•I’ve been bound and determined not to buy anymore of those handy dandy season packets for chili, tacos, spaghetti….you know the ones. I’ve invested in ground spices that might seem to cost a little more at the beginning, but will be worth it in the end. You can control the flavor, salt, and spiciness. But what do you do with the rest of that smoked paprika or cumin? Here’s what I have rattling around in my cupboards from my recipes and here are some ideas.
Chili powder-Use in chili, fajitas, tomato sauce, corn, and corn bread, guacamole, Spanish rice. Mix into pinto beans, bean dip, tamale pie, and enchiladas. Season chicken-wings, hamburgers, and beef, or chicken stews. Melt into butter to pour over scallops or other seafood. Chili powder blend is composed chiefly of chili peppers and blended with other spices including cumin, oregano, garlic powder, allspice, onion, cumin, and salt. It has a dominating flavor and widely used in Mexican and other Latin American dishes.
Chipotle Chile Pepper – Use 1 teaspoon per 4 servings for chili, tortilla soup, chicken, pork, barbecue sauce or marinade. Chilpoktli meaning “smoked chili pepper” is a smoke-dried jalapeno. They appear as a very wrinkled dark tobacco brown chilies with a strong smoky aroma. It is a chili used primarily in Mexican and Mexican-inspired cuisine, such as Mexican-American and Tex-Mex. Best if used in a slow-cooked dish rather than raw. Add to soup, stew or in the braising liquid for meats, use in salsa, beans and lentils.
Cumin, Ground – Add to peas, beans, chicken soup, fajita marinade, black bean soup, lentil soup and chicken soup. Add to cabbage, tomato sauces, curry dishes, hummus, beef stew, meat loaf, Mexican-style baked eggs, marinades for shish kebab and wild game. Use to season Mexican-style rice, tacos, enchiladas, chili, tomato sauce, and beef stew. Also add to roasted veggies for a salsa verde. Or chili verde.
Cayenne Red Pepper- It’s heat and spiciness varies. It is a key ingredient in a variety of hot sauces, particularly those employing vinegar as a preservative. Buffalo-wing sauce contains Cayenne pepper. Use with sea foods, such as oysters, sardines, smoked salmon, trout or other white fish, scallops, fried mussels, crab, lobster and crayfish. It may be sprinkled over soups and hors d’oeuvres. It can be eaten with eggs cooked in any way, and egg dishes such as omelets and souffles. It is good with roasted, grilled, fried or stewed meats. It can be sprinkled on bacon prior to frying and used in the dusting flour for fried chicken, fish and vegetables. It can be used in the making of cheese straws and biscuits, marinades, pickles, ketchups, chutneys and smoked foods. It is an ingredient of Worcestershire sauce and is frequently used in curries. Even used in baked good like sweet potato cupcakes or sprinkle over sweet potatoes in a hash.
Smoked Paprika- Give added depth and flavor to many chili’s ,soups such as black bean, lentil, butternut squash, or hot or cold Tomato. Add to shrimp before you cook them on the bbq or bake in the oven. Sprinkle over deviled eggs. Mix into guacamole dip. Sprinkle over whole almonds tossed with olive oil and sea salt and toast them in the oven or sprinkle over homemade tortilla chips. Add some to your favorite BBQ rub. Sprinkle over hummus and serve as a dip. Season baked fries. Season fish before grilling or broiling.