There are the spices and seasonings you should always have in your pantry, and then are the special bois. These are the blends that smell so good and look so pretty, but maybe seem just a little too precious for everyday use. These are the blends you should give as gifts.
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Making your own spice blends isn't particularly challenging, but buying a single bottle of a blend is both more convenient and fiscally responsible than buying five bottles of five different spices. Plus, if you're just getting into the world of seasonings and spices, blends can be a bit less intimidating.
Throughout the culinary kingdom, there are many foods that pair famously well, salt and pepper being perhaps the most iconic. These two grace almost every dish, every recipe, every table, and every condiment bar that you've ever been to. But why?
Don't get me wrong, black pepper has its place - I love a fillet au poivre, black pepper vodka, and of course crunchy black pepper potato chips - but there are other, less frequently used peppercorns, and you should know about them. There's a whole world of chromatically diverse flavour out there, and you should be tasting that peppery rainbow.
Awards season is rapidly approaching, which means you should be watching lots of movies - so that you may express your smart and good movie opinions - and eating lots of snacks. A big bowl of fluffy, flavorful popped corn is the obvious, correct choice, but if you find yourself getting a little bored of the basic butter-and-salt situation, we have some ways to branch out.
Indian cooking can seem complicated and convoluted to people who aren't inherently familiar with it; all that grinding of various spice pastes -- a dash of this, a smidgen of that. But the truth is that once you get the hang of a few basic spices, Indian cooking is as straightforward as any other cuisine.
Stocking a spice cabinet can be a little overwhelming, simply for the reason that there are so many spices out there. It may be tempting to stock up on every exciting seasoning in sight, but these things do have an expiration date, and you can end up with a cabinet full of flavourless, expensive powders that need to be replaced.
Under-seasoned meat is a crime. That poor, simple-headed chicken gave its life for you and ¼ teaspoon of salt-free lemon pepper per drumstick is your whole plan? Jesus, Barbara, have some respect. Thank goodness for spice rubs, which prevent crimes of improper seasoning by quickly imparting complex flavours to everything they touch.
There are a lot of fancy kitchen toys out there -- some of which are more useful than others -- but there are some things that can't be improved upon even with the latest technology. The mortar and pestle is one of those things, and your kitchen needs one.
Buying whole spices instead of pre-ground means they have longer shelf lives and stronger flavour. But, that also means you have to do the grinding yourself. These measurements make it easy to convert your whole spices into just how much you need when ground, and convert your ground spices to whole spice amounts.