Vampire’s Spice Rack – blends

Seasoning a dish is one of my favorite things, especially with soups. It is a creative, sensory experience:The smelling, the tasting, the sprinkling and pinching. (Insert scene from “Ratatouille” with Remy “getting fancy with the spices” here) With a few basics, you can mix and match and control the flavor of what you are making to suit your individual tastes – pure control (insert video of Jeremy Clarkson in Top Gear UK yelling POWER here)

I never buy pre-seasoned breadcrumbs so I can customize them for each recipe…

BUT I’m also smart enough to realize that sometimes convenience and speed trumps control-freaky-ness – I also recognize that other people can do the blending much better sometimes.

I have three blends that I always keep on hand:

Yellow curry powder – I have single spices like tumeric, coriander and cumin on hand too, but I just don’t have the energy or  motivation to twink around experimenting with proportions of the long list of spices that goes into a good curry powder. I leave that to the pros…like I’ve said, my recipes are the wacky-aunt variety, not the trained chef variety. But how easy is it to put a little of this magic mixture into  heated garbanzo beans and pour them over rice for a veggie curry? Or put some in “white” chili for  depth of flavor ? Or in hummis for variety? Of course, putting it in a sauce for chicken goes without saying…

Chili Powder – ditto

Old Bay – This is a new discovery – thanks to my neighbor Veronica. She is the one who tipped me off to sprinkling Old Bay on buttered popcorn for a Cajun flavor. It is also amazing in squash or pumpkin soup. I guess you could boil crab in it too…but what’s the fun in that? (Other than eating crab, that is.) The thing I like about Old Bay is the amount of heat…it is just right for my taste. If I did take the time to make my own blend, it would have this heat- to-flavor  ratio anyway. So why not let them do the work?

Anyone can learn to gourmet season things…but you might not necessarily WANT to do that. Can is a far cry from should. It is just like we talk about on the Tarot blog…everyone HAS intuitive ability, and anyone CAN be psychic/read tarot cards…not everyone WANTS to do that for themselves. I could learn to change the oil in my car – but I don’t want to. So if there is a place in this world for psychics and auto mechanics, there is a place in my kitchen for pre-fab spice blends.

 

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4 thoughts on “Vampire’s Spice Rack – blends

  1. … I always thought chili powder was powdered dried chilies, like cayenne pepper! I didn’t realize it was a spice mix! Derp.

    • It has mostly pepper, as I understand it, but also some concoction of paprika, oregano, cumin etc in it too, with or without varying degrees of salt. That’s why it isn’t quite as hot as straight cayenne…or at least not the brands I buy. Each brand has it’s own formula, so they say – I usually stick to either McCormick or Giant Eagle store brand. It’s fast and easy – I’m way too lazy to mess around finding that just-right mix of stuff when it is one of those nights you want to just toss together a pot of chili or need to crock-pot-it. But that’s just me 😉

      • HAHA!! I definitely use that WITH cumin and coriander as my basic southwest/Mexican seasoning. Oops.

      • Doesn’t sound oops at all…who says you can’t start with a blend then customize to taste with additional single spices? Sounds tasty, actually. Sounds crazy but my favorite for ‘white’ chili is chili pepper, yellow curry powder, and garlic. Although tonight is going to be a fast pot of spaghetti with next to nothing added…hurray canned sauce!

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