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Herbs and Spices

Almost every cook has a few goto type things they reach for, sometimes they are something others wouldn't think of using. For me the one that springs to mind is smoked paprika. There are not many savory style dishes that wouldn't benefit from a good paprika added in.

So how about it, anyone else have a sort of secret weapon in the spice cupboard they add to just give the dish that little something extra?
 
+1 on the smoked paprika Dustin. Add that and some toasted cumin to your vinegerette dressing for something totally different.
For how long I've been an avid cook, paprika is a pretty new addition to my arsenal (just picked it up for the first time last Summer). It rapidly worked it's way to the top of the list of things I grab when I have no pre-plan for seasoning, and I'm just tossing in a combo that sounds good in my head for whatever I'm making.
 
A dusting of sweet paprika makes for great eye candy on things you might being throwing under the broiler. Takes a lot to have a flavour impact but for the eye you just need a bit. Atop things like shepherds pie, twice baked potatoes, frittatas, all benefit with some visual help.

Not just for deviled eggs.

For oven fries i smother the oiled potatoes sticks with it and it's still a very mild flavouring.

dave
 
Pendery's original chili powder, based right here in Fort Worth for decades. I'll add a dash of that stuff to lots of different things.
 
My favourite for chucking in all sorts of things to liven them up is the Morroccan/North African spice mix Ras El Hanout. Amazing flavours!
 
My favourite for chucking in all sorts of things to liven them up is the Morroccan/North African spice mix Ras El Hanout. Amazing flavours!
Haven't even heard of that one. Now I'll have to check it out.

Another I realized I'll grab sometimes is Old Bay Seasoning. While anyone in the New England area is very familiar with it, it's not used a whole lot in my area, so it's hard for some to nail down the flavor profile and recognize it. Makes a great sprinkle on roasted potato slices and roasted/grilled veggies.
 
+2 on the smoked paprika. Good on so many things. Another favorite of mine is garam masala, an Indian spice blend.

(Yup, I'm still alive. Realize I haven't posted since Christmas or so, but school really took over my life. Yay for summer break!)
 

Alacrity59

Wanting for wisdom
I'll credit our moderator Ouch with bringing forward "Grains of Paradise". Amazing on steak but also good in other things like potato salad. A black pepper replacement that is worth a try.
 
I'll credit our moderator Ouch with bringing forward "Grains of Paradise". Amazing on steak but also good in other things like potato salad. A black pepper replacement that is worth a try.
Another one I keep forgetting to pick up. It was highly used in the middle ages, and really fell out of favor once pepper was so cheap and easy to obtain.
 
not hot, sweet:
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I like smoked Spanish paprika more than Hungarian one..

This is very nice too (not smoked), i can find it in Queens, cheaper:
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now, you guys should try this - good on most soups and roasts. It's an acquired taste but you should give it try. It's lovage:
 
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