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May 3, 2009 02:16 PM

herbs/spices guide?

is there a general guide of how to combine fresh herbs and spices with certain meats and veggies?

i added freshly grated lemon to a pound cake and then ginger to a vegetable dish and both were incredible. i have other spices but i don't know how to mix them. how else can i use ginger? (cumin, lemon, etc.)

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  1. Like most folks, I use ginger in lots of baked goods. It's even useful in breads. I use it in rice dishes, as an ingredient with pork, chicken, fish, salads, etc. Cumin adds a nice touch to corn bread, cottage cheese/tomato salads, many vegetables, shell fish, egg dishes, meat dishes, salads, etc. Lemon simply goes with just about anything. I use cinnamon in stews (especially lamb stew) and with nutmeg on tapioca puddings, cakes, cookies and all the typical baked goods.

    1 Reply
    1. re: todao

      thanks. how can i combine them though? are there good guides of what pairs together like ginger + lemon + cumin + garlic... ?

    2. Often, old cookbooks have a chart showing herbs and spices, and common pairings...

      Here's just a few ideas to get you started for other herbs, but please don't limit yourself to these uses!
      Basil - use with tomato based sauces, fresh tomatos, veggies
      Bay leaf - use whole leaf to flavor soups, stews, stock
      Cilantro - use fresh in Mexican or Asian dishes
      Cumin - Mexican dishes, beans
      Marjoram - fish, poultry, omlettes, tomato dishes
      Mint - fresh fruit, peas, carrots, lamb
      Paprika - meat or vegetable dishes; as a garnish; try smoked paprika for a hint of smoky flavor in soups, veggies, lamb steaks
      Rosemary - lamb, poultry, dressing, potatoes
      Sage - winter squash, pasta, poultry, dressing
      Tarragon - sauces and salads, fish, poultry, tomato dishes, eggs, veggies (great in chicken salad for sandwiches)
      Thyme - poultry, veggies, fish, great with anything lemony
      Nutmeg - cream sauces, desserts, fruit
      Cinnamon - desserts, fruit dishes, Morrocan lamb or chicken
      Oregano - Mexican, Italian dishes,

      My favorite combos:
      cumin + oregano for Mexi dishes
      Smoked paprika + lemon for poultry and lamb
      Ginger + garlic for stir fry
      Basil + garlic for pasta, pizza, and fresh tomatoes
      Rosemary + Thyme + smoked paprika for roasted potatoes and veggies
      Bay leaf + Summer Savory + Thyme for bouquet garni (season soups and stews)


      1 Reply
      1. re: kmr

        that's what i'm looking for! thank you.

        i found an interesting one for a soy sauce for meat:
        garlic, black pepper, paprika, oregano

      2. I have several lists that list the herbs/spices and then the foods that go with well as the reverse. They're taped inside my spice cabinet.

        Here are a couple of charts for printing out:

        1 Reply
        1. re: LindaWhit

          this is everything i need. thank you.