Does Geoffrey Zakarian Have an Iron Palate?

The Kitchen co-hosts put his tastebuds to the test.

Episode: Conquer and Cook

The Kitchen team tests our iron chef's palate to see if he can identify 3 mystery flavors. We've also got a fantastic new way to use each one.

Our first cool ingredient is za'atar. Za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend made up of herbs like oregano, marjoram, sumac, cumin and coriander, with sesame seeds and salt. It has a nutty, slightly earthy flavor and pairs well with meats and veggies. Try it on pita, roasted veggies or as a rub for chicken or beef. You can even use it on popcorn! To make a batch of za'atar popcorn, simply add a bit to melted butter to bloom the spices, then drizzle it over top.

GZ also tasted miso, which is fermented soybean paste. It comes in three varieties, white miso, which has a mild and slightly sweet flavor, yellow, with its mild and salty taste and red/brown miso, which has the strongest and saltiest flavor of all. Miso adds a deliciously salty and unmatched umami flavor to sweet or savory dishes. One great use for this ingredient is in Katie's Secret Ingredient (Miso!) Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe.

Finally, the final mystery ingredient is malted milk powder, which is a powdered blend of malted barley extract, flour, milk, salt and baking soda. Malt has a nutty flavor similar to toast, caramel or even coffee. It gets its slightly sweet flavor because the process of 'malting' converts starches to sugars. Most folks know the flavor from malted milkshakes at the diner or chocolate malted milk ball candies. The flavor pairs well with chocolate. For a tasty new way to use this ingredient, add it to heavy whipping cream with a little confectioners' sugar to make a malted whipped cream. Use it to top pie, chocolate puddings and cakes, or to top a milkshake or sundae.

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