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  • Putting the Spice Back into Your Cooking

  • spicesHundreds of years ago, explorers from Spain and Portugal braved the seas en route to India for valuable herbs and spices, but today people seem to cast these once coveted treasures aside. Deep in the corner of every kitchen is a spice rack filled with jars of forgotten herbs and spices. But before you reach for the salt to make food taste better, try searching through the rack for a creative spice to bring out the flavor. Here are some secrets to put the spice back into your food.

    • Use 1/4 teaspoon of spices or dried herbs (1 tsp fresh herbs) per pound of meat or pint of soup.
    • For quick-cooking dishes mix herbs in with other ingredients, and add spices when salt would be added.
    • For long-cooking dishes add herbs or spices in the last 45-60 minutes of cooking.
    • For cold dishes, add spices and let stand for several hours.
    • Dried herbs can soak in a bit of milk for 1/2 hour before adding to food.
    • Crumble whole spices to release the best flavor.
    • To lighten the flavor of herbs, soak them in hot water.

    Here are some more helpful hints and tips: