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Your "Go-To" Spice

I'm looking to revamp my spice cabinet. I have all of the usual suspects, plus some blends, plus saffron threads and vanilla beans, but I'm looking for more interesting things that you use on a regular basis.

At the moment I'm hooked on Trader Joe's lemon-pepper blend in a grinder. I cook a lot of vegetarian, ethnic stuff, if that helps.

Thanks.

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  1. Smoked Paprika if you don't already have.

    2 Replies
      1. re: luniz

        third, that.

        I like Black & Red Pepper from Penzeys, and chipotle, and coriander, and.....

        I don't know if I'm a "foodie", but I _know_ I'm a "spicy". :^)

    1. I think that the "forgotten" spice is celery salt. It can perk up any salad or vegetable dish in a pinch, so to speak.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kaisgraham

        Or add a pinch of celery seed to beef stews. But I have to agree with Windsor below - I've been using Herbes de Provence on roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, with pork, etc.

      2. Lately I have been adding herbs d'provance to soups, stews and sauces.

          1. Zatar...on baked chicken, in omelets, on goat cheese, on pita, etc. etc., etc.
            smoked paprika.
            Szechuan peppercorns from Penzeys: in a peppermill.

            3 Replies
            1. re: p.j.

              I'm still having trouble with this. I bought a big bottle of it, and when I put it on stuff **I can't taste any difference** : o [ Is there some way to bring out it's flavor? Heating it up?

              1. re: xnyorkr

                Yes, toast it. You'll be able to tell if you've used too much because it has a slight anesthetic effect. Chew on a bit of it, if you don't get the distinct numbing sensation then you have a bum batch.

                1. re: xnyorkr

                  I toasted the peppercorns per the recommendation made on the boards a couple of months ago. I could definitely smell the heat of the pepper.

                  I can taste a difference (from fresh ground tellicherry), if I grind enough onto my omelet, but it is not huge.
                  Last week I directly tasted a pinch. I (finally) got the numbing sensation. But I don't get it when the pepper is on the food. I am going to try to increase the size of the grind.
                  So I tend to agree with you. p.j.