Saturday, October 30, 2010

Spices by Name

Arrowroot   An edible starch known as Arrowroot Powder. Used mainly as a thickening agent. 

Basil            Also called sweet basil. With an aroma that is like mint and tea. Basil is available in leaf form. It is used as a seasoning for pizza, spaghetti sauce, sausage, soup, tomato juice, dressings, salads, and any dish where oregano would be used. There are different types.

Bay Leaves   They have a woody, astringent flavor with a pleasant, slightly minty aroma. Bay leaves should always be removed before food is served. Works well in soups, with meat and poultry dishes, pasta sauces, fish and is also used to flavor some desserts. 

Black Pepper    Black pepper has a sharp, penetrating aroma and a characteristic woody, pine flavor. It is hot and biting to the taste. 

Caraway (Seed)  Tangy flavor similar to dill. It is used as a seasoning in potatoes, cabbage, carrots, sausages, rich meats, in breads and pastries. Caraway is available as the whole seed. 

Cayenne (Red) Pepper A seasoning ground from small, red chili peppers. It has been used as a spice in the dishes of many countries and is also used as a table condiment. It's heat and spiciness varies.Often used with Cajun and Tex-Mex cuisine.

Celery Seed (Salt)  Celery seed tastes like celery and is aromatic with a slight bitterness which enhances other flavors. Celery seed is available whole, ground, or mixed with salt. Celery salt is a blend of ground celery seed and fine salt. It is used primarily as a flavoring in salads (especially potato), sauces, pickling, soup, tomato juice, and meat. It is also an integral part of the flavoring of traditionally prepared crabs and other seafood. 

Chervil     An essential spice in French cuisine, it used like parsley and provides an herbal taste with the slight flavor of anise. Chervil is used much like parsley, but is more delicate. It is most commonly used on fish, egg dishes, salads and as a glaze on vegetables such as carrots.

Chili Powder  Made from dried chilies, usually blended with garlic, onion, cumin, oregano, chili peppers, allspice, garlic, and salt. Color and spiciness varies. It has an earthy, slightly sweet, and often hot flavor. This spice blend usually dominates food rather than enhancing it. Mexican, Tex-Mex and other Latin American dishes depend on chili powder for their characteristic flavor. 

Cilantro   Mexican Parsley has a bold flavor often described as a mixture of sage, parsley, and citrus. In Mexican dishes and salsas, cilantro is the "indescribable" flavor note that sets them apart. Cilantro adds pungent flavor to many Latin American and Asian dishes such as stews, soup, steamed fish, curries, vegetables, , salads, relishes and tomato based sauces, and noodle dishes. It is often called "Chinese parsley." Note: Little goes a long-long way. Most chef's and Mexican cooks use to much that over power the taste. Use it like zest. If you can taste it is cilantro you use to much. It should have you questioning what is this.

Cinnamon     has a woody, musty, earthy characteristic and sweet flavor. It is warming to taste. It is available whole, as cinnamon sticks, and ground. Used in spiced vegetable dishes, also in sweet dishes such as baking, pies, compotes along with meats, stews, vegetables and curries.One of the six most treasured spices.  See History    

Cloves   The flavor of cloves is strong, fruity, and sweet almost hot. Cloves are available both whole and ground. Used for flavoring ham, pork, pickled fruit, onions, gravy, and syrup, spice cake, pumpkin pie, fruitcake, gingerbread, chili sauce, ketchup, and in combination with many other spices. 
Coriander  has a sweet, slightly lemony flavor. (Coriander leaves are called cilantro.) Coriander is available as whole seed and ground and is a principal ingredient in curry powder. Middle Eastern, Indian, Russian, North African, and Mexican recipes include coriander for its distinctive flavor. Coriander seed is a pleasant addition to potato salad, rice's, bean, vegetable dishes, hot dogs, apple pie, poached fish, or bean, pea, and lentil soup. 

Cumin   has a penetrating musty, earthy flavor with some green, grassy nuances. Cumin is available as whole seed and ground. It is a principal ingredient in both chili powder and curry powder. Middle Eastern, Mexican Indian, and North African recipes often include cumin. Also used in curries, stews, and chili.

