Do you spend time browsing the Internet for the latest kitchen trends, and tasty recipes to make at home? Cooking delicious meals in your kitchen can be easy with the right spices. Whether you choose to install a wood spice tray in a drawer near the stove, or a door-mounted spice rack inside your kitchen cabinets, here are nine great must-haves for any home cook, to help infuse your meals with flavor!
- Peppercorns: Since ground black pepper is one of the most common spices, and a basic staple in your kitchen, it serves as a reliable go-to for everything. With that said, whole peppercorns are fresher, fancier, and have a bit more dynamic flavor as opposed to its standard counterpart. Freshly cracked peppercorns liven up foods, such as meats, potatoes, pastas, soups, sauces, and dressings. It works especially well with marinades, or simply grind it on top of your dishes for a fresh punch of flavor.
- Cayenne Pepper: This vibrant red spice is both appealing to the eyes and the stomach. Great for spicy dishes, cayenne pepper also helps to neutralize sweet marinades and sauces. You can also add it to meats, or anything that needs a little extra heat. Full of flavor, this spice will give you just the right amount of kick without being too overbearing.
- Turmeric: This earthy spice has a warm and slightly bitter flavor, and adds an appetizing color to dishes like tofu, rice, soups, and curries. You can sprinkle turmeric in just about anything, including smoothies, potatoes, eggs, meat, and seafood. But handle with care, as this bright yellow spice can stain your clothes and temporarily stain your skin.
- Ginger: This unique spice can be used fresh, candied, or ground into powdered form. It has a warm flavor profile with a sweet yet pungent bite. Ginger is great for salad dressings and sauces, and compliments vegetables like Brussels sprouts. It also pairs well with salmon, soups, and even rice. Best of all, ginger is perfect for spiced desserts, like ginger snap cookies, rice pudding, and apple pie.
- Cinnamon: Great for desserts, smoothies, coffees and other drinks, a sprinkle of this popular spice adds the perfect amount of sweetness and warmth. French toast wouldn’t be the same without it! Since it mixes well with other seasonings, cinnamon can also be used in savory dishes, sauces, and rubs for grilled or smoked meats and vegetables.
- Nutmeg: Don’t let the name mislead you! While technically not a nut, this spice still holds a nutty flavor. It offers sweet warmth, similar to cinnamon, and is used for baking, or adding to soups and sauces. Nutmeg is also a key ingredient in Quiche Lorraine. For something new, try it with cream-based culinary concoctions, such as Béchamel sauce, mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach.
- Allspice: Like the name implies, Allspice smells like a medley of familiar spices, with notes of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. Also known as Jamaican pepper, it has a warm and mildly sweet taste, with a peppery punch. It is mainly used in marinades and Jerk seasoning for chicken, but can also found in dessert recipes, like carrot cake.
- Paprika: This versatile spice comes in a range of tastes, from sweet to smoky. It is used to flavor meats, fish and shellfish, roasted potatoes, vegetables, egg dishes, and sauces. A sprinkling of paprika can also serve as a garnish, thanks to its vibrant red hue.
- Garlic: A favorite amongst cooks, garlic is more powerful once dehydrated and ground, and a convenient substitute for fresh garlic cloves without sacrificing flavor. Add garlic powder to homemade salad dressings and marinades, or to season soups, sauces, meat, and vegetables. And don’t forget garlic bread!
Some kitchen trends may come and go, but a delicious home-cooked meal will never go out of style. Just remember that spices start to loose potency after six months, and can expire after a year or two, so check your spice rack periodically, and replace as needed. It’s also best to install your spice rack in a drawer or kitchen cabinets close to your stove and meal prep area, for easy access while cooking.
At The RTA Store we help make your dream home a reality with RTA (Ready To Assemble) and Pre-Assembled cabinets and accessories. Whether it’s your kitchen bathroom, laundry room, home office, bar room or TV room, we offer the same (if not better) quality you would find at any retail store, but for a fraction of the price. Stop by our website or give us a call and let us make your dreams come true with the help of our free room design tool!