Saturday, January 29, 2011

Full Disclosure: My guilty little Kitchen Secrets

I think every cook has a little guilty secret stashed away somewhere in the kitchen. Well, here are mine: I don't think I could manage without Vegeta. I first came upon this wonderful vegetable seasoning on a trip to Croatia where it is widely used and then again found it in Turkey. Not having managed to find it anywhere in France so far I always ask German friends to bring it since all the Turkish shops in Germany sell it. I use it instead of stock cubes that I often find too salty and it also is suitable for vegetarians, which my other guilty secret most certainly is not:

There is no beef stew that I wouldn't add a tablespoon or two of this dense and wickedly delicous extract to - I also have been know to just dip a little spoon in (not a finger, noooo, never....)  just for the guilty pleasure of tasting this strangely addictive concoction. Sadly also Bovril I have yet to find in France but I am lucky to have a brother who lives in Edinburgh and keeps me in Bovril and  - no, let's not get into that one....
But I am curious to know - what are your little kitchen secrets, guilty or otherwise?


  1. They both sound like superb additions to any recipe. I use two things, secretive addictive stuff too. The first is a touch of balsamic vinegar to stews, sauces, and rich condiments. The other, is home-made stock that I reduce to a jelly, freeze in an ice-cube tray, and pop these like bouillon cubes.

    A great little secret post, this one. Thank you.

  2. I love the vegeta as well. I enjoy your blog very much.

  3. Hello! How come I don't know Vegeta and I live in Turkey??

  4. Claudia,
    I am sure if you look around your grocers, you will find it.

  5. Lovely blog! I've been using Super U's bio/organic house brand chicken cubes, which I don't find too salty, perhaps you can try adding those to your arsenal...

    I make my own yogurt, occasionally my own brown but sometimes 'industriel' shortcuts can really do the trick. The taste of Maggi seasoning sauce varies sometimes significantly from country to country, and connoisseurs (!) particularly like the spicy Mexican version...and the French one. Since it is used to great effect in Vietnamese sandwiches (with pate, fresh herbs and a number of ingredients on a crispy, split baguette), I decided to give the French sauce a go. A few drops of the garlicky sauce are great with eggs sunny-side up, or in a vinaigrette...