I am out of a number of things but would also like some specialty spices. Apart from the basics (chili powder, cumin, curry, etc), any suggestions on new flavors/spices to try? We love Indian so I have curry and garam masala, etc.
Also, which large retailer has the best selection? I don't want to make a special trip unless I find a spice store.
What would be on your list?
www.penzeys.com I purchase 99% of my spices from them.
Just don't purchase more than you will use in one year.
I'm not at home so can't tell you what I have.
peppercorns - black, white, green...or all three
I keep dehydrated onions on hand all the time.
dried red pepper flakes
Many more that I am forgetting.
And if you go to Penzey's, check out their cocoa and their dressing mixes specifically the peppercorn!
Alamelu Vairavan is a chef on PBS. She also has a book. She provides MANY good ideas. This is a start. Her show gave me courage to try some dishes. She makes it look so easy. Now, my husband has found many more online. What I found most interesting is throwing WHOLE spices into heated olive oil to open up and release vs. the way we tend to grind spices. Tumeric, fennel seed, mustard seed are also mentioned in some recipes.
My doctor and I talked about cooking. She knows a lot about Indian cuisine. She suggested searching online for Indian groceries. It is nice reaching out beyond the computer to gather information. My physician told me the difference between Sri Lanka & Indian curry chicken dishes is coconut milk vs. plain yogurt. Last evening, I made the coconut version. My hub likes the yogurt (zip) better.
We have shopped Penzeys, Whole Foods, World Market, etc. We have branched out to many other markets. Hope this helps!
Garam Masala can be made on your own if you know the ingredients that create it. I wish I could remember who said this....but Garam Marsala can last for several years. We know this to be true. We have an airtight container that hasn't lost its punch for quite some time.
Another item to have is fresh ginger to be minced. It is nice when you want to make fresh Chai Latte. I used my homemade muslin containers to hold the spices while brewing the Chai. Then, we don't have to use the strainer like many of the Indian cooks have shared in their prep methods. My husband is preferring this beverage over cocoa these cooler days.This message has been edited. Last edited by: trish212,
I've never heard of Penzeys! Maybe this will be the solution. I need Berebere for a recipe but couldn't find it and they have it!
I am completely out of dried red pepper, chili powder, cumin, and exotics. We live in NM, so there is no shortage of southwest flavorings in any store, but we like world cuisine flavors too.
Thank you both for the suggestion
whole nutmeg (can't beat it!)This message has been edited. Last edited by: sms29s66,
I like to cook with Turmeric also, it's very good for you, lots of health benefits.
sms29s66, we found whole nutmeg in the the southwest flavor spice collection. This was a complete shock to me. I enjoy zesting the nut much better than using the powdered version. TY for mentioning it.
As we go into the Holiday season - for those of you who make Swedish Meatballs (and I know you're out there!) the BEST way to make the dish is with the fresh nutmeg and fresh ginger. So yummy! But the nutmeg is harmful to dogs, so ours never get to taste Christmas dinner
A local health food store here sells most spices in bulk (per pound/ounce). You just fill what you need in a ziploc bag...and transfer to your own container at home. Extremely economical.
It is a very busy/well attended store, so the spices are always fresh, too.
Granular Yeast is available in the cooler, also in a bulk dispenser.
Conrad, thanks for mentioning this....we purchased Dutch chocolate in bulk and couldn't recall where we got it. I think you may have figured it out for us. Thanks!
Conrad beat me to it.
I get spices at a local "health food/natural food" place.
what I like is the fact that if I want to I can buy just a teaspoon of something to try in a recipe. Very economical. and mine lets us reuse old spice bottles, just show them so they can weigh it empty, so you dont even use a plastic bag.
I make my own chilli powder for about 1/10 the price of store bought, tastes better too.
Life is GOOD!!
Since you like Indian foods, you might enjoy using asafoetida. We've used it in many things, including sprinkled over popcorn, baked potatoes, grilled steaks, etc.
I don't know where to get it. Mine came from a health food store.
What about chipotle powder, or smoked paprika? And I love Paul Prudhomme's Blackening spices for fish or shrimp. Lots of flavor but not so much heat.
Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
I will just ditto about Penzey's Spices & Herbs.
Last spring I reorganized my spice cupboard, I have a lot of jars of all sorts of things, and was getting dupes unbeknownst to me because stuff was lost. I gave a nice set of starter spices to one of our children for their first home with my surplus.
Three weeks ago we went on a road trip and I knew ahead of time we'd be near Penzey's so I looked through their catolog, compared my stock supplies and bought quite a bit of new and replacement spices and herbs. My husband was adamant that everything I was purchasing was an imminent need, not just stocking up!
The best advice I can share is to buy in as small a quantity as you will use in 6 months or less.
It may be more expensive, but with spices you can't have a long wait on the shelf to use it up and still have much punch left to them.
The one thing I will share about Penzey's that hasn't been said is that it's heck to get the first sprinkling or measure of spice out of their jars! They PACK their jars TO THE BRIM full.
You may also find it helpful to read their catolog prior to shopping or allow yourself plenty of time in the store to read the descriptions of their products. They have several countries of origin for cinnamon, as an example. Each of these is recommended for particular type of baking &/or cooking, so you might want to choose only one or purchase some of each. Several products have choices. They also have a great selection of salts!
The only thing I've not been able to procure at Penzey's is flavorings. They only offer almond, lemon and vanilla. What a complete one stop seasonings shop!
Penzey's also does mail order. Lots of time, free shipping with a sizable purchase.
YES to whole nutmeg!!! To me, it tastes different and better of course that the jarred stuff. Does anyone else think so?
