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Mexican, Italian, Scandinavian ... they're handy seasonings to mix and keep.

Mexican, Italian, Scandinavian ... they're handy seasonings to mix and keep A country's cuisine often distinguishes itself by the mix of herbs and spices used repeatedly in its dishes. By blending seasonings, you can reproduce some favorite international flavors. Here we give three choices--Italian, Mexican, and Scandinavian--and suggestions for using them.

Keep one or more of the mixes on hand to simplify cooking. A collection of blends makes a good gift for someone setting up house, a beginner cook, or the busy professional. In airtight containers, mixes keep well up to 6 months. These contain no salt; add it to the finished dishes as you like.


Oregano, basil, garlic, and often fennel are mainstay seasonings in Italian foods. We give recipes using a mix of them for a quick spaghetti sauce (try it with lasagna, too) or pizza.

For a more direct approach, sprinkle the mix on oiled or buttered chicken or turkey before roasting or onto meaty fish (such as swordfish) before broiling or grilling. Or, for a minestrone touch, add it to plain bean or vegetable soup.

Italian Seasoning Mix

2 tablespoons dry rosemary leaves 3/4 teaspoon fennel seed 1/4 cup dry oregano leaves 1/4 cup dry basil leaves 1 tablespoon each garlic powder and dry thyme leaves

Whirl rosemary and fennel in a blender until powdered (or finely crush by hand). Stir in oregano, basil, garlic powder, and thyme. Use as suggested, preceding, or in recipes on page 152. Store airtight up to 6 months. Makes about 3/4 cup.


Chilies, cumin, coriander: these flavors are ubiquitous in favorite Mexican dishes (including burritos and enchiladas).

As you experiment with the blend, consider these uses: stir it into refried beans for a quick dip; heat it with beans (with or without meat) for quick chili; stir it into tomato soup, scrambled eggs, or rice pilaf; mix it with oil and vinegar to sprinkle on salad greens; or pat it onto beef steaks before grilling.

Mexican Seasoning Mix

1/4 cup chili powder 2 tablespoons each ground cumin, ground coriander, dry oregano leaves, and dry basil leaves 1 tablespoon each dry thyme leaves and garlic powder 3/4 teaspoon cayenne

Stir together chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic powder, and cayenne. Use as suggested, preceding, or in recipes on pages 152 and 153. Store airtight up to 6 months. Makes about 7/8 cup.


In Scandinavia, cooks season lightly, and the cool taste of dill is present year-round. Mixing dill with onion powder and lemon peel creates a refreshing blend.

Use the seasoning to flavor a quick appetizer dip or salad dressing (recipes follow). Or sprinkle it on buttered fish or chicken, then bake or broil. You can also use it to add a distinctive flavor to hot cooked vegetables and seafood soups.

Scandinavian Seasoning Mix

6 tablespoons dry dill weed 1/3 cup dry ground lemon peel 1/4 cup onion powder

Stir together dill, lemon peel, and onion powder. Use as suggested, preceding, or in the recipes on opposite page. Store airtight up to 6 months. Makes about 7/8 cup.

Other ways to use the mixes

Mushroom Spaghetti Sauce

1 tablespoon butter or margarine 1/2 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce About 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning mix (recipe precedes) 8 ounces dry spaghetti About 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and stir occasionally until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are golden brown, about 12 minutes. To mushrooms, add tomato sauce and seasoning mix; cover and simmer about 20 minutes to blend flavors. Add more mix to taste, if desired.

In a 4- to 5-quart pan, cook spaghetti, uncovered, in 3 quarts boiling water until tender to bite, about 12 minutes. Drain pasta; pour into a bowl, add sauce, and lift with 2 forks to mix. Serve, adding cheese to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 314 cal.; 13 g protein; 6 g fat; 54 g carbo.; 799 mg sodium; 13 mg chol.

Pepperoni-Pepper Pizza

1 loaf (1 lb.) frozen white bread dough, thawed Pizza sauce (recipe follows) 2 cups (8 oz.) firmly packed shredded mozzarella cheese 1/4 pound thinly sliced pepperoni sausage 1 jar (7 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

On a lightly floured board, roll dough to make an 11- by 16-inch rectangle. Fit into an oiled 10- by 15-inch baking pan; fold edges under to form a rim. Spread pizza sauce over dough. Sprinkle with cheese, pepperoni, and peppers.

Bake on lowest rack of a 400[degrees] oven until crust is brown on bottom (lift to check), about 25 minutes. Cut into rectangles. Makes 3 or 4 servings.

