Magazine article Sunset

Make Your Own Spice Blends

Magazine article Sunset

Make Your Own Spice Blends

Article excerpt

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. …

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