Seasoning and sauces are essential for taking average dishes and making them something special. If you choose the right seasonings or sauces, you can truly make something unique. But what if you’re on a budget or don’t have access to more exotic spices? Luckily, there are plenty of ways to add variety to your cooking without breaking the bank. In this article, we’ll explore budget-friendly ways to add variety to your seasoning and sauces.
Experiment with Herbs and Spices
The easiest way to add variety to your cooking is by experimenting with different herbs and spices. These flavourings can take a dish from bland to bold in seconds, and there are countless budget-friendly options. We recommend starting with some of the classics, such as basil, oregano, and thyme, and then trying some more exotic spices, like cumin or paprika.
It does largely depend on your taste and accessibility, but we recommend finding the most versatile spice if your concern is budget. While spices are cheap, they can add up if you buy multiple varieties and don’t use them all. If you enjoy Mediterranean cooking, we recommend oregano, but if you have more of an Asian or middle eastern style, cumin can be used with many dishes.
Try Incorporating Cooking Wine
Cooking wine is another way to add depth and complexity to your dishes without spending much money. It is much cheaper than other wines as cooking wine is made explicitly for use in cooking. It has a higher salt content and lower alcohol content, which allows it to be used as a flavour enhancer without overpowering your cooking.
It can be used in various dishes, from sauces and marinades to soups and stews. It’s also essential to choose the right type of wine for your dish. White wine works with seafood or chicken, while red wine can be added to meaty dishes like beef stew. You can even find Chinese cooking wine from Coles that can be incorporated into dishes with an oriental flavour.
Experiment with Different Types of Vinegar
Vinegar is a versatile ingredient that can add some additional flavour to cooking and is not only affordable but has a long shelf life. There is a range of vinegar types available that can complement almost any dish. Here is a list of some of the most popular options.
Balsamic vinegar is a dark, syrupy vinegar that originates from the Mediterranean. It has a slightly sweet taste making it perfect for dressings and marinades. Try drizzling it over roasted vegetables or mixing it with olive oil for a quick and easy salad dressing. You can also add a splash to your tomato sauce to add extra depth.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This is a type of vinegar made from fermented apples. It has a slightly sweet and tart flavour and is a popular ingredient in many health drinks. Apple cider vinegar can also be used in salad dressings, marinades, and sauces.
Red Wine Vinegar
Red wine vinegar is a tangy and slightly acidic vinegar made from red wine. It’s great for adding depth of flavour to salad dressings and marinades. It works well with almost all tomato-based dishes and can be added to sauces.
Rice vinegar is a mild and slightly sweet vinegar made from rice. It’s a staple in Asian cuisine and is the perfect complement to most Asian dishes. It works well with ingredients such as soy sauce and sesame oil for dressings or sauces.
Use Sauces to Add Variety
Incorporating sauces can be a great way to add variety to your dishes without breaking the bank. And if you are into spicy food, then you must try the hot sauces from Some Like It Hot Shop. There are many different types of sauces, such as tomato-based sauces, cream-based sauces, pesto, and even oyster sauces. These can be relatively cheap and rather effective for transforming your dishes into something more flavorful.
The most versatile sauce for Mediterranean cooking is a simple marinara sauce which can be used as a base for pasta dishes, as a dipping sauce for bread, or as a pizza sauce. You can also create creamy garlic sauce, which can be used as a topping for grilled chicken or as a vegetable dip. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of sauces and flavours until you find the right one for your style.
In conclusion, adding variety to your seasoning and sauces doesn’t have to be expensive. Experiment with herbs and spices, try different types of vinegar and use sauces to add flavour to your dishes. With some creativity, you can transform simple meals into delicious culinary creations.