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Old 08-16-2006, 02:28 PM   #1
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Looking for spices

I've tried looking for these spices in the supermarket in the spices section but had no luck. I'm looking for crushed hot red chilies, minced ginger root, and orange zest. Am I looking in the wrong place?


Thanks.

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Old 08-16-2006, 02:31 PM   #2
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Ginger root is just grated up from fresh ginger. Look by the potatos. Orange zest is grated orange peel. Not sure about the chilies. Ask your produce manager.
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:58 PM   #3
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Look for dry chile flakes in the supermarket dry herb/spice section.

You can buy dry minced ginger from Penzey's, I think, as well as dry orange zest.

But, like vagriller says, you can mince fresh gnger and zest fresh oranges. Will be easier than tracking down dry and taste better.
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:31 PM   #4
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If a recipe calls for minced ginger root or orange zest, it is intended to be fresh unless noted. You don't buy these fresh, you buy whole ginger and whole oranges and mince and zest them.
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snakeyes37
I've tried looking for these spices in the supermarket in the spices section but had no luck. I'm looking for crushed hot red chilies, minced ginger root, and orange zest. Am I looking in the wrong place?


Thanks.
Welcome!
I'd add to Andy's wise comments:
Buy some fresh ginger, a nice, fresh orange and a few hot, red chillies.
Grate the ginger with your cheese grater. Spread the ginger out on a plate, and leave it overnight, or in the sunshine, and it will dry out in a day or two.
Grate the orange peel too, on the finest grater you have. Same procedure as the ginger.
Remove the stalks from the hot peppers, and chop them roughly, crosswise. If you have no latex gloves/surgical gloves to do this with, try to keep your fingers well away - wash your hands thoroughly afterwards .
Leave the chillies in a warm, well -aired place and they'll dry out in about a week or so.
BEST advice - do all this Fresh! Much tastier!!
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:11 PM   #6
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I keep fresh ginger in the freezer and grate off what I need using a microplane grater.

I zest citrus as needed rather than doing it ahead and drying it.

I guess I don't use it often enough to stock up in dried form.
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveb
Welcome!
I'd add to Andy's wise comments:
...
Remove the stalks from the hot peppers, and chop them roughly, crosswise. If you have no latex gloves/surgical gloves to do this with, try to keep your fingers well away - wash your hands thoroughly afterwards .
Leave the chillies in a warm, well -aired place and they'll dry out in about a week or so.
BEST advice - do all this Fresh! Much tastier!!
Most of the markets around me are limited in the types of fresh peppers. I have used dried arbol chiles instead of red pepper flakes from the spice aisle.
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:13 PM   #8
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I have to go with what Andy M. said - unless the recipe specifically calls for dried ginger or zest - they intend for you to use fresh. If you don't have a micro-plane zester/grater, or a zester - you can still do it if you have an old-fashioned box grater, a vegetable peeler, and a knife.

Ginger: use the box grater ... the front and back will be for normal coarse/fine grating ... one of the narrow sides will have a whole bunch of little sharp bumps on it - that is the side to use for grating the ginger.

Orange Peel: use a vegetable peeler and shave off very thin strips - you don't want to cut down into the white "pith" under the skin ... that is bitter. Then you can use a knive to cut it into very narrow strips - and then chop them up if you need a finer texture. Or, you could use the box grater, like for the ginger.

Crushed hot red chilies: You probably will not find them labeled that way ... they will probably be labeled as Crushed Red Pepper. If your supermarket carries McCormick spices .... this is what the jar will look like.
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Old 08-17-2006, 02:29 AM   #9
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They'll all freeze well. I like to grate the ginger and orange or lemon peel before freezing, then pack it flat like a thin pancake so I can easily break off little bits at a time. Chillies freeze whole or chopped.

I agree with the rest - it's fresh that's best, but frozen goes close. I don't use dried herbs or spices unless I absolutely have no alternative.
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