Spices and Herbs Every Kitchen Should Have (And Some Tasty Recipes!)

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Whether you have just moved into your first place or you are looking to restock your kitchen, there are some herbs and spices that every kitchen should have on hand. These are spices and herbs that will come up often as you prepare recipes and serve to make your dishes even more delicious. Here are the ones you should check to see if you have.

  • Kosher Salt: Salt is a requirement for most dishes – both sweet and savory – as it helps to enhance the flavors of most dishes. Kosher salt is versatile and can be used in most recipes – no matter what salt is called for.
    • Basic Pork Brine – If you’ve never tried brining – you should! This one for pork will make you a believer.
  • Black Peppercorns: If you’ve mentioned salt, you might as well bring up its counterpart – pepper. Most kitchens have ground pepper, but get yourself a grinder and grind some fresh black peppercorns. You’ll love the taste!
    • Black Pepper Bacon – Sure, you can buy peppered bacon in most grocery stores, but go ahead and make it yourself! It’s really not all that much work.
  • Dried Oregano: You probably think of oregano for Italian food, but it is also used in Mexican cooking, too.
  • Dried Rosemary: Rosemary has a peppery-like flavor and shows up in a lot of bread and rolls, but it can be used in other dishes as well.
  • Dried Thyme: Thyme may not get the respect it deserves, but it’s great on chicken and seafood.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Red pepper flakes are perfect when you need a little spice – like in your pasta sauce.
  • Nutmeg: This is a nutty and sweet spice that gets used in many dishes – sometimes unexpectedly.
    • Nutmeg Shortbread – This shortbread is rich and buttery and perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.
  • Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne is spicier than red pepper flakes – so use cautiously.
  • Chili Powder: This is actually a mixture of spices and used in soups and chilis or for a nice addition of heat and flavor.
  • Cinnamon: This is another spice that’s used in both sweet and savory dishes.
    • Cinnamon Roll Blondies – Blondies are a great alternative to brownies, and these cinnamon ones are excellent.
  • Cloves: Not everyone is a fan of cloves as they have a very strong flavor – so use sparingly.
  • Cumin: Cumin is popular in Mexican and Indian dishes and is extremely fragrant.
  • Curry Powder: Curry powder is also a compilation of spices and should be in your pantry.
  • Garlic Powder: If you don’t have fresh garlic, grab the garlic powder.
  • Paprika: There are several different types of paprika – so you may have more than one depending on what you’re cooking.
  • Allspice: While often compared to cinnamon, allspice does have its own unique flavor. 

Do you have all of these spices in your kitchen? Which ones do you use most often? Which ones do you want to try? Spices and herbs can add tremendous amounts of flavor to your recipes, so don’t be afraid to experiment with new flavor combinations.

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