Per serving: 653 cal.; 27 g protein; 31 g fat; 67 g carbo.; 1,993 mg sodium; 72 mg chol.

Pizza sauce. In 1-1/2- to 2-quart pan, simmer, uncovered, 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning mix (recipe precedes) until reduced to 1-1/4 cups, about 15 minutes. Use hot or cool.

Chicken Enchiladas

1-1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded mild cheddar cheese 2 cups cooked chicken chunks, torn into shreds 1 large can (7 oz.) diced green chilies, drained Enchilada sauce (recipe follows) 8 corn tortillas (6- to 7-in. size) About 1/2 cup sour cream

Set 1/2 cup cheese aside. Mix together remaining cheese, chicken, and chilies.

Pour sauce into an 8- or 9-inch pan. Coat 1 tortilla with sauce, then set in a 9- by 13-inch pan. Spoon 1/8 of the chicken mixture down center of tortilla. Roll to enclose filling; place, seam side down, in pan. Repeat to fill remaining tortillas.

Pour remaining sauce evenly over enchiladas; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake enchiladas, tightly covered, in a 350[degrees] oven until hot in center (cut to test), about 15 minutes. Uncover; spoon sour cream on top. Makes 8 enchiladas, 4 servings.

Per enchilada: 570 cal.; 39 g protein; 28 g fat; 44 g carbo.; 1,786 mg sodium; 120 mg chol.

Enchilada sauce. In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine 3 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce and 1-1/2 tablespoons Mexican seasoning mix (preceding); bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Taste; add more seasoning mix if you like. Use, or cover and chill up to 1 week. Makes 1-3/4 cups.

Beef and Bean Burrito

1 pound ground lean beef 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce About 1 tablespoon Mexican seasoning mix (recipe precedes) 6 flour tortillas (7- to 8-in. size) 1 can (15 oz.) refried beans 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded mild cheddar cheese 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce About 3/4 cup prepared salsa About 1/2 cup sour cream

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over high heat, stir beef often until well browned. Pour off and discard fat. Add tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon seasoning mix, or more to taste; cook, uncovered, stirring often, until most of the liquid has cooked away, about 5 minutes.

Stack tortillas, wrap in foil, and bake in a 350[degrees] oven until warm, about 10 minutes.

At the same time, in a 2- to 3-quart pan over medium heat, stir beans until hot.

Spoon 1/6 of the beans down center of 1 tortilla; top with 1/6 of the meat, cheese, and lettuce. Add salsa and sour cream to taste. Fold 1 end, then sides over filling to enclose. Repeat to make remaining burritos. Makes 6 burritos, 3 to 6 servings.

Per burrito: 463 cal.; 26 g protein; 23 g fat; 37 g carbo.; 884 mg sodium; 74 mg chol.

Scandinavian Dip

In a bowl, combine 1 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon Scandinavian seasoning mix (recipe precedes), and salt to taste. Serve, or cover and chill up to 1 week. Offer as a dip for crackers and raw vegetables such as broccoli flowerets, carrot sticks, cucumber slices (about 6 cups total). Or serve with cooked fish. Makes 1 cup.

Per tablespoon: 32 cal.; 0.5 g protein; 3 g fat; 0.8 g carbo.; 7.9 mg sodium; 6.3 mg chol.

Scandinavian Salad Dressing

Mix 1/2 cup mayonnaise; 1/2 cup buttermilk, unflavored yogurt, or sour cream; and 1 tablespoon Scandinavian seasoning mix (recipe precedes). Add salt to taste. Serve, or cover and chill up to 1 week. Ladle onto salad greens, poached fish, or boiled potatoes; allow 2 to 3 tablespoons for a serving. Makes 1 cup.

Per tablespoon: 53 cal.; 0.4 g protein; 5.5 g fat; 0.7 g carbo.; 47 mg sodium; 4.4 mg chol.

Nordic Potato Soup

Peel and dice 2 large (about 1-1/3 lb. total) thin-skinned potatoes and 1 small onion. Put vegetables in a 4- to 5-quart pan with 3 cups regular-strength chicken broth. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat; simmer until potatoes are very tender when pierced, about 20 minutes. Stir 1 tablespoon cornstarch into 1/2 cup whipping cream until blended; mix with soup, 2 teaspoons (or more) Scandinavian seasoning mix (recipe precedes), and salt to taste; return to simmering. Makes about 5-1/2 cups, 4 servings.

Per cup: 238 cal.; 5.6 g protein; 11 g fat; 31 g carbo.; 60 mg sodium; 33 mg chol.
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Date:Nov 1, 1989
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