Single Spices Vs. Spice Blends
We refer to a simple spice with no other ingredients added as "single spices." Single spices are an essential part of every kitchen, as they are the base seasoning for so many recipes.
Chances are, you already have a decent supply of single spices in your home kitchen, which means you have all of the ingredients to create blends!
At La Boîte, we love spice blends of course. They are our specialty! Spice blends are wonderful because they are fun to create and they take a few extra steps out of cooking.
If you find that you use certain spices in tandem often, we encourage you to experiment with making your own go-to blend!
Whole vs. Ground?
OUR PHILOSOPHY: If you have the time and energy to grind whole spices up every time you cook, that’s amazing and you should. If you don’t have the time and energy, then buy pre-ground, especially if it will ensure that you use spices more. If they come from a reputable source, there is nothing wrong with buying spices already ground.
How to Grind?
There are a few different options to choose from...
MORTAR & PESTLE
Pros: They look great.
Cons: Requires a lot of technique to use properly. Most of the time, you'll end up with a kitchen covered in spices.
We do not recommend
Pros: Clean and easy. Gives you the most control over size and fineness.
Cons: You might need two! We recommend getting one for spices and one for grinding coffee.
Pros: Convenient and some let you control how fine the grind is.
Cons: Can only be used for certain kinds of spices. Try peppercorns, coriander seeds, or mustard seeds.
MICROPLANE & GRATER
Pros: Great for grinding spices like nutmeg and cinnamon into a fine dust.
Cons: Can only be used for certain types of spices.
Using Spice Blends
Think outside of the box! Add your favorite spice blends to every meal throughout the day. Sprinkle them in coffee, add them to bread dough, or use them in salad dressings, the possibilities are endless.
Spice up store-bought prepared foods like dips, salads, or frozen meals. Adding a spice blend can brighten flavors and transform even something average.
Use spice blends in raw applications for a quick easy snack. You don't need to be cooking to use spices!
How to Build Flavor
1. PLAN AHEAD Marinate or dry rub your meat and vegetables with your spice blend a day before cooking.
2. BLOOM YOUR SPICES Lightly cook your spices in a fat like butter or oil. This brings out flavors you wouldn't get otherwise.
3. SEASON AS YOU GO Add in small amounts of spice throughout the cooking process to extract different flavors.
4. TASTE AS YOU GO You can always add more spice, but rarely can you take spice away.
5. FINISH YOUR DISH Before serving, top your dish off with a sprinkle of your spice blend for brightness and freshness.