Spicing it Up

Spicing it Up

Herbs and Spices

In this section we provide some of the typical spice pairings you could use when cooking. Everyone experiences flavors in unique ways, the beauty of seasonings in food is that we can enhance the flavor and feel of our dishes according to our own individual preferences.

Baking: allspice, anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves

Dressings/Sauces: basil, fennel, mint, tarragon

Fish: basil, chives, cilantro, dill, saffron, tarragon, thyme

Meat: cumin, fennel, ginger, rosemary, sage

Pasta: basil, sage

Poultry: basil, chives, cilantro, rosemary, saffron, sage, tarragon, thyme

Soup/Stews: chives, cumin dill, fennel, ginger, mint, rosemary, saffron, thyme

Vegetables: basil, dill

Salt

Table/Kitchen Salt: seasoning

Rock Salt: to make ice cream, thawing frozen sidewalks

Kosher Salt: curing meats, can be substituted for kitchen salt (preferred for flavor and dissolves more easily)

Sea Salt: finishing a dish or condiment (comes in different colors and flavors depending on where it is obtained from)

Oils

Vegetable: neutral flavor and generally made from corn, cottonseed, peanuts, grape seeds, and soybeans

Canola: no flavor but great for frying and general cooking

Nut: strong flavor and aroma and are great for salad dressings and marinades, not for frying or baking

Olive: extra virgin ,virgin, and pure refer to the acidity of the oil and processing used to extract the oil

Sesame: nutty, slightly bitter flavors (toasted sesame oil is used as a condiment or flavoring oil)

Flavored (infused): dips for breads, cooking medium or a flavoring accent in marinades, dressings, or sauces like basil, herbs, garlic, citrus and spices

Shortenings: specific for deep frying, caking baking, salad dressing and sauteing

Vinegar

Wine: white or red, sherry or champagne and are preferred in French and Mediterranean cuisines

Malt: slightly sweet, mild flavor used as a condiment especially with fried foods

Distilled: strong vinegary flavor and higher acid content preferred for pickling and preserving

Cider: pale brown with mild acidity and fruity aroma

Rice: clear, slightly sweet popular in Japanese or Asian dishes

Flavored: herbs, spices, fruits or other foods are steeped to infused the vinegar with falvors

Balsamic: high acid level but sweetness covers the tart flavors making it mellow but is great used as a condiment or seasoning and pairs really well with tomatoes and strawberries

Ingredients and Flavors Around the World

Mediterranean

The network of seas, islands and countries that make up the Mediterranean is vast and bountiful. They include Greece, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Israel, across to southern Italy, Sicily and south of France. Time, cultures, land and seas have created the famous flavors and cuisine we now know as Mediterranean. If you’re searching to whip up something reminiscent of traditional Mediterranean dishes you may want to incorporate some of the following ingredients and spices.

SPICES: coriander, cumin, allspice, cardamon, tarragon, turmeric, basil, thyme, rosemary, honey, saffron, garlic.

FRUITS: apricots, figs, dates, currants, pomegranate, pears, cherries, lemons, oranges, olives.

VEGETABLES: eggplant, pepper, tomatoes, asparagus, artichokes, squashes, chickpeas.

GRAINS: couscous, farro, flatbreads, rice.

MEATS: fish, seafood, chicken, pork.

OTHER: olive oil, pistachios, walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, feta, haloumi, parmesan.

Asia

Flavors of Asia have evolved thru out the centuries and have been meshed by more than 30 countries and their cultures. Some prominent flavors involved with Asian cuisine are sweet, smoky, bright and citrus, sour and bitter flavors. Another unique aspect that is important when creating Asian dishes is the addition of textures. Textures create dimension and involve complementary combinations like soft and crunchy or cool and warm. These classic parings for Asian cuisines are inspired from the concept of yin and yang.

SPICES: ginger, lemongrass, garlic, chili peppers, basil, dill, mustard seeds, cinnamon, curry

FRUITS: limes, mango, coconut, jackfruit, lyche, rambutan, durian, mangosteen, starfruit, dragon fruit.

VEGETABLES: cucumber, bakchoy, chinese cabbage, edamame, bittermelon, eggplant, long beans, mushrooms, lotus roots, snow peas.

GRAINS: jasmine and basmati rice, rice paper and noodles, egg noodles, sticky rice.

MEATS: fish, sushi, shell fish, pork,

OTHERS: rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, tamarind, peanuts, fermented products such as fish and soy bean paste, kimchi and other pickled items, tofu, bamboo.

Latin American

Ole! The bull horns coming racing towards your red cloak much like the kick and punch of flavors of the Latin American cuisine. The fusion of heat and passion much like a telenovela describes the textures and pairings of many classic dishes. The boldness of colors brings that firey flame to the table. Taking it back to the early times our ancestors developed a lot of ingredients into dishes that are relevant in the modern Latin American cuisine especially the use of corn in a variety of ways. Traditional produce used in Latin American dishes are so popular due to thriving in the humidity as most Latin American countries are located so close to the equator.

SPICES: cumin, nutmeg, chili powder, chili peppers, cinnamon, oregano, cilantro, basil, bay leaves, dried chili, garlic, paprika, anise, sage, tamarind.

FRUITS: mango, plantains, watermelon, pineapple, papaya, avocados, lemons, limes.

VEGETABLES: tomatoes, white onions, red onions, jalepanos, green peppers, pumpkin, tomatillo, squash, radish, potatoes, cactus, corn, cabbage, olives.

GRAINS: rice, bombillo (sandwich rolls), sweet bread, brown rice, tortillas, masa (corn meal), tortilla chips.

MEATS: fish, shellfish, pork, beef, chicken, goat.

OTHER: beans, aloe vera, queso fresco, monterey jack, cheddar, queso oaxaca, evaporated milk, sour cream, hominy, pico de gallo, chocolate.