Wednesday, June 8, 2011

10 Pantry Essentials: Herbs, Spices, Seasonings, flavoring, etc...

Since the Pantry Essentials post was such as hit last week I decided to head for the cupboards and find my top 10 Herbs and Spices. Easier said then done...

#10  Paprika:  a simple little spice that lately I seem to be using a lot more of. I actually emptied the little container this afternoon making baked beans.

#9  Vanilla:  the real stuff. I buy a bottle of pure  vanilla extract from Costco about once a year and that is about how long it lasts.

#8  Cumin:  this is a newer favorite for me. I've always had a container of it in my cupboard but never really used it much until this past year... Chicken, rice dishes, just about anything I seem to cook lately can use a touch of cumin.

#7  Sesame Oil: I love homemade hummus and have found that I can get away with not buying tahinni if I have Sesame Oil on hand... I also use it for Cabbage Salad,  Chicken stir fry, and most of my wok cooked dishes.

#6 Basil:  while I prefer fresh Basil, I keep dried Basil in the cupboard as I use it so much sometimes it is just easier to use the dried variety.

#5 Oregano:  again, I prefer fresh but dried is so easy to store and use.

#4 Onions/ Chives:  last season the boys and I worked with Salem Harvest, a wonderful local non-profit that harvests fields for local food share programs. Each volunteer keeps 1/2 of what they harvest for themselves if they choose.  We did a red onion harvest and I brought home about 40# of red onions. I chopped and dried a lot of them and have been using dried onions and chives in a lot of dishes since the fall.  Fresh chives are always good but dried seems to work well too. Besides they both store so well in recycled Parmesan cheese shakers.

#3  Salsa Mix:  Unfortunately I can't tell you the brand I bought last year at North Plain's Garlic Festival, but it was a huge value.. I haven't used half the container even though I use it for a lot of dishes and a quick salsa dip... 

#2 Garlic: Anyone that knows me , knows I love garlic.. I have my own source for it (My Mom grows it..) I dry chopped garlic to save, I also have minced canned garlic that once opened lives in the fridge. 

#1 GOH mix:  G.O.H mix is a blend my Mom came up with and sells under the Herbie Etc... label at local events. Garlic Onion Herbie is a course ground mix that replaces so many things. It is a low sodium seasoning for soups, eggs, rice dishes, a quick dip or dressing mix, a pasta topping, the list could go on... Yes I'm partial to it and yet if you click on the above link it will take you to her Facebook Page, if you are local and have made it to North Plain's Garlic Festival you might even know what it is, if not stop by the Festival this year and try some.

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