Good article Becky. One spice that Americans don't use that much of is coriander seed. It is a must for me now in so much of my cooking, because of it's earthy, mild citrus flavor, especially on fish. I also go through a lot of cardamom pods in my smoothies. Toss a green cardamom pod into the blender with your fruit and watch the flavor pop. The other spice blend that I can't live without, use in savory and sweet applications, is garam masala and I have started to gather a growing crowd of converts. Sprinkle it on your smoothie as well.
Another trick with spices that are ground from seeds or pods, such as chili powders, turmeric and black pepper, is to bloom them, i.e. put them into your hot pan just until they become aromatic (seconds) before you add liquids. This keeps the spices from tasting raw. Ground herbs or chopped herbs do not want this kind of treatment - they need to be treated gently.
- 5/12/2010 9:38:59 AM