Monday, January 19, 2009

Let's Spice It Up

I will be honest. I cook from a box. Not all the time, of course, but a lot of my meals come from a box. I always pizazz them up adding my own spices to them, or veggies, or the kitchen sink, if I feel like it. I would like to discuss seasoning and spices with you today. Some of you who read this blog are seasoned chefs, and some of you, well, let's just say you couldn't find your way around a kitchen if someone drew you a map, so this is for you. Spices can make or break your dish, so here's a guide to help you spice it up a little.

Montreal Steak Seasoning or a Chicago/NY style Steak blend, black pepper, table salt, Mrs. Dash Onion & Herbs, Emeril's or Tony Chachere's Special Herbal Blend. Additions of parsley, minced onion, cajun blends, and garlic salt can savvy up your steak as well.

Mrs Dash Onion & Herbs, Tony Chachere's Special Herbal Blend, cayenne pepper, black pepper, table salt, sea salt, paprika, Mrs Dash, basil, garlic salt & parsley blend, Italian seasoning, Emeril's.

Chef Paul Prodhomme Pizza & Pasta Magic, Italian Seasoning, Tony Chachere's Special Herbal Blend, rosemary, cloves, garlic, parsley, cayenne pepper, black pepper, table salt, basil, oregano, nutmeg. The options are just about limitless with pasta.

Chicken, Pork:
chicken seasoning, paprika, bbq spice, parsley, table salt, black pepper, garlic salt, lemon juice, honey, maple syrup, molassas, worchestershire sauce, teriyaki, sweet & sour, Chef Paul Prudhomme Chicken Magic, Emeril's, Mesquite BBQ blend, Italian seasoning, minced onion, onion powder, chicken bouillion, Mrs Dash (all), lemon pepper, bourbon, orange spice, cinnamon, mustard seed. The possibilities are endless.

The key to spices is to always start with a little. You can always add more as you go along, but once you add it, you can't take it back out. Don't be afraid to experiment around with different brands and seasonings. Just start with a pinch of this and a pinch of that. I have found that sometimes spices you think sound gross on a food actually give it that last little bit of jazz it needed to go from drab to fabulous.

Feel free to share your favorite spices and seasonings.

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