Friday, September 23, 2011

Essential Spices

Williams-Sonoma has really interesting salts like Wild Porcini Sea Salt

With the change of seasons today, it's a good idea to take stock of the spices you have in your pantry.  This weekend take the opportunity to see what you have, check expiration dates, and toss those spices that have been in the cabinet for 5 years and are well past the expiration dates.  While you're at it, take a look at the list below to see if you're prepared for the cooking you'll do in the months ahead.  There's nothing worse than getting half way through a recipe only to discover you're missing needed spices.  In no particular order, this is what I recommend you keep on hand:

Parsley (fresh is best)
Garlic (I like the powdered and fresh)
Basil (again, fresh is best)
Bay leaf
Dill weed
Ground ginger
Black pepper and peppercorn
Hungarian paprika
Rosemary (though I prefer fresh)
Crushed red pepper
    Onion Powder

If you really want to go to town, check out the spices at Williams-Sonoma.  They have cool things like Porcini Mushroom Sea Salt, Meyer Lemon Peel and Australian Pink Sea Salt.  I tried the Porcini Mushroom Sea Salt last night on a tuna burger - it really transformed the flavor!

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