Top Spices To Use For Beginner Cooks
The culinary arts are a common passion. A lot of people love to cook and know how to season their dish with just the right spices. Some, however, are just starting out as beginner cooks and need to hone their skill. It’s not usually a good idea to just jump in and improvise with spices, especially if you are making something for the first time. Yes, it can be hard to know where to start.
Not to worry though. If you fail, try again. That’s the beauty of art of any kind. When in doubt, you can turn to Spice Station Spices to figure out where to begin. They have a wide selection of beginner’s spices and more. Also, there are a few good spices to use in general if you are just starting out that you can almost never go wrong with. Here is a short list of such diverse spices for beginners.
1. Black Pepper
Right alongside salt, black pepper is among the most commonly used seasonings on the planet. Pepper can be sprinkled on a lot of things, from casseroles to soups, even simple rice dishes. Just like with any seasoning or spice though, you want to be careful of how much you use on one dish. Better too little pepper than too much! That way you can add a little more the next time you make your dish!
As with pepper, paprika is commonly used in dishes such as casseroles, potato dishes, and curry. You can be more liberal with paprika, as it is full of flavor but light on the spice. Again, if you find that you have used too much or too little, you can be more cautious next time!
Cinnamon is a very diverse spice. It can go on pies and cobblers, but it can also go in coffee or on oatmeal, among many other things. Most of the time, you can find a recipe for dessert that requires it. As with the other spices mentioned above, you will be safe to use too little then too much.
4. Italian Seasoning
Italian seasoning is a mix of oregano, parsley, basil, and other plant based seasonings usually associated with Italian food. None of them are extremely spicy or strong on the taste buds, but the all have their own touch of flavor. Italian seasoning goes well on most things pasta based. It also goes well on garlic bread and mashed potatoes.
So if you are a beginner cook, getting into the culinary arts and wonder where to start with spices, turn to Spice Station Spices. They can help guide you in the right direction! Their spices range from basic to professional, fit for any chef to use!
Transform your leftovers using spices
They say that fresh is best, but often, leftovers taste better the next day. Many, for example, think Thanksgiving Day turkey is great, but leftovers such as turkey sandwiches, perhaps with a little mayo and cranberry sauce, could sustain many for a week.
One way to really make those leftovers “zing” is by adding spices to them. Here are a few examples:
In India, they have a technique called “tadka,” which involves tempering spices by briefly heating spices in either oil or clarified butter in order to release the aroma of the spice.
Indian women who want to revive leftovers swear by taking a few cumin seeds, heating them along with a little onion in either clarified butter (ghee) or oil. Once the tadka is prepared, it is then mixed with yesterday’s dish, and you have a whole new and inviting meal.
Malaysian Fried Noodles
Have you ever cooked too much pasta and don’t have any spaghetti sauce to freshen it up for a meal. Most likely, since pasta is relatively cheap it went into the garbage, or maybe into your compost in the garden. But consider this recipe for Malaysian style fried noodles.
You add dried cloves, onions, ketchup, fish sauce, and sugar, (I personally like to add some white pepper as well,) add some pork or prawns, together with yesterday’s pasta along with some tomato and other vegetables, then heat it in a hot skillet with oil for a couple of minutes.
Spice-up leftover pizza
One thing that generally doesn’t taste better is yesterday’s leftover pizza. However, that’s because you don’t get creative with it. A popular Chicago pizza chain has these ideas: add mozzarella cheese, onion, pepper flakes, minced garlic, oregano, and melted butter together with some egg, and milk. Pour it over the leftover pizza and bake for 45 minutes.
Whether you ordered Chinese, Thai, or Indian, chances are you got too much rice and have two choices, throw it away or revive it. Throwing it away is so wasteful, so consider reviving it by frying it, then add onions, scallions, garlic, or ginger; chopped fresh or frozen and if you prefer some additional spices like cumin. Mix in a little hamburger meat and you’ve got something 10 times better than Hamburger Helper.
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Best Carne Asada recipe with Cumin!
Best Carne Asada Recipe with Cumin
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp cilantro
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 6 oz skirt steak
- Buy the steak
- Mix seasonings
- Add seasonings
- Grill the steak
Carne asada includes a few different spices and some other clean ingredients. This recipe is an altered version of a recipe that was created by a well-known chef. However, it has been simplified to a version where it is best to replicate at home.
