Spices, Herbs and Such:
THE LOW-DOWN ON SPICES, HERBS, AND SUCH
Below is a discussion of all the items listed in Spices, Herbs, and Such. Of course, keep in mind that you'll need to always use or rotate through your stuff, even dry goods. The best general guidance is that most anything other than canned goods shouldn't be used past 6 months, its expiration date, or in the case of a twinkie, 11 years. Canned goods, under most conditions, will be fine for a year.
Spices, Herbs, and such
- Salt. For general cooking, buy some iodized salt. For the table, absolutely get some high quality sea salt(if you don't believe me, just taste them side by side).
- Pepper. Better yet, buy good peppercorns and a pepper mill.
- Onions. Not only should you have a couple standard white, red, and yellow onions in your refrigerator, but green onions(aka scallions) and shallots add variety of flavor to your cooking.
- Garlic. Fresh cloves are great. Otherwise if you want to save time, buy a jar of Gilroy Farms minced garlic.
- Ginger. Same deep thoughts as garlic.
- Marjoram, Rosemary, Basil, and Oregano. Dry is fine, fresh is better, but fresh only keeps as long as most leaf vegetables.
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, coriander. All dry.
- Colman's dry mustard. For sauces.
- Old Bay seasoning. Great with seafood.
- Paprika. In addition to an interesting flavor, makes a nice visual garnish.
- Natural extracts. At least have vanilla and orange, but feel free to add any flavors you like. Nielsen Massey makes the best vanilla extract I've tasted, although you can buy some whole vanilla beans and make your own with vodka(NOW you're talkin'!).
- Horseradish. You can buy this in a powder, although I recommend finely minced. Better yet, get the Japanese horseradish, wasabi. That way, you can scream, "WAAAASAAA-BI!" at the top of your lungs and your friends might actually think this is funny.