Once upon a time, I couldn’t tell you much about spices and seasonings and what they should be used for. Or what should be matched up with what. I know better now and even my mother oohs and aahs when she visits and opens up my spice cabinet. Allow me to break down 12 of the ones I use the most and you should too.
1. Basil-A wonderful green herb that goes well with tomato dishes and sauces. The fresh leaves are highly fragrant and smell amazing. I just used some in a spaghetti sauce that I made in my slow cooker.
3. Thyme-A delicate, sweet smelling herb that is best used in bean and vegetable dishes. I keep the dried version in stock. Fresh thyme is good for about 1-2 weeks so I use it soon after buying it.
4. Garlic-If I’m being lazy or in a hurry, I use garlic powder for my Italian style dishes. But nothing beats the strong flavor of a garlic clove. I also like using the fresh peeled garlic pre-packaged by Christopher Ranch.
5. Oregano-This spice is best used in pasta dishes. I keep the dried version on hand always. Great for spaghetti sauce too.
6. Paprika-A red pepper spice that comes in a sweet, spicy, or smoky flavor. The Hungarian or Spanish style are the best ones. It’s milder than cayenne pepper and enhances your dish. Not just for potato salad and deviled eggs. Smoked paprika is great for reviving frozen fish.
7. Black Pepper-Perfect general seasoning. I have a pepper grinder that I put black peppercorns in. You can also buy an all-in-one disposable peppercorn grinder. The Deuce loves to use it too.
8. Chili Powder-A dark red pepper blend for adding heat to Mexican, Southwestern, and Spanish cooking.
9. Bay Leaf-Used whole in soups and stews.I always put 1 or 2 in my spaghetti sauce and seafood gumbo. It’s for flavor, not for eating.
10. Rosemary-The fresh aromatic green needles of Rosemary resemble a fir tree. I use it sparingly because it has such a distinctive flavor. An absolute must for lamb chops. I made some in the slow cooker over the weekend. Delish!
11. Salt-Ooooh…salt! Love it. Love it. Tip: Sprinkle salt on oven baked french fries, frozen crab cakes, and garlic roasted broccoli immediately AFTER removing from the oven.
12. Onion Powder-Again, nothing like the real thing, but I use onion powder to season sauces, stews, and chicken all the time. It enhances my ground turkey patties and meatloaf also.
What would you add to this list?
See ya later,