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In the Kitchen

Herb and Spice Guide! Get Fresh Information Here!

Are you lost when it comes to herbs and spices? What is Hyssop? How can I use Juniper Berries? What is the botanical name of Sage? If you want answers, information, tips and facts then view Good Cooking's Herb and Spice Guide, it's for you! (Click here to go to the "Herb and Spice Guide", downloading takes a little longer than most of our other pages---there's a lot of information! (or) look  below at our A to Z Spice Guide!  

Good Cooking's A to Z Spice Guide

Common seasonings used in cooking and suggested uses.

A 

Allspice: Dried berry of the pimento tree of the clove family. This dried, un-ripened fruit has the flavor combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, hence the name Allspice. Grown in the West Indies. 
Suggested use: Ground used in baked goods, catsup, and pot roast. Whole used in pickling, stews, boiled fish, soups and sauces. 

Anise: Belonging to the celery family this plant comes from Spain, Mexico, or the Netherlands. Anise has a licorice flavor. 
Suggested use: Coffee cake, sweet rolls, cookies, pickles, candies, and cough syrup. 

Apple Pie Spice: Cloves, nutmeg, and mostly cinnamon makes up this seasoning. 
Suggested use: For apple pies or any other foods that cinnamon or nutmeg might be used. 



Barbecue Spice (Seasoning): A blend of spices and seasonings such as paprika, chili powder, salt, sugar, and garlic. 
Suggested use: For chicken or ribs, also for marinades or sauces. 

Basil: Belonging to the mint family this herb is one of the most widely used. 
Suggested use: Great for tomato sauces, pesto, and vinaigrettes. 

Bay Leaves: Dried leaves of the laurel shrub. 
Suggested use: In soups, stocks, sauces, marinades, and such. 

Bell Pepper Flakes: Dehydrated sweet red and green peppers. 
Suggested use: In soups, sauces, salads, and stews. 

C

Caraway Seed: Dried aromatic seeds from herb of the carrot family. 
Suggested use: In rye bread, sauerkraut, cakes, and cookies, also in cheese. 

Capers: Pickled flower-bud of a shrub growing in the Mediterranean. 
Suggested use: Sauces for fish and seafood. In fish, chicken, and potato dishes. 

Cardamom Seed: Seeds belonging to the ginger family. 
Suggested use: The seeds are used for pickling, and assorted pastries. 

Cassia Bark: From the cassia tree. Flavor resembles cinnamon. 
Suggested use: In mincemeat. For preserves, and pickling. 

Cassia Buds: Dried un-ripened fruit of the cassia tree. 
Suggested use: Sweet pickling spice. 

Cayenne: True cayenne pepper is very hot and should be used only in small quantities (pinches or less). This pepper is usually red or yellow, and long and slender. It can be purchased whole, but it is commonly found as dried and ground. It is a favorite ingredient of Louisiana cooking. 
Suggested use: Meats, soups, sauces, chili, seafood, Mexican dishes, and Louisiana dishes.

Celery Flakes: Dehydrated celery. 
Suggested use: Soups, sauces, salads, dips, and stuffing. 

Celery Salt or Seed: Pungent seed from the celery plant. 
Suggested use: Cole slaw, potato salad, pickles, and such. 

Chervil Leaves: Aromatic herb of the carrot family. 
Suggested use: Cheese dishes, eggs, soups, and salads. 

Chili Peppers: Many varieties from mild to hot ; sweet to salty. 
Suggested use: Used to make chili powders for chili con carne, pickles, hot sauce, soups, and sauces. 

Chili Powder: A blend of chili peppers, cumin, garlic oregano, salt, paprika, and other spices. 
Suggested use: In chili con carne, seasoning spare ribs, stews, appetizers, etc. 

Chives: Fresh or freeze dried. Has a mild onion-like flavor. 
Suggested use: As a garnish, in soups or sauces, in salads, egg or potato dishes. 

Cinnamon: Bark from various trees of the cinnamon family. 
Suggested use: Ground for bake goods or whole for pickles, hot drinks, and preserves. 

Cinnamon Sugar: Combination of sugar and ground cinnamon. 
Suggested use: Sugar cookies, baked apples, and sprinkling on buttered toast. 

Cloves: Rich and pungent in flavor. Dried flower bud of the clove tree. 
Suggested use: In pickling, baked hams, stocks, desserts, marinades, and spiced drinks. 

Cumin: Member of the carrot family. Aromatic seeds. Warm bitter flavor. 
Suggested use: In chili powders, pickles, spare ribs, and other meat dishes. 

Coriander Seed: This herb of the carrot family, has the flavor of sage and lemon peel. 
Suggested use: Pickles, oriental dishes, curried dishes, and meat dishes. 

Crab Boil: Mixture of whole spices, such as bay leaves, peppercorns, mustard seed, and crushed red peppers. 
Suggested use: Add to the stock or water for cooking seafood or fish. 

Cumin: Member of the carrot family. Aromatic seeds. Warm bitter flavor. 
Suggested use: In chili powders, pickles, spare ribs, and other meat dishes. 

Curry Powder: A blend of 10 to 30 India spices of varying proportions. Usually containing turmeric, garlic, coriander, cumin, and ginger. 
Suggested use: To make curry sauce; flavor meats, rice , poultry, and seafood with an oriental touch. 

D 

Dill Seed: Dried fruit of the dill plant. Pungent in flavor. 
Suggested use: Great in pickles. 

Dill Weed: Aromatic herb pertaining to the carrot family. 
Suggested use: Good with fish, potatoes, soups, and sauces. 

E 

F 

Fennel Seed: Resembling dill and anise this aromatic herb of the carrot family has a distinct flavor all of its own. 
Suggested use: In rye bread, tomato sauces, bean, and lentil soups. 

File (Gumbo): Sassafras leaves made into powder. 
Suggested use: In chowders, gumbos, and Creole cooking for its flavor and thickening agents. 

G 

Garlic: Flavored bulb of the onion family. (available in powder, salt, minced, or chopped) 
Suggested use: Used in almost any type of sauce for meats, seafood, or poultry. Great for pastas, soups, etc.. 

Ginger: Dried pungent root of a plant grown in China, Japan, India, and the West Indies. 
Suggested use: In pickles, chutney, and preserves. Also used in many oriental dishes. 



Horseradish: Pungent perennial herb. 
Suggested use: Cocktail sauce, horseradish sauce, or grated as a condiment. 



Italian Seasoning: A blend of herbs and sweet red peppers to give the characteristic flavor of Italian. 
Suggested use: Italian sauces such as pizza and spaghetti. 



Juniper Berries: Dried berries of the evergreen shrub. 
Suggested use: In sauerkraut, the making of gin, and many game dishes. 

K 

L 

Lemon Pepper: A blend of black pepper and dehydrated lemon. 
Suggested use: Good in salads. Great with broiled meats, poultry, or seafood. 

M 

Mace: The covering of the inner shell that holds nutmeg. 
Suggested use: Whole in pickling or ground in baked goods. 

Marjoram Leaves: This herb belonging to the mint family is potent in flavor. 
Suggested use: Poultry stuffing, sausage, stews, sauces, soups, veal dishes, meat dishes, potato dishes, and most Italian sauces. 

Mint (Leaves or Flakes): Cool pungent flavored herb. 
Suggested use: As a garnish, used in middle eastern cooking, and lamb dishes. 

Mixed Pickling Spice: A mixture of whole spices. 
Suggested use: Pickling. Also good in soups and stews. 

Mixed Vegetable Flakes: Dehydrated vegetable flakes containing celery, onion, carrot, green and sweet red pepper. 
Suggested use: Soups, sauces, and stuffing. 

Mono Sodium Glutamate (M.S.G.): Made from sugar beets and wheat protein. 
Suggested use: Used to heighten flavor. Not recommended - M.S.G. thins blood. 

Mustard Seed: Seed of the mustard plant. Ground seed mixed with vinegar and other spices, makes prepared mustard. 
Suggested use: Pickling, sauces, and gravies. 

N 

Nutmeg: From the nutmeg tree this kernel of fruit is one of the oldest of known spices. 
Suggested use: In cream soups, and sauces, and a wide variety of desserts. 

O

Onion (Salt, Powder, Minced or Chopped): Onions dried in various forms. 
Suggested use: Powdered or salt for flavoring. Minced or chopped where texture is wanted. 

Oregano Leaves (Leaf Oregano): Wild marjoram. 
Suggested use: In Italian dishes, soups or sauces, meat stews, and in bean dishes. 

P 

Paprika: A form of red pepper; Hungarian is hotter than the mild Spanish paprika. The method of grinding determines the flavor. 
Suggested use: For mild flavor and coloring of seafood, egg dishes, sauces, and salad dressings. 

Parsley: Fresh or dried. 
Suggested use: To garnish or season stocks, soups, sauces, salads, egg, and potato dishes. 

Pepper (Black or White): Black pepper is the immature berries. White pepper is the mature berries with the hull removed. 
Suggested use: Whole in stocks, and pickling. Ground in most other dishes. 

Pimiento: Ripe fleshy fruit of a sweet red pepper plant. 
Suggested use: Garnish for salads, soups, or entrees. Mild flavor for soups, salads, stews, and vinaigrettes. 

Poppy Seed: Very small seeds of the poppy plant. 
Suggested use: Garnish for noodles. In baking of breads, rolls, cakes, and cookies. 

Poultry Seasoning: A mixture of spices and herbs such as sage, thyme, celery salt, savory, etc.. 
Suggested use: In poultry, pork, and fish dishes or stuffing. For seasoning meat loaf. 

Pumpkin Pie Spice: A mixture of ground spices including cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. 
Suggested use: Apple or pumpkin pies. For fruit desserts. 

R 

Red Pepper: Whole, ground, or crushed hot red peppers. 
Suggested use: A variety of uses where heat is desired; such as in sauces, soups, egg dishes, etc.. 

Rosemary Leaves: Belonging to the mint family. 
Suggested use: Stuffing, roasted dishes such as lamb, pork, beef, poultry, and wild game. 

S 

Saffron: From a species of the the purple crocus this is the dried stigma. 
Suggested use: In Spanish and Italian foods for mild flavor and yellow coloring. 

Sage: A dried leaf of a shrub belonging to the mint family. 
Suggested use: Strong in flavor. Used to season stuffing, pork, poultry, and veal dishes. 

Savory Leaves: Balsam in fragrance. 
Suggested use: Great with boiled fish. 

Seafood Seasoning: A blend of pungent spices and savory herbs. 
Suggested use: In seafood and fish sauces, and dishes. 

Seasoned Pepper: A mixture of black pepper, other spices, and sweet pepper flakes. 
Suggested use: Use when ever pepper is used for a unique twist. 

Seasoned Salt: A mixture of salt, herbs, and spices. 
Suggested use: As an alternate for straight salt or part salt. 

Sesame Seed: Creamy white in color with the flavor of toasted almonds. 
Suggested use: In baking such as rolls, and breads. The oil is used in oriental cooking. 

Shallots: Fresh or freeze dried. A type of small onion. 
Suggested use: Like garlic to flavor a variety of dishes. Great in vinaigrettes, and sauces. 

Shrimp Spice: Mixture of whole spices, such as bay leaves, peppercorns, mustard seed, and crushed red peppers. 
Suggested use: Add to the stock or water for cooking seafood or fish. 

Sorrell: A pleasant acid flavored herb. 
Suggested use: Great in soups, or added to salads in place of vinegar or lemon juice. 

Soy Sauce: Made from soy beans. 
Suggested use: Used in many oriental dishes. 

T 

Tabasco: Trade name for hot Mexican peppers; salted and cured for three years, then blended with vinegar and strained. 
Suggested use: Soups, sauces, salad dressings, and marinades. 

Tarragon Leaves: Aromatic leaves of a bitter flavor. 
Suggested use: Béarnaise sauce, egg, seafood, and poultry dishes. 

Thyme Leaves: A rich flavored herb. 
Suggested use: Seafood chowders, sauces, stocks, and meat dishes. 

Turmeric: Mustard flavored, root plant of the ginger family. 
Suggested use: In curry powder, food coloring (egg shade), meat and egg dishes.

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rev. 10/12

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