Essential Herbs, Spices & Seasonings | Kitchen Cupboard

We are kicking off a series of posts around the Kitchen Store Cupboard and for a first edition we are going to be focusing on those Essential Herbs, Spices and Seasonings. Having a regular stock of the spices of life is one way to produce good fast meals packed full of flavour. 

Another huge benefit of keeping a well stocked kitchen cupboard makes it much easier to vary your cooking and get experimenting without feeling the need to take a hundreds of shopping trips. Perfect for those last min Pizza Sauce needs, or ready to bake a fresh wholemeal loaf at a moments notice.

Now I am not suggesting we all run out and fill our shopping trolleys full of every essential herbs, spices & seasoning on the list. If we do that we may only use once and then banish to the back of the cupboard! We’ve all done that, but have a look through and you will get an idea of what flavour enhancing joys you can add to your collection. Take the herb coated pork fillet recipe out for a great way to use your herbs and spices.

I have included some information about the different herbs and spices bellow the super handy table so be sure to check out what spice and why. If you have arrived here looking for the food and thinking hey whats going on? You can find all of the recipes by clicking the following: Soups & Light Bites | Mains | Desserts | Guest Recipes

Essential Herbs: Dried Cupboard

Having fresh herbs is always something I love, of course who wouldn’t want the most fresh amazing ingredients when cooking. However having a well stocked cupboard of dried herbs is a great way of ensuring you can add those flavours to any dish without having to always keep on top of dates like you do with fresh. If the star ingredient is a herb then I would always advice going with fresh. For example in my Tomato soup the fresh herb adds to the end flavour so fresh is important here.

Dried Herbs:

One of the most aromatic and pungent of all the herbs. A lemon-pine flavor that pairs well with roasted lamb, garlic, and olive oil.
Robust, warm and lingering. Perfect for french stews and Potatoes.
A woody, robust, and flavorful herb that’s used in a variety of cuisines.
Fresh, mild and perfect for fish.
Cool and fresh. Perfect with lamb and potatoes.
The leaves are used to flavour meats, fish, salads, and sauces.
Coriander leaf:
Coriander/cilantro is an herb with a fragrant, citrus flavor.
Commonly known for its aromatic leaves and peppery-like taste
Bay leaves:
A delicate, warm aroma, and a less bitter note than fresh. A component of the bouquet garni: parsley, thyme, bay leaf
Known for their pungent, mild tasting leaves, delicious when chopped.
Onion Powder:
Dehydrated, ground onion that is commonly used as a seasoning.
Doesn’t just add flavor to food, but it can also added health benefits.
Dried Stocks Beef | Chicken | Vegetable | Garlic Powder
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Essential Spices: Spice Up The Cupboard

Keeping a good stock of some of the essential Herbs, spices is a wonderful way to elevate your cooking. Here we are going to focus on those essential spices next. I find that most cookbooks come with a handy kitchen cupboard part and they all have the same spices. When building my collection this was the list I worked off. Having a great selection at hand has enabled me to find little hidden gems like adding turmeric to your scrambled eggs, or star anise and cardamon to your basmati rice. The options are endless.

Toasting Spices

To intensify their flavor, toast spices in a dry fry pan. It is best to toast whole spices before grinding, but ground spices may be toasted if you keep a close eye on them. Put your spices in a small skillet (cast iron is ideal) over medium-low heat, and shake the pan occasionally to prevent burning. The spices are toasted when you can smell their aroma. Transfer them immediately to a spice grinder or mortar for grinding.

Best way to grind spices

There are two easy ways to grind spices: first, a mortar and pestle. Or use a spice grinder. When grinding spices that are similar in size, grind them together and save a step.

How to toast nuts in the oven: Toast nuts. in a shallow baking pan in a 350° F oven until golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Toast seeds. either way.

Spice Life

Cayenne Pepper: 
Sharp, warm and fiery. Add a kick to any dish.
Coriander Ground:
Fragrant and lemony. A must with curries.
Heady, warm and earthy. Great with lamb, Chicken and potatoes.
Perfect with chicken, Asian cooking.
Fresh, rich and warm. Used for sweet and savoury dishes.
Perfect for a curry. Even better spice up your scrambled eggs.
Chilli Powder: 
Mexican cooking at its finest, Bring some heat to the table.
Mixed Spice:  
Used in sweet baking and is a fragrant reminder of Christmas recipes.
Sweet and full-bodied, Essential in rice dishes and goulash.
Smoked Paprika: 
A smoked taste.
Garam Marsala: 
A blend with coriander seed, cumin seed and cardamon, Ideal with chicken & pork.
Curry Powder: 
A ready made blend perfect for a curry base.
Chinese Five-Spice: 
Intense, aromatic and fragrant, perfect in marinades and stir fry’s.
All Spice: 
Perfect for gammon, pork and casseroles.
Ground Cinnamon: 
Used when baking or in winter spice crumbles. Amazing with donuts!
Cardamom Pods: 
Can be used in cakes, shortbread and fruit salads. Also fantastic with rice.
Star Anise: 
Used in a variety of Asian-inspired dishes
Dried Chilli Flakes:
Add a touch of heat
Coriander Seeds: 
Crush the seeds and add to lamb or beef curries.
Mustard Seeds: 
Black or brown mustard seeds are widely used in Indian, especially Bengali and Southern Asian cooking,
Fennel Seeds:
Used to make fish soup and fish stock. Or add fennel seeds to salads, particularly cucumber salad.
Whole Spices:Cinnamon Sticks
Cardamom pods
Star anise
Dried chilli flakes
Mustard and fennel seeds
Salts: Table Salt
Sea Salt
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Thanks For Reading.

Well that sums up our herbs and spices section. We look forward to sharing our next essential cupboard item! Want to know when the latest recipes are hitting the site? Simply add your email address bellow and hit that subscribe button! Thank You For Visiting.


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