Today's post is the beginning of a 3 month project. My Top Five. I have been at this (food blogging) for some time now. I have more than one blog and have posted over 700 posts. that alone does not make me a good cook, just a loud one.
BUT, there are a few things that I get right. If I think hard, I can come up with my top five breakfasts, lunches, main courses, desserts, BBQ dishes... If I stretch it even further, I have a top five uses for potatoes, eggs, my beloved rotisserie chickens and so many more. It's time I started to get serious about organizing them.
So, in the beginning, for me, are my spice mixes. Every month or so, I go visit my "Spice Guy". My spice guy sets up at the big deal Kansas City farmer's market. For a mere $1, he sells 1/2 cup of just about any spice you can think of. From Star Anise to Turmeric and over 50 in between, he is about the most "inspirational" food guy I know.
I consider myself very lucky to have found a "Spice guy", but anyone can do this. Maybe you have (or can find) a spice guy in your town. OR... Those little 99 cent plastic red jars in fully stocked grocery stores will work, if you are feeling rich, try the bigger glass jars... And if you want to go first class, Penzey's Spices will be happy to service your spice needs mail order.
So, for my first post in my Top Five project, I am going to post one of my favorite spice mixes.
I do use this as a salt substitute sometimes. Salt is one of the ingredients, but only 1/4th of the amount if you use only salt.
But you are not giving up any flavor as you add dried garlic flakes and sesame seeds. The sesame adds an oily nutty taste to your food as the heat up. And of course garlic is... well, garlicky!
Add this mix to just about anything you would normally add salt to. Such as just about any soup, delicious on fish. Top a fresh baked loaf of bread with an egg wash and this mix and you are in heaven. Do you make your own bagels, add this mix and you have something special!
White Sesame Seeds
Black Sesame Seeds
And that's it. By part, I mean measurement. I make 2 cups at a time and it generally lasts no more than 2 months. So, I use a 1/4 cup of each spice. If you like them fresher, just a TBS of each will get you a days worth.
Once mixed, I store in an air tight container (you could easily use a plastic zip lock bag). Most importantly keep out of sunlight. So, mine is always handy in my pantry.
Fresh batch, I'm gonna go make a simple omelet with a tsp of this added!
But wait, just a couple suggestions...
- Mix with your hands. It will help to break up clumps if you can feel them.
- Use consistent proportions. If you are experimenting to get the right mix for you, write down what you did. Once you get a mix you like, you want to be able to recreate it. I do my formulas in "parts". You can make big batches using cups as a part, or smaller ones using teaspoons as a part. But my big batches and small batches should taste the same in a recipe.
- Store properly. Once you have your mix, store in an airtight container (You can use use ziplock bags). Also, dry and dark... If you use up the mixes as fast as I do (once a month or so is my Anything Can Happen Spice Day), tossing your baggies in a drawer is fine. If yours lasts a little longer, seal the bags in a tupperware bowl, burp the lid and store in the fridge. Air, moisture and light will weaken the flavor.
I am linking this page to Karen (of Lavender and Lovage blog) and her "Herbs on Saturday" Blog Hop!