Food is a pleasure. A feast for all the senses. However, when I see people around me. The kitchen in their houses has become monotonous and lifeless.
They do not know how to give it a magical and different touch. It is because they don’t even consider putting an all-purpose seasoning in our food.
They are used to cooking mechanically without daring to look for new flavors and aromas in the dishes that they prepare every day.
But what if we incorporated more spices and seasonings like chefs do?
Perhaps, there would be more smiles and mealtime would transform into a great feast for the senses. I was watching the television a few months ago and there was this woman named Ximena, who was advocating for the use of spices in daily food.
She inspired me a lot and I thought why not use these spices? Trust me my food hasn’t been the same since. My husband loves eating at home so do my kids.
Ximena Sepúlveda, creator of “Flavor with the sense”, is committed to spreading and teaching the importance of sensoriality and the need to rationally summon the senses through the spices that allow us to flavor our cuisine and advance, thus turning daily food into true art that also nourishes our body.
When talking about seasonings, she teaches, they are a very broad set that includes food additives like salt, vinegar, oils and chemical flavorings. Meanwhile, spices, which incorporate aromatic herbs in their definition, would be certain parts of plants that are aromatic and can transmit this characteristic to food.
“The most important characteristic of spices is to contain essential oils, responsible for their aromas and flavors that allow us to enhance food or mask what we are not interested in tasting,” says the self-taught Ximena Sepúlveda.
These spices have a mainly antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial physiological activity. “Not using them means giving up the richness of the aromas and flavors in the food.
Some reasons to exclude them are allergic reactions or the irritating action of a few seasonings, but their contraindications are few and not incorporating them because they are all irritating is a myth to demolish.
Fresh or dry?
In the opinion of experts, to determine what we use is fresh or dry depends on each spice. “Fresh products contain essential oils in better quality and therefore their flavoring action is better. The drying process deteriorates the presence of essential oils.
How many seasonings and spices to use? Ximena Sepúlveda responds that there are no limits or antagonistic spices and it depends on personal tastes.
The main thing is to achieve a mixture of balanced flavors that contains an aromatic amplitude that does not attack the palate, mask food, or cause unwanted reactions among its components. For example, tarragon is used alone but combines perfectly with fine herbs like parsley.
But, it is a rule that two improperly balanced condiments should never go together. If sage and mint are used in a lamb, sage should be a tap next to the amount of mint.
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Seasonings and spices
Seasoning and spice expert Ximena Sepúlveda says the perfect seasoning should provide contrast or aroma to the dish, but without overriding the actual flavor of the main ingredient.
While fresh aromatic herbs add more flavor and aroma to dishes. But, that excess is prohibited. Much, it is worse than nothing.
“Mild spices and herbs can be mixed successfully, each flavor can be savored, however subtle. It is important to weigh the intensity of the spices or aromatic herbs on a plate.
For example, one part of tarragon for double ciboulette, and a sauce needs a higher concentration of flavor than a soup.
AJÍ AND PEPPER:
- They have sweet, fruity flavors and diverse aromas.
- They are used fresh, dehydrated, roasted, smoked, powdered, pickled, in concentrates and in oils, to enhance the flavour.
- They are used for pizzas and all kinds of dishes.
- In Chile, it is very popular and a main component of merken.
- Spicy, sweet, aromatic, enveloping aroma.
- Each palate rejects or accepts the flavor without middle terms, it must be a non-protagonist nuance.
- Sweet, fragrant taste.
- Its flavor is light, balanced, and refreshing.
- Traditional in pesto, and oriental cuisine.
- Combine with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Dishes of aubergines, peppers, potatoes, beans, squash, and vegetables in salads, pasta, rice, eggs, noodle sauce, soups, chicken, pork, beef, fish, liver, corn cake, humitas. Companion of onions, garlic and chili peppers, lemon, olive oil, and tomatoes.
- It has a Spicy and smooth taste.
- The seeds are used for jams, fish marinades, pickled vegetables.
- Also in bread and liqueurs.
- Along with cloves and cinnamon, they are part of the curries.
- It is a bark with a characteristic warm and sugary flavor
- It is used for sweet cooking in semolina, compotes, spiced wine, and in mixtures for salty preparations cooked in milk.
- Comino has a warm, spicy and strong flavor that prevails over other flavors.
- It is Use in cooked dishes.
- It is part of the spice mix like garam masala and curries.
- In my country it is essential in empanadas and stir-fries.
- Also in roasted or braised meats, cheeses, cous cous.
- In breads and some cakes.
- It is a mixture or spice massala used in Indian cuisine.
- It comes in pasta and powder presentations and the ingredients are very varied in elements.
- Its aroma is warm and sometimes sweet with a counterpoint to what is known as cumin, pepper and bay leaf.
- It is special for vegetable, meat and fish stews. Or to flavor the rice.
