Chef's Hat: Add flavor, not fat
Sometimes it’s the little ingredients that make or break a recipe — a dash of hot sauce, a teaspoon of basil or that sprinkle of cinnamon.
One small thing that can add a lot of flavor to your dishes is bouillon. Bouillon is a clear, flavorful broth and it is a great way to add flavor without adding fat.
Canned bouillons are available, but why pay for water? Bouillon is available in chicken, beef or vegetable flavors and in cube or granular form. Each manufacturer adds its own combination of herbs. So it is wise to try a couple of different brands to see which one works best in your recipes.
If you are extremely ambitious you can make your own bouillon granules, although I must admit I have never made my own. A jar of either bouillon cubes or granules is usually less than $3 and generally lasts quite a few months. In my opinion, it is not worth the time and effort to make bouillon from scratch.
Of course, many soups and stews rely on bouillon for that added bit of zest. One of my favorite stew like dishes is jambalaya — this is a recipe that definitely would not taste right without bouillon.
My jambalaya recipe calls for sausage, shrimp, chicken and ham. But feel free to leave out one of the meats if you don’t have them on hand. For years jambalaya has been a stew type dish where you just put in whatever meats are available.
I find that the more meats and seafood the better, but some people prefer simplifying the dish and leaving out either the sausage or the ham.
Bouillon is also a great ingredient in many other dishes. Feel free to add a few bouillon granules to an otherwise bland meat or seafood dish and you’ll see it enhances the flavor. So remember, bouillon is not just for soups anymore!