Blending herbs with dried chiles restores some of their greener flavors while complimenting their newfound sweetness.The resulting flavor is so many things at once: sweet, herbal, spicy, and almost meaty. It makes for the unique kind of satisfaction that comes from a dish that tastes complete.
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During the holiday season there's a lot of edible DIY going on. Cookies are baked, jams are jarred, fruits are boozed up for rumtopf and fruitcake. Some may be gifts, some excuses to treat ourselves during a festive time of year. If you're looking for an easy, rewarding food project but can't stomach the thought of more sugar cookies, you may want to consider mixing up your own spice blends for the holidays.
Gingerbread spices are endlessly customizable. This version balances warm, spicy flavors against cool, citrus-y ones, and has a cool finish of cardamom, anise, and black pepper. Unless you have a very good source for ground ginger, you're best grinding your own from whole dried versions. A microplane makes a quick job of them.
Some spices and spice blends have grown to such prominence that it's hard not to associate them with a country's cuisine. To use garam masala is to cook, on some level, Indian. The same for five spice powder and Chinese food. And the same for Old Bay. To eat Old Bay is to eat American.
With so many spices at your disposal, why not use these to create your own spice blends?
Who needs to buy packets of taco seasoning when you can easily mix one up yourself? Use on tacos, burritos, tostadas and more. Head here for more spice blend recipes »...