Using pepper

vernplum

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[Mod.edit: this post copied and further few moved to start a new topic (MG)]

It took me until quite recently in my cooking journey (within last 5 years) to really 'get' salt and have that lightbulb moment as to how much and when to use it and what it does, though I am still learning. Incidences of over-salting have come down drastically, though I have to be careful as I think my family find things saltier than I do.

Now pepper... that's still a different story. While salt enhances flavours, to me, pepper adds a pepper taste and its heat. Nothing wrong with that, but I don't see it as so critical as salt. At least not yet - the 'ah-ha' moment of 'soooo - that's what it does...!' hasn't hit me yet. What am I doing wrong here? (aside from going off topic lol).
 
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caseydog

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It took me until quite recently in my cooking journey (within last 5 years) to really 'get' salt and have that lightbulb moment as to how much and when to use it and what it does, though I am still learning. Incidences of over-salting have come down drastically, though I have to be careful as I think my family find things saltier than I do.

Now pepper... that's still a different story. While salt enhances flavours, to me, pepper adds a pepper taste and its heat. Nothing wrong with that, but I don't see it as so critical as salt. At least not yet - the 'ah-ha' moment of 'soooo - that's what it does...!' hasn't hit me yet. What am I doing wrong here? (aside from going off topic lol).

Although I am careful with salt, I can get a bit black pepper-happy. I taste black pepper more on the tip of my tongue than anywhere else in my mouth. I have to have it on a steak, along with kosher salt. Better yet, a peppercorn sauce on my a tenderloin is awesome. It can definitely be overused, but it isn't a health issue as much as it can overpower your food.

Southern gravies, especially white gravy has got to have a generous amount of black pepper, to me.

CD
 

ElizabethB

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Now pepper... that's still a different story. While salt enhances flavours, to me, pepper adds a pepper taste and its heat. Nothing wrong with that, but I don't see it as so critical as salt. At least not yet - the 'ah-ha' moment of 'soooo - that's what it does...!' hasn't hit me yet. What am I doing wrong here? (aside from going off topic lol).
There is an idea that Cajun Cooking involves lots of hot peppers. My go to seasonings are sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. I may use cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes or minced fresh peppers in certain recipes my basis is always sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Love my coffee grinder that I use for black pepper.
 

caseydog

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There is an idea that Cajun Cooking involves lots of hot peppers. My go to seasonings are sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. I may use cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes or minced fresh peppers in certain recipes my basis is always sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Love my coffee grinder that I use for black pepper.

Yes, a lot of people think of "punch you in the face" heat with cajun cooking, but it's not. It "sneaks up on you," and never overpowers flavor.

I like to take a few of my homegrown cayenne peppers, split them open lengthwise, and put them in beans to simmer. When done, I pull the peppers out, as you would bay leaves. The pepper flavor and heat is just right. I do also use black pepper for that tingle on the tongue. As for salt, if they are canned beans, I add little -- or none. Canned beans can be pretty high in sodium. Dry beans get salted.

CD
 

Windigo

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I don't think I cook any savory dishes without black pepper. It's something I love and crave and I know instantly when it's not there. Seasoning in culinary terms almost always involves black pepper added to salt. Of course, with my Indonesian heritage I am used to lots of varying levels of heat, and that may make me biased in my perception of food without at least black pepper as unseasoned.
I tend to smother foods like steak and seared anything in black pepper for myself, though I go easy on anyone else. But savory food without black pepper is something I never do, unless it's a bread or something else baked.
I even add a lot of it to my breakfast bagels when I eat them.
 

flyinglentris

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I have black pepper, white pepper, peppercorns and red pepper.

I prefer to use red pepper most frequently and more rarely use the other three.
 

MypinchofItaly

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I am generally pretty careful with salt and with pepper too despite I like both of them and pepper often wins easily on salt anyway.
I use mostly two kind of pepper, black and white.
Combined with other spices like turmeric, it enhances turmeric benefits other than its tastes.
Previously toasted in the pan and then added to the dish Cacio e Pepe, it’s just fantastic.
Added to fruit like strawberry is a taste experience.
 

karadekoolaid

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I mostly use black pepper, freshly ground, on almost everything. Never too much - just enough to give the dish a lift.
Since I´m a spice fanatic, I´ve currently got black pepper, long pepper, guinea (or malagueta) pepper, pink pepper and Szechuan pepper. Strictly speaking, only the first two are "pepper", belonging to the piperaceae family; the others are seeds or flowers of plants which taste peppery.
Oddly enough, Indian food ( "curries") only used black pepper for heat until the early 16th century, when the Portuguese arrived in India with the chile pepper. From there on, the British, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish traders spread the chile all the way across south and east Asia.
Black/white pepper is the most common spice in the world!
 

Morning Glory

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Since I´m a spice fanatic, I´ve currently got black pepper, long pepper, guinea (or malagueta) pepper, pink pepper and Szechuan pepper.

I'm also a spice fanatic. I've got all of the above except the malagueta (will look into that!). I love long pepper - its fantastic in curries. I also use regular black peppercorns a lot in curry. They add a different heat dimension to chillies.

I also have whole white and ground white both of which are rather underused by people in my experience but have their place. I blame Delia Smith...

I've also got green (fresh frozen) and dried.
 

karadekoolaid

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Green pepper is delicious! I used to be able to buy pickled green peppercorns, and I´d literally eat them out the jar. They go particularly well with slow-cooked onion marmalade.
Guinea, Malagueta or Grains of Paradise pepper is divine: Guinea pepper if you can find it.
 

caseydog

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As do I. I don't think I've every used it for grinding coffee beans.

Once you use a coffee grinder for spices, don't use it for coffee. I've never tried it, but I understand it ruins your coffee.

CD
 
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