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Cooking Flavor Enhancing Tricks and Recipes

Updated on August 24, 2012

Pop the Flavor of Everyday Foods!

Of Mayonnaise, Chicken Noodle Soup, French fries, Butter, Corn Bread, and Bacon!

You can pop the flavor of so many basic foods. It is easy and will add special flavors for your sandwiches and main dishes. Not to mention it is inexpensive!

After all, aren’t all the specialized sandwich spreads, additions to basic soups, and ‘seasoned fries’ just a method of stepping-up flavors by adding cultural tastes? Oh, and adding to the price too!

Here are some basic ideas and additions that will pop flavors of some very basic and inexpensive products!

Mayonnaise for Example

Mayonnaise needs demystifying.

Making mayonnaise was a prized ability for a cook before the advent of all the jars in the market. Mayonnaise is nothing more than the basic ingredients of eggs, oil, and a bit of lemon all carefully emulsified.

So, the bad reputation that mayonnaise seems to have is unwarranted, after all, you eat these ingredients in a myriad of other foods!

Mayonnaise is a real food made from basic wholesome ingredients. You need fat in your diet. Just don’t go overboard with the flavor enhancing mayonnaise!

A small smear of mayonnaise on a sandwich adds a huge flavor to the dish. Mayonnaise is part of your daily need of oils that keep your joints working, and help your skin and hair remain soft and lovely. Mayonnaise has gotten a bad reputation that it doesn’t deserve!

Mayonnaise is mass customized to suit various tastes and culture norms. What started as basic mayonnaise is now mayonnaise light, fat free mayo, mayo with olive oil, chipotle mayo, herbed mayo, garlic mayo, horseradish mayo, Dijon mustard mayo, cracked pepper mayo, hot mayo, green chilé mayo, and lime mayo. Plus a few we could come up with on our own, I bet!

Each of these mayonnaise flavors lends a cultural flavorful twist to the foods they are added to. Wouldn’t you like to try all of these? Of course, but who wants their fridge to be completely full of nothing but mayo bottles? It would be expensive and wasteful too.

So, make your own!

For those of you who read my blogs I bet you can guess that I began creating mayo green chilé and also mayo chipotle first, and you would be right!

It is easy-peasey to make specialized mayonnaise. Just take the spices (powder or liquid) that you like and generally follow the following Chipotle Mayo recipe.

Chipotle Mayo Recipe

I don’t make my mayo from scratch because I am happy with the commercial brands of mayo. ½ C. or less of your favorite mayo

1 t. of chipotle powder


Taste and adjust the flavor if needed. (More chipotle or more mayo)

Chipotle mayo is excellent on turkey sandwiches and hamburgers. Use this on a green chile cheeseburger too!

Italian Mayo Recipe

This is my second choice.

Again, use a nice commercial brand of mayonnaise

½ C. mayo

1 small crushed and finely minced clove of garlic (or a dash of garlic powder)

1/8 C. of fresh basil leaves (finely chopped)

Mix together

Take your sandwiches to Italy with this one!

HINT: Always begin with a small amount of the seasoning whether it is liquid or powder. It is easy to add more and difficult to reduce! Sometimes adding more mayo doesn’t work!

Chicken Soup on a World Tour (noodle and rice)

Chicken soup is a staple in most pantries. Chicken soup has been prescribed as healthy for you going all the way back to the Egyptians and most recently Grandma.

There is some scientific rationale for how chicken noodle soup is good for you. There are studies that noted chicken soup is full of a particular healthy mix of nutrients and vitamins. Chicken soup also can slow activity of certain white blood cells and may have anti-inflammatory effect. I know it is one of the first foods I want when I am on the mend.

Here is information on the actual study: Why is chicken noodle soup good for you when you are sick? | Answerbag

It is a virtual staple in many cultures and here are ways to make chicken soup extra special. I have divided the pop-the-flavor chicken soup into noodle and rice soups.

Chicken NOODLE Soup Pop-the-Flavor (CNS)

Southwestern CNS (chicken noodle soup) Recipe

~ Add ¼ C. of mild green chilés to a can of quality chicken noodle soup (don’t skimp on the green chilés!)

Italian CNS Recipe

~ Add ¼ C. fresh chopped basil, drizzle a bit of quality olive oil on top right before serving

Indian CNS Recipe

~ Add curry powder and turmeric with a dash of garlic and onion powder for a savory Indian twist

Garden fresh flavor Recipe

~ Add ¼ C. chopped fresh parsley

Chicken RICE Soup Pop-the-Flavor (CRS) Recipe

Greek Avgolemono/Lemon CRS (Chicken rice soup) Recipe

~ Add a sprinkling of Greek seasonings from pre-mix (see below) and ½ of a lemon squeezed in the soup. Tastes very much like the real Avgolemono (lemon) soup. Note: the original Avgolemono soup uses orzo pasta rather than rice.

