Secret-Weapon Ingredients

Secret-Weapon Ingredients

We get a lot of questions from you on Facebook and Twitter about what ingredients you should always have on hand. And by now you know Stefano's standbys, Parmesan cheese, butter and a good quality olive oil, will get you through a lot. But there are a few more secret-weapon ingredients we want to share, so you'll always have on hand the proper flavours to elevate your dishes from good to best.

Citrus: Oranges, lemon, limes or grapefruit are always great to have on hand. The juice can be used to brighten up a dressing or splashed into a stew to sharpen its rich flavours. While the zest offers an elegant addition to pizza or tortilla chips. Find out more ways to cook with citrus in this post here.

Aged Balsamic Vinegar: We know it sounds fancy, but it's actually very simple. Keeping one good-quality bottle on hand makes for a great back-pocket technique you can put into play when you need an easy finishing sauce for a dessert or entertaining dish. Just a few swift drizzles will make a dish sing.

Anchovies: While they may be strong characters on their own, you'll soon discover that a few chopped up fillets make for a terrific complimenting flavour. They used as a umami flavour in sauces and still aren't convinced, they're also a key ingredient of Worcestershire sauce which, as you know, boosts everything with flavour.

Fresh Herbs: We've told you before to grow your own basil and it's so you'll always have it on hand to throw into salads or brighten the flavours of plain old rice. Fresh herbs offer a great alternative to salt and their bright flavour perks up practically everything.

Sun-dried tomatoes: Keeping a jar of these in your fridge means you can make Stefano's burgers any time. Their concentrated, salty flavour goes a long way, lending tangy acidity to dishes in a sweet, well-rounded way.

Now that you've got a list of secret-weapon ingredients, stock up so you can make any of the recipes below.

Osso Buco with Lemon
Strawberries with Balsamic Drizzle
Prosciutto, Pear and Arugula Rolls
Cheddar & Onion Grilled Cheese
String Bean and Orange Salad
Brown Rice, Salmon & Asparagus Salad
Veggie Salad with Mint & Lemon Dressing
Asparagus, Lemon & Ricotta Flatbread
Lime-Flavoured Tortilla Chips
Fresh Tomato Salad with Basil
Grilled Shrimp Tacos
Grilled Vegetable Pizza
Anchovy Butter
Stefano's Pasta Puttanesca
Green Salad with Fresh Herbs
Jasmine Rice with Fresh Herbs
Brussels Sprouts Sautéed with Sundried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts
Double-Pork Cheeseburgers