The Three Recipes You've Been Trying to Nail
Over the past week or two, we've been asking all of out Instagram and newsletter followers what recipes they've always wanted to nail, but always had some trouble with. We got a whole bunch of answers - but we had to narrow it down to a few, so we chose the recipe ideas that sounded useful to most, or fun weekend projects! So, without further ado, we present our tricks for Mango Salsa, German Potato Salad, and Trinidadian Pelau - but you can get the full recipes by clicking their links!
For the Pelau:
- Test out whether you prefer it on the wetter or drier ("grainier") side, since no one way is correct
- Try adding and omitting some of the add-ins like the butter and celery leaf, and figure out some of your own that can help make the recipe yours
- Don't worry if the brown sugar looks like it's on the dark side - as long as it isn't black you're fine and that will be a big step in developing the flavor!
- Really do rinse your rice before cooking
- Yes, really do let the dish sit for 5-10 minutes before you eat it - it helps the last of the flavors balance and the last bits of liquid get soaked up
For the Potato Salad:
- The potato really really does matter, we promise it isn't an unnecessary specification. Try to stick to Yukon Gold or similar - just absolutely never Russet.
- Maybe you're already doing this, but be sure to cook whole, cool for 2-5 hours and then cut. And then let it sit overnight if you can bear to - it gets so much better!
- Get really, really good bacon. If there's one thing Germany has gotten down it's their meat and potatoes, and since this recipe has so few ingredients it's all the more important that each one is the best it can be. So take a trip to your local butcher, or ask the one at the supermarket to cut you some as thick as possible.
- Over-do the vinaigrette. Because potatoes are pretty bland and also pretty dense, the vinaigrette should always be a little too salty and a little too acidic. Don't worry, it'll work out in the end!
- Yes, you should cook it! The vinaigrette, that is. The heat is so important to help everything melt together, and release some more dormant flavors in the onion, bacon, etc.
For the Mango Salsa:
- Play around with the spice level you like, but be sure to taste the pepper first. Jalapenos can vary a lot pepper to pepper, so steel your nerves and take a tiny nibble before you add it - it can help you keep track of how much heat you're really adding batch to batch
- Play around with your ratios! Each ingredient is there for a reason, of course, but if you prefer just a hint of the mango-y sweetness and a lot of veggie crunch, go for it!
- Use it liberally and experimentally! Yes this could go on fish tacos, but it can also shine in
- Try charring some things. Charred jalapeno, red onion, or sweet pepper can add another dimension of flavor to the dish - just choose one at a time or you'll end up with a bit of a mushy, half cooked dish.
- When in doubt, try it twice. If there's an adjustment you tried that you're just not sure about, double check yourself. You might just find your favorite version!