Curry Powder     See Spice Blends below:

Dill        an annual of the parsley family and is related to anise, caraway, coriander, cumin, and fennel. The seeds are light brown in color, strongly aromatic, and warming to the taste. Dill weed has a subtle, anise like, sweet flavor. Dill is available as the whole seed and as chopped leaves, called dill weed. Dill weed is used in salads, sauces, egg dishes, and especially in seafood dishes. Dill seed is used primarily to flavor pickles and in bread, potato, and vegetable dishes. It works well with a variety of culinary dishes such as omelets, soups, stuffed grape leaves, potato salad, cucumber, veal, breads, cabbage, meat stews and rice. It is also widely used with herring, salmon and other seafood dishes.  

Fenugreek   Has a bitter, maple-like flavor. It is primarily used in Indian cuisine and is also used with curry, as a pickling spice and as imitation maple. 

Garlic (Powder)    Strong, pungent green flavor and is one of the most popular seasonings used today. Garlic can be conveniently purchased as fresh bulbs, dehydrated powder, minced flakes, and blends with salt. It adds flavor to almost any dish. Use it sparingly to begin with and add small amounts until it suits your taste. See Garlic Medical Use

Ginger    The flavor is pungent, lemon/citrus, warm, and sweet. Ginger is available ground, whole (gingerroot), and crystallized. Used to add zest to many dishes such as gingersnaps, gingerbread, sweets such as cakes, cookies, puddings, pumpkin pie and sweet breads. See Medical Use

Kosher Salt    A must in your spice rack. This is a course ground salt, with no chemicals added. Used in brines, rubs, and marinades. Also used to coat the rim of the glass for Margaritas!

Marjoram      has a distinctly aromatic green and pleasant woody flavor, with a slightly bitter undertone. Available in both leaf and ground forms, marjoram should be used sparingly at first. It complements the flavor of chicken and turkey stuffing, vegetable and bean soup, as well as tomato sauces. Marjoram also enhances the flavor of many meat dishes. 

Mustard (Seed, Ground)  has a clean, fresh aroma and a pungent, biting flavor. Ground mustard enhances meat, fish, poultry, sauces, salad dressings, cheese, and egg dishes. It must be moistened for about ten minutes to develop its sharp, hot, tangy flavor. The whole seed is used in pickling, boiled with beets, cabbage, or sauerkraut, and as a garnish for salads.

Nutmeg    has a strong cinnamon, nutty flavor used to flavor sweets, fruit dishes, sauces and vegetables. Nutmeg is available both whole and ground. Nutmeg most commonly used in flavoring sweet foods such as puddings, cakes, and cookies.  It is also used in meat products such as sausage. 

Mace       sold primarily in the ground form.  Most commonly used in flavoring sweet foods such as puddings, cakes, and cookies. It is also used in meat products such as sausage. Mace is the lacy covering of the Nutmeg which is the seed of the fruit.  

Onion (Flakes, Powder, Salt)  an important flavoring in almost every country in the world. When combined with other ingredients, onion flavor is rarely overwhelming or assertive. Onions, pungent when raw and sweet in flavor when cooked, are an extremely versatile flavoring and can be used to accent nearly any kind of dish.

Oregano        Similar in flavor to marjoram, it is not as sweet and is slightly more pungent and bitter. Use oregano in your favorite ethnic dishes as well as in fresh garden salads, egg dishes, quick breads, rubs, and sauces.

Paprika     Brilliant red powder is the "garnish spice" contributing color and sweet pepper flavor. Hungarian paprika is characterized by a hotter taste, achieved in recent times by adding hot, red capsicum pepper to ground paprika. Used as a garnish for light-colored food such as fish, potatoes, eggs, and cheese dishes. Popular addition to many rubs, marinades and sauces. It is the principal seasoning in Hungarian goulash and often is used in French dressing.

Parsley    has a slightly mild green taste. Parsley is available fresh or as dried flakes. It adds both flavor and visual appeal to salads, soup, pasta, butters, shellfish, meat, poultry, sauces, potatoes, egg and cheese dishes. Also used to decorate sides. Unlike Cilantro, Parsley is not as over powering.  

Rosemary    has a distinctive fresh, sweet, pine aroma and flavor. Rosemary is available in leaf form. Use with lamb, pork, potatoes, carrots, stews, sauces, marinades, fish, poultry, bread, on grilled or skewered meat and in roasted potato dishes. 

Sage     whole leaf, crushed and ground form, this herb is distinctively aromatic and fragrant with slightly medicinal, pine, and bitter flavors. It is used to flavor pork, pork sausage, poultry stuffing, veal, and tomato sauces. 

