroma. You can smell the garlic all around the house, once something is cooking in the kitchen. To add a special taste to the dish, I use one garlic clove usually. I don’t like if the garlic adds a distinctive taste to the dish too much. In the Asian dishes, especially curries, there is a need to add more garlic usually.
I use a plenty of fresh vegetables in my kitchen. My most favorite are zucchini, shallots, spring onions and red, yellow or green bell peppers, carrots, broccoli and pumpkin. I cook them in the sauces or simply grill on the pan with a button mushrooms to serve as a side dish. I also make a different kinds of fresh vegetable salads using the fresh green leaf salad, rocket or cherry tomatoes.
Fresh Fish and Chicken
I prefer using a fresh chicken and fish instead of frozen. The difference in the taste and quality of prepared dish is remarkable. Fresh chicken breasts tend to be much more juicy and tender once cooked or grilled.
I most often prepare my dinners from fish or chicken. Both fish and chicken are rich in proteins and low in fat.
Nutritionists recommend that we should have a fish at least three times a week. Fish is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which can help to prevent the heart disease.
I use many kinds of cheeses to prepare dishes in my kitchen. The parmesan cheese is probably one of the most often used. I use it to prepare a homemade basil pesto. I always use a freshly grated parmesan cheese to sprinkle over the top of the most pasta dishes.
I prefer a cooking of not too much spicy dishes. Some dishes deserve using a mix of many spices to reach the right and delicious taste. Also there are dishes which don’t require using a lot of spices to enhance its specific taste. I mostly use freshly ground black or red pepper, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, curry powder and red chilli flakes.
Freshly chopped herbs like a leaf parsley, coriander, dill, chives or basil leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals. Adding them at the end of cooking, right before serving, adds a special aroma and taste to each dish.