My kitchen magic is in using spices and herbs.
Herbs and spices bring food to life. With a bit of experimentation, you can reach a bliss point of taste and aroma that will take ordinary dishes to a whole new level. Spices have also been known to improve health and well-being. They are good for both body and soul.
Building your spice collection is a life-long process: it is certainly not something you should try to do in one day.
Here is a list of my favorite spices and herbs:
Cardamom – This warm, aromatic spice is widely used in Indian cuisine. It’s also great in baked goods when used in combination with spices like clove and cinnamon.
Cayenne Pepper – Made from dried and ground red chili peppers. Adds a sweet heat to soups, braises, and spice mixes.
Cinnamon – Found in almost every world cuisine, cinnamon serves double duty as spice in both sweet and savory dishes.
Basil – A must-have for Italian cooking, basil pairs deliciously with other staples like thyme, garlic, oregano, lemon, and tomato sauce. It also complements rice, potato, and egg-based dishes.
Bay leaves – are aromatic with a woodsy taste.
Dill – Light and feathery herb with a pungent herb flavor. Use it for pickling, with fish, and over potatoes.
Oregano – Robust, somewhat lemony flavor. Used in a lot of Mexican and Mediterranean dishes.
Parsley – Available in flat-leaf (Italian) or curly varieties, this very popular herb is light and grassy in flavor.
Rosemary – Strong and piney goes great with eggs, beans, and potatoes, as well as grilled meats.
Turmeric – Peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger, and while it is best known as one of the ingredients used to make curry, it also gives ballpark mustard its bright yellow color.
Paprika – Adds a sweet note and a red color. Used in stews and spice blends. There is also a spicy version labeled hot paprika.
Nutmeg – Sweet and pungent goes great in baked goods, but also adds a warm note to savory dishes.
Garlic Powder – is made from dehydrated garlic cloves and can be used to give dishes a sweeter, softer garlic flavor.
Cumin – Smoky and earthy taste. Used in a lot of Southwestern U.S. and Mexican cuisine, as well as North African, Middle Eastern, and Indian cuisine.