When you're low on time and groceries, don't fret -- you can still whip up an incredibly tasty meal without a trip to the grocery store! The trick is knowing which high-impact ingredients to turn to. High-impact ingredients add quick blasts of flavor to your dishes, providing layers of complex flavors that only taste labor-intensive.
Our first ingredient superstar is dijon mustard -- a condiment we use in every which way. Dijon adds a pungent tang to anything it touches, in addition to mild mustard-y heat. Its creamy texture lends itself to sauces, coatings, and even helps emulsify dressings. Check out how we take advantage of this ingredient lifesaver in our Herb-Crusted Salmon with Spinach (above).
Next up are anchovies! You may think you hate them, but once added to a dish, you'd never know they were there. What you will taste is a rich savoriness known as umami. This flavor blast adds extreme depth to a dish in no time at all. Salads, pastas, and even dips can all benefit from these little fishies. We're convinced you'll fall in love with salty anchovies once you try them out in our Oricchiette with Broccoli Rabe.
Ever tried using curry paste? It brings an instant addition of Indian or South Asian flavor. Available in several varieties differing in color, spice variety, heat level, and more—curry paste is the ultimate flavor cheat. Check out our Curry Paste Guide to decide which type is best for you. Just a spoonful can transform sauces, meat rubs, or stir frys. For a better-than-take-out curry in 30 minutes, try our Green Chicken Curry. This winning dish gets a huge boost from Thai green curry paste.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably seen sriracha sauce everywhere by now. It's a great condiment in its own right, but can also be so much more than just that. A bold combo of heat, garlic, sweetness, and tang, sriracha can play the role of so many ingredients all in one. Use it to make an extraordinary salad like our Citrus-Bok Choy Salad with Crispy Ramen. We guarantee you won't have to beg to get your family to eat their veggies with this exciting (and incredibly easy) salad.
We know you have that green can sitting on your shelf, but please, step away. Parmesan is our next high-impact ingredient, and we mean the real deal! Invest in a small block of parm for countless dinner pick-me-ups. Just a little bit goes a long way in amping up that standby recipe of yours. The salty, nutty goodness of parmesan cheese helps enrich pastas, sauces, veggies (and so much more!) with serious flavor. We've taken boring polenta to the next level with just a couple tablespoons of parmesan in our Chicken with Parmesan Grits and Tomatoes.