Herbes de Provence

Herbes de Provence is a mixture of common French herbs used to flavor savory dishes, such as Forty Garlic Chicken. Although this mix has a fancy name, you don’t have to save it for elaborate dishes; the flavors are a good complement for many poultry or pork dishes. There are several different recipes for this… Continue reading Herbes de Provence

Strawberry Sauce

I came up with this one a couple years ago, when I wanted to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but was all out of jam. I had recently learned how to make simple syrup (boil a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar until sugar dissolves) and figured, cooking down some fruit into the… Continue reading Strawberry Sauce

Recaíto (Puerto Rican Sofrito)

This green, herbaceous cooking base is one of the most essential ingredients in Puerto Rican cuisine. It is basically sofrito without the tomato sauce and so is an excellent substitute for any recipe calling for sofrito. They are so similar that some Puerto Ricans use the words as synonyms (see Sofrito Eggs). Recaíto contains culantro… Continue reading Recaíto (Puerto Rican Sofrito)

Salsa Fresca

I don’t have a recipe for a traditional liquid salsa because I prefer the fresh taste of this simple blend of chopped vegetables. (Though I suppose all one would have to do is pulse in a food processor a couple times to turn this into a chunky sauce…? 🤷🏾 Anyway…) This salsa is spicy🌶️ –… Continue reading Salsa Fresca

Marinara Sauce

This basic marinara — calling for only five ingredients — is proof of how little is needed to deliver satisfying flavor. Some cooks sweeten their sauce to balance the tomatoes’ acidity, but I don’t find this hack necessary. Raw tomatoes may start out a little bitter, but that acerbity disappears all on its own if… Continue reading Marinara Sauce

Sazón (Puerto Rican Seasoning)

The counterpart to adobo seco, sazón is another Puerto Rican seasoned salt – the difference being that while adobo is primarily used to flavor meat, sazón is primarily used to flavor vegetables. Traditionally, sazón contains ground annatto (achiote molido) for color, but I can only find whole annatto seeds in my area. I’ve learned the… Continue reading Sazón (Puerto Rican Seasoning)

Adobo Seco (Dry Marinade)

Adobo seco is a Puerto Rican seasoned salt. Sprinkle generously on meat before cooking, to add a distinctive Latin flavor to your meal. Most basic recipes also include onion powder, but I modeled mine after a certain beloved store brand, which omits onion entirely, so now I prefer it that way. I’ve also added a… Continue reading Adobo Seco (Dry Marinade)

Applesauce

In an effort to eat more healthfully, I’ve removed sugar from some of my recipes. This simple chunky applesauce recipe is an early success, as it rightfully makes apples the star of the dish by taking advantage of their natural sweetness. After making this dish, it always bothered me to just throw away the apple… Continue reading Applesauce

Chai Spice

My all-time favorite tea is masala chai – a milky spiced black tea drink originating from South Asia – which I got my first taste of from a handful of delis and specialty coffee shops near my job. But enjoying it at home was difficult. Back then (circa 2003), the few offerings available on supermarket… Continue reading Chai Spice