Cook Smarts’ Guide to Aromatics is another one of those visual discoveries that will quickly become a bookmarked staple. For a variety of classic cultural flavor combinations, this aromatics chart shows you what works (click to enlarge).
For mirepoix, for example, pair onions, carrots, and celery with butter and supplement parsley, thyme, bay leaves, or herbs de Provence.[relax]
For a Chinese cooking staple that you’ll never let go, combine garlic, scallions, and ginger with cooking oil, and add chiles, shallots, chives, cilantro, five-spice powder, or star anise (or any combination of these you like). If you don’t recognize this sauce, it’s the ginger-scallion sauce that David Chang and Francis Lam swear by.
Each combination, from Italian to Middle Eastern and Indian, provides classic flavor profiles that offer lots of room to experiment, which we highly recommend. Not to mention, each of these powerful spice arrangements can be used in all kinds of dishes, from curries and soups to sautés and stir-frys. All you have to do is follow the guide.
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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.