Savory       piquant flavor to many dishes, having strong, slightly peppery flavor and is used to flavor legumes, meat, fish, sausage, stuffing, sauces, soups, ground meat, eggs, or poultry.  

Szechwan Peppers  dried berry of a prickly ash tree having a woody aroma with a spicy, tingly taste. Not a true pepper but It is one of the five essential ingredients in Chinese Spice Seasoning.

Tarragon   a rich and sweet with a faint anise-like flavor. It is an excellent seasoning for sauces, dressings, and with meat, poultry and fish. 

Thyme         has a pungent and sweetly herbal fragrant. It can be used to improve the flavor of most dishes, especially slow cooked dishes.  

Turbinado Sugar   Known as "Sugar in the Raw". Used in many rubs and sauces because it can take higher temperatures without caramelizing. 

White Pepper    has a similar but more earthy flavor than black pepper. Used in many dishes, sauces, rubs, and marinades. 

Zest      Grated peel normally from oranges or lemons. Best when fresh but can be dried. Provides for a slight tangy flavor used in baking, marinades, rubs and sauces. 

Spice Blends:

Chinese Spice Powder   Blend of (5) spices star anise, fagara (Szechwan pepper), cassia (cinnamon), fennel and clove. It is heavily used in Chinese cuisine.  Asian cooks who worked  chuck wagons, the building of the railroad and the Pacific Coast during the early western frontier.

Cotton Field Spice   blend of cumin and cinnamon also called North African Spice.

Creole Spice  blend of garlic, onion, cayenne, black pepper, thyme, oregano, paprika. 

Cuban Spice  blend of cumin, chili powder, cinnamon

Curry Powder   Not a single spice but a blend of many spices. Usually contains turmeric, ginger, black pepper, coriander, cumin, chilies and fenugreek and can also contain cinnamon and clove. Flavors vary according to the use or the creator of the blend. All curry blends have a rich, warm, earthy, and pungent flavor with a great many overtones. The characteristic golden color comes from turmeric. Curry powder is available in mild or hot blends. Curry powder is usually intended to be the dominant flavor but it also may be used in small amounts simply to enhance the flavor of foods such as corn bread, stuffed eggs, soup, and sour cream dips. 

English Pickling Spice  Mixed blend of mustard seed, coriander, allspice, red chilies, bay leaves, ginger. 

File' Gumbo   blend of dried ground sassafras leaves and thyme. It is used as a thickener in and with soups, gumbo, meat, fish, stew and poultry. 

Four-Pepper  blend of four pepper mixes - black pepper, white pepper, rose pepper and green peppercorns, coarsely crushed. 

Garam Masala  Northern Indian blend of cumin, coriander, cardamom, black peppercorn, clove, mace, bay leaf and cinnamon. 

Herbs De Province   Mediterranean blend containing oregano, savory, rosemary, thyme and marjoram, use to flavor stews, chicken, roast beef and tomato dishes.  

Italian Seasoning    blend of marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano and basil. Add to dip, herb breads, any tomato dish, good in marinades and rubs. 

Jamaican Jerk       Ground chilies, accented heavily with thyme and allspice. Used as a spicy flavoring to meats, vegetables and building Barbecue sauce. 

Jamaican Spice     Allspice, caraway, black pepper, coriander, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, thyme. 

Juniper Berries     Aromatic and spicy with the slight flavor of pine. It is mostly used a spice for meats in marinades, on roasts and in sausage mixes.

Mexican Hot Chili Powder  blend of spices and chili peppers, is a U.S. invention based on similar blends once used by the Aztecs. Chipolte, Chili, habanero mixed with salt and black pepper. It is usually used to dominate the flavor of a food but can be used as a background flavor. Use in Mexican dishes such as chili, tacos and enchiladas. Add to guacamole, dips and salad dressings. 

Mexican Spice blend of cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, coriander seeds, aniseed, cumin, chili powder.  
Moroccan Spice    blend of saffron, cumin, ginger, paprika, cinnamon. 

Poultry Seasoning    Mixture of ground thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg. Poultry seasoning was created mainly as stuffing seasoning but it also adds an unusual flavor to all poultry, pork, or veal dishes. Poultry (wild game bird, turkey, chicken, duck) use when baking whole as a rub. 

Southwestern    sweet/spicy blend of cinnamon, cumin, cloves, cayenne. Meat rubs, sauces. 

Steak Seasoning  unique blend of seasonings including black pepper, onion, garlic, paprika and celery seed. Especially good flavor with beef as well as pork and lamb.

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