I don't often cook from recipes because I'm usually missing lots of ingredients, or at least key ones
I am originally from San Diego but am in Paris right now. It is very easy in SD to reach every kind of market and get food at good prices, but not so much in Paris.
My question is I try to cook meals with protein, veggie and carbohydrate but other than salt, pepper, maybe soy sauce or lemon, I'm at a loss for flavorings and everything tastes the same.
My technique is pretty good, I can cut things uniformly, I don't undercook or overcook things. But as in piano playing I can read any sheet music, but I can't create my own pieces.
I have herb de Provence, garlic, chili powder, cinnamon, vanilla, balsamic vinegar, citrus, ketchup, cream, creme fraiche, white wine, soy and fish sauce.
The vegetables I buy weekly are usually broccoli, zucchini, courge muscade (pumpkin?), eggplant, haricot verts, potatoes, carrots, button mushrooms, bell peppers, and onion.
Either everything I make is totally salty, totally citrus, or vinegar taste. Is there a general rule of marrying flavors to get some more interesting, complex tasting food? Other than throwing it all in and having to adjust... Then it all ends up tasting like one thing again =)
Any ideas as to a couple flavor staples I should buy? Will be going to Chinatown this weekend and hopefully get some sesame oil. Ginger would be nice.. Thanks for reading