Even just a few spices or ethnic condiments that you can keep in your pantry can turn your mundane dishes into a culinary masterpiece.
Or disguise the disasters – Tilly
Now you have a handle on blending your spices and herbs, let’s work on the special blends you can’t pick up at your local supermarket.
The recipes I have provided below are just many of the ones you will find. But did you know they have multiple uses?
You do not have to use the mixture solely on a pork roast, ribs, or any other cut of meat or seafood. They work just as well on chicken.
Tilly: Be imaginative – it would work well on mushroom burgers, falafel or any other savoury ‘cake’. ‘Spice a dish with love and it pleases every palate.’ – Plautus.
If, for instance, you want to spice up that fried chicken of yours, add a tablespoon or two to your flour before coating your chicken. My favorite is oven frying, especially chicken wings. It will also make great gravy.
Do the same with your pork chops sprinkle a pinch or two, add a splash of olive oil rub into the meat, then cook the way you want.
Tilly: A pinch or two? Surely we can be more generous than that? ‘Spice is life. It depends upon what you like… have fun with it. Yes, food is serious, but you should have fun with it.’ – Emeril Lagasse
This can be done with just about any meat, poultry, or seafood that you feel needs a kick. My favorite is dusting the shrimp, with whatever fits my fancy, then stir in butter and olive oil.
Less not forget pasta… add a bit of butter and your favorite blend and you will have a whole new dish.
One last thing and one of my all-time favorite uses for blends such as these are in my rice. Just add a pinch or two, depending on how much rice you are cooking. Throw in some chicken bouillon with the right amount of water. Your family will love it.
Please leave your comments or questions.
Olive and Tilly
P.S. I bet Tilly gets snarky over the Metric measurements.
Tilly: I have no problem with metric measurements but I baulk at ridiculous measurements – 60 ml parsley, 15 ml oregano, 10 ml paprika, et cetera, for heaven’s sake. Cooking is supposed to be fun and straightforward, not fiddling about with bizarre measurements. I think you do it to wind me up, Olive.
Olive: Don’t blame me… again the conversion calculators do it… then again maybe I do. I am sorry.
End of Part Two
1/4 cup / 59.15 ml chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp / 14.78 ml dried oregano
2 tsp / 9.85 ml paprika
1 tsp / 4.93 ml salt
1 tsp / 4.93 ml pepper
1/2 tsp 2.46 ml cayenne pepper
1 1/4 tsp 6.16 ml ground cloves
Mix all ingredients together and use on chicken, pork, shrimp or fresh fish filets
Tilly: Ecstatic to see fresh parsley and ‘live’ garlic cloves in this recipe!
Olive: “Live” garlic cloves are “live”.
1 Tbsp. / 14.78 ml Salt
2 tsp / 9.85 ml pepper
1 tsp / 4.93 ml cumin
1 tsp / 4.93 ml coriander
2 tsp / 9.85 ml garlic powder
1 tsp / 4.93 ml onion powder
1/4 tsp / 1.23 ml cayenne pepper
1 tsp / 4.93 ml paprika
Mix all together and rub onto chicken, pork, shrimp or fish.
Tilly: And she’s back with the garlic powder …
Both these would work on a piece of beef, roast or braised. A healthy dollop of either spice mix would enliven a casserole, too.
Steam a whole cauliflower till just tender, sprinkle one of the rubs over it, drizzle olive oil and/or butter, and whack into a hot oven for 10-15 minutes. Plenty of fresh coriander would add a certain je ne said quoi.
There was, or is, a suggestion to use grated cauliflower to make a pizza base. Keto? Mixed with some spice to taste, it would lend another dimension to the usual tomato covering, with crisp bacon, avo and red onion. Some rocket would drive Olive to distraction, but would be terrific and give the taste buds a fillip.
‘All those spices and herbs in your spice rack can do more than provide calorie-free, natural flavorings to enhance and make food delicious. They’re also an incredible source of antioxidants and help rev up your metabolism and improve your health at the same time.’ – Suzanne Somers