Friday, August 11, 2006

Favorite Herb & Spice Basics

Just a short post and request...

Over at askRuth, where I'll answer any of your kitchen questions (and if I don't know the answer, I'll find it for you), I've started a running list of herbs and spices to have on hand in the kitchen. I was recently asked what a person who is not that comfortable in the kitchen could do to jazz up quick dishes without using a recipe. I naturally said, add a dash of herbs and spices to a quick stirfry or marinade for meat, chicken and fish and started with my top 4 herbs - basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme (she wanted dried only) and some spices I use almost every day - freshly ground black pepper, chilli pepper flakes, ginger and, of course my all time best friend in the kitchen - garlic. Then my mind continued to think of all the great herb and spice blends I use and realized two things....

1. Every region and culture has their different "must haves",

2. It would be a wonderful opportunity to create a comprehensive list of herbs and spices and what they are used for.

So I encourage you to email me you favorites (herbs &/or spices) and what you use them for and I'll add them to my list. over at askRuth.

Actually my spice cupboard is insanely crammed with all varieties of dried herbs and spices, whole seeds and ground, already mixed like Jamaican & Indian curry powders, Cajun spices, .... There is actually another shelf, but I couldn't back up far enough to get it in the shot. My cousin (the organizing king) can't wait to come to Toronto and have a field day putting my cupboard in order.


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6 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

My spice cupboard looks a lot like yours!!! I love spices, herbs, et cetera and could not live without them...

In fact, I'm a spice freak!

Ruth said...

Rosa, so if you had to pick only 1 or 2 of each, what would they be?

Sara said...

Great idea Ruth! I look forward to seeing what sort of things are on the list.

Debbie said...

Hi

I just wanted to say hello, and I really loved your blogs. I'm not a good cook, just wanted to let you know I was here.

You know I use Mrs Dash. I bet you think thats funny... but they have about 5 different versions and I like them all.
www.debbiecrandall.blogspot.com

Vic Cherikoff said...

Hi Ruth,

Just a comment on your cupboard:

Recognizing that herbs and many aromatic spices are made flavorful by essential oils and that many of these actually boil at low temperature, I store my aromatics in the refrigerator. A tray on a shelf allows for easy access and the product stays as fresh as the day I bought them.

As far as my favorite spices, I pioneered the use of authentic Australian ingredients and in my fridge are lemon myrtle sprinkle (an all-round herb mix for almost any dish conceivable), Alpine pepper (eat it often and if might just prevent arthritis in later life too), Wildfire spice (I liken it to pizza in a bottle) and Wattleseed (which I developed into a spice for cream, ice cream but also for savory sauces, particularly mushroom).

I invite you to have a look here for more information.

Mae said...

I have far too many spices too that i can't keep up with them. I have two spice racks and some hidden in cupboards. I would like to have a huge open shelf for me to be able to see them all otherwise sometimes i forget they're there and end up having doubles. sigh.