"I love cooking with spices. They can so easily take a dish from blah to fabulous.But when you’re first starting out with cooking, it can be a bit daunting to know which spices to purchase and which aren’t necessary to have on hand. Here are the spices that I basically can’t live without. If all of my spices were suddenly to disappear, these are the ones I would rush out to purchase first."
Parsley: This is a great everyday herb. It isn’t super punchy but it helps to round out other flavors.
Sage: This spice definitely says “breakfast sausage” to me. I think it goes great with poultry or pork.
Rosemary: This spice is a little more distinctive. It almost has an acidic smell to me. Great with poultry.
Thyme: This one you either love or hate. Some people in my family call it “the dirt spice” and it definitely has an earthy quality to it. A little goes a long way.
Dill weed: This goes great with salmon. It’s also used to make homemade ranch dressing.
Basil: I love this herb for Italian dishes. Great in an Alfredo sauce.
Oregano: Another one that goes great with Italian dishes (I really like it in tomato or pizza sauce), or Mexican dishes. I use it in my homemade chili powder.
Celery seed: This can be added to soups or stews when you don’t have fresh celery on hand. But be careful: it can overwhelm other flavors if you use too much!
Fennel: Great for making your own Italian sausage, or adding to Italian sauces. It almost has a licorice flavor to me.
These are spices that I most often use for sweet recipes. However, most of them cross over into the savory realm as well.
Cinnamon: CANNOT live without this. I love it on my oatmeal, cinnamon toast, in baked goods…
Cloves: Used in many spiced baked goods. Use a light hand with this one—it can be strong!
Nutmeg: Love this not only for baking, but also for homemade eggnog. It’s also used to make some savory cheese sauces.
Ginger: Another one that can be used for both savory and sweet dishes. Great for baked goods such as gingerbread or “pumpkin spice” anything. Also wonderful for Thai or other Asian cuisines.
Cardamom: This spice isn’t SUPER necessary, but it’s used in chai-spiced recipes, which I adore. It has a bit of warmth to it.
Paprika: Used in many Mexican dishes. It’s great sprinkled on chicken before cooking.
Curry powder: Another one that isn’t absolutely necessary, but I’m a big curry fan, so I like to have this on hand.
Onion powder: This is so handy to have in case you’ve run out of onions and need to add some extra flavor to a dish.
Garlic powder: Same idea for garlic powder—great for when you’re in a pinch. These two are also used in a lot of homemade spice mixes.
Mustard: This adds a bit of kick to a dish without adding too much heat. Used in cheese sauces.
Cayenne: If you like things fiery, this is an easy way to add extra heat to a dish. Not necessary if you abhor all things spicy.
Cumin: Crucial for a lot of Mexican dishes. I like to add it to guacamole.
Article Courtesy of the Pioneer Women
View the full article here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/food-and-friends/how-to-stock-a-basic-spice-cabinet/
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