Knowing how to use different types of spices can instantly take your cooking to a whole new level. Turn your food around from bland and boring to distinctive and delicious with a touch of spice.
Spices are mostly dried and ground before using. Pre-ground spices lose potency quickly, so it’s best to store them in airtight containers in a cool, dark place. Whole spices retain their flavours longer (for up to 5 years) and can be used whole or ground in a mortar and pestle. To get the best flavours for your spices, give it a little “toast” on a dry skillet or pan over low heat while stirring frequently till they release their aroma.
Adding flavours into your cooking doesn’t mean just salt and pepper to bring out the flavour, but it can also include all kinds of other flavours like lemon, vinegar, chilli, sugar, the flavour of woodsmoke or charcoal as well as herbs and spices.
Here’s how you can combine a few spices together to create your own seasoning mix:
House seasoning mix
– Combine onion powder, cayenne pepper, dried rosemary, dried thyme, dried sweet basil and grated Parmesan. Store it in a jar and use it for roasted potatoes and vegetables, meats, salads or baked fish.
Basic seasoning mix
– Combine ¼ kosher salt, 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons garlic powder. You can also add in onion powder. Perfect for beef, chicken, fish and vegetables.
Chilli seasoning mix
– Combine 2 tablespoons chilli powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, 1 tablespoon dried minced garlic or garlic powder, 1 tablespoon dried minced onion or onion powder, 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons dried parsley, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon dried basil, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper and 2 teaspoons brown sugar. Use it for roasting meats.
Burger seasoning mix
– Combine ¼ cup salt, 2 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, ½ tablespoon cumin, ½ tablespoon ground black pepper, ½ tablespoon dried basil, ½ tablespoon dried parsley, 1 teaspoon chilli, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon dry mustard. Add in into your meat patties for the tastiest burgers ever.
Do you have a favourite spice mix stored in your pantry?