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  • FIRST POST
    • linni
    • By linni 29th Sep 09, 8:00 AM
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    linni
    Herbs & Spices - please help me use them.
    • #1
    • 29th Sep 09, 8:00 AM
    Herbs & Spices - please help me use them. 29th Sep 09 at 8:00 AM
    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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    Last edited by Former MSE Wendy; 29-09-2009 at 6:51 PM.
Page 1
    • Chris25
    • By Chris25 29th Sep 09, 8:25 AM
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    Chris25
    • #2
    • 29th Sep 09, 8:25 AM
    • #2
    • 29th Sep 09, 8:25 AM
    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.
    Last edited by Chris25; 29-09-2009 at 8:34 AM.
    • linni
    • By linni 29th Sep 09, 8:59 AM
    • 1,523 Posts
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    linni
    • #3
    • 29th Sep 09, 8:59 AM
    • #3
    • 29th Sep 09, 8:59 AM
    Thanks for the tips. The cinnamon on toast sound yummie. I shall print the list and stick it on my fridge for inspiration!
    • Chris25
    • By Chris25 29th Sep 09, 3:03 PM
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    Chris25
    • #4
    • 29th Sep 09, 3:03 PM
    • #4
    • 29th Sep 09, 3:03 PM
    oh yes and ginger with spring onion and chicken stir fry is good. make a sauce with a little liquid and cornflour - lovely!
    • Penelope Penguin
    • By Penelope Penguin 29th Sep 09, 9:18 PM
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    Penelope Penguin
    • #5
    • 29th Sep 09, 9:18 PM
    • #5
    • 29th Sep 09, 9:18 PM
    Please remember this post and don't offer medical advice to use these herbs and spices

    Penny. x
    Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding
    • CCP
    • By CCP 29th Sep 09, 10:21 PM
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    CCP
    • #6
    • 29th Sep 09, 10:21 PM
    • #6
    • 29th Sep 09, 10:21 PM
    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
    • #7
    • 29th Sep 09, 10:59 PM
    • #7
    • 29th Sep 09, 10:59 PM
    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.
  • Titch28
    • #8
    • 30th Sep 09, 8:01 AM
    • #8
    • 30th Sep 09, 8:01 AM
    Those sound great, really helpful, good posting Linni
    • linni
    • By linni 30th Sep 09, 8:43 AM
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    linni
    • #9
    • 30th Sep 09, 8:43 AM
    • #9
    • 30th Sep 09, 8:43 AM
    I love these ideas. I have lots of expirementing to do and no more bland food!
    • minerva_windsong
    • By minerva_windsong 30th Sep 09, 8:51 AM
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    minerva_windsong
    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
    • By CCP 30th Sep 09, 8:57 AM
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    CCP
    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!
  • JaneAire
    spice bags?
    I was reading a craft book yesterday and it suggested using herbs and spices to make little fabric bags or shapes - like lavender bags but with other smells.

    I havent tried it yet but im thinking of using some scraps of leftover materials (old shirts etc) to make some decorations for the kitchen which will smell lovely. This might be the home made gift idea for christmas this year! Ive got loads of rosemary in the garden I can use but will also try old kitchen spices too.
    • Chris25
    • By Chris25 30th Sep 09, 9:24 AM
    • 12,776 Posts
    • 12,609 Thanks
    Chris25
    I was reading a craft book yesterday and it suggested using herbs and spices to make little fabric bags or shapes - like lavender bags but with other smells.

