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Essential Spices in your pantry?

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    Posted: 27 February 2010 at 18:52
Most dried & herb spices keep well for a couple of years, if they are in a dry, relative constant temp, dark cabinet in sealed jars or containers.  Winco opened near us and sell spices out of bulk containers, so now I don't keep large quantities of each spice more like 1/3 cup of each on hand, and replenish when low from the bulk supply Winco.  Since I smoke a lot of meat, and make all my own rubs, I do keep large containers of Chili Powder, Paprika, Cumin, Black Peppercorns, Kosher Salt,  Montreal Steak Seasoning, Brown Sugar.

What dried spices &  herbs do you consider essential to have always in stock for the well rounded home cook?  You typically serve 60% American, 20% Mexican, 10% Asian, 10% eclectic.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2010 at 19:18

aside from various salts, pepper (ground and peppercorns) and any "seasoning blends (such as lawry's or alpine touch), i like to have on hand sugar (white, dark brown and turbinado), chili powder, thyme, marjoram, oregano, basil, chives, cilantro, rosemary, red pepper flakes, paprika, cayenne, sage, dill, cumin and cinnamon. i am not married to parsley, but it usually around in the cabinet as well.

there are of course others for specialty usage etc., but if i have those listed above, i don't feel like i'm missing anything.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 February 2010 at 03:24
Great question Dude
I always keep a good supply of spices for my rubs, also ingredients for my herbs de provence. I like to make a lot of my own herb mixes. Various sea salts, kosher salt...(I like to smoke the sea salts for different uses) a variety of different peppers to grind, turbinado sugar is always there, crushed red, thyme, marjorum, lavender, summer savory, basil, oregano, celery seed, fennel seed. Geez...the list just keeps going.... coriander, cumin, paprikas (sweet and hot),mustard seed, mustard powder.
Darn...that about it off the top of my head, but I'll take a look later and maybe post more.
 
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 February 2010 at 06:35
Besides what I already mentioned, in no particular order:
Basil, Oregano, Celery Seed & salts, Dry Mustard, Cayenne Pepper, Several kinds of salt including sea & kosher, Old Bay seasoning, onion powder, onion flakes, garlic powder, garlic mixes 2 or 3 kinds, cinnamon, orange peel, fennel, coriander, dill weed, poultry seasoning, annise, thyme, rosemary, sesame seed, ground ginger, several kinds of pepper, bon appetit, all spice, bay leaves, sage, parsley flakes, mexican oregano, marjoram, red pepper flakes, italian seasoning.  Several kinds of Steak seasoning.

Our kitchen is small, I can't get any more spices into the spice cabinet.  Besides the few larger size bottles I mentioned above, I also keep in zip lock bags refills for several of the above spices, because I make all my own rubs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 February 2010 at 07:50
yep, all of those mentioned can be found in our cabinet. another one that i want to try using a lot this year is cardamon. i recevied a good supply of this from rivet and i think it could end up making a great "secret ingredient" in a lot of applications.
 
old bay is a great seasoning mix, as is cavender's greek seasoning....too many to mention!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2010 at 05:25
Essential? Well salt first- 3 kinds: sea, kosher and table. I do have several smoked salts as well as regional ones too- himalayan pink being one of my favourites. Then peppercorns to grind- couple different types, but I am partial to a medley- nice color and a rainbow of flavors. regular store ground too. It always seems I have to reload the mill when I need pepper fast! Then...Granulated garlic, not garlic salt. A key ingredient in my rubs, which then leads me to several must-haves: cumin, paprika (smoked and sweet) chili powder. Sugars, regular white, raw/turbinado sugar, brown sugar and while we are at it molasses and honey.
 
Herbs...the must haves are oregano, basil, thyme, ground coriander. If you can find it, cardamom.
 
Always should have boullion cubes of beef and chicken too. Sometimes we run out of stock, or don't have the time to thaw out the pint- a couple boullion cubes in a recipe work magic.
 
Oh and one more thing- either garam masala or chinese 5 spice for those times your adding asian flair.
 
These are pretty much my basics..must haves. I am certain all of us here have many many more!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ozzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2010 at 18:55

All my dry herbs I keep in clean spaghetti jars. The glass doesnt add any funk and keeps for a spell. I only keep a little bit at a time.

I still ain't eating snails!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2010 at 19:16
I'm on a reduced-sodium diet, and so far these are my favorite salt-free seasonings: Garlic powder, onion powder, dill weed, cumin, country-style adobo, Florida pepper, lemon pepper and smoked pepper. Also this stuff: http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeysmuralofflavor.html

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2011 at 16:23
I'm now learning to use allspice. Good stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2011 at 17:18
it sure is, melissa ~ the thing i like it is not only where i expect to find it, but also in dishes that i wouldn't expect it to use it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote barry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2011 at 07:01
Fresh is best... I know its darn handy cracking open a miniature jar of mixed herbs, garlic, dried basil,thyme, rosemary, tumeric, cayenne, cajun, chilli spices etc etc etc and bla bla the list can go on and on and on... and all the pre mentioned i do indeed stock in the pantry... great to have and keep for ages but.....
 
..... for me fresher is better... leafs, fresh herbs etc bought from the local fruit n veg or supermarket or grown in your window.... there is most definetly a big difference in something fresh than something cooked up or dehydrated in a jar for months on end.. certainly a difference in flavours come finished product...
 
also i saw bouillion/ stock cubes mentioned above... nothing wrong with those puppies either each to there own... but making your own... 3hours of stewing and de greasing and reducing and... hey pesto... bang factor stock... freeze as ice cubes and pop out whenever needed... the difference in flavour is immense and cheap as chips to do.... good i love cooking!!!!!
 
underpressure1982.blogspot.com got a new simple salmon recipe up there... check it out and follow me.... please!! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote barry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2011 at 07:02
*God... as in god i love cooking Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2011 at 08:43
much agreed, barry -
 
lately i've been growing herbs, buying whole spices etc., and we have also been doing a lot of making our own stock as well, saving trimmings from onions, carrots, celery and garlic for added richness. very wonderful stuff every time and when reduced down to glace de viande, it simply can't be beat as a flavour boost for almost anything. last night, we made a humble chicken-and-rice casserole for supper, but it tasted like 5-star cuisine with the simple addition of a little home-made glace.
 
very nice!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote barry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2011 at 10:13
Bones and chopped carcus from, butchers, fish mongers, etc to make glazes... secret to successfull stocks... they are free of charge and you are rescuing them from the butchers, mongers bin... and putting them to use in sauces, soups etc etc etc....
also neat l'il trick i do with regular ice cube trays for special occasions... fill ice cube tray with water.. freeze for bout 20minutes checking regularly, making sure cubes only half set.. so whip the half set cubes out ready.... they should be liquid in the centre and froze on outside... empty out liquid and replace with a stock olive oil mixture then return to freeze... these little stock oil ice cubes look smashing for special occassions drop into bowl of soup before serving... looks specacular....  bang
 
chicken rice casserole.... hmmmmn... getting hungry
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2011 at 11:03
never thought of that, but it sounds like a winner ~ thanks!
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