We have... Chilies, Nutmeg, Paprika, Mustard Seeds, Cardamoms and Tarragon. Let's see how we can use those lovely herbs and spices!
We love it hot and spicy. I couldn't imagine a world without flavour and even less without a good hot meal.
I prefer crushed chilies to powder. I'd either fry it in a dry pan in a bit of oil, just be careful and don't let it burn, or I sprinkle a good portion on raw meet and let it sit for a while before frying.
I just came across this mouthwatering recipe on Yummly.
Hearty Lean Chili. Well presented and easy to make... just use crushed Chilies rather than that vicious powder ;)
TRY IT! Add chocolate - I love the dark one with bits of orange.
TIP: mix the herbs and spices into the meat before frying. It really makes a different on your pallet.
2. Nutmeg I thought about meat, salad or some other savory dish. But no. This might easily become your favourite oft the list: Nutmeg Cheesecake. In fairness, I think anything goes with Cheesecake really.
TRY IT! I have to admit I didn't try the recipe yet - but I sure will! The Nutmeg Cheesecake just sounds to tempting!
TIP: if you don't use Nutmegs a lot, no need to get a Nutmeg Grater. It's one of this things that do get annoying if they aren't handy, so look into the kitchen draws, a cheese grater will do!
3. Paprika It's one of those that many just pure into every meal. From fried eggs to salad sauces. But how should this famous powder really be used?
Paprika is a spice made from dried ground chillies. Not to be missed in most dips - great for Party food Tapas-style. Though... my favourite use is in Cocktails.
Ehm... Prawn-Cocktails would be the most common.
TRY IT! Did you ever have ground chilies in a Cocktail? Bloody Mary, you really should.
TIP: I have a sweet tooth all right. But in case you should ever bake with chocolate - which is a must really, add some spice.
4. Mustard Seeds
I am yet to be convinced of mustard seeds. Coming from Bavaria I do love my "Weißwürste mit süßem Senf" and a bretzl. But what else can you do with those little beats.
All right, by now I figured: You can grind pretty much anything. Note to self: get grinder. I think a creamy mustard sauce with pieces of boiled eggs and fish. I remember one of my first dishes I ever cooked, I was about 6 years of age and proud like a honey badger. Fish Fingers and egg mustard sauce. Nothing like a simple home cooking dish! TRY IT! Oh I knew there would be a dessert with Mustard Seeds!
TIP: There's a fab post right here if you like to learn more about the yellow seeds: whfoods
I admit it. I never used cardamoms. A scent of eucalyptus I find. I want to get a bag fill it with those seeds heat it up and have a long hot bath. I can just imagine how the scent eucaliptus scent would relax.
Interesting enough, I wasn't to far off as Cardamoms are used as a medicine to heal throat and teething pain. Oh and now it is getting exciting - do you love Chi Late? I love cinnamon. In India Cardamom is mixed with cinnamon and consumed as a hot drink! Well now we speak!
TRY IT! The Spice House has a yummy Chai Masala Tea Recipe - it doesn't always have to be coffee.
TIP: Do walk into one of those small Asian, Indian or Polish shops, or visit a farmer's market - approach the tradesman for tips, they often have great tips where to get fresh spices seeds and herbs for your home cooking.
I am a philistine. What is Tarragon?
Ok, I love this one: Get yourself any homegrown plant from Tarragon to Chive. Once mature, chip it into small pieces. Get yourself an ice cube form, fill with water, put the freshly cut herbs into the form and freeze. Cubes allow you to store small portions, appropriate for your dinner. You won't have to cry over drying-out herbs - who would use a full plant of herbs in a week? The sweet scent of liquorice and vanilla makes me think if I can use Tarragon in a creamy cake or vanilla sauce. I sure will try it sometime soon!
TRY IT! Black Forest Cake with Tarragon-Vanilla-cream filling - and let me know what you think :)
TIP: Come back for more. I promise I'll start using more of those colourful herbs and spices!