What to Do With Extra Spices

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spices

I’m an advocate for checking on what spices you have in your pantry. Today I arrived at work with a gift of spices on my desk. I love goodies that magically appear or maybe my inner dialogue was loud enough for someone to hear when I was trying to make clam chowder the other day and was missing celery. Now that I look at it, it’s not the same recipe I keep in my head. This is a good reminder for me to update recipes. That clam chowder recipe looks really New England heavy or it was a special request. My clam chowder without looking at recipes contains a little celery and thyme.

Now that I have these spices in my collection, how can I use them? I’m going to label Poultry, Singapore and Northwoods into a boutique-style spice or a blend. Sometimes when you buy boutique style spices you have to make sure you read the contents. I have nothing against these spice sets and I find some of them to be really great. For example, Northwoods has a combination of salt, paprika, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, garlic, and chipotle. To me, that sounds like Friday night. The Singapore spice contains black pepper, lemon peel, citric acid, garlic, onion, tumeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, fenugreek (look it up, it’s a great read), nutmeg, fennel, cinnamon, white pepper, cardamom, cloves, and cayenne pepper. That’s a long list of ingredients in 1 jar. Now that I know what’s in it…it sounds great on steaks or something I’d add to sour cream or yogurt for that Indian flavor. The same goes for Poultry spice. The list includes most of the things I’d add onto chicken. These shortcuts are a great addition to your arsenal but remember to taste/test them before using.

When people give me spices like these, I generally make my own blends to match my flavor profile…more for the flavor profile that people expect from me.

Check out your spices to see what you have in stock and also to do a refresh of what’s there. If you have something you want to give away, send it my way. In general, my problem is having way too much coriander.

Special thanks to Jenny Gallaher for the donation to my kitchen!

My Pantry

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