When I was first testing my Bloody Mary recipe I added some Sriracha, and it didn't just make it spicier, it made it more flavorful. Now I add a couple of drops to everything from soup to eggs.
Iron Chef America
43. Tasmanian Pepperberry
These black berries, sometimes called mountain peppers, are hot berries with a crunchy seed cluster at the center. I use them with steaks or in vinaigrettes. I think they are killer because of their sweet heat.
45. Thai Curry Paste
I use all three varieties (green, red and yellow) to create sauces for skirt steak salad and spicy duck noodles. Each curry paste has its own unique flavor and heat level.
BLT American Brasserie, Chicago
46. Tomato Jam
My old pastry chef taught me to add a scoop of tomato jam when preparing chocolate sorbet or chocolate ice cream. I know it sounds weird, but it elevates the flavor of the chocolate. But don't use it as a topping — it doesn't work the same way!
Happy's Bar & Kitchen, Boston
47. Worcestershire Sauce
I use a splash of this in everything from scrambled eggs to clam chowder. It just seems to fill the gap in flavor that is so often missing. To me, it is a secret weapon because it can add a cooked-in saltiness even if it's added at the last minute.
Alex's Day Off
48. White Miso
It adds an incredible layer of depth to food. You can brush it on fish, or add it to soups or salad dressing.
Red Rooster Harlem, New York City
49. XO Sauce
It's a spicy, salty, slightly fishy sauce with hints of chile pepper, garlic and ginger. I sauté fish in some olive oil and add a touch of XO sauce, but it also works well on vegetables.
Clio, Uni and Toro, Boston
50. Pickled Jalapenos
This jar of love stays in my fridge 24/7 to add zip, heat and sweet to so much. I add 'em to my mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, salad dressings and more. Plus, people always ask me, "What is it I'm tasting?" Yaaaaay!!
Cooking for Real