Homechefs are loving these 12 staple ingredients that instantly make them better cooks

Food 13/11/2019

Ever wondered what flare and flavour you can add to your favourite dishes? Here's a list of 12 'flavour boosters' that chefs and chefs-at-heart love to add to their meals to make a dish go from 'oh' to 'outstanding!'

Vanilla extract
Satisfy a sweet tooth without adding in the excess sugar. Add a couple of drops to plain milk, fruit smoothies or porridge.

Worcestershire sauce
One of the most versatile condiments around, combining the sweet tastes of garlic and onions, with the savoury taste of anchovies fermented in vinegar and chilli peppers. Use it to add a bit more flavour to meatballs and Bloody Marys.

Mushrooms
Packed with umami and a great meat substitute, you can eat them solo or add a portabella to your lasagna for that extra "meatiness".

Balsamic vinegar
Balsamic vinegar isn’t just good on salads, but also delicious with chicken, fruit and even ice blocks!

Mustard
Whether you love a bold dijon or a hearty wholegrain, mustard is a great addition on salads, sandwiches, marinades, and seafood.

Citrus
Missing some tang or zing? The acid in lemons, limes and oranges can help balance and enhance your meal's flavour.

Vegetable/Chicken or Beef broth
Cooked steamed vegetables in broth for a touch of flavour that won't overpower the meal.

Leeks
Consider trading onions for leeks. Stench-free, with a subtle sweetness - you can't go wrong!

Cayenne pepper
Not only does it give that punch of flavour to any dish, but it's also an anti-inflammatory. So if the change of weather has gotten hold of you, blend some cayenne pepper with hot water and lemon juice to help you kick your cold.

Aged hard cheese
Whether you're sprinkling parmesan on a salad, or romano on a pasta, hard cheeses add richness without adding in excess salt. 

Wine
Adding a quarter cup of wine to a pan after sautéing vegetables or cooking meats will not only help to remove crusty bits from the pan, it will ultimately bring that flavour back into the dish.

Ginger
This fantastic palate-cleanser adds a kick to ice cream, hot tea and chicken. But use fresh ginger sparingly, as it does have a real powerful flavour!

Source: Readers Digest