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- Low intensity aroma, reminiscent of ginger, orange and freshly sawn wood.
- Spicy flavor, somewhat bitter, spicy, similar to mustard.
- It is used to paint rice, noodles.
- Also in chicken with curry; marinated fish and shrimp skewers. Indicated for fish and egg dishes and with rice.
- Clove penetrates with notes of pepper and is slightly astringent.
- It is used in salty and sweet cuisine, such as meats, legumes, fruit salads, spicy bread, sauces.
- Harmonizes with garlic, onion, bay leaf, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, among others.
- Use it sparingly.
- It Combines with roasted onion for savory dishes.
- Both the leaves and the fruits are used for soups, sauces and is especially suitable for fish.
- It combines very well with yogurt, sour cream and eggs.
- The fruits are used as decoration for oils, vinegars, strong fish and the leaves with the soft ones.
- The ground seeds are used to season lentils and vegetables in general. Add freshly chopped to the cottage cheese.
- Its aroma is both warm and spicy, reminiscent of anise and a certain note of hay, harmonizing with a subtle flavor, but still penetrating.
- But it should be used with caution.
- It flavors herbal vinegars and is the perfect mustard seasoning.
- It is an indispensable ingredient of the fine herbs and sauces representative of classic French cuisine.
- It is used with eggs, rabbit, crab, lobster, scallops, leeks, asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocados and mayonnaise.
- It is also suitable for soups based on duck chicken broth, liver, baked chicken or light stews.
- Excellent with intense flavor fish.
- Very strong, spicy, pleasant flavor although diluted in the preparations is very pleasant and aromatic.
- It is reminiscent of lemon grass and fresh flavor.
- It is used fresh (very fragrant) or dry (more spicy) for candied fruits, in pastry, canned fruits.
- Also with pumpkin and cucumber, rice; in soups, sauces, poultry and chicken dishes.
- It also works well in chutneys, pickles, and curry mixes.
- Sweet, intense, velvety aroma.
- A rough and slightly bitter flavour that enhances flavours of other foods and condiments.
- Its flavour intensifies with drying.
- The quantity is important, the less its flavour disappears and more, a bitter and unpleasant taste is obtained on the palate.
- Use in meat dishes, milk desserts, casseroles, soups and white sauces, stews, fish, pickles and broths.
- It flavors stews, marinades, sauces, pickles, marinades, legume and vegetable stews.
- It goes very well for fish sauces.
- In taste, it can be sweet, spicy and invasive with a taste of wood.
- Use grated or powdered in hot drinks, desserts, cooked fruits, cakes, and cupcakes.
- Also in salty sauces such as bechamel.
- Combine with dishes or sauces that contain milk or cream, spinach, potatoes and pumpkin, chicken, fish and turkey as the main ingredient, but in few pinches.
- Warm and intoxicating aroma.
- Its perfume is more pronounced when fresh.
- Fresh to flavor raw foods, cheeses, salads.
- Dry for cooked meals.
- It is used to preserve the broth, sauces, meats and fish and is added at the end of cooking.
BLACK, WHITE, RED PEPPER:
- They are presentations of the same fruit of the pepper tree.
- The black gives an intense spicy flavor, and is used as the first seasoning to raise flavor. Strengthens the flavor without masking or changing it.
- The white one gives more pungent flavor than the black one.
- Green is somewhat softer and more fruity, but not without the spicy touch. It can be preserved in brine or in vinegar.
- It has a rich aroma reminiscent of tea and pine.
- The sweet part of its aroma indicates that it acts on the metabolism of sugars in the body, supporting its regulation.
- The leaves are used in general, dried rosemary in cooked preparations and fresh flowers are used in salads.
- It is special to accompany red meat, chicken, beef, rabbit cooked on the grill, or baked.
- In soups, fish and stews, also in dishes based on potatoes and rustic pates.
- It Flavors olive oil and vinegar in fresh form.
- In addition, you can add milk, custard, and make rosemary honey.
- It is a faithful companion to laurel, garlic, and thyme.
- Thyme reminds me of oregano.
- It is very aromatic, Spicy, warm, and has a dry flavor.
- Thyme preserves its flavor in slow-cooking dishes, facilitates digestion, and enhances the flavor in very fatty dishes.
- You can use fresh thyme in casseroles and cheeses.
- You can use dry thyme in general
- It combines well with stews, potatoes, eggs, sausages, pickles, soups, cheeses, roasted or fried vegetables, and all kinds of sauces.
- Thyme also flavors poultry and grilled meats.
- When it is ground, it is used to marinate meat and fish.
My advice for all of you is to spice up your cooking with the help of these unique spices. You can make all Purpose Seasonings with the help of these spices and use it in every one of you dish.
Trust me you can compete a professional chef if you can manage to learn about these spices and their use.