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Recipes : Spices and Herbs
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 Message 1 of 1 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameEerie7  (Original Message)Sent: 6/24/2008 4:35 PM

Which Spices/Herbs to Use

How many of us have spice racks with jars of spices we bought years ago and never used ?whose sole purpose is to collect the dust in your kitchen? ?Now is the time to dust them off (or replace them) and start adding flavor to your dishes-The correct spice or herb (whether it is fresh or dried) for any food is the one that tastes right for you-When you're at a loss about what to add to a dish, try something from the list below


Beans - cumin, cayenne, chili, oregano, parsley, pepper, sage, savory, thyme
Breads - anise, basil, caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, dill, garlic, lemon peel, orange peel, oregano, poppy seeds, rosemary, saffron, sage, thyme
Fruits - allspice, anise, cardamom, Chinese 5-spice, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, mint
Potatoes - basil, caraway, celery seed, chervil, chives, coriander, dill, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, poppy seed, rosemary, tarragon, thyme
Salads and Salad Dressings - basil, caraway, celery seed, chives, dill, fennel, garlic, horseradish, lemon peel, lovage, marjoram, mint, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sumac, tarragon, thyme
Soups - basil, bay, chervil, chili, chives, cumin, dill, fennel, garlic, marjoram, parsley, pepper, rosemary, sage, savory, star anise, thyme
Sweets - allspice, angelica, anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, ginger, lemon peel, mace, nutmeg, mint, orange peel, rosemary, star anise
Tomatoes - basil, bay, celery seed, cinnamon, chili, curry, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory, tarragon, thyme
Vegetables - chili, chives, curry, dill, marjoram, parsley, savory, thyme


Allspice: An ingredient in many baked goods as well as "Jerk" sauces
Anise Seed: Mild licorice flavor, used in cookies, or candies
Arrowroot Powder: Use as a thickener in puddings, pies, soups, sauces, and gravies
Basil: used in Italian and Mediterranean cooking, especially good with tomatoes
Bay Leaves: Perfect use in stews, sauces, soups, and marinades
Caraway Seeds: Great in baked goods and with fruits
Cardamom, ground: A wonderful addition to Indian dishes
Cardamom, whole: Dry roast the whole cardamom seeds for more flavor in your recipe
Cayenne Pepper: Wonderful heat for any Mexican dish
Chervil Leaf: Similar to parsley, a mild flavor for any meat, soup or vegetable dish
Cilantro: Used in Mexican cooking & salsas; may also be used in Indian dishes-
Cloves, ground: Popular in desserts, syrups, and sweet vegetable dishes-
Coriander seed, ground: Citrusy, sweet & tart flavor to be used at the end when cooking
Cream of Tartar: Adds consistency and stability to any cookie or cake-
Cumin Seed, ground: Wonderful with tomato dishes, chili, salsa & Indian dishes
Dill Weed: Great in dressings and sauces and on potatoes
Ginger, crystallized: Sliced ginger partially dried in a sugar syrup solution - For sweets
Ginger, ground: A sharp, aromatic spice is used in many sweet baked goods and curries
Lemongrass: A grass with citric oils, very popular in Thai cooking-
Marjoram: Like oregano & from the mint family, it has a sweeter and subtler taste
Nutmeg, ground: A sweet, nutty spice is used in custards, pastries, and vegetables
Oregano, Greek: A must for Italian cooking, Greek oregano has a mild, delicate flavor
Oregano, Mexican: Slightly stronger than Greek and less sweet, used in Spanish cooking
Paprika, hot: Mixed with cayenne, these red peppers make the Hungarians famous
Paprika, sweet: This sweet, milder Paprika will add radiant color to any dish
Parsley: This versatile herb can be used as a garnish or with anything other than sweets
Poppy Seeds: Used in baked goods, breads & to flavor noodles
Rosemary, ground: Use ground in sauces or stocks to avoid the "needle" look
Saffron, whole threads: Use for saffron rice and Indian dishes
Sage: Well known for use in stuffings
Salt, Kosher: Coarser than regular granulated, easier to control in cooking
Savory: Strong, peppery taste, good with veggies & stuffing
Sesame Seeds: Used mostly for baking breads & rolls, nice for stir-frys
Spearmint: A popular tea flavoring, used in sauces and veggie dishes
Tarragon: Aromatic herb used to flavor vinegar, dressings, breads- Great with potatoes!
Thyme, ground: Great for Greek & Italian cooking, use ground for sauces & soups
Thyme, whole leaf: Versatile in flavoring veggies, pizza, stews & herb blends
Turmeric: Used as a natural yellow coloring for soups, sauces, rice, curry, & tofu scramble
?Store spices in a cool, dark place- Humidity, light and heat will cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor more quickly- Although the most convenient place for your spice rack may be above your stove, moving your spices to a different location may keep them fresh longer
?As a general rule, herbs and ground spices will retain their best flavors for a year
Whole spices may last for 3 to 5 years-Proper storage should result in longer
freshness times
?Because the refrigerator is a rather humid environment, storing herbs and spices there is not recommended-To keep larger quantities of spices fresh, store them in the freezer in tightly sealed containers
?For long-cooking dishes, add herbs and spices an hour or less before serving
Cooking spices for too long may result in overly strong flavors
?Use restraint! In general, ¼ teaspoon of spice is enough for 4 servings
?Do not use dried herbs in the same quantity as fresh- In most cases, use ¼ the amount in dried as is called for fresh-
?Seasoning food is an art, not a science-Experimenting with herbs and spices can be fun and educational, and while you may occasionally be eating a less than perfect dish, you may also end up creating that recipe that will become a classic in your household

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