Making a kitchen from scratch is a difficult thing to do. So many of us for so many years have turned to fast food or pick up meals instead of cooking ourselves. In recent years this is starting to change, most of us now realize the benefits of cooking in our own homes. Less fat, less salt, and more family.
Which one to use?
So when one is creating a kitchen, what do you need? This is the first in a series of posts about kitchen basics, things that in my opinion no kitchen should be without. Mealtime staples, pantry items, kitchen tools, and standby recipes are a few of the things that will be covered over the coming weeks. Today I’ll be looking at the top 10 spices to keep in your cupboard.
Paprika adds a wonderful smoky flavor to anything
you put it in. It’s wonderful in soups and barbecue sauces, and of course on top of deviled eggs. It’s wonderful on top of hash browns as well!
Rosemary leaves are quite like pine needles in look. Rosemary has a slight bitter taste and is wonderfully aromatic, and it lends itself well to strong meat flavors and soups.
Cinnamon is actually the inner bark of a tree, believe it or not. Aromatic and pungent, use it in pies, with chicken and lamb, and with chocolate.
Nutmeg is actually the seed of an evergreen tree that grows in the Indonesian Spice Islands. It is used in sweet and savory dishes, and lends itself well to everything from pumpkin pie to pasta.
The most common basil used is sweet basil, a member of the mint family. Basil was originally cultivated in India, and is best added to dishes at the end of cooking as overcooking can ruin the flavor. Popular in Italian Cuisine, it is wonderful in homemade pesto and I love it in soups.
America developed the taste for Oregano after WWII, when American soldiers stationed in Italy got a taste for it. It is more flavorful when dried, and is wonderful on roasted vegetables and beef, and of course on pizza!
4. Bacon Salt
Bacon Salt. Where do I begin? This is a staple in my kitchen, although not many people have heard of it yet. I add this to soups, to chicken dishes, beef dishes, pork dishes, potatoes. It is one of the most versatile things I’ve come across, and when used in the right amount adds a subtle smokey flavor of, well, bacon! Check it out here at J&D Foods.
3. Onion Powder
The most common kind is white onion powder, although it can be found in Red, Yellow and toasted varieties as well. Add to anything you want to have a taste of onion when you don’t have any, or if you can’t eat them.
Not many things are more flavorful than fresh dill. I admit I use the dried variety a lot, it’s just easier to get for a lot of us. I add Dill to my chicken salad, to eggs, potatoes, and beef. I find that almost anything can be improved with a few shakes of dill, but that might just be me.
1. Garlic Powder
Number one on my list is of course Garlic Powder. I would bet 90% of people reading this have it in their spice rack or cupboard. Garlic powder is awesome in everything, but if you take some garlic powder, add some paprika, bacon salt, onion powder and a little salt it makes a great dry rub.
This, of course, is my list. My top ten. What are the spices you use the most in your kitchen? Are they similar, or completely different?