Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My Secret Ingredients

When I told Peter I was putting together a post with a few of my go-to "secret" ingredients, he said his list would just be lots of butter and salt. "Always more than you think you need." Ha!

My secret ingredients are fish sauce, Meyer lemons, anchovy paste, and smoked paprika. Each one is added to all kinds of things, but is never the main event - they just give dishes a little hint of something curious.

I add fish sauce to my peanut sauces for rice noodles, and also as a quick marinade for pork or chicken. The Meyer lemons are a finishing touch on all kinds of things like pasta, risotto, rice, and seafood. The smoked paprika goes in potato salad and sweet potato salad, chicken marinades, and lamb ragout. And the anchovy paste! I use this in soups and stews when I want a little something extra in terms of salt and complexity, but it also goes into tapenades and pasta sauces.

What are your secret ingredients? Butter and salt?!


  1. So agree on the smoked paprika! Yum.

  2. Kate (Embarrassment of Riches)September 3, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    I love this post! Shawn jokes that there's bound to Veganaise in anything (savory) that I make. It's true - I spread it on grilled cheese before toasting, stir it into bechamels and quesos, use it in dressings...I also am fiercely loyal to Maldon and sprinkle it over almost everything.

  3. I'm totally stealing the anchovy paste idea!

  4. Don't underestimate butter and salt! Throw in a little more at the end of almost any dish, and your diners will be happy!


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