Penzey's almost always sends an extra jar of something free of charge for you to try. I found a jar of Italian dressing seasonings in DILs spice drawer (we are staying with the grandson and DS while she is - poor dear - in Naples Italy for her job). I made it tonight for our salad. It's good. As Lurah mentioned, the jar was packed. It would not sprinkled, but since I needed a tablespoonful I just pulled the sprinkler top off and scooped it out.
DS (the above DS is a step...this one came from me) mentioned that he needed to place an order from Penzey's. I realized that I do too...so I need to go 'shopping' when I get home.
Farmers markets generally sell spices too.
We do not have a Penzey's - actually, we don't have a lot of things! When I hit the grocery store yesterday, they had a sale so I was able to get paprika and chili flakes, etc. But not specialty items so I will place an order this weekend. We use chili, chipotle, flakes, etc in everything, but again this is the southwest I have found that Williams Sonoma is reasonable and carries a variety of items.
When we finished the kitchen remodel last Dec. I threw a lot of old and duplicate items out so the cupboard is bare. Time to replace!This message has been edited. Last edited by: junk collector,
Which spices you need depend on what types of food you like of course. I buy mostly organic spices in the hope they will have fewer synthetic chemicals/preservatives.
Aside from individual herbs I also like an Italian seasoning blend as it is easy to add flavor to salads or quick pasta dishes. The only other blends I use are Herbes de Province and Garam Masala.
I always grind whole peppercorns and never use dehydrated onions or garlic, only fresh. I freeze whole ginger so it lasts longer as don't use it often. One spice I really like now is paprika, both mild and hot, that I bought in Hungary this summer which is so much better than what I've been able to buy retail here. I've read that Vietnamese cinnamon is superior to that from other countries and the one I buy is labeled Saigon cinnamon. While I haven't done a comparison taste test it is good!
I dry some of my own herbs, depending on what I grow. Mint and dill are prolific so easy to have lots.
While I can't recommend which retailers, I would advise using care when choosing after reading this report the other day: http://ca.shine.yahoo.com/blog...cials-212750266.html Follow the links to the FDA report.
"I have always had an aversion to the concepts of in style and out of style." ~Rose Tarlow
Inspirational pics: http://inspiration4u.shutterfly.com/
jc- you can order from Penzey's on line.
Urgh - that's disturbing...
I am so proud that my rosemary is now on its third year. have to bring it in and it is still not large but I have hopes!
I like real vanilla beans, marjoram, celery seed and I too like to buy herbs/spices in bulk but far as I know Whole Foods is only place locally now and they are pricey even in bulk.
Funny to read this today as for some reason I counted my spices this morning and have 45 on rack and another rotating rack on counter but there may be some duplication.
How I do wish we all had green thumbs to grown our own herbs. I do not have much luck. The one herb I'd love to have grown indoors on my kitchen sink window sill for anytime use is basil. It however needs lots of direct sun, heat and little moisture and doesn't do well inside at all. Do any of you have luck with that.
My mom has the cutest wroght iron window rack that hold six to eight small ceramic planters of herbs. It opens so you can reach the plants easily and then you can push it closed up to the window glass.
My herb garden just tanked this year, I was so disappointed. I might have DH build a square foot type garden for me next spring. We have a great climate for herbs, and I miss the one we had in our rental house. Herbs are so pricey fresh, and just don't keep well. In fact, I've got a bunch of parsley in the fridge that needs to be used.
You could make chimichurri with it, it's great on meat and chicken.
We enjoy it on roasted potatoes or buttered noodles. That will likely be part of a meal this week.
If I were you, junk collector, I would go through my recipes and just get the spices that you think you are going to actually use. Spices are expensive and they are perishable. It is best to buy them in small quantities so you can use them up before they get old.
I would throw away only the old ones. Just restock as you need something.
I asked DH for a "kitchen garden" behind the garage/beside the screen room. He started talking about raised beds using cross ties. I told him about the arsenic in the preserving process and no thanks come up with Plan B. He quit on me. I saw some raised beds using concrete blocks the other day! Looked like THE thing to use...no treated wood to leach poisons into the soil and still eventually rot. And when the time comes to break it down, the blocks can be used for something else.
I've grown several herbs successfully: oregano, basil, parsley, chives. I had no luck with rosemary but want to try again. Funny thing about the chives, I planted the seeds and had lots and lots of chives! Every time SIL came over to help cook, she was constantly grabbing the scissors and going outside for chives. Then, after doing a bit of research on chives I read that it was almost impossible to grow chives from seeds. Drat it! Now that I know I will probably never be able to grow them again.
Placing a spice (and herb...oh and salt) order with www.penzeys.com today...for DS and me:
medium hot chili powder
Italian herb mix
Madagascar vanilla beans
onion dehydrated diced
natural high fat cocoa
KYIS....They no longer put arsenic in treated wood. They haven't for several years. You can only get that type of treated wood with a permit & it has to be for something like a dock post that will be in the water. Treated lumber is now safe to use for raised beds...safer than a lot of other things some folks use.
I raise a lot of my own herbs...rosemary, parsley, dill, oregano, basil, chives, marjoram, sage & I've tried fennel but it didn't do well for me. I've been doing some of my own spice blends...recipes are on the net for the most common ones.
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
Just a few regular spices in our cabinet. I do write the date on the jar too.
Trish, Wow! That is quite a collection of spices. Great idea to organize according to the type of recipes. I can imagine the dishes you create in the kitchen. Thanks for sharing a pic!
~Like sands through the hourglass
~So are the days of our lives
He was talking about railroad cross ties...I'm sure the railroad is permitted to use the arsenic treated ties in their application.
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