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Make your own spice blends.

Fragrant spice and herb mixtures, personally styled, are helpful and flavorful shortcuts when cooking. And because they are quick to make and keep well, they also make thoughtful little gifts. Use these mixtures as you would their commercial counterparts, or as suggested.

Chinese Five Spice

Put into a blender 2 tablespoons each fennel seed and Szechwan peppercorns (available in Asian markets); 4 star anise (also in Asian markets) or 1 teaspoon anise seed and 1 cinnamon stick (2 in.), broken into several pices, or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon; 1 1/4 teaspoons whole cloves or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Blend until a corase powder. Store airtight. Makes about 5 tablespoons.

Suggestions for use. Sprinkle lightly on chicken or fish, then broil or bake; or mix to taste with stir-fried vegetables.

Cajun Spice

In a blender, combine 1 tablespoon each cayenne and garlic salt; 2 teaspoons dry basil; 1 1/2 teaspoons each crushed bay leaves and coarse-ground black pepper; 1 teaspoon each ground white pepper, rubbed sage, and ground thyme; and 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice. Blend until bay leaves are finely ground. Store airtight. Makes about 5 tablespoons.

Suggestions for use. Sprinkle generously over fish, poultry, or beef, then saute, broil, or bake.

Sweet Curry

In a bowl, mix 2 tablespoons each ground coriander and ground cumin; 1 tablespoon ground mace; 2 teaspoons each ground cardamom and ground cinamon; 1 teaspoon each ground cloves, ground nutmeg, ground turmeric, and coarse-ground black pepper (optional); and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne. Store airtight. Makes about 6 tablespoons.

Suggestions for use. Mix to taste with braised lamb or cooked rice; or dust on eggplant slices and saute.

Herbs from Provence

In a blender, combine 2 tablespoons dry basil; 4 teaspoons dry oregano leaves; 2 teaspoons each dry marjoram leaves, dry tarragon, dry thyme leaves, and dry savory leaves; 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed bay leaves; and 1 teaspoon each fennel seed, dry mint leaves, ground sage, dry rosemary leaves, and dry lavender (optional). Blend until a fine powder. Store airtight. Makes about 7 tablespoons.

Suggestions for use. Sprinkle lightly on meat or poultry and barbecue, broil, or bake; or mix to taste with sauteed or steamed vegetables.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Dec 1, 1985
Words:364
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