Posts Tagged ‘how to make spice mixtures’

Home-made Standard Classic Spiced Pepper Mixes

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Pepper always ‘spices’ up your cooking, and surprisingly (to some novice cooks), is used extensively in both savory and sweet dishes. (Check out some of my favourite recipes that I take pleasure in sharing with you in betweenclosefriends.com under the ‘Recipe’ category, or other favorites from mocktails, entertaining ideas, cost cutting methods, how to make homemade cheeses–such as Bourisin, Yogurt, Liptauer, etc, and so much more!). On the health side, peppers help to increase your metabolism as well as imparting their unique flavour into your prepared meals.

To note: Black pepper is more pungent and aromatic than white pepper. Because white pepper is less powerful, it has a less acrid taste. (For the fullest flavours, always grind your peppercorns just before you use them as they quickly lose their strength once cracked.) You can either freshly grind them in a mill or crush them roughly in a mortar with a pestle. The latter produces a more course grind, imparting more of a flavour ‘burst’ when biting into it in a dish. Specific combinations for Indian ‘Garam marsala’, Chinese ‘5 Spice Powder’ mixture, Chili Powder mixes, and 3 variations of BBQ Seasonings are also provided under the recipe category.

When black and white peppercorns are ground together in equal quantities the result is ’Mignonette Pepper’, a speckled mixture that combines fire and pungency. This mix is often the preferred pepper mix of chefs in a wide variety of dishes.

To make Spiced Pepper—Spiced pepper ideally should be made up in small quantities to preserve its freshness. Use this mix in soups and stews or to spice a sweet batter or fruitcake. Any fruit tart, especially a pear tart, can be seasoned with this mixture for very pleasing results.

Combine: 2 T of freshly ground white pepper

2 T of freshly grated nutmeg

2 T ground mace

and 1 T powdered cayenne pepper thoroughly together.

Store this pepper blend in an airtight jar in a cool dark place, between uses.

To make Herb pepper—This herb pepper recipe is actually a rather subtle seasoning with many uses, as you will soon discover.

Mix together: ½ cup mignonette pepper (recipe given in ‘Spiced Pepper’ recipe above)

1 T of dried and powdered garden thyme

1 T of fresh dried, then powdered summer or winter savory

1 T of dried and powdered marjoram

and a pinch of dried powdered rosemary.

To make Standard French Spice Mixture—This French recipe is used primarily in your tarts and stews.

Combine: 6 T of freshly ground black pepper

6 T of freshly ground white pepper

¼ cup of ground cloves

¼ cup grated nutmeg

¼ cup of ground bay leaves

and a pinch of both powdered ginger and freshly ground mace

FYI Herbs with a peppery flavor—Nasturtium, watercress and black and white mustard leaves all have a distinct peppery taste and can be used as decorations on your dishes, as subtle seasonings, or as greens in salads for an added ‘punch’ and conversation points. It is advisable to cut back on adding pepper to your prepared salad dressings when using these herb greens in a salad, or the pepper taste can become a little overpowering. When using nasturtium leaves, it is always a good idea to also toss in a few of the edible flowers for colour, decoration and visual interest. (Always ensure that your greens, herbs, and flowers are pesticide-free –organic—when using them in dishes that you intend to eat.)