Herbs & Spices - please help me use them.

linni
linni Posts: 1,480
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edited 29 September 2009 at 5:51PM in Old style MoneySaving
I seem to have loads of herbs & spices - tumeric, cajun, paprika, basil, ginger, cumin, tarragon, thyme, marjoram, sage, parsley, nutmeg, cinnamon, mixed spice, mint, oregano, corriander, garam masala, mace and cayenne to name a few, but I dont really know what to do with them. Any suggestions?

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  • Chris25
    Chris25 Posts: 12,918
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    edited 29 September 2009 at 7:34AM
    they start to lose their flavour & pungency once opened and especially if kept in the light. Smell them, if they're still ok then ........

    the ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, mixed spice can be used in stewed fruit, mulled wine or apple juice, mincemeat or cakes & puddings.

    Cinnamon mixed with suger & butter then spread onto toast and finished under the grill or in a frying pan is lovely.

    Basil and oregano you can mix to make an italian seasoning to add to minced beef or pork or mix with passata/tomato puree to top a pizza.

    Any of the herbs can be mixed with oil & vinegar to make salad dressings - use a pinch of sugar if it tastes too bitter.

    Or mix dried herbs with breadcrumbs, chopped onion and an egg yolk to make stuffing.

    Paprika is lovely sprinkled with breadcrumbs over cauliflower or macaroni cheese. Or on egg mayonnaise.

    Cajun - rub raw meat or fish before cooking or make potato wedges, spray with oil before roasting,

    No idea how to make curry but I see you have curry spices there - I'm sure you'll get loads of other ideas.
  • linni
    linni Posts: 1,480
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    Thanks for the tips. The cinnamon on toast sound yummie. I shall print the list and stick it on my fridge for inspiration!
  • Chris25
    Chris25 Posts: 12,918
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    oh yes and ginger with spring onion and chicken stir fry is good. make a sauce with a little liquid and cornflour - lovely!
  • Please remember this post and don't offer medical advice to use these herbs and spices ;)

    Penny. x
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  • CCP
    CCP Posts: 5,061
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    Tarragon's good with chicken or turkey - I like a little bit added to a creamy sauce with chicken and mushrooms, or mixed in with mayonnaise to go with a roast chicken sandwich.

    I sometimes add cajun spice to meat or veg chilli for a bit of a change; it's also good sprinkled over veggies before roasting, then wrap them up in tortillas with a bit of grated cheese and some plain yoghurt.

    I'm sure there's lots of other things to do with what you've got - I've also got a cupboard full of herbs and spices so I know what it's like - but I'm tired and I hear my bed calling. I'll think about it overnight and get back to you. (I'd like to add a 'falling asleep' smiley, but there doesn't seem to be one, unfortunately!)
  • ChocClare
    ChocClare Posts: 1,475 Forumite
    Turmeric dyes things bright yellow - if you fry an onion and then add rice and a teaspoon of turmeric, then pour in water or stock you have the basis of a pilaff.

    Cumin and coriander mixed together give a nice "Moroccan" flavour. If you fry off an onion and add some diced lamb, then sprinkle over a teaspoon each of coriander and cumin, plus some ginger and garlic and a dash of cinnamon, stir into meat, add some chopped sweet potatoes, a tin of tomatoes and a tin of chickpeas and maybe a little stock, bung in the oven until the sweet potatoes are soft and all the flavours have been absorbed. Serve on rice or couscous - hey! you could use your turmeric rice!

    Paprika: mix a teaspoon each of pepper, salt, ginger, paprika and crushed garlic and smear over two packets of thighs and drumsticks (they're often on BOGOF). Cook on 140 degrees for an hour. Meanwhile mix together a cup of molasses sugar eg Billingtons (or 3/4 cup brown sugar and a tablepoon of molasses), half a cup of soy sauce and a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. When the chicken has cooked for an hour, pour off any stock and then tip your sugar/soy sauce mix over the chicken to coat and put back in the oven turned up to 170 degrees. Baste occasionally - supposed to be for another hour but often doesn't take that long. Best sticky chicken ever!

    Mace - is the vital ingredient in bread sauce. You don't say whether you have ground mace or blades of mace. Anyway, melt an ounce of butter in a saucepan, add half a pint of milk, six peppercorns, a bay leaf, a chopped onion and a blade of mace (or a teaspoon of mace). Some people put in a whole onion stuck with cloves, but I don't like cloves! Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, then leave to infuse. When you're ready, pour the milk through a sieve into a clean jug; discard onion and herbs, pour milk back into saucepan, bring to boil again and add in breadcrumbs - I THINK it's supposed to be 2oz but I just zhuzh up a couple of slices of bread in the magimix and add breadcrumbs until it looks right. Remember that the bread will swell up after you've put it in, so don't go too mad! If you've got cream, stick a slosh of cream in - or a bit more butter if you like. We're not talking slimming here.

    The best sauce with chicken or turkey - and actually a bit of a doddle to make.

    For your garam masala; if you want a fragrant flavour without yer actual curriness - fry off an onion and some chopped chicken; sprinkle over a teaspoon of garam masala; stir in; add stock; reduce down and then stir in a small tub of cream and fresh coriander. I had this at a "do" I went to and went and pinned the chef to the wall until she gave me the recipe!

    Some food for thought there I hope (pardon the pun). Hope it helps.
  • Those sound great, really helpful, good posting Linni :T
  • linni
    linni Posts: 1,480
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    I love these ideas. I have lots of expirementing to do and no more bland food!
  • Fully agree with the cinnamon toast idea. I normally put cinnamon in my hot chocolate as well which works to use it up and makes the hot chocolate taste really nice.
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  • CCP
    CCP Posts: 5,061
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    Cinnamon is good with cooked fruit, too - my current favourite breakfast is porridge with stewed plums and cinnamon. Mmm!

    BTW, that sticky chicken recipe looks seriously good, ChocClare - that's another one to add to my 'must try that' recipe file!
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