    I havent tried it yet but im thinking of using some scraps of leftover materials (old shirts etc) to make some decorations for the kitchen which will smell lovely. This might be the home made gift idea for christmas this year! Ive got loads of rosemary in the garden I can use but will also try old kitchen spices too.
    Originally posted by JaneAire

    oh yes, you've reminded me.....you can put the sweet scented spices (nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon etc) into a muslin bag then make a cover for them, a bit like an envelope or small cushion cover but large enough for them to lie on one level when placed on a hard surface. Use festive fabric and this can then be used as a potstand or coaster - everytime you place a hot saucepan or mug on it, the smell wafts up

    or sprinkle in amongst pot-pourri, again for that Christmassy fragrance.
  • mywordsaidmat
    chilli spice mix & "panchphoran"
    why not remix those spices!

    a spice mix to make chilli (whether bean or meat) goes as follows:
    1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
    2 tsp paprika
    1/2 tsp dried thyme
    1/2 tsp dried sage
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

    don't worry if you're missing an ingredient, it's all good. fry some onion, a fresh chilli pepper, maybe a green pepper, then your meat / beans and add the spice mix. then a couple of tins of tomatoes. fresh coriander too perhaps? simmer for an hour or so. yum. i actually make a whole jar of the mix as we have it so much.

    speaking of which, a classic bengali spice mix called panchphoran is equal proportions of fennel seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds & nigella seeds (just double the cumin if you haven't got nigella). my favourite use for this is if you cook up some red lentils to make dal, get a couple of tbsp oil really hot in a frying pan then add 1/2 tsp of the panchphoran to the oil - the seeds will start popping (this is what's called the "tarka" technique. just carefully (it may spit) pour the hot oil / spices into the cooked lentils and stir. yum. hey presto your dal is now tarka dal.

    incidentally, both these came from madhur jaffrey's fantastic book World Vegetarian.
    • vitamin_joe
    • By vitamin_joe 30th Sep 09, 12:35 PM
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    vitamin_joe
    my tip is a D-I-Y suggestion- Once you've gotten used to how different herbs and spices work, you get a sense of how a recipe might benefit from a bit of one of them. What I do, to avoid ruining a dish- I spoon out a small amount, and then add a relative amount of the herb or spice, stir in and taste. If it improves the taste, then I can add the herb or spice to the main dish. It's an exciting and safe way of experimenting, finding out how the flavour of different herbs and spices affect the taste of your meal.

    as a general rule, I personally use herbs in a European-style dish, and spices in a curry. However, I add a bit of hand-ground chilli seeds to almost everything
    • CCP
    • By CCP 30th Sep 09, 1:20 PM
    • 4,599 Posts
    • 92,841 Thanks
    CCP
    However, I add a bit of hand-ground chilli seeds to almost everything
    Originally posted by vitamin_joe
    I can relate to that! I love chillis and throw some into most things - there's not much chilli doesn't go with, imo!
  • tightwadman
    Spices for Curry
    I see you already have turmeric, cumin and coriander. If these are as I think and already ground then mix them together and you will have "curry powder". You will have to vary the quantities according to taste and if you want some more heat add some paprika. Pour some olive oil into a pan, add finely chopped onions of any sort and then your curry powder and away you go - then add meats or other veg to suit your diet. No need to go out and buy a "curry" sauce and it will be tons better than "Uncle Bens"!!!! You can make endless variations on curries. I like to add dried sultanas to mine!
    • doobyden
    • By doobyden 3rd Oct 09, 9:47 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    doobyden
    Some yummmmerz ideas here!

    You can also try adding cinnamon to the water when boiling/ steaming carrots... really brings out the sweetness. Just struck me that this may work with with sweet potatoes too. I will have to try it!
    • Chris25
    • By Chris25 4th Oct 09, 9:00 AM
    • 12,776 Posts
    • 12,609 Thanks
    Chris25
    Some yummmmerz ideas here!

    You can also try adding cinnamon to the water when boiling/ steaming carrots... really brings out the sweetness. Just struck me that this may work with with sweet potatoes too. I will have to try it!
    Originally posted by doobyden

    I'm sure it would - cinnamon is lovely sprinkled on roasted or mashed sweet potato as is nutmeg on mashed swede or brocolli soup
  • BitterAndTwisted
    Cinnamon and nutmeg are used in Greek cooking when making a meat and macaroni dish called pastizio, It's really delicious, even if you don't think those spices would go well with lamb or beef. Believe me, they do!
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