Do you feel like your dishes have been a little bland compared to what you eat when you go out? When I first learned to cook, I felt like my food was lacking compared to that of my friends and family. It took a visit to my friend’s house to realize there was no difference in my baking temperature or cutting skills. It was the spices it used on my food and when I used them.
If you are like me and do not know where to start with spices, don’t worry; we gotcha. We have compiled a list of the essential spices you should always have in your kitchen. These spices will elevate your dishes from zero to a hundred.
Here is a list of spices that we cannot live without.
Some people can never have enough garlic in their food. Some double the amount of garlic in a recipe to elevate their dishes. However, we disagree with this notion. If you are not getting enough garlic flavour from the fresh garlic bulbs is not the answer. It is not about adding more plant matter to the food but adding its concertation.
The distinct garlic flavor comes from the presence of high concentrations of allium. Garlic powder is an excellent ally if your bulbs are not giving you the flavor. Other plants high on allium include shallots, onions, leeks and chives.
Many cooks are familiar with cinnamon when it comes to baking. It is a powerhouse for making desserts. It adds light to dense dishes and some much-needed warmth to sugary treats. However, cinnamon has more to offer than cutting on sugary treats, and it can also be used in savoury dishes. Have you tried adding cinnamon to apple sauce?
You should also try braising pork with that warm sauces. Pulled pork also tastes great when you add cinnamon to it. You can also add it to soups that are falling flat. Cinnamon will make them thick and full of heartiness.
Dried oregano will come in handy when you want to whip up some pesto. It also brings out rich aromatic flavors when roasting vegetables or chicken. You can reach out for oregano to make any Italian-inspired dish when making ravioli, pizza, spaghetti, and garlic bread.
Oregano is the cornerstone of making American-Italian fusion and a crucial part of Mexican cuisine. Black beans and pozole could not be the same without the pungent oregano.
Red Pepper Flakes
Red pepper flakes are the go-to toppings for any savoury dish, especially if you love hot food. It adds vibrant colour to pale foods such as pasts. A pinch of red pepper flakes to your meat dishes can elevate your dishes. You can also roast the flakes in hot oil to make chill oil which you can add to your dishes for some heat.
Black pepper is one of the most popular spices in the world. You can use it as ground black pepper or as peppercorns. There is a massive difference in taste between ground black pepper and peppercorn. You can, however, freshly grind your black pepper for that fresh flavour. If you are keen on using the peppercorns whole, you can use them the same way you would use bay leaves. Leave them in a slow-cooking dish and remove the dish once you are done cooking it.
You can use cumin in the form of powder or seeds. Whichever you prefer, cumin is a must-have in your kitchen. It is the second most popular spice in the world after black pepper. You cannot make any curry without cumin. It is an essential part of any Mexican and Indian dish. It is very aromatic and warm with mild heat.
Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help you deal with sinuses and colds. But that is not the only reason you should have it in your pantry. Ginger is a warm spice that can help bring your dish to life. You can use it alongside garlic in your soups, meats, dairy and vegetables to liven up your dish.
Are you looking to liven up your pantry? At ChefCo, we have all types of spices under the sun. We promise you will find what you want to elevate your dish. We also have different types of grains, foodstuffs, herbs, pulses and oils to make your food shopping easier under one roof.