Friday, May 29, 2020

Essential Spices and Herbs to Mix Up Your Dishes #spices #herbs #spiceitup #bigflavorcooking

As my regular readers know, I'm all about Big-Flavor Cooking that incorporates lots of fresh herbs and creative spice blends. These flavorings transform your food from boring to WOW! Today, The Weekend Gourmet correspondent is sharing which spices and herbs every cook needs to keep on hand in their kitchen. As we continue to social distance, cooking at home has become much more we all need ideas to keep our meals exciting! The article may contains affiliate links.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed major limitations on where we can eat a meal out. Due to social distancing requirements -- and widespread closures and lockdowns -- your favorite dining out spots may remain closed to in-person dining at the moment. Here in Texas, most restaurants offer to-go and delivery options, but many restaurants are still closed to in-person dining. In response, people have been discovering the joys of inventive home cooking. However, some may be struggling to come up with any unique new dishes or meals to meet their newly tested pallets and tastes. 

Adding some essential spices and herbs to your cupboard may be just the way for you to feature a broad range of tastes and flavors to your cooking during these uncertain times. Every home chef should not be found without the following essential spices and herbs. These items should be on hand in your kitchen at all times in one way or another. Remember to store your herbs and spices properly. Failing to do so risks them losing their flavor and becoming unusable.


(1) Coriander Powder
When mixed with other spices like turmeric and cumin, coriander provides a distinctive orange/yellow color for your homemade curries. Coriander is also a staple ingredient in most pre-made curry mixes. If you're a spicy food fan, you should never be caught without coriander in your pantry or spice rack.

(2) Turmeric
Another spice with a distinctively sharp taste and beautiful bright color, turmeric is an Indian food lover’s best friend. Mixing well with cumin and coriander, the spicy taste of turmeric provides you with the perfect base for any curry you could want.

(3) Cumin
A slightly nutty taste used in recipes around the world -- including Tex-Mex -- and often used in pre-made curry powder mixes. If using cumin by itself, why not mix it with turmeric or coriander to make your own curry at home? If you're stuck for ideas, why not try out this delicious lamb curry recipe?

(4) Chili Powder
A well-made chili powder is perfect for adding an all-round mix of chiles and spicy herbs to your dish. You can make your own chili powder by mixing your own special blend...or you can easily purchase a pre-made one. Just be sure to check the ingredient list, so you know exactly what you're buying.

(1) Garlic
An Italian staple, classic garlic powder helps you really bring out the authenticity in your homemade pasta dishes or pizza. Buy it in powder or paste so you can add as much or a little as you want -- and give your meal a true taste of Italy.

(2) Basil
Another Italian classic, basil forms a major base in many mixed herb blend. Basil helps bring together nearly any kind of dish. Mix it well with soups, sauces, and most Italian dishes to give them a little something special. 

(3) Black Peppercorn
Simple but effective, black peppercorns can be ground or cracked to add a little kick to nearly any dish. Use black peppercorns in a steak rub to turn plain meat into a taste sensation. Always try to grind your own peppercorns rather than buying powdered black pepper, because it retains more flavor. There’s always something very satisfying about freshly grinding your own black pepper.

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