How To Add The ‘Pop’ To Your Paleo Recipes
Professional chefs (and savvy home cooks) always finish their dishes with ingredients that add flavor, color, texture, and complexity.
A squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of sea salt, or a dash of oilve oil can add that final ‘finishing touch’ to a dish.
For us Paleo-Eater-Home-Cooks, anything that can help add flavor to our meals should be included in our meal making repertoire.
In this guide I will show you how to finish with the following:
- Sea Salt
- Crushed Nuts
The Standard – Sea Salt
Finishing salt comes in many forms. See picture at right. We have a white truffle salt, a thick-grain gray sea salt, and (my personal favorite) Maldon sea salt.
There are countless versions of finishing salts and I recommend you buy a few and keep on your table. Some salts add flavor (white truffle), some add crunch (gray), and some add both (Maldon). Experiment on your own and find your favorite.
A basic finishing sea salt will get the job done most of the time just make sure it isn’t too ‘fine’ as you want a bit of crunch/texture when finishing.
Pepper is the other main finisher (as well as seasoning) that adds a balance to salt. Some have a taste for it and others don’t. I recommend a bit when seasoning during the cooking process almost always and a very small amount to ‘finish’ usually adds just
enough extra punch to balance out the rest of your dish. As always you will have to experiment and learn on your own. Taste and test often.
One or two turns of the pepper mill usually does the job. You should definitely buy a pepper mill and whole peppercorns and freshly grind them.
You will have to experiment here with the varying kinds of nuts/seeds. I love pistachios so I use them often. Walnuts and pecans are also good over butternut squash soup. You can break them up in a mortar into large chunks or grind up in a spice grinder or a Magic Bullet (which I highly recommend).
After you have your desired size you then follow the same salt finishing technique. Take a small pinch and lightly sprinkle over the surface.
My two favorite finishing oils: Extra Virgin Olive Oil and White Truffle Oil. Light drops or a quick swirl will do the job. As always you will have to experiment and practice and soup is the best way to practice.
When finishing with olive oil You should plug the bottle opening with your thumb so a small amount comes through and you can swirl it around the surface, or you can get a glass oil/vinegar bottle with a pour top.
What about Herbs, Spices, Cream, Vinegar?
Yes, you can finish your Paleo recipes with herbs, spices, cream, and vinegar. Use the same techniques as above: test, taste, and experiment. There are no rules in cooking (aside from a few fundamental basics) and much of a cook’s experience comes from being creative in the kitchen.
After the first bite of every meal ask yourself “What does this need?” Then add a dash of salt, a swirl of oil, or some freshly diced herbs. Taste again and ask yourself the same question. This is the process that all chefs use to get their dishes just right.
Add that extra flair to your Paleo recipes by FINISHING them like a pro.