If you see a recipe that calls for cracked black pepper, you’ll know the secret. Crush it. It’s simply the peppercorn or berry cracked open.
Cracked black pepper is an important ingredient in many recipes, and it’s a spice that you’ll want to spend a couple bucks preparing to use properly.
That’s right. You’ll want to go all the way to investing in a pepper grinder, preferably one that works while you cook and then transfers nicely to your table.
Our mothers used salt and our fathers used pepper, way back, but now the stereotype has been blown wide open. It helped that salt has become the enemy for so many when it comes to their diet. That’s where supplementing cracked black pepper will increase that flavor and you won’t even remember what you used to load on your food.
The positive aspect about grinding or crushing your pepper when you need it is freshness, and the bits of the berry are larger, uneven. You’ll be able to spot it on your omelet, meat or potatoes, unlike that finely ground stuff that used to be the only kind around.
Times have changed, and the tools and the spices of the great chefs are now available at our fingertips, so we’d better get going and learn how to use ’em.
While I mentioned going out and getting equipped, it’s important to know how to store your peppercorns, and for how long. Keep them in a dark, cool, dry place, and know that they’ll last, be freshest, for about three months.
So once you’ve got them, make sure you test them every chance you have. Leave it close to the stove or within reach, perhaps on a tray that comes with you when you prepare your meals. Keep it with the oils that you might need on a regular basis as well.
Speaking of oils, pepper makes a great mix with them when it comes to creating house salad dressing or a simple sauce for pasta. Nothing beats oil, pepper, and some grated cheese atop spaghetti when you’re at a loss for what to make. It’s fast, easy, and you’ll appreciate the spice in all its glory. It will be one of the highlights.
Don’t miss out on testing it with the likes of pears and other fruit when you’re making compote. You’ll be surprised at how well the tastes blend. Then you’ll be off and running to experiment.
Then there are the more-well known dishes, including beef and fish. Again, fish with a dash or two of pepper, some lemon, and a fresh her like coriander, and your supper will raved about. Add some rice, perhaps some pepper there too, and a few carrots on the side. You’ll have them in the palm of your hands.
The secret to using cracked black pepper is to practice shaking it over most anything you cook. It really does wonders, even for those who think they won’t like it. What they don’t recognize likely won’t hurt them.
Peppers are not all the same, and grinding it fresh makes all the difference. Add this spice to your soups, meat, fish, and fruit. Experiment!