Cooking: My Love of Spices

If you have read my Meal Prepping post (read it here) you will know that I love cooking. I love to experiment with spices and try to create new flavours. In my kitchen I have a cupboard just to spices as well as a spinning spice rack on my work top.  My mum is originally from Jamaica and I have got my love from cooking from her. Where possible I always try and season my meat either the night before or at least a few hours before. I find this allows the flavours to really soak into the meat before cooking. Here is a list of some of the spices I use regular and what dishes/meat I use them for.

Garlic Powder

Now I know most people will say that they prefer fresh garlic, but I use both. I mainly use garlic powder for sprinkling on roast potatoes or chips before cooking as it adds a nice flavour to the potatoes and more suitable that using fresh as you can coat all potatoes. I also use garlic powder on chicken drumsticks when I am cooking them in the ActiFry as the powder sticks better to the meat. I sometimes will use both powder and fresh garlic when seasoning my meat as it adds extra flavour.

Paprika

Again this is another spice that I add to my chips when cooking them in either the ActiFry or the oven as it gives a subtle smokey flavour. I also use Paprika on my tortilla chips that I showed in my meal prep blog post. When it comes to meat I use paprika on everything, mince, chops, gammon everything. I find it such a versatile spice that works well with whatever dish I am cooking.

Cumin

This is a spice I have only discovered in the past year, I brought it when we needed it for a recipe from the Lean in 15 book (you can read my review here). The recipe was for Chilli previously my boyfriend would but a mix that you added hot water to but ever since he tried this recipe he hasn’t looked back. Since then I have used it in curry’s, chili’s and Mexican dishes. It is also another spice that I sprinkle on my homemade tortilla chips.

Mixed Herbs

Although I do have the individual dry herbs when I am cooking a dish which requires all of them I just use my mixed herbs to save me time. I mainly use this on meat which I am roasting for a roast dinner or roast potatoes.

Cinnamon

This is a spice that I have only recently started using in my savory cooking. I was following a recipe for a sweet potato curry and it was listed as one of the ingredients. Cinnamon is traditionally used in sweet dishes and i use it mainly when making apple crumble. However it just seemed to work in this particular dish. Now whenever I am making a tomato based curry I will add a sprinkle of cinnamon to add a different flavour. I also use cinnamon on my sweet potato fries when I cook them in the ActiFry, something I picked up in America.

Spice Mixes

In the past year I have picked up spice mixes that have been blended together for certain dishes. One of the first ones I brought were an Italian selection and Curry selection. I think this are great for new cooks who are not quiet sure what spices go together. I particularly like the Italian one I have used this a lot when making my own pasta dishes and I also sprinkle the herbs on pizza to add extra flavour before cooking in the oven especially if i have brought a base and added my own toppings. The Indian spices I haven’t used as much as I find that some of the spices that look like little seeds don’t taste as pleasant when you are eating it, so some times I will crush them if I have the time.

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I recently brought three new spice blends to try, so far I have tried the fajita and Moroccan spices. The Moroccan one I used for the dish you can see in my meal prep post which was chicken, sweet potato and tomatoes. This worked really well I seasoned the chicken with the Moroccan spices and then added a bit more once I have mixed the chicken with the sweet potato and tinned tomatoes in the slow cooker.

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