Food

5 Taste Makers

These five ingredients have so much big, bold flavor that adding just a little to a dish can make it magical.

Truffle salt, bacon, Gorgonzola, nuts, and chocolate pack a big punch in any dish. We’ll show you how to use these fab five (judiciously) to get luscious, mouthwatering results.

Truffle salt of the earth

1. Salt is a fantastic vehicle for flavor that won’t add SmartPoints value to a dish. Bits of shaved truffle will perfume salt for months, and just a sprinkle makes a major impact on many foods.
2. Fresh, creamy scallops take beautifully to truffles. Even if you live far from the ocean, you can still enjoy scallops: Check out Downeast Dayboat for highest-quality scallops delivered directly to your door.
3. Truffle salt is spectacular on popcorn, oven fries, pasta, and scrambled eggs too.
 

Bacon's bang for the buck

1. Choose center-cut bacon whenever possible. It gives you more meat and roughly 25 percent less fat than regular bacon, but still so much flavor.
2. If you’re making more than a few rashers, try roasting them on a wire cooling rack set over a baking sheet in a 400˚F oven for 15–20 minutes so that they get nice and crispy—and all of the excess fat drains off. (Line the baking sheet with foil or parchment for easier cleanup.)
3. Bacon’s bold flavor makes it a good complement to other powerful tastes. Before roasting, try sprinkling slices with spices like chile powder, cinnamon, or paprika.
 

Blue's clues for gorgonzola

1. Add a handful of crumbled cheese to warm food to amplify Gorgonzola’s pungent flavor and unctuous texture.
2. Sprinkle it on dishes like this mash, a slice of toast, or roasted sweet potatoes, then run it under the broiler to melt the cheese slightly and turn up the taste.
3. For an easy, healthy blue cheese dressing, whisk together 1 cup buttermilk, ½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola, and a splash of red-wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
 

All this flavor is nuts!

1. Lightly toasted nuts have a much richer flavor than raw. Toast nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat or on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a preheated 350˚F oven until lightly golden.
2. Coat toasted nuts lightly with nonstick spray while they’re still warm, then add a sprinkle of salt for great flavor.
3. Chopped or sliced nuts give all the crunch of whole ones, and you can use far fewer.
 

The spark to the dark chocolate

1. The darker the chocolate, the more flavor—and less sugar—it lends to this delicacy. Look for chocolate with a high percentage of cacao (at least 60 percent) for the most intense, chocolaty punch.
2. Try shaving or grating chocolate from a bar or a brick rather than using chips.
3. A little melted chocolate can make berries or a sliced banana seem extra special without adding a lot of SmartPoints value.