I hit a list of 5 must have spices in your pantry in the last cook easy foodie blogger challenge. So this time I’m going to change it up and give you my 5 must have ingredients for cooking all the different Mexican dishes we have.
I’m keeping this to the dried or longer shelf life spices as I do love to use fresh cilantro in dishes. For those I buy a bunch of it for very inexpensive and then create a few dishes for the freezer so it doesn’t go bad. Fresh cilantro just smells and tastes amazing. I can’t figure out how I went so many decades without using this herb and really not even having it in many dishes when we went out to Mexican food.
I think we started using it because hubby became obsessed with making salsa. His salsa is awesome and addicting. He can’t make small batches so we end up overeating tortilla chips when he makes it lol But even with his big batches of salsa there was too much cilantro left. Sure, that bunch cost $.38 give or take but I’m cheap and really hate to throw food away. Something really irks me about it being wasteful and it wasn’t because I was brought up to clean my plate. It worked out great because I’ve found some great recipes and I just make up a few items for the freezer when I get a fresh bunch of cilantro.
- Garlic – it doesn’t matter what ethnicity of food I’m cooking, you better believe that garlic is going to be a part of it. Preferably fresh garlic, which I consider the diced jarred garlic to be pretty fresh as well. It’s quick and I don’t have to get my fingers all smelly peeling and chopping. Yeah, may be a sign I’m getting old huh?
- Chili Powder – think this is a pretty big given. It’s near impossible to make any Mexican dishes without some chili powder.
- Cumin – just like cilantro, this was another spice that I was late to the game to find. It was in a spice rack I bought for hubby and I’d never used it before. Thanks to the internet I found that it’s probably in so many of my favorite dishes I’d order out. I prefer to buy the whole seed and do a quick toast. It takes just a couple of minutes to toast up. It makes it so much fresher, the flavor is amazing and it also smells up the whole house. How’s that for multi-use?
- Pepper Flakes – I don’t like things spicy but hubby does. So there are times I put in the pepper flakes for a dish or I’ll spice up half of the dish more for him.
- Oregano – Yes, I hear ya, but oregano is more than just for Italian dishes. Oregano is grown all over and in many dishes. It helps add that little dash of different that can pull flavors together.
These spices can make so many dishes by just changing up the amount you add. Instead of buying taco seasoning packets just figure out the perfect flavor combo for your family and make your own. The above spices plus salt are all that are needed.
What are your must have pantry spices?
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