Common Spices and their uses

It’s good to get to know your spices. They can add an individual taste to your dishes leaving people wondering what that special ingredient was, or even asking you for the recipe. Be careful, in any instance, not to overload a dish with spices; often times this will leave a dish unedible. Below is a helpful guide to some of the most commonly used spices in the kitchen.

Basil – Aromatic odor, warm sweet flavor used whole or ground. Commonly used in: Beef Stew, Steak, Veal, Lamb, Venison, Chicken, Duck Fish, Seafood cocktails, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Peas, Squash, Herb Butter, Spanish Rice, Spaghetti dishes, Bean Soup, Mock turtle soup, Potato Soup, Tossed Salads.

Bay Leaves – A pungent flavor. Available as a whole leaf. Commonly used in: Meats, Stews, Saurbraten, Poached fish, Pickled beets, Relishes, Egg Salad, Egg dishes, Cheese dishes, Vegetable and Fish soups, Tomato sauces and Gravies, Marinades.

Cardamom: Spicy. Commonly used in: Breads for an added surprise.

Caraway is tangy and slightly sweet. Commonly used in: Biscuits, Corn bread, Muffins, Rolls, Can be added to honey and poured over waffles, or Cottage cheese.

Celery Salt a quite strong spice, used for some salads like Egg salad, Potato salad and etc. Should be used sparingly.

Chili Powder – Commonly used in: Chili, Deviled eggs, Split-pea soup.

Chives – Mild onion flavor. Commonly used in: Fish dishes, Potato dishes, Vegetable garnish, Sprinkle on top of dishes with cheeses, Various soups and salads.

Cloves – Very strong flavor and aroma. Use sparingly. Commonly used in: Cranberry juice.

Curry – Blend of spices in proper proportion. Commonly used in: Curries of Meat, Veal, Mildly hot casseroles, Chicken, Fish, Shrimp, Chicken Salad, Various vegetables, Pickled carrots, Green bean sticks, Fresh cheese, Cheese combo dishes, Oriental touch to rice, Gravies, Flavor teaser in soups, Chili sauce, Shrimp sauce, White bread dough.

Dill Weed – has an aromatic and pungent odor with slight caraway flavor. Commonly used in: Veal Pork Spareribs, Lamb Stew, Fish dishes, Chicken salad, Potatoes baked or boiled, Tomatoes, Beans, Pickles, Eggs Benedict, Egg and Cheese dishes, Buttered noodles, Fish and vegetable salads, Butter sauce, Cream sauce. Or can be used as a garnish.

Ginger – Aromatic pungent root with warm flavor. Sold fresh, dried or ground. Commonly used in: Pot Roast, Pork, Veal, Beef Casseroles, Pickles, Preserves, Chutney, Vegetable combos, Soups, Chicken broth, Gravies, Fruit salad, Whipped Cream, Cakes, Soft cookies and crisp snaps, Pie crust and fillings.

Nutmeg – Commonly used in: Apple dishes, Chicken soup, Breads, pie crusts.

Marjoram – Aromatic odor, potent flavor. Stuffing for all meats. Ragouts, Stew, Beef, Veal, Pork Roasts, Lamb, Sausage, Chicken and fish dishes, Stuffed fish, Fish chowder, Scalloped potatoes and tomatoes, Dressing for broccoli, Cabbage, Spinach, Egg salad, Egg dishes, Cheese dishes, Spaghetti sauce, Soups, Salad dressing, Green vegetables, Salads.

Dried Mustard is a mixture of ground seeds of several mustard varieties. Commonly used in: Meats: Roasts, Pork Chops, Vegetables.

Oregano – Strong aromatic odor and bitter to the taste. Can be purchased whole or ground. Commonly used in: Pork, Veal and Lamb dishes, Meat Loaf, Stews, Chili, Roast duck, Fish chowder, Hash brown potatoes, Dries beans, Lentils, Sprinkle on top of dishes with cheeses,Spaghetti with meat sauce, Pizza, Vegetable and Fish dishes.

Paprika – Commonly used in: Stuffed Celery, Deviled Eggs, Other Egg dishes.

Poppy Seeds – Small crunch black seeds from the poppy plants. Commonly used in: Breads or Cakes.

Sage – Pleasant aromatic odor and it has a warm yet bitter taste. Used fresh or dried. Commonly used in: Stuffing for meat dishes, Veal and Pork dishes, Pork roast, Sausage, Hamburgers, Poultry, Vegetable loaves, Beans, Tomatoes, Fresh cheese, Cheese combo dishes, Salads.

Tarragon – Aromatic leaves with hot pungent flavor. Commonly used in: Beef and Veal dishes, Fish and chicken dishes, Chicken cacciatore, Lobster, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Beets, Spinach, Pickles, Eggs Benedict, Egg and Cheese dishes, Tartar sauce, Sweet-and-sour sauce, Fish sauces, Green salads.

Thyme – Commonly used in: Vegetable soups, Clam Chowder, Breads and Biscuits, Cheeses and Cheese sauces, Egg dishes.