The best recipe for carne asada always includes cumin. It also includes marinated flank steaks or skirt steaks that are grilled to perfection. It is best to grill the meat after letting it sit and marinate in your choice of spices. That will make it packed full of authentic Mexican flavors. It is all in the marinade, make sure to marinate your choice of steak in a delicious mixture of flavors including cumin. When marinating your steak, it is best to refrigerate it for at least two hours before cooking. You want to create a delicious piece of meat that you can put in a burrito, on a taco, on a salad, or just eat it plain. You want to make sure that your steak can hold its own and be able to satisfy your taste buds with the delicious flavors.
As previously mentioned, the best type of steak to use when cooking carne asada is a delicious skirt steak or a flank steak. Both of these types of steaks are well-trimmed and of similar size, so they can be utilized interchangeably. Just keep in mind that flank steak is the lean version full of intense flavors while a skirt steak is more stringy and fibrous but also full of intense flavors. Both flank steaks and skirt steaks are ideally cooked at a rare or medium-rare amount in order to prevent them from becoming chewy and too tough to bite into. Also, be sure to cut your choice of steak against the grain, this will make it easier to bite into and to chew.
A few simple ingredients in the marinade: Olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. That is it! Make sure you let it sit covered in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, then grill for about 5 minutes on each side. Enjoy!
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What is Cumin Used For?
Cumin is a spice that has been used for many centuries. Cultures that are known to use cumin as a staple in their foods are Mexican, North African, Indian, and the Mediterranean. The spice is the perfect ingredient when you want to add warmth and earthiness to a variety of dishes. The spice really stands out from other spices because of the flavor it adds, even though it has a peppery aroma, it does not taste like pepper. Cooking with cumin will definitely make your food more flavorful even if you are not a very experienced cook.
Some Background Information On The Spice
The spice currently dates back 4,000 years and was being used by the Egyptians during the Bible times. If you are unfamiliar with the spice you may ask yourself, what does cumin go with? The spice goes excellent with meats, vegetables, stews, and soups. This particular spice breaches all cultural barriers and can be used to warm and spice any food. Here in the United States, this spice is in the top 10 when it comes to being purchased by consumers. Cumin comes as whole dried seeds or as a ground powder.
Cumin is not just used for cooking purposes but it is also used for cosmetic purposes, for medical purposes, and some say even as an aphrodisiac. The seeds of the spice are used in some cultures to make a tea that helps to soothe an upset stomach. It is also recently thought of to help with weight loss. When used as an aphrodisiac, it is said to strengthen a romantic relationship. Most of the bigger spice growing companies like to grow this spice in an area where no pesticides are used and the sun, temperature, and soil are just right. The spice is harvested by hand, sun-dried, and screened very carefully to remove stems and twigs. This is how the spice companies ensure that the spice delivers the purest and the most flavor to food all over the world. It is rare to find such a spice that delivers such awesome flavor and warms up the food so uniquely.
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Are you a vegan cook? Here are all the must-have spices for vegan cooking!
Spices For Vegan Cooking
Tumeric has a slightly peppery, ginger flavor. You can use it fresh or in the most common form, powder. It’s mainly used in Thai and Indian dishes. It has health benefits too like fighting inflammation.
Cinnamon is used in many different types of dessert dishes especially in fall and winter ones. It’s great to pair with sweeter foods like fruits, but it also adds flavor to teas and even bread. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can help stabilize blood sugars as well.
3. Red Pepper Flakes
Red Pepper Flakes are commonly used in Spanish and Italian dishes and are known for their extra kick of spice. They are full of antioxidants, help with suppressing appetite, boost your metabolism, and help in inflammation.
Cumin is extremely popular when it comes to spices for vegan cooking. It has an earthy flavor and is used commonly in Mexican, Indian, and Middle Eastern dishes. It has health benefits like being a source of iron, magnesium, and helps with digestion.
Garlic may be a basic ingredient for cooking, but it adds a ton of flavor to any dish. You can mince it fresh from cloves or use the powder. It has tons of health benefits beginning with vitamins, helping with colds, and reducing blood pressure.
As you can see, adding these must-have spices to your dishes will improve on any recipe and even gives you some added health bonuses. Hopefully, this list helps you when you make your next trip to the grocery store and you will have an idea of what spice to buy based on the dish you are making. For more information check out this video.