Cooking Louisiana - Using Herbs & Spices

How to use Herbs & Spices, or, Herb and Spice Applications 

Sometimes I want to cook a dish then go looking through the spice cabinet for what to put on it. Spice manufacturers list the ingredients but don't tell you it's possible uses. So there I stand; dumbfounded. I decided to un-dumbfound myself, so, I did some studying. 

When you go to most sites you find the spice name and what to use it on. I reversed it here listing the food to be cooked and what spices you can use on it. Why? Cause I don't go to the spice cabinet grab the Thyme and say "Okay, I want chicken tonight!"

Here we go...

First we'll go through some spice rules below. Then at the end you'll find a link to a simple sheet listing the foods and favored spices and herbs. You can skip the rules and go to the sheet from here... Click Here.  

Herbs & Spices are different but the same. Herbs are generally the plant and leaves. Spices are generally the flowers, seeds and roots. All have individual names even if they come from the same plant. Both are generally called spices.

Herbs & Spices come fresh and dried. Fresh is best. Dried is just fine and for imported spices is usually the only way you'll find them. Both must be properly stored to retain their flavors.

Cool & dark is all you need to remember. Countertop spice racks are pretty but not the way to go. The perfect spot is the refrigerator but nobody does that. So, just keep them in the cabinet, but, not over the stove.

To double a recipe, increase spices and herbs by one-half the original recipe, then, taste and add more if needed.

Ground spices should be added near the end of the cooking process. Same thing with basil, marjoram and parsley.

Buy spices in very small quantities unless you use them in large volume. Doing this will force you to buy fresh spices.

Remember... fresh is best.


McCormick spices are extremely popular and adorn my spice cabinet as well they may do yours. How can you tell when the spice was manufactured? You won't find a date on the container, but, if you look on the bottom of the container you'll see a code. Now, look on the label itself and you'll see an address... make note of the city. Next, go to the McCormick website and follow the instructions on the right. You might be surprised! I was...I actually had a spice that was 10 years old... ha...(shame on me)  Click here for the McCormick Site page... 


Now... Click Here. for the listing...








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