You can change a chicken dish from Middle Eastern to Hungarian or Asian with a pinch of spices and a sprinkle of herbs. It’s an easy way to add a world taste to your everyday meals. Last month we gave you a chart that showed which herbs and spices work best with different foods. Here’s another chart to clip on how to follow through with the recipe to give it authentic ethnic taste.
Asian: Cook with garlic, fresh ginger, lemongrass, and scallions using peanut oil and/or a drop of dark sesame oil. Spice the dish up with cayenne pepper and add additional flavor with Thai fish sauce, soy sauce, rice-wine vinegar, hoisin sauce, and Sambal Oelek. Finish with chopped cilantro or chopped scallions.
French: Cook with garlic, onions, or shallots in olive oil. Add fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or tarragon. Stir in wine, tomatoes, and bay leaf. Finish with fruit-infused wine vinegars and/or Dijon mustard.
Hungarian: Cook with garlic, onion, and/or bell peppers. Season the dish with Hungarian paprika, caraway seeds or dill seeds, and freshly ground pepper. Finish with plain nonfat yogurt and/or a splash of red wine vinegar.
Indian: Cook with garlic, fresh ginger, and onion in olive oil. Season the dish with ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, or turmeric. Spice it up with cayenne pepper. Stir in tomatoes. Finish with plain nonfat yogurt, lemon juice, chopped mint, and/or chopped cilantro.
Italian: Cook with onion and garlic in olive oil. Use plenty of herbs: basil, marjoram, oregano, and rosemary. Spice it up with cayenne pepper. Stir in tomatoes, wine, and bay leaf. Finish with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese and more fresh herbs.
Latin: Cook with garlic, onion, and fresh chiles. Season the dish with Mexican oregano, ground cumin, allspice, cinnamon, and/or chili powder. Stir in fresh lime or lemon juice or white wine vinegar. Finish with chopped scallions and cilantro or a bit of low-fat melting cheese.
Middle Eastern: Cook with garlic, onion. Season the dish with turmeric, ground cinnamon, ground cinnamon, and/or ground cloves. Spice it up with cayenne pepper or ground chiles. Finish with plain nonfat yogurt, lemon juice, fresh mint and/or fresh dill.