There are so many phobias, most of the popular ones have been named, some still haven’t. There is one that many, many people have yet seems not to have a name; the fear of recipes!
Let’s face it, we watch a celebrity chef cook the most beautiful looking meal with amazing color, we download the recipe, scan through it and give up! It is not that we don’t want to recreate the colors, textures, smells and taste of the recipe, it is just that as we read down, we realize how many components there are to make it right, especially the list of herbs and spices.
At this point you have three options: give up, leave out ingredients or cheat! If you give up, worst case scenario you go hungry best case scenario you satisfy your craving by getting a take-out! If you leave out ingredients either because the list scares you or your very well stocked and barely used and past its sell by date collection of spices does not include one or two vital ingredients, you are disappointed that it does not have that rich taste and flavor. Finally if you cheat, you will hopefully gain a rich flavor, taste and color and let’s face it, who will ever know?
The question is, what is the best way to cheat without just buying a take-out or ready meal? There are three options: ready made sauces and spreads, dried herb mixes or flash frozen herb mixes.
Ready made sauces and spreads are the easiest option. The majority of recipes concentrate their flavor and color in the sauce. All you need to do is, pop the jar open, pour on and that is it. A simple bland pasta becomes a real treat with no effort whatsoever and an ordinary sandwich becomes zesty and delicious. This cheat is great but many people feel the guilt in knowing that they really did not create the dish themselves and this comes to the forefront when a dinner guest says “Wow, you are a great cook, you must give me the recipe!”
The older, and possibly more versatile cheat aredried herbs. We can keep this in our pantry for years, way past their freshness. It can be used in both sauces and as a rub. There are so many varieties: mixed spice (what is even in it?) Italian seasoning, barbecue, the list goes on. This is a great mid-way cheat. You can definitely claim ownership over the culinary creation but the quality of the dried herbs is not great. They are not so fresh and don’t give such great flavor or color.
The new cheat on the block are flash frozen herb cubes. We all know for ultimate flavor and color we should be grabbing a bunch of oregano from our gardens and roughly chopping it with our very large knife and then adding it to our recipe. In reality we grow these herbs and they die, we don’t have the right ones and we can’t be bothered! However, we still want herbs that look, taste, smell and feel fresh but are convenient. Companies such as SuperCubes do the hard work for us, they flash freeze them whilst they are fresh in portion sized cubes. All we need to do is pop a cube or two straight into our dish. They come as individual herbs or for those really complicated dishes as combinations.
It is easy to cheat when using herbs in dishes. The biggest cheat, the ready made sauce is great if you are not entertaining and feeling really lazy. Jars of dried herbs and spices are convenient but are really not fresh. The new solution that is both convenient, fresh and allows you to claim full responsibility for your cooking are the flash frozen cubes.