Layering Flavor

In the early years of our marriage, our after-work routine included a brisk walk, followed by dinner and then an episode of Emeril Lagassee. BAM! (If you watched, you will understand the reference. If not, I refer you to the video at the end of this post.) If you watched the show like so many of us, you became very familiar with the Cajun Holy Trinity of flavor – equal parts white onion,  green pepper, and celery. It is the basis for building flavors in Creole or Cajun cooking.

Cooking shows always talk about depth of flavor and layering flavors or building flavors. Many other regions use similar bases – the French use a mirepoix – two parts onion, one part celery and one part carrots. Italian cuisine uses a soffritto which is very similar to the French mirepoix. One uses butter, one uses olive oil. One uses chopped vegetables and the other minced vegetables. Then there is a Spanish sofrito – a sauce that adds garlic, tomatoes and other seasonings.

“Holy cow! That Maggie must be a great cook!”  Hold up there. Pilgrim! Knowledge does not a chef make, but I do appreciate you coming to my Ted talk! Ha!

Last night I suddenly had the urge to make a sausage or chicken Gumbo, but I settled on a vegetable jambalaya using tomatoes and peppers fresh from our garden. We do not get a huge harvest, but we certainly love to cook with what we are fortunate to grow.

15 thoughts on “Layering Flavor”

    1. Willow, I know very little about English cooking. I can make a traditional English breakfast, bangers and mash and a nod to an Irish Shepherd’s pie. I am just a Southern girl that likes to experiment.


        1. I love exploring diverse food choices. I am not really very adventurous when it comes to eating bugs and snakes and other creatures, but I love exploring new flavors.


  1. I got the BAM! reference immediately. My cousin’s daughter at age 6 was big into Emeril and she *bammed* all over the place. It was cute. Hadn’t thought of that in years.

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  2. It’s always a gift to use vegetables from the garden to layer flavor in home-cooked dishes. I loved cooking shows when I was younger; now I just listen to food podcasts, subscribe to cooking magazines, and am in. Milk Street FB group. Go figure.

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