Sunday, May 16, 2010

Creole seasonings . . . a guide

Herbs and spices add important flavors to Creole dishes.

Here are the main seasonings used, as described by The Spice Hunter, a
firm that packages herbs and spices.

Bay leaves: Used whole to add a signature pungent flavor to hearty
dishes such as gumbo and red beans and rice.
Remove before serving.

Black and white pepper: From the berries of the pepper plant, black is
hot with a slightly piney flavor while
white is milder and more delicate. Both are used liberally in Creole

Cayenne pepper (also called ground red pepper): Made from the dried pods
of chili peppers, it adds heat to red beans and rice, etouffee and jambalaya.

Celery seed: Lends the slightly bitter flavor of fresh celery to any dish.
Used in most Creole seasoning blends.

Garlic powder: Dehydrated ground garlic often is used because it
disperses better in dishes.
To use fresh garlic, 1 clove equals 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder.

Gumbo file: Dried, ground sassafras leaf, used to add flavor to and
thicken gumbo.

Onion powder: Dehydrated, ground onions are used in Creole seasoning
blends for meat and fish.

Oregano: Used with meat, fish and vegetable dishes, oregano has a
pungent odor and flavor that lend depth to meat and vegetable dishes.

Sweet basil: Intensely fragrant and slightly sweet, basil can be added
to any dish but is especially good with meat, cheese and eggs.
One tablespoon of fresh equals 1 teaspoon of dried.

Sweet paprika: A warming spice with a pungent flavor, it's great for
fish and vegetable dishes and remoulade sauce.

Thyme: Found in most traditional Creole dishes, thyme adds a slight
minty flavor and subtle aroma to gumbos and etouffee.
The leaves from three to four sprigs of fresh thyme equal about 3/4
teaspoon dried thyme.

Source : Your guide to cajun/creole cooking

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