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Old 05-24-2007, 11:32 AM   #1
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ISO help learning about spices

Can anyone point me to a resource (book / website.. anything) that will explain to me what spices go good with what. I'm still fairly new to the whole cooking thing, and i want to start using spices to kick it up a notch. I just dont know what goes with what...

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Old 05-24-2007, 11:39 AM   #2
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This site can help you. There are not as many as you think. There are more concoctions on the market than spices and herbs.

List of herbs and spices - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:46 AM   #3
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This is a great site that sells spices but explains their origin and uses.
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:57 AM   #4
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Here's a basic guide: BBC - h2g2 - How to Use Herbs and Spices in Cooking Remember that herbs are the leaves and spices are the rest - seeds, bark, roots, etc.
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
This is a great site that sells spices but explains their origin and uses.

And they have some major job opportunities posted too.
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Old 05-24-2007, 12:14 PM   #6
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Thanks guys and gals. I've got some reading to do :)
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Old 05-24-2007, 01:56 PM   #7
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I would suggest picking up a cheap loaded spice rack and experiment with them.

You will also learn more by cooking recipies with spices in them.
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Old 05-24-2007, 03:01 PM   #8
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Penzey's is a great place to purchase herbs & spices from - including some interesting blends (I LOVE their Hot Curry Powder). Their descriptions are accurate, they have good easy-to-follow recipes, & their products are high-quality. When I order from them, I always try to purchase something I've never used before to experiment with - lots of fun.

PENZEYS Spices Home Page
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Old 05-24-2007, 04:24 PM   #9
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i'm with Jeekinz, just grab some herbs & spices and start test-driving. open up a jar, take a sniff, and decide what food it makes you think of. try cooking that food with that spice to see what the impact is. have fun!

OH! and one of the above mentioned penzeys spices stores opened up right near my work building recently, and i was wondering what the heck that place was. now i know i have a trip to make!
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Old 05-24-2007, 04:34 PM   #10
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soundsk good. i'll pick up one a nice spice rack, and start givin' er.

can you guys suggest what's good with chicken? i eat a lot of chicken, that's usually what i'm trying to kick up. i've tried cayanne, chili, and tex mex. i dont always like it 'hot and spicy' though. what else could go on, just as something a bit different? would i want to use stuff like oregano / rosemary / basil for something like that? or is that more of sauce type spices
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Old 05-24-2007, 04:37 PM   #11
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one of my fave "herbed" chicken dishes, srm, is to take leg quarters (or breasts with skin still on, i just like leg quarters better on the grill) and separate the skin from the meat just a little. run your finger in between, making a little pocket. liberally sprinkle french provincial herbs & garlic in there, pat the skin back down, toss on grill or in oven.
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:05 PM   #12
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srm, chicken pairs well with quite a few herbs. You could prepare chicken cacciatore, which uses a tomato sauce along with garlic and oregano and/or basil. If you Google "chicken cacciatore," you'll come up with tons of recipes. You should also search the forums here for help.

Tarragon chicken is another dish that can easily be made by browning the chicken in some olive oil, then adding some chicken broth and/or white wine, some tarragon, salt and pepper and simmering until tender.

You could also make a paste of butter minced garlic, salt, pepper and tarragon and put it under the skin of chicken pieces or a whole chicken and roast until golden and done.

Rosemary is also an herb that works well with chicken so, you see, you have many avenues to pursue. Have fun experimenting.
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:18 PM   #13
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Check out this site a click the kitchen charts link alot of info there.Recipes - Thousands of free recipes at Recipe Goldmine
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:33 PM   #14
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jpmcgrew: that is what i was looking for. awsome!
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:44 PM   #15
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Srm alot of fun stuff in the kitchen charts section.Glad you like it.
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:51 PM   #16
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srm just to be sure you know these are the different spices that are possible dont use everyone they suggest all at once.
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:26 PM   #17
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I usually end up using thyme, sage, and rosemary when I'm cooking chicken, in addition to the ubiquitous salt, pepper, and garlic.
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:28 PM   #18
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sounds great. thanks everyone.
I actually dont cook with salt at all. i know i'm missing out, but health / dietary reasons cant / dont.
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Old 05-25-2007, 07:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srm
can you guys suggest what's good with chicken?
For grilled whole chicken parts, I use olive oil, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Heavily applied, those spices form a nice crust on the skin.
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:35 AM   #20
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Chicken

Quote:
Originally Posted by srm
can you guys suggest what's good with chicken?
I love Penzey's Greek seasoning with chicken - it has primarily lemon, garlic and oregano. Here's a great-sounding recipe from their site that I want to make myself

Recipes at Penzeys Spices Greek Pasta and Chicken

I've also just mixed one or two teaspoons of the seasoning with olive oil and brushed it on chicken breasts to be sauteed or grilled.
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