Pimp your dish — how to spice up basic recipes

  • May 2020
  • Melissa

Cooking has become more important than ever. Especially because we are at home so often and many of us have even been working from home for some time, daily visits to restaurants, snack bars or the company canteen were mostly canceled. Instead more and more of people have started cooking most of their meals themselves. Moreover, the whole family is more often at home and especially the little ones would love to see something different on their plates every day. Sometimes it can be really tricky to come up with new dishes again and again though. Do you ask yourself "What am I cooking today?" all the time and are you slowly running out of inspiration? Would you like to prepare tasty and varied meals without too much effort? In this article, we explain how to spice up the most popular basic recipes and effortlessly modify them over and over again.

Know the basics


It’s actually quite simple:  Many dishes consist of a basic food, such as potatoes, rice or pasta. These are prepared in no time and then only need to be combined with little ingredients to cook new dishes again and again.


Potatoes


Potatoes are one of the most popular staple foods, particularly in Europe and America. Not only are they tasty, they also fill you up and are still low in calories. Most of us know that potatoes are largely made up of carbohydrates, but did you know that potatoes also contain high-quality protein? B-vitamins and vitamin C are also found in potatoes. You can prepare potatoes in a variety of ways. Roast potatoes from the pan, baked potatoes and classic jacket potatoes from the pot are three of the most common basic ways of preparation.

Roast potatoes / baked potatoes / jacket potatoes.

Once you have created the basis, you can prepare many different potato dishes with just a few tricks: For example, give your fried potatoes a rustic note and add crispy bacon cubes and fried eggs. Or add a bit of crunchy vegetables (e.g. tomatoes or radishes) and a light dressing to your potatoes and you have a delicious potato salad. You can also vary with potato dishes by simply mashing the potatoes! With a little milk, butter and spices, a creamy potato puree can be made in no time at all.

 

Tip: Pay attention to how much starch your potatoes contain. Depending on the content of starch, potatoes are classified as waxy, mealy or a mix of both and are better or worse suited for different dishes. For fried potatoes or potato salad, waxy potatoes are better, while for mashed potatoes or potato soup, you should use mealy potatoes.

 

 

Rice


Rice is one of the most popular legumes and is considered a global staple. Rice is available in numerous different types, each with different nutrient contents.The following types of rice are among the most popular: parboiled rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice, whole grain rice, wild rice, risotto rice, red rice, black rice.

 

You can find the basic recipe for classic parboiled rice here. We like to cook the rice in vegetable broth instead of just in saltwater to give it that certain something. In general, the following applies to rice: Always adhere to the package specifications regarding the amount of water, temperature and cooking time. Depending on the type of rice you need more or less of everything.

 

Although rice is a daily companion in the kitchen, especially in Asia, the small grains have found their place in various places around the world: Be it Risotto in Italy, Paella in Spain or rice salad in Brazil. Let yourself be inspired by our favorites and see for yourself how you can always cook completely different dishes with only a little rice and a few additional ingredients:

Lemon risotto with peas / Paella Valenciana / Brazilian Rice Salad.

Lemon risotto with peasThis risotto is not only delicious, it also is ready in an incredible 5 minutes! Simply put the quick-cooking lid Secuquick on your AMC pot and you've turned it into a quick cooker. Note that you need twice the amount of water for your risotto as it says on the rice pack if you want to cook it with the Secuquick.


Paella Valenciana: Paella is one of the most classic Spanish dishes and is originally from Valencia. If you prefer it without meat and fish, you can also try our vegetarian version.


Brazilian Rice Salad: Rice is also very important in South America and is often prepared in combination with beans in stews and stir-fried dishes. Try this Brazilian-style rice salad.

 

 

Pasta


Pasta or noodles are usually based on ground cereals. There are many types of pasta in different shapes, sizes and colors. Pasta is often cooked in Western countries such as Italy especially in Italy, but it is is also part of the daily food consumption in Asia (as noodles) and various western countries. In addition to pasta made from dough, there are also rice noodles, pasta with parts made from lentils with a higher level of protein and, as a more recent trend, zucchini noodles or "zoodles", which are supposed to be a low-carb alternative to 'real' pasta or noodles.

 

Here you find the basic instructions on how to cook pasta. However, depending on the type of pasta, it is advisable to pay attention to the individual cooking time, temperature and amount of water, which is stated on the packaging. We like to cook pasta in vegetable broth to give it a more refined taste.

 

Pasta is as versatile as it is delicious. Choose from the numerous options for preparing them and give them a special touch with different ingredients:

 

1. Classic with sauce:


Everybody can do it, everybody loves it - pasta with sauce! There are no limits here either. Take what you like to eat or what you have in the fridge and get started! Would you like some inspiration? You can find our favorite pasta sauces here: Fusilli with bolognese sauce, Tagliatelle with mushroom ragout und Lemon spaghetti with shrimps.

Fusilli with bolognese sauce / Tagliatelle with mushroom ragout / Lemon spaghetti with shrimps.

2. Hearty baked in the casserole:

 

Pasta casseroles are ideal for leftovers! What tastes good is allowed in! Be it ham, minced meat, salmon or vegetables - there are no limits. With a delicious sauce (e.g. based on tomatoes or cream) your casserole stays nice and juicy. Don’t forget to put some cheese over it – et voila! Enjoy your meal!


Here the recipes: Pasta bake with salmon and Bavarian pasta bake 

Pasta bake with salmon / Bavarian pasta bake/ Pasta bake tomato mozzarella

 

Tip: You can also make pasta bakes without an oven. Put all the ingredients in an AMC pot and put the mobile cooking plate Navigenio upside down on the pot. You can see exactly how it works here.

 

As you can see, it is not difficult to cook different dishes over and over again using potatoes, rice or pasta as a base. We hope we could give you some inspiration.

 

As always: If you have any questions or comments, feel free to write us in the forum.