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Essential Herbs and Spices

by Cindy

by: Cristian Sorto

Every home has a kitchen and every kitchen is very different, but there are spices, herbs, and oils that should be essential to every kitchen. With so many different spices and varieties of each one it can be very difficult choosing which ones to keep stocked. 

Salt is considered the king of all seasoning and can be guaranteed to be found in every single kitchen. With it being such an essential seasoning, there are many varieties of it, but kosher salt would be the most versatile form since it works well with many dishes. 

The companion to salt in the kitchen is pepper, but just like salt there is an immense variety of pepper. The most important type of pepper to keep in a kitchen, however, is black pepper. Investing in black peppercorns to grind will give any recipe a more intense flavor than the pre-ground option. 

After black pepper, red pepper flakes are essential to a kitchen because of its versatility since it can be added to a wide range of dishes from around the world. It gives dishes more depth in flavor while also providing a small kick of heat whether it’s in a crushed form or entire flake form. 

Garlic powder is a great option to always have available. The powder is made from dehydrated garlic and is great to have on hand when short on fresh garlic or when a fresh clove would overpower the recipe. The powder provides a sweeter, yet subtle flavor when compared to the fresh garlic option and it’s easier to control its influence on the dish. 

Dried oregano is an aromatic flavor that can be incorporated into various dishes such as Mexican and Italian. It’s a pretty popular addition to pizza and poultry. It is technically part of the mint family but adds a warmer savory flavor.

Another dry herb with a wide range of applications is dried thyme. It provides a slight flavor of mint that pairs well with poultry and seafood. 

Dried rosemary is a known for its pine aroma accompanied with a peppery flavor that can be applied to dishes such as Mediterranean salads and baked goods, but a heavy hand can easily overpower any recipe.

An increasingly popular option for food lovers is combining favorite spices that are commonly used. Apple pie spice is a popular combination made up of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger. This option can help decrease the size of the spice rack.

When cooking oil is always a necessity and extra olive oil is a good one to keep in stock. It has the most versatility while also providing health benefits. 

Chicken & garlic with fresh herbs is a poultry dish take takes advantage of common kitchen spices to create a delicious dish. The recipe is not too time consuming as it only requires 30 minutes and it makes 6 servings to enjoy.

Many of this herbs and spices accompany poultry very well and another dish that takes advantage of this combination is the Mediterranean chicken and bulgur skillet. The dish combines spices like kosher salt and black pepper with dried oregano along with olive oil.

Pasta is a popular Italian dish that is beloved around the world and fettuccine with wilted greens makes good use of various spices and herbs to create a delicious pasta with a slight kick to it. The chicken is sprinkled with salt and pepper for preparation while the final product is topped off with red pepper flakes. 

Double crusted chicken tenders add a fun twist with flavorful seasoning and a sweet sauce. The chicken is seasoned with garlic, kosher salt, black pepper, and prepared in olive oil. They are made to be dipped in a sriracha based BBQ sauce that includes ginger and ground black pepper.

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