Cooking With Herbs and Spices
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Here are some tips for using seasonings.
- Remember that many things can be used for seasoning food. Orange, lemon, or lime juice and zest, raisins, apples and apple juice, vinegar, bell peppers, hot peppers, celery and celery tops, onions and green onion tops can all be seasonings.
- Don't overdo seasonings. Pick a theme. For instance, you aren't going to need bell peppers, onions, garlic, lemon, chili, basil and oregano in the same dish. The flavors will compete and you'll be wasting. As a general rule, pick three seasonings and taste it. If it needs something else, try to figure out what that is. Don't just dump everything in.
- If you don't have room for a whole rack of spices, get a few seasoning mixes and use those instead. For instance: Italian, Chili, Lemon Pepper, Garlic or Onion, and Cinnamon Spice (pie spices). For the amount of cooking most busy people do, about five mixes will work for everything.
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Whenever I am making a soup, stew, sauce or anything that will need many seasonings, I use the method I pictured below! When I am done I can check that I have used everything I needed for my recipe. It really keeps things organized.
When cooking, shake your spices into the lid of the spice bottle or even your hand (unless it is hot pepper), then add them to your dish. Why not sprinkle them in right over the pot? Here are a couple of good and thrifty reasons:
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