Seasoning

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Photo by Brianna LehmanCreative Commons License.

Seasoning is the process of adding salt, herbs, or spices to food to enhance the flavor. In addition to the choice of herbs and seasoning, the timing of when flavors are added will affect the food that is being cooked (Wikipedia, nd).

season

Difficulty to learn: Easy

Ideas For Ingredients To Use:

There’s nothing wrong with serving an unseasoned steak, or a bland pot of rice. But, when creativity calls, seasoning comes to the rescue. Honestly, just about every recipe can be enhanced with seasoning. Often, people stick to the basics like salt and pepper, simply because they are intimidated by the vast amount of spices and herbs at their disposal. Have no fear, because with a little research, the seasonings of the world are at your disposal.

Common seasonings (for inspiration) include: salt, pepper, herbs (dried plants such as basil and parsley), and spices (cinnamon, ginger, saffron and cumin).

These are just starting points, and certainly will not all apply for every situation. In the end, your palette is your greatest weapon in the kitchen.

What You Will Need:

Essentially, all you need to know in order to season a recipe is a knowledge of seasonings. Seasoning can be done at most stages of the recipe, even right before preparation.

If you want to perform basic seasoning, just add however much you desire of a particular seasoning to the food. Chefs across the world seldom agree on a best way to season something, so again, experiment thoroughly to find what works best for you.

Basic Steps:

There are hundreds of foods and recipes that could be seasoned, each with a different technique and ingredient list. However, the steps to seasoning a cut of meat seem to be the best stepping-stone for starting your seasoning career. Below you will find some guidelines for seasoning your own steak (exciting, right?).

  1. Set up your seasoning station. This can include whatever you want, but put down a clean cutting board or some plastic if you want to avoid a mess.
  2. Find an ideal seasoning mix that you think will work well for the steak. Want basic? Stick to salt and pepper. Want more restaurant quality? Look into making your own Montreal steak seasoning (link at the bottom of the page).
  3. Time to get the right amount of salt! Yes, salt. Use about 1 tablespoon of salt per pound of steak, applying to both sides about 30 minutes before cooking. This will allow the moisture to stay in the meat once on the grill.
  4. Decide when you’re going to season the steak. Some chefs like to season after, since the heat might sear and burn some of the seasoning during the cooking process. But as always, that decision is left up to you. How exactly should you go about seasoning the steak? You can just sprinkle it all over until the steak is covered. Or maybe you will rub it into the meat, working the flavor inside.
  5. Serve up your seasoned steak! Remember, if you’re unsure of how much seasoning to use, less is always better than more. At least you can always add more later!

Tips For You:

  • There are hundreds of unique seasoning concoctions laying around the internet (or in your family’s recipe book). Try something new every time!

Some Links To Help With Preparation: