Nigella Seeds 

Nigella is native to Western Asia. The seeds have a subtle herbaceous, peppery and earthy nut like taste flavour. Nigella seeds are often incorrectly referred to as black onion seeds (but are from different plants). Nigella is most often used on Turkish Bread and flat breads throughout the Middle East and goes well with cauliflower and potatoes. Nigella is one of the five spices in Panch Phora which is used extensively in Indian cooking to enhance Dahl’s, and add flavour and texture to curries and vegetable dishes. Due to their mild flavour nigella seeds can be used for visual appeal in cous cous, rice dishes or potato salads. 

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Crush 1 tbsp nigella seeds with 1 tsp each coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a pestle and mortar and use for sautéed potatoes, zucchini, fennel, okra, spinach, onions, leeks, cauliflower, beans, and tomatoes.
  • Make a pilaf using basmati rice with the addition of grated carrot and nigella seeds or add nigella to chickpeas braised with tomatoes.
  • Toss crushed nigella seeds through a dice of roast root vegetables with a pinch of ground ginger, turmeric and allspice.
 Nutmeg Ground

Nutmeg is native to the spice islands of Indonesia. It is a warm intensely aromatic bitter/sweet spice that should be used sparingly as it can be overpowering in dishes. Nutmeg is used in Middle Eastern cuisine to add flavour to lamb dishes, in Italian cooking to add warmth to sauces for pasta, veal, sausages or spinach and in France for classically slow braised casseroles and ragouts. Ground nutmeg (as a fine powder) is often more suitable for baking and pastry applications and when used to "dust" over desserts such as baked custards. 

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Make a healthy mashed potato (chefs tip - use desiree potatoes) by using a combination of olive oil/butter or olive oil only. Add a small pinch of nutmeg when mixing.
  • Add a pinch of nutmeg to pan-fried prawns or simple tomato sauces to serve with linguine, tagliatelle or penne.
  • Add ground nutmeg to roast wedges of pumpkin, homemade pumpkin pie, pumpkin/date scones/muffins.
  • Add a pinch of ground nutmeg to fennel and cheese gratins, light sauces finished with cream fraiche for chicken/veal or sautéed cabbage with bacon or speck. 
 Nutmeg Whole

Nutmeg is an intensely strong sweet smelling aromatic spice that should be used sparingly as it can be overpowering in dishes. Nutmeg originates from Indonesia. Both nutmeg and mace come from the fruit of the same tree. The tree’s fruit splits into a scarlet outer membrane (mace) and an inner brown seed (nutmeg). Nutmeg is an ingredient in the Moroccan spice mix (ras el hanout) and the French (quatre epices). Nutmeg adds spice to cauliflower, cabbage, carrots and meat ragouts.

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Serve freshly cooked pasta (fettuccini, parpadelle etc) with toasted pine nuts, softened feta or goat’s cheese, nut brown butter, chopped herbs and freshly grated nutmeg.  
  • Make an Italian Spice Mixture and use as a dry rub on chicken pieces, pork chops, fish fillets or butterflied shoulders of lamb. Mix 6 tbsp of black peppercorns, 1 tbsp juniper berries, 1 tspn allspice and 1 tsp grated nutmeg. Toast the spices, cool, grind to a coarse powder.
  • Grate fresh nutmeg over homemade mashed potatoes using half olive oil / half butter.
 Oregano Leaves 

Oregano is native to the Mediterranean and South America and has a strong peppery and lemon herbal flavour. It is widely used throughout the cuisines of Greece (Souvlaki) and Italy (pasta sauces, pizza etc). Oregano is widely used to flavour oils, vinegars and homemade dressings.  

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Sprinkle oregano and red chilli flakes over feta and drizzle with olive oil - Serve on an antipasto platter.
  • Oregano can be dusted on pizzas and foccacia.
  • Scatter oregano over chicken breasts, lamb kebabs (souvlaki) or white fish fillets with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper - squeeze over fresh lemon and serve with a Greek salad or herbed vegetables.
  • Oregano goes well with feta cheese, tomatoes, eggplant, capsicum, onions, garlic and green vegetables such as beans, celery and artichokes.
  • Add oregano to pasta sauces, vinaigrettes or marinades with olives, capers and anchovies etc.
  • Use oregano when baking whole fish, shellfish with fennel or rustic platters of market fresh root vegetables with balsamic vinegar and virgin olive oil.
 Onion Flakes 

Onions, being one of the oldest vegetables known to mankind, can be found in a vast array of recipes and meal preparations touching just about any of the world’s cultures and their cuisines.  Onion Flakes are versatile and handy to have on standby in the pantry. The onions have been simply dehydrated and reconstitute very quickly. Our onions are dehydrated using a process the removes the liquid but allows the strong flavour to remain. One kilo of dehydrated onions is equal to nine kilos of raw onions.

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

As with all dehydrated products, these are ideal for use in recipes and dishes that contain liquid - soups, sour cream dips and dressings, omelettes, meat loafs, hamburgers, stews, etc. If you prefer to reconstitute just soak in water for 15 to 20 minutes and then drain any excess water and add to your recipe or simply add dehydrated and they will cook reconstitute within the liquid in your dish.  Use the onions to flavour chicken broths and soups. The onions can be added to stir-fries, sauces and marinades, braised dishes, stews & casseroles. 

 Paprika Hot 

Hot Paprika is produced by grinding a number of varieties of dried deep red paprika pods of the pepper plant (Capsicum). Although paprika is regarded as the symbol of Hungarian cuisine, the spice was brought to Hungary by the Turkish traders only as recently as the 16-17th centuries.  Spice & Co. Hot Paprika has a heat rating of five on a scale of one to ten. Use of hot, sweet or smoked paprika depends on the type of dish being prepared and the desired level of heat. Hot paprika can be moderated with sweet paprika to achieve your preferred level of heat.

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Paprika is most famously used in Hungarian cuisine in dishes like porkolt (roasts), stuffed peppers, Gulyas (goulash soup) and  Goulashes and Paprika’s (sautéed dishes of sliced red meat, chicken or fish, spiced with paprika and finished with sour cream.
  • In many Eastern European countries paprika is set as a table condiment with chillies in place of peppermills. Add hot paprika to spice up soups, broths or braised cabbage, brussel sprouts or leeks. Add hot paprika to sautéed veal/chicken dishes finished in a pan with sour cream, mushrooms and chives.
 Paprika Smoked 

Spice & Co. Smoked Paprika is sourced from Spain and is a naturally smoked product with a woody sweet taste. Smoked Paprika is made by drying ripened peppers (capsicum) in smoke houses fuelled with slow burning oak wood. The smoke enhances the flavour by caramelizing the naturally present sugars. The peppers are milled to a fine powder and used to add colour/flavour to dishes. Chefs tip - as with saffron, a little goes a long way and can easily dominate a dish so less is more!   

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Add smoked paprika to Spanish paellas, Mediterranean style seafood/tomato soups and braised meat dishes.
  • Add smoked paprika to marinades or combine with sweet paprika and dust over baked/sautéed potatoes.
  • Smoked paprika gives a great flavour to red meat spice rubs or marinades. It is widely used in the making of chorizo sausage, in pork dishes and tapas dishes.
  • Smoked paprika adds an earthy dimension to paellas, braised lentils, Italian peperonata and pasta sauces.
  • Smoked paprika goes well with poultry, beef/pork ribs, caramelised onions and roast root vegetables.
 

Paprika Sweet

 

Capsicum (Bell Peppers) is native to the Americas, were discovered by Columbus and introduced to the Spanish who dried and ground the peppers to form Paprika. Paprika became popular throughout Europe, the Ottoman Empire and Hungary in particular. Sweet Paprika has a mild fruity and peppery flavour. Paprika is famously used in Hungarian goulash and is used in cured sausages like Spanish Chorizo. Paprika flavours and colours shellfish, rice, and sausage dishes. Paprika gives a depth of flavour to red meat stews and casseroles. Paprika can be added to salsas and sauces like Romesco sauce.

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • A dusting of Paprika will enhance the flavour of egg dishes e.g. omelettes/scrambled eggs/frittatas etc.
  • An equal quantity of Paprika and ground cumin makes a simple and tasty spice rub for red meats/chicken.  
  • Paprika is useful as a simple garnish for almost any savoury dish. Combine paprika with butter/olive oil and lemon zest, use as a baste for fish fillets before grilling.
  • Paprika can be mixed with bread crumbs before sprinkling them over casseroles, gratins or potatoes.
 Pepper Black Cracked 

Black pepper is regarded for its strong aromatic pungency and lingering heat. All peppercorns (green, black, white and pink) are in fact the same berry at different stages of maturity. Black peppercorns are the picked green berries that have been dried. The berries contain the inner "white" core that is white pepper as can be seen when using 'cracked' pepper. Black pepper is more fragrant than white pepper. Cracked black pepper goes well with all red meats and is convenient for a quick rub for pepper steak. Cracked black pepper can be used to add fragrant heat to casseroles, meat loafs, hamburger, and marinades. Cracked pepper goes well when Asian style stir fries require a little non chilli heat.   

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Make a quick black pepper steak stir fry - place 1 tbsp of cracked pepper in a hot wok (per 400 gms sliced beef sirloin or rib eye). Let the pepper smoke briefly before removing (reserving). Char the beef in the wok with peanut oil sesame oil, garlic, ginger, onions, and capsicum red/yellow and green onions. Add the pepper, oyster sauce, Chinese wine (optional). Toss well and serve.
 Pepper Black Ground 

Black pepper is regarded for its strong warm aromatic pungency. All peppercorns (green, black, white and pink) are in fact the same berry at different stages of maturity or process. Black peppercorns are the picked green berries that have been dried. The berries contain the inner "white" core that is white pepper as can be seen when using cracked pepper. Black pepper is more fragrant than white pepper. Ground Black pepper can be used to add fragrant heat to casseroles, braised dishes, meat loafs, hamburger and marinades.    

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Freshly ground black pepper lightly smoked in a wok gives a fragrant kick to seafood such as Singapore Black Pepper Crab.
  • Make a Cuban inspired "Adobo" marinade for chicken breasts, fish fillets, lamb cutlets or legs of pork. Combine 1 tsp each of ground black pepper, ground cumin, dried oregano leaves, ground coriander and sea salt. Mix with 1 tbsp chopped garlic, juice of 2 limes and juice of 4 oranges (contrated by half - by reducing in a pan on the stove). Mix well and use to marinate preferred cuts (in the fridge) for at least 2 hours.  
 Pepper White Ground 

White pepper is regarded for its aromatic pungency and heat profile. All peppercorns (green, black, white and pink) are in fact the same berry at different stages of maturity. The inner core of the berry that is the white peppercorn has a sharper kick than black pepper. White pepper is hotter and less fragrant than black pepper and the sharper flavour should be used when you require "heat" without the full fragrant taste of black pepper.  As a general rule white pepper is more pungent at first taste with a mild fruit taste secondary, whereas black pepper is spicy and fruity at first taste with a secondary pungency or kick of heat. Traditionally white pepper is used in recipes where visual appeal is considered (avoiding black specks) e.g. white sauces, quiche fillings, soups and savoury dishes finished with cream.

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Make the French Quatre Epices (4 spices) by combining 50 gms ground white pepper, 10 gms ground nutmeg, 10 gms ground ginger and 5 gms ground allspice or cloves. Use with pates, duck, pork and confits.
  •  Make the original convenience food!  Pre-mix salt and pepper to taste
 Peppercorns Black Whole 

Black pepper is regarded for its strong aromatic pungency and lingering heat.  All peppercorns (green, black, white and pink) are in fact the same berry at different stages of maturity or process. Black peppercorns are the picked green (immature) berries that have been dried. The berries contain the inner "white" core that is white pepper (as can be seen when using cracked black pepper). Black pepper is more fragrant than white pepper as it contains the aroma laden oils of the outer berry. Freshly ground black pepper adds a fragrant heat to most foods and is one of the most popular and traded spices in the world. 

   

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Add whole black peppercorns to flavour to pickles - a basic pickling mix - mustard seeds, allspice pimento, black peppercorns, cloves, coriander seeds and bay leaves. Use with a good quality vinegar.  
  • Add to marinades for poultry, seafood and all red meats.
  • Keep the peppermill full and grind over grilled field mushrooms, braised celery, roast honey carrots and steamed asparagus.
  • Add freshly ground pepper to spice up warmed fruits like strawberries, plums, mango and pineapple.    
 Peppercorns White Whole 

White pepper is regarded for its aromatic pungency and heat profile. All peppercorns (green, black, white and pink) are in fact the same berry at different stages of maturity. The inner core of the berry, white peppercorn, has a sharper kick than black pepper. White pepper is hotter and less fragrant than black pepper. The sharper flavour should be used when you require "heat" without the full fragrant taste of black pepper. White pepper is more pungent at first taste with a mild fruit taste secondary- whereas black pepper is spicy and fruity at first taste with a secondary pungency or kick of heat. Traditionally, white pepper is used in recipes where visual appeal is considered (avoiding black specks) e.g. white sauces, quiche fillings, soups and savoury dishes.

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Use in savoury cheese biscuits with chives.
  • Add to minted guacamole to serve with chilled seafood.
  • Add to braised cabbage or endive with white balsamic and garlic.
  • Add to the egg mixes before making an omelette/frittatas.
  • Add to simple broths, soups or chowders.
 Peppercorn Mix 

Spice & Co. peppercorn mix combines black, white, green and pink peppercorns. The mix is an interesting and fragrant alternative to milled black peppercorns. All peppercorns (green, black, white and pink) are in fact the same berry at different stages of maturity. Green Peppercorns are the unripened pepper berries. Black peppercorns are the picked green berries that have been dried. White peppercorns are the inner core of the berry. Pink peppercorns are the fully ripened berries.  

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

Whilst often promoted for use in peppermills, the outer fibrous husk of pink peppercorns can clog the mechanisms of some peppermills. To avoid this, we recommend crushing the melange of different coloured peppercorns in a pestle and mortar and making your own pepper mix. Make in small batches and store in a sealed jar.  Use to add fragrant heat to casseroles, braised dishes, meat loafs, hamburger, marinades and sauces. Combine the crushed peppercorns with a little sea salt and use as a dry rub for red meats before grilling.

 Pine Nuts 

Pine nuts are the small elongated ivory-coloured seeds found in pine cones (pine trees). When raw, the seeds have a soft texture and a sweet, buttery flavour. They are generally toasted to accentuate the flavour and transform the texture from soft to crunchy. Pine nuts are handy to have on standby in the pantry. Note - Pine nuts have a very high natural oil content and quickly burn when toasted in a pan. It is best to toast them over moderate heat in a non stick pan (rather than in the oven) where - out of sight + out of mind = burnt!

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Add pine nuts to a pan with butter, allow to colour till golden, add chopped chives, lemon juice, grated lemon zest and serve over pan fried veal or grilled fresh fish fillets e.g. sardines, whiting, garfish etc.
  • Toss toasted pine nuts till golden & sprinkle over fresh leaf salads, garden vegetable salads, pasta salads or hot pasta dishes.
  • Add pine nuts, fresh basil and chilli to sautéed vegetables e.g. zucchini, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, green beans or spinach
  • Puree pine nuts with garlic, fresh basil, parmesan and olive oil to make fresh pesto - Serve as a dip with toasted ciabatta or as an accompaniment with grilled chicken, veal cutlets or sautéed prawns. Also serve pesto tossed through fresh pasta of choice.
  • Use pine nuts when making lamb Kibbeh (spiced lamb mince) or  baklava or other Middle Eastern sweet pastries
Poppy Seeds 

Poppy seeds (blue) are derived from the same plants as opium but do not have any narcotic properties. They have a subtle sweet, nutty flavour (mild almond) that is accentuated when baked. Blue poppy seeds are generally used in baked recipes e.g. breads, buns, bagels, pretzels, and pastries. White poppy seeds are used in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes to add flavour and as a thickening agent.

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Add poppy seeds & mandarin zest to frangipane for use in tarts. - Make friandes with poppy seeds, crushed almonds and lemon.
  • Toss poppy seeds, toasted pine nuts and nut sized pieces of blue cheese through cooked pasta (tagliatelle) with virgin oil, lemon and parsley.
  • Cheese straws - Add a mix of poppy seeds, grated parmesan, and crushed flakes of sea salt atop a sheet of butter pastry. Fold in half to capture filling, cut into strips, twist and bake.
  • Add poppy seeds to batters (tempura, beer) to add visual interest to fried foods. E.g. ricotta stuffed zucchini flowers in poppy seed tempura.
  • Blend soaked poppy seeds with honey and spread over toast or scones.
 Peri Peri Spice Mix 
  • Peri peri is an African birds-eye chilli with a heat rating of 8/10. Use this mix for preparing sauces and marinades for roast, BBQ and grilled dishes, especially chicken, shellfish and fish. Peri peri is also used in Portuguese cuisine.
  • Use to season/sprinkle on grilled fish, prawns or chicken. Add a zing to BBQ ribs, sweet corn, roast or sweet potatoes. Finish with a squeeze of lemon before serving.

 

Buy and enjoy this pack of African Peri Peri Spice Mix and feed a child in Kenya, breakfast for a week. Spice & Co is donating fifty cents from each pack sold to go directly to Aberdare Ranges Primary School (CFN/21199), a GVNFA project. (Global Volunteer Network Foundation Aust).Our goal is to create Kenya's leading school, and to help break the poverty cycle by educating the next generation of leaders. Thanks for your support. Visit www.gvnfaustralia.org

Rosemary Leaves  

Rosemary is an intensely aromatic herb native to the Mediterranean that has a woody and peppery favour with hints of pine, nutmeg and camphor. As with fresh Rosemary, dried rosemary is intensely fragrant. The flavour of Rosemary will permeate roasts and goes extremely well with chicken (breasts, thighs, drumsticks, wings, whole birds), Lamb (leg, shoulder, rack, chops/cutlets and shanks), Beef (rump, steaks, rib eye roast, sirloin roast, fillet, flank, ribs), Veal (roast joints). 

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Add a little rosemary with grated orange zest when braising lamb shanks, pork ribs or making veal Osso Bucco - its non traditional but adds great flavour!
  • Add rosemary to potatoes sautéed with onion or leeks.
  • Grind rosemary with sea salt, sprinkle chicken, fish fillets or use as a seasoning on slow baked tomatoes.
  • For a simple starter, add a little rosemary to balsamic vinegar and virgin olive oil and use as a dipping condiment for hot crunchy sour dough or ciabatta.
  • Add rosemary and sumac to lamb, beef or chicken kebabs for bbqs or add to red meat marinades.
  • Brush Lebanese bread or pita bread w' olive oil - sprinkle with rosemary, salt/pepper and dry bake -break into "rosemary crackers".

 

 Saffron threads -1 gram 

Saffron threads are the fine stigmas found in the crocus bulb which is a flowering plant belonging to the lily family. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world due to the cost associated with harvesting by hand and the curing process. Quality saffron has an intense perfume and should be used in recipes where the saffron won't be dominated by other flavours. Saffron should be infused in just boiled water or milk and allowed to infuse for about five minutes. The saffron and (importantly), the liquid are then used in the recipe. Saffron is an essential ingredient in the classic French Bouillabaisse and rice dishes such as Spanish Paella Valencia. Saffron goes extremely well with rice, potatoes, pasta, gnocchi, fennel, seafood dishes, and shellfish dishes and adds a beautiful fragrant flavour to dressings, sauces, tagines and soups.

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

Add saffron to a simple homemade vinaigrette. Saute two finely chopped french shallots in a little olive oil. Transfer to a bowl (allow to cool), add 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, 2 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tsp lemon juice (and a little zest), five tbsp olive oil and 1 small pinch of saffron soaked in a little hot water. Mix well, add salt/pepper and serve over grilled fish, potatoes or salad.

 Sage Leaves 

Sage is native to the Mediterranean and has an intense savoury/camphorous flavour. Dried sage has a more intense and concentrated flavour than fresh sage and so it should be used sparingly. Sage assists with the digestion of oily/fatty foods, hence its traditional use in sage and onion stuffing for roast pork, roast chicken, roast goose etc. Sage goes well with onions, meat loaf, rissoles, sausages, bean soups. Sage is often added to bread and foccacia dough’s and adds a nice perfume to nut brown butter sauces for fish fillets. Sage goes well with peas, beans, potato, sweet potato, leeks and onions.

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Make a "deconstructed" version of the classic Italian saltimbocca - simply sauté diced (seasoned) veal or pork fillet, chicken breast or prawns in a pan with shallots, sage and diced prosciutto - add marsala wine and butter. Serve with buttered gnocchi.
  • Add a sage to herb teas to aid digestion of rich foods!
  • Add a little sage to sliced gruyere with freshly ground pepper before grilling atop freshly sliced sourdough.
  • Add a little sage to nut brown butter sauces to serve over fish fillets or to enhance creamy soft polenta.
 Sea Salt 

Sea salt has a higher mineral concentration than refined table salt and is therefore highly regarded in all aspects of cooking. In the simplest of production techniques sea salt (for centuries) has been produced via the suns energy in evaporating the water component from the brine of the sea. The reverse takes place when sea salt is added to pure water to "brine" or preserve foods like haloumi/feta cheese, corned silverside and pickles etc. Salt is best added at the end of the cooking process so the final taste/balance of a dish can be controlled. Salt can also be used to draw moisture out of food items (e.g. bitterness in eggplants); cucumbers prior to pickling or curing fish e.g. Norwegian Gravlax.

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Make salt rubs (for chicken, fish or meat) by combining sea salt in a pestle & mortar with your favourite flavourings, e.g. lemon zest & oregano, orange zest & rosemary or garlic, chilli & coriander.
  • Chefs Tip - add sea salt (5%) to water & use to "brine" chicken breast for 30 mins. Pat dry & plain grill for a super tender result. Spices such as star anise, bay, cinnamon quills etc can also be added to the brine.  
 Salt - Pink Himalayan 

Himalayan Pink Salt is an unrefined, unprocessed raw salt that is hand mined from salt caves that were formed over 200 million years ago. The salt contols a rich spectrum minerals and trace elements. Himalayan Pink Salt is best added at the end of the cooking process so the final taste/balance of a dish can be controlled. Salt can also be used to draw moisture out of food items (e.g. bitterness in eggplants), cucumbers prior to pickling or curing fish e.g. Norwegian Gravalax.

 

- Make salt rubs (for chicken, fish or meat) by combining sea salt in a pestle & mortar with your favourite flavourings, e.g. lemon zest & oregano, orange zest & rosemary or garlic, chilli & coriander.

- Chefs Tip - add sea salt (5%) to water & use to "brine" chicken breast for 30 mins. Pat dry & plain grill for a super tender result. Spices such as star anise, bay, cinnamon quills etc can also be added to the brine.

 Sesame Seeds Black 

Black sesame seeds with a nutty and earthier flavour than white sesame seeds are most commonly used in Japanese, Korean and Northern Chinese cooking. Black sesame seeds have less natural oil than white sesame seeds and for this reason have a crunchier texture - their flavour is amplified when heated. Black sesame is often used for visual or textural appearance rather than flavour as in Japanese sushi rolls. Blended with sea salt (goma shio) they are used in Japanese cooking to sprinkle over salads, rice dishes, and vegetables. In modern Japanese dishes, black sesame seeds are being used to make ice cream, parfaits and an increasing range of confections and baked goods.    

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Make homemade sushi rolls with salmon and roll in black sesame seeds.
  • Add sesame seeds to fresh breadcrumbs and use to crumb seafood, chicken pieces etc.
  • Make Chinese style sesame prawn toast by spreading a mix of minced prawns, sesame oil, chopped green onion (seasoned) over finger sized pieces of bread and crumbing them in a mix of black and white seeds.
 Sesame Seeds White 

Sesame seeds have a sweet nutty flavour which is accentuated when dry roasted or lightly toasted. Because they have a very high natural oil content they tend to colour quickly when heated - so care should be taken to avoid scorching. Sesame seeds are an ingredient in the middle east mix Zaatar and the sesame paste tahini and are used in the baking and confectionary industries in both Eastern and Western cultures. Sesame seeds yield a high ratio of sesame oil which is used extensively in Asian cooking providing a distinct aromatic nuttiness to stir fries, salad dressings, and crumbed foods etc.

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Add sesame seeds to fresh breadcrumbs and use to crumb seafood, chicken pieces etc. Add a small amount of sesame oil to canola oil for frying!
  • Make Chinese style sesame prawn toast by spreading a mix of minced prawns, sesame oil, chopped green onion (seasoned) over finger sized pieces of bread and crumbing them in pure sesame seeds or a mix of black and white sesame seeds before quickly frying in hot oil.
  • Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over simple garden salads to add crunch.
  • Use in stir-fries and to top Chinese greens.
 Spanish Spice Mix

Spanish Mix combines the new world spices like paprika, chilli and allspice with fragrant spices like cumin and coriander. perfect for easy and inspired entertaining with famillia and amigos!

Use as a base for paella with Spice & Co Saffron or a Basque style fish  soup. Add to taspas dishes like patatas bravas (spiced potatoes), garlic prawns or spicing up a Spanish omelette or tortilla. To make snacks add spice mix to breadcrumbs and coat - green olives, zucchini sticks etc before frying golden. Add mix to chicken thigh to make Andalucian Pinchitos with chorizo and yellow capsicum and the marinated chicken pieces threaded onto skewars.

 Star Anise 

Star Anise is native to Southern China and Vietnam and has an intense liquorice flavour/perfume and is the key ingredient of Chinese Five Spice. It is extensively used in Asian dishes and goes well with braised pork, duck, poultry and beef. Whole star anise are generally added to recipes during the cooking process and then removed prior to serving. Star anise is used in Chinese "red" cooking with cassia where the ingredients are simmered in a dark soy