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  1. #1
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    Smile Herbs, Spices and Condiments

    What are your favourite herbs, spices and condiments? What do you like about them?

    How do you use them in your own cooking, or like them to be used in food that you eat?

    Any tips you'd like to share on how to use them to enhance food?

    Or would you like to ask for tips on how to use them more effectively?

    Or are you a gastronomic heretic conservative eater, who likes your food to be bland/douses everything in the same old flavour of ketchup so it all tastes the same? I would like to find out more about you strange beings, and what makes you tick!

    For any or all of these, and any more on the delightful subject of seasonings I've forgotten to mention, please post here!
    Last edited by ragashree; 07-14-2010 at 09:36 AM.
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  2. #2
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    sriracha hot sauce is fabulously awesome

    I love salsa verde and dijon mustard as far as condiments go as well... and barbecue sauce... I adore barbecue sauce

    as far as herbs and spices go, the ones in the front of my spice cabinet (meaning favorites for use) are cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, ginger, cloves and cumin... I also love fines herbs for any potato dish, especially mashed potatoes

    pepper flakes and basil are my favorite spices (along with garlic) for fried or diced and then baked potatoes

    I cook way too many stir frys and such so the ginger gets used for that

    oregano goes into marinara sauce, which is pretty much all purpose

    cloves in hot chocolate and beef stew and randomly in other dishes because I adore them

    cumin for chili, tacos, spice rubs for foods and homemade salsa!

    I also love dill for homemade vinegarettes and for several different fish dishes!
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  3. #3
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    I like red pepper flakes, basil, ginger, and cumin too. I also like using fresh dill and coriander/cilantro and lemon and lime juice.

    I want to start using fresh mint more.
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  4. #4
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    as far as herbs and spices go, the ones in the front of my spice cabinet (meaning favorites for use) are cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, ginger, cloves and cumin... I also love fines herbs for any potato dish, especially mashed potatoes
    These are good choices I think I'd tend to use ground (hopefully freshly) black pepper more myself, but maybe that's because I have it to hand more often.

    pepper flakes and basil are my favorite spices (along with garlic) for fried or diced and then baked potatoes
    Oh, I'd use the pepper and garlic, but haven't tried the basil for that *makes note to do so next time*. Basil is excellent though. They should find a way to genetically combine basil and tomato so you wouldn't find yourself out of the fresh stuff just when you were cooking something tomato-based Oregano and thyme seem ok dried, but basil is SO much better fresh. I suppose there is pesto, but the fresh leaves are often more suitable.

    I cook way too many stir frys and such so the ginger gets used for that
    Ginger is EXCELLENT in stir fries also one good way of making sure that fresh ginger root gets used up within a reasonable period!

    cloves in hot chocolate and beef stew and randomly in other dishes because I adore them
    They go PARTICULARLY well with red meat, especially if it's slow cooked, so I'd very much agree with this use. Beef above all perhaps, though I've had very good results with cloves and venison too (when I actually had any venison to cook, I don't imagine coming across/being able to afford any more for quite some time though). I've got the use of a monstrous granite mortar and pestle at the moment that weighs about as much as a large sledgehammer, cloves, or just about anything else, crumble to powder beneath its awesome bashing power, so I don't have to worry about picking bits out or using ready ground stuff (which is rarely as good as fresh).

    Cloves are definitely one of my favourite herbs, one of the most underrated ones too really. I was actually chewing on a clove when I got the idea of starting this thread! Chewing on cloves and cinnamon is an odd habit I have sometimes - don't know if anyone else does this. The potent flavour they have, with all the essential oils, numbs your mouth and is almost drug-like in its intensity, particularly if they're fresh and good quality, still full of oil. Cloves are also an extremely good remedy for toothache as the oil actually acts as a local anaesthetic. You can get pure clove oil as a toothache remedy but it's difficult to apply to the right spot without overdoing it, chewing one is probably easier (might be how I developed the habit a few years ago actually).

    Does anyone else ever do this? Or is it just strange me?

    I also love dill for homemade vinegarettes and for several different fish dishes
    Dill and fish is also excellent. Tarragon is good too, or the two in combination

    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    I like red pepper flakes, basil, ginger, and cumin too. I also like using fresh dill and coriander/cilantro and lemon and lime juice.

    I want to start using fresh mint more.
    I always get confused with the US use of "cilantro" for coriander leaf, I keep looking it up in the hope it might be some strange and interesting new herb. Apparently I never learn!

    Fresh mint with boiled new potatoes is good, I think. Also with yogurt or yogurt and cucumber. You might be able to get away with adding some cilantro/coriander leaf too. Or, why not combine the lot, and have it with the potatoes?
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Sparrow's Avatar
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    Its delish on potatos, fish, chicken, quesadillas, and pretty much almost anything dinner related .

  6. #6
    THIS bitch stringstheory's Avatar
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    Ground ginger is my secret ingredient in almost everything. My chicken soup is famous in my circle of friends and no one can figure out why

    it's sweet, yet spicy...and very fresh tasting. I dunno, i just love it!
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  7. #7

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    I like the following the most:

    olive oil
    garlic (especially roasted)
    kosher salt (Diamond Crystal brand...no other will do)
    smoked sea salt
    ancho chile powder
    red wine vinegar (secret ingredient in my egg salad)
    garlic aioli
    Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning (for pretty much everything)
    BBQ sauce
    orange/lemon zest
    Cholula hot sauce
    ginger (especially in desserts, super especially with citrus)
    rosemary (mostly for potatoes)
    lemongrass
    cinnamon (kind of a trademark of mine in desserts)
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  8. #8
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    Ginger, Garlic, Thai Basil, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Cumin, Chilli, Mint, Dill, Cardamom, Lime & Kaffir Lime leaves, Lemongrass, Nutmeg, Saffron, Star Anise, Sesame Seed & Oil, Olive Oil, Rose Water and Almond Essence are my favourites.

    Needless to say I love Thai food, Curries from Southern Asia, in fact MOST ethnic foods, fresh Seafood, Salads and Vegetables.

    Passion fruit and crisp, juicy, Pink Lady Apples, Raspberries and Strawberries, and sweet, coconut flavoured little Roughy Pineapples from Queensland!!
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Sparrow's Avatar
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    I also love all the basic Korean marinade ingredients: Soy Sauce, Garlic, Green Onion, Sugar, & Sesame Oil. Korean BBQ is so yummy

  10. #10
    meinmeinmein! mmhmm's Avatar
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    thai seafood sauce: lime, fish sauce, chili and garlic = bliss in mouth

    basil, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, fresh ginger, rosemary and thyme.
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