Contributed by: Cajun Clark
Here's a mix of spices that add zest--translated: taste great-- to fish, chops, steak, ribs, chicken, beef jerky, even hamburger. And for you veggie proponents, you should give your favorite beans, greens, peas and steamed cabbage a shot, make that a shake or two. Works wonders on the taste buds; unless you over do it, get carried away, forget what you have in your hand. Shake...Shake. . .SHAKE!
Now, open your spice cupboard, get ready to pull out the spices you'll need, and start measuring:
Good, you're done, ready to enjoy some added zest to your menu. But, before you go runnin' off, please understand one fact: Recipes aren't set in concrete, in stone, you make the changes you deem warranted by your own experience. Cooking for many, including da ol' mon Caj, is a feeling-kind-of-thing. Go by the recipe the first time, then make adjustments to suit your taste.
Caj's Seasoned Pepper
In nearly every bread machine recipe book there's one for pepper bread, which is really good, tasty, great for ham sandwiches. But there's a hitch--relax, you knew there would be--the recipe calls for unsalted, no salt, seasoned pepper. Now maybe for those of you in close proximity to major well stocked supermarkets it's no big deal, but you can rest assured it is when you have to go to the big city, miles and miles away, to search their shelves. And then...
When you start reading the labels you find that salt is one of the ingredients. Hmmm..... If you found that to be the case at the general store, and you found it a real needle-in-the-haystack search for unsalted, no salt, seasoned pepper at the "big" store, what's the answer? Read on...
Here's the answer to that rhetorical question: concoct your own seasoned pepper mix; play scientist, a little of this a little of that. And presto, you have no salt, seasoned pepper ready to go when called on. Now that's not all bad, the price is "right" too.
Again use the same measure for each (teaspoon, tablespoon, cup, etc.)
Have fun. Now...
Let's carry this "ATTITUDE" to it's logical conclusion. Which is? If you happen to be a creative, no-nonsense cook, which we all are given the chance, and you've created your own seasoned pepper, what about those other special seasonings? Like garlic pepper, garlic salt, seasoned salt, to name a few. Again, the answer's easy: you get out the spices, your measuring tools, and mix your own. True, you'll have to experiment some, but that's what makes it fun. Eventually, you'll get it right according to your taste. And that's all that really matters anyway, isn't it? Finally, don't forget these benefits: when you run out you mix another batch; you save money due to the lower cost of the spices you use; and, here's a biggie, there are no preservatives. Period. Uh oh, it's time for another detour.
Open the Can Salsa
Let's say you've decided you simply gotta have some salsa, your taste buds are driving you crazy. There's none in the pantry or the fridge, so you're going to make some.
You have either from the can or fresh chopped or diced tomatoes. You've chopped an onion or decided to use dried onion flakes. And you've done the same with bell pepper, which is optional. You've even opened a can of chopped or minced green chilies, again optional. You've dumped it all in a bowl, mixed it around a little, and now you need to...
SEASON to TASTE. Translation: Select one or more of the following spices: oregano, cilantro, crushed red pepper, garlic, salt, maybe some basil or thyme. Then you have to experiment. Here's how:
First, taste each spice to determine flavor and strength.
Second, decide which spices you are going to use.
Third, take a small amount of your unseasoned salsa, then add a minimum amount of those spices you've selected. Mix. Taste. Now ask yourself, what's missing? what does it need more of?
Fourth, add "the more of," mix, taste.
Fifth, do it again if needed.
Sixth, write down the amount of each spice you used for your entire batch; and type of veggie and the number of cans or fresh you used.
Seventh, call it good and enjoy.
Cajun Clark's monster 659-page eCookbook is no longer available. His second cookbook in the series, with nearly 500 recipes is Sweet & Sassy! http://www.cajunclarkssweetandsassy.com You can grab a copy of Cajun Clark's Selected Freebies at http://www.1001Recipes2Send.com/Free/
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