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Ido Fishman Recommends Spices and Herbs for every Home Cook

Have you ever thought about what spices should be in your pantry? Whether you are just starting to fill your spice cabinet or just wish to pare things down, you need to know the top spices and herbs every home cook should have. Ido Fishman has recommended some of the best ones that you should add to your pantry in order to ensure a smooth and seamless cooking experience:

  • Red pepper flakes

Whether you are simply topping a take-out pizza or making marinara sauce, you have to have red pepper flakes for adding a kick of heat to your dishes. Ido Fishman suggests that you use this spice in pizza and pasta sauces, anything with sausage, marinades and brines, as well as soups.

  • Garlic powder

If you are running short of time and wish to add a punch of garlic to whatever you are cooking, using garlic powder should do the trick. While fresh garlic powder is always best, having it at hand is great for busy nights. It can be used in spice blends, vinaigrettes, dressings and rubs.

  • Ground cinnamon

According to Ido Fishman, this particular spice is absolutely essential in cooking and baking. Most people are familiar with the sweet applications of cinnamon, but it is also used in savory dishes for adding dimension and depth of flavor. It can be used in stews, chilies, sauces, curries, drinks, breads and desserts.

  • Whole nutmeg

Indeed, whole nutmeg is a must, which means you have to have a microplane as well. Grated fresh nutmeg can offer a lot more flavor than the pre-ground one. Plus, a microplane comes in handy for a number of other things. You can use nutmeg in drinks, baked goods, desserts and anything creamy, such as potato soup, basic white sauces and Alfredo. In fact, it is also added to ground meat dishes and veggies.

  • Cayenne pepper

Similar to red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper can come in handy for adding heating to a horde of dishes. Made from hot chilies, it is a versatile spice and Ido Fishman recommends using it in hot sauces. In fact, it is a common ingredient in Indian, Southern, Cajun and Mexican cuisines. You can even use a hearty dose of cayenne pepper to give a kick to your chocolate waffles.

  • Ground cumin

Belonging to the parsley family, cumin is available in both ground and seed form. But, the former appears on this list because of the convenience it offers. The Ido Fishman blog indicates that this aromatic spice is used frequently in Middle Eastern cuisine, along with North African and Asian.

  • Onion powder

This makes the list of essential spices for the same reason as garlic powder. It can come in handy for busy nights when you are running short of time. You can use onion powder in vinaigrettes, dressings, spice blends and rubs.

  • Dried basil

Even though there is not much resemblance in flavor between dried and fresh basil, Ido Fishman says it is a must-have herb in the spice cabinet. It can be added to Italian dishes and boosts the flavor in tomato sauces and soups.

  • Dried bay leaves

Having a woodsy aroma, dried bay leaves are an aromatic herb and used frequently in soups, meat dishes, vegetable dishes, long simmered dishes and stews. Most recipes don’t call for more than 1 to 2 dried bay leaves because using too many can cause the dish to taste bitter. Also, you should remove them from the food before eating.

  • Dried oregano

Oregano is related to marjoram and has a pungent flavor. It is used mostly in Mediterranean dishes, but Ido Fishman recommends using it in meat dishes, pizza, vegetable dishes and Greek dishes as well.

Add these spices and herbs to your pantry and you will not have a problem in whipping up a meal when you feel like making something.

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