Great ingredients make for great meals. Whenever you can, use the highest quality supplies for your recipes. The flavor difference will always come through in your finished dish.
If there is an ingredient that you are not familiar with, check our Ingredient section. There are pages and pages of information about the ingredients used in my recipes.
Extracts are concentrated liquids that flavor recipes but have little flavor of their own. They are made in a number of ways. Some flavors require distillation as with almond or vanilla extract and these are usually suspended in a small amount of alcohol.
Other extracts are created by infusion in the same way that one would make a tea. After the infusion is made, reducing it concentrates the flavor (as with chicken or mushroom extracts).
Citrus oils are made by extracting the natural essences through cold-pressing the rinds of fruit in much the same way as olive oil is extracted from olives.
The last method is simple infusion by marinating in a liquid such as vinegar or wine (as with tarragon vinegar). Infusions of oils create especially sumptuous flavors, from garlic to herbs or even truffles (my favorite).