Kitchen basics: A guide to herbs and spices
When it comes to seasoning, even the smallest amounts can make a big difference!
The most successful combination of herbs and spices works to enhance the natural aroma and flavor of the food you’re cooking. Not sure which ones to add to your cupboard? Here is a brief primer on the essentials:
Ginger is available in several forms — the most common of which are fresh and powdered. Fresh ginger has a very sharp flavor. Powdered ginger works well in baked goods and is also useful when making spice rubs.
Garlic powder provides savory flavor without the work of chopping a clove. To balance a dish that has too much garlic powder, try adding honey.
Cinnamon mixes well with sugar and is most commonly used in baking. However, this aromatic spice can also be used to enhance the flavor of savory foods, such as Chicken Milanese.
Cilantro, also known as Chinese parsley, has a refreshing ginger–based taste and makes an excellent addition to fresh salsa and marinades. Though it’s available in dried form, cilantro works best when it’s used fresh.
Rosemary, a favorite herb, has evergreen–like leaves and a uniquely zesty flavor that works well when added to dishes such as Rosemary Roasted Potatoes.
As a rule of thumb, dried spices can generally be kept for approximately one year.
Try mixing any of your favorite herbs and spices into a butter spread like Country Crock® for a simple way to add flavor.
For the best results when preparing a slow–cooking dish, such as a soup or stew, add herbs an hour or less before serving.
Also, try crushing the herbs, which helps to unlock their full flavor.
For quicker–cooking dishes, you’ll want to add dried spices early on. However, fresh spices and herbs should be added later.