Japanese CRS Recipe

~ Add soy sauce and perhaps a touch (as in a small drop or so) of sesame oil

Indian CRS Recipe

~ Add ½ t. curry powder, two pinches of turmeric and a dash of garlic and onion power. And yes, this is the same of the CNS but it too tastes great.

Here are some other easy addition recipes that will pop-the-flavor.

~ Butter, I use a heart-healthy brand. Melt the butter and whisk in an equal amount of honey. You have honey butter.

~ Honey and Citrus, sterilize a small jar and lid (boiling water or in top rack of dish washer set on full high dry) wash the outsides of one lemon and one orange. Thinly slice both. In the small sterilized jar, place in alternated layers, lemon slice, orange slice etc. until the small jar is half full. Cover with honey. Repeat the process until the citrus and honey is within ½ inch of the top of the jar. I use a metal skewer to gently probe the jar to make sure there are no pockets of air down in the jar before I store this. Tightly cover and sit this in the fridge for a week. Use in tea, on toast, in cereal, etc.

~ French Fries, use frozen French fries from the store. Place two servings in a bowl that has 2 T. of vegetable oil, 1 t. cumin, 1 t. onion powder, and 1 t. garlic powder in the bottom of the bowl. Toss the French fries in the spices and oil. Bake per the package instructions. You have your very own seasoned fries at a low price!

~ Corn bread, use your favorite mix be it from scratch or the inexpensive Jiffy brand. Add 2 T. to ¼ c. of green chilés and enjoy! Make this to use for turkey stuffing too!

~ Bacon, okay, this is for a condiment NOT for eating a strip of bacon. Cover by pressing down a layer of brown sugar on the bacon and bake in the oven at 350° until done. Break pieces of the bacon on a salad. Try this on a salad with a fruity balsamic dressing. Oh my goodness is this goooood!

So, a bit of supplementing will pop-the-flavor of your cooking. I have so many of these and I bet you do too. Please share!

Greek Seasoning (the one I use)

Brands of Chipotle Flavors


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    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      thanks...i felt the same about yours!

    • stephaniedas profile image

      Stephanie Das 6 years ago from Miami, US

      Wow, I'm so glad I found this article. I'll be checking back for more tips from you!

    • prektjr.dc profile image

      Debbie Carey 6 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA

      Oh My Goodness!!! These are great tips and tricks!!! I can't wait to try them out!! Thanks! Good Job!!

      Voted up and useful...again!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      What smart tricks! I'll have to give 'em a try!

    • profile image

      NMLady 6 years ago

      awww shea duane....i think we can all learn from each other. I am getting ready to make some fall fresh green chile stew, so that will be a hub soon!

    • shea duane profile image

      shea duane 6 years ago from new jersey

      NMLady, I grew up in NM and now live in NJ... recently, we have had an influx of really good green chili... so good. I was thinking of posting my recipe for green chili sauce, but I don't think I can compete with your hubs. 8-)

    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      thranx...too funny!

    • thranax profile image

      Andrew 6 years ago from Rep Boston MA

      Yup, cover bacon in sugar - you are a god.


    • profile image

      Jackie 6 years ago

      Loved these ideas. I can't wait to get to your house. YUM!!!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 6 years ago from Iowa

      Love this! Have you ever tried making your own mayo? I haven't but probably should, just to say I did. Like you, I'm fine with the store-bought. I'll have to try one of your DYI flavors.

    • profile image

      sdzulu 6 years ago

      My favorite example of what spices can do is pumpkin. Pumpkin alone is flavorless; it is only with all the spices that it becomes the pie I love.

    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      I have made and used ghee. I will look into niter kibbeh.


    • Brupie profile image

      Brupie 6 years ago

      These are great ideas. I've seen a few varieties of mayonnaise sold in stores, but haven't considered making it myself. I have experimented with different butters and ghee (clarified butter). In Minnesota, there is a large east African community and many east African restaurants. I discovered niter kibbeh a spiced clarified butter w/cardamom, fenugreek, cloves, onions, cinnamon, gingerroot and garlic. I've also made herbal butters in a French tradition. A little initial time investment and these can really "pop" the flavor as you say.