Tis Always the Season[ings]


By: Nikki Nies

Whether you’re grilling, sauteeing, roasting or broiling, having seasonings on hand can make a or break a dish.  Sometimes, the extra splash of seasonings can really evoke the flavors waiting to come out.  In addition, seasonings aren’t low in health benefits. While the seasonings you keep stocked will obviously your taste and style of cooking, having certain seasonings on hand can make a world of difference.

Spice Description
Bay Leaves Aromatic, woodsy-tasting leaves are typically sold dried. Choose those with a rich green color. Add whole bay leaves to soups, stews, and marinades; remove before serving
Black Peppercorns Must-have for their slight pungency. Always opt for black peppercorns over preground versions: The flavor of freshly ground or cracked pepper makes the small effort in preparation well worth it
Cayenne Pepper Made from a small, spicy red pepper foundation of many bottled hot sauces. Used frequently in Cajun and Indian recipes
Chili Powder Typically made from a blend of dried chilies, cumin, coriander, and oregano. Delicious in Mexican and Southwestern dishes
Cinnamon, Ground warm, aromatic spice has a reddish brown color and a bittersweet flavor. Great for baking, stews, chilies, and curries
Cloves, Ground Sweet, rich spice is a staple in holiday baking, especially gingersnaps. Use it sparingly; a little goes a long way
Cream of tartar Derived from a crystalline acid that forms on the insides of wine barrels, this fine white powder is most often used to stabilize meringues
Cumin, ground An aromatic, mellow spice, ground from a small seed; great in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking, especially curries
Curry Powder Includes coriander, cumin, and turmeric—can make up this popular Indian blend; Madras variety has more heat
Ginger, ground More intense and astringent taste than fresh ginger. Keep it on hand for baking
Kosher salt Coarse salt made without the addition of iodine; use in place of table salt for seasoning recipes; the larger crystals are easier to pinch with your fingers, allowing for greater control of seasoning
Nutmeg, whole Delicate, warm spice frequently used in baking; common addition to baked winter squash, béchamel sauce, and spinach dishes
Oregano, dried member of the mint family, robust herb is commonly used in Mediterranean, South American, and Cajun cooking
Paprika Powder made from ground sweet red pepper pods, this is available in sweet and hot varieties. (If the type is not indicated on the bottle, it’s most likely sweet.) With a rich red color and a smooth texture, Hungarian paprika is of the highest quality; use to season meat, seafood, and vegetables. It also makes for a nice garnish on deviled eggs
Crushed red pepper Spices up pastas and stir-fries or to sprinkle on pizzas
Rosemary, dried With an aroma of lemon and pine, this herb is used in an assortment of Mediterranean dishes
Sesame Seeds Have a sweet, nutty taste that complements both savory and sweet dishes. The seeds are especially flavorful and aromatic when toasted. Store them in the freezer: Because of their high oil content, the seeds can quickly become rancid
Thyme, dried Fragrant herb lends a delicate flavor to meat, poultry, and vegetables; popular in Mediterranean, Cajun, and Creole cuisines
Vanilla Extract Baking essential made by soaking vanilla beans in alcohol. Opt for the pure rather than the imitation variety, which often has additives and an unnatural flavor

What are your go to spices? What are you constantly adding to your dishes?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s