Saturday, September 25, 2010

My new favorite spices

I've been trying to do some experimenting with spices for the past year or so. My goal is to determine how spices affect food taste. I think of myself as a cooking chemist, attempting to find interesting combinations of spices and foods. These are just some of the preliminary findings and please keep in mind these are MY OPINIONS based on my eating habits, my unsophisticated palette, and my quest for low fat/low carb foods to eat. OK, let's go.....


The smokiness of paprika really intrigues my taste buds. Paprika has a slight bite to it but I have never found it to be overbearing. It also adds great color to food as well.

I would recommend using paprika in recipes that feature eggs, chicken, fish, and even in creamy dressings.

Garlic and onion

Mixing garlic and onion and browning onions is one of the most delicious combinations on the planet, bar none. If you are looking for a topping for a burger, salmon, even shrimp...try this...brown diced onions in olive oil, and then add in and stir in crushed garlic to taste. Oh my God!!!!

You can also dump this into your favorite salsa to give it a burst of flavor. (May store bought salsas are quite bland, except for Jack's Special Salsa found at Costco, it's out of this world great.)
Onions and garlic are great for you as well, eat as much of these as you can for good health.

Cayenne pepper or Curry powder

To test your palette, use cayenne or curry in eggs, on potatoes (in limited doses), on meats....especially if topping these foods with a good cheddar cheese. These peppers can make you sweat a little but are chock full of flavor. I don't understand the chemistry yet, but it is a flavor enhancer in these foods and is much better for you than salt. I love it.

Black pepper and salt

Believe it or not, black pepper is a wonderful way to make a dull food exciting. And you can call me a 'pepper snob' but in using plain pepper, you have to pay up for good black pepper, do not go cheap. I am as cheap as anyone but I have to tell you all that good black pepper is well worth it, and the more expensive black peppers are not THAT much more expensive. And expensive black pepper is less expensive than other spices, so if you are looking for flavor and don't want to spend a lot, high quality black pepper could be for you.

This is just a start for me. I am also looking at many other spices and will report as I gather more information to recommend for foods and recipes. If you have any ideas for spice/food combinations, please share with me.

Happy eating.


  1. I really dislike curry but the other things you mentioned are in my spice arsenal and get used very often. I love garlic and onions together and today I'm doing caramelized onions in the slow cooker. Mmmmm, they're good on anything!

  2. I meant to also say that if you like cilantro (I love the stuff) Target's Archer Farms brand Cilantro Salsa is tasty. I but the mild version and it isn't hot but can easily be heated up with some jalapeno or whatever you want. It's the only salsa I use now.

    1. I like the Jack's Special Salsa and I add cilantro to it. Oh is that yummy, natural and good for you.