A while ago I shared five essential herbs I grow in my garden. Parsley, chives, mint, basil, and rosemary are herbs that I always try to have on hand in their fresh state. Growing them in my garden makes that relatively easy for about six months of the year. In addition to those herbs there are three essential spices that I try to keep on hand in my pantry in their non-ground state.
The clove is the part of the garlic typically used in cooking. Its sharp, spicy flavor mellows with cooking and can be described as sweet when roasted.
Garlic is used as an essential ingredient in many regions of the world. Medicinally garlic has been found to have antibacterial, antiviral and anti fungal benefits. When I cook with garlic I usually slice, mince, crush, or roast it.
This handy garlic press helps when you have lots of garlic to crush or are in a hurry.
|My Garlic Press|
Fresh ginger is a key flavoring ingredient in many Chinese, Japanese and other Asian dishes.
Ginger may be steeped to make a tea and has been known to settle upset stomachs and ease motion sickness. Ginger is most often peeled and either grated, minced or julienned when used in cooking.
Watch this You Tube video to learn more about Ginger.
I usually wrap the ginger in a paper towel and store it in my refrigerator in a plastic bag for a week or two. Longer storage can be done successfully in the freezer.
You won't find nutmeg growing in your back yard. Nutmeg is the seed of an evergreen tree, while mace is the dried outer covering of the seed. Today's nutmeg is imported primarily from Grenada. I love to use the whole nutmeg and even have this handy dandy Williams Sonoma nutmeg grinder, that I love. You can use a microplane grater as well, but this nutmeg grinder was given to me as a gift many years ago.
|My Nutmeg Grinder|
So when do you use nutmeg? I always add it at the last minute whenever I make spinach or a béchamel sauce. I also will add just a touch in a breakfast muffin or holiday goodies. You certainly can't have a glass of egg nog without a pinch of nutmeg, can you? Of course not.
There you have it friends. Three essential spices you'll want to consider keeping on hand to enhance "the love" in your cooking.