Tip of the Month: March 2017

img_2819I have no fear of adding too much spices. Rather, I am fearful of adding too little spices. In my kitchen, you can easily find over 40 spices that each offer a unique and essential taste to a dish. No, these spices are not mixes that you buy from McCormick at Harris Teeter. They are you individual spices that when mixes together, can make something truly amazing.

I would argue that no two dishes require the same spices and I like to mix up my meals so having a pre-made spice blend doesn’t seem logical. With that, I would like to present this months ToM: Make own spice mix. With an array of spices, you can mix and match them to give you any kind of flavors. Below, I have created a list of spices I like to keep on hand. When I have any extra leftover from the blend, I like to put it in  a labeled plastic bag and freeze them for later. This will ensure their freshness and prevent you from wasting food.

Spices that are always on hand: cumin, turmeric, nutmeg, cloves, garam masala, cinnamon, sumac, cayenne, cardamon, sage, ginger, curry powder, thyme, coriander, caraway, paprika.

img_2803One recipe that uses a few spices in my recipe for a Cape Malay Curry. This delicious dish deals with the mixture of sweet and savory and is robust in flavors. The spices used in this recipe are a bit different from my usual curry flavorings, making it all the more unique.

IMG_0841While some recipes I add a bunch of different spices, others I keep it simple. A great example is my recipe for Cauliflower in Tomato Sauce. This recipe uses only rosemary and red pepper flakes (I consider herbs and pepper flakes as spices because they also help in elevating a dish). This odd combination somehow creates the perfect flavors for a hearty comfort dish. IMG_0130With Spring coming up at the end of the month, kick off spring cleaning by going through your spice cabinet and tossing out all the old ones and replace them with fresh spices, adding in a few new ones to the collection. Besides having a celebratory meal that is full of flavor to mark the beginning of Spring, you should also consider making these cute Alsatian Lammala Cakes. These have always been a favorite of mine and are the perfect way to finish off your meal.

Happy March!



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