Globally Inspired Flavours

Herb and Spice Blends

Since my collaboration as Chef for Black Walnut Lane Farm Kitchen & Shoppe, preparing foods exclusively for their market stall each week, I have been asked questions about seasoning and spices for our meat products which include: Lamb, Beef, Bison, Wild Boar, Berkshire Pork and Water Buffalo.

The spice blends I have posted below offer maximum flavour enhancement…ENJOY!

A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, colour, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. Flavouring may be to hide other flavors. In the kitchen, spices are distinguished from herbs, which are leafy, green plant parts used for flavouring.

Many spices are used for other purposes, such as medicine, religious rituals, cosmetics, perfumery, or for eating as vegetables. For example, turmeric is also used as a preservative; licorice as a medicine; garlic as a vegetable. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

For a comprehensive list of herbs and spices click here.

Make Your Own Spice Blends

Of course you may buy spice blends "off the shelf", but where's the challenge? Making your own Spice Blend is a true culinary art - and not as difficult as you might think.
Author: Chef Seika Groves

Ingredients

Cajun Spice - South Louisiana

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Bahārāt - Middle East

  • 4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons cloves
  • 4 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoons cardamom pods
  • 3 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 6 teaspoons paprika

Chili Blend - Central America

  • 3 tablespoons chili peppers
  • 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1/4 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 tablespoons cayenne
  • 1 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoons coriander
  • 1/4 tablespoons turmeric

Curry Blend - India/Asia (varies depending on region and tastes; this blend is a simple curry that can be used for most curry recipes)

  • 2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons whole cardamom seeds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds toasted
  • 1/4 cup ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne

Chinese 5 Spice - China

  • 3 tablespoons bajiao star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon huajiao Sichuan pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed

Old Bay Spice - Eastern Seaboard North America

  • 3 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger

Jerk Spice - Jamaica (Jerk is a personal preference as to how much HEAT you want to introduce)

  • 1 teaspoon allspice pimento in Jamaica
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper or any other hot pepper!
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 scallions chopped fine
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 tablespoons garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper

The Gypsy Chef Spice Blend

  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper

Quatre Épices - France (literally, "Four Spices")

  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper (or a combination of 1/2 tablespoon white and 2-1/2 tablespoons black pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger or cinnamon

Herbes de Provence - France

  • 3 tablespoons dried marjoram
  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons dried savory
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

Notes

Like any recipe, these measurements are a guideline. Adjusting amounts to your personal taste may involve a little experimentation - but then, that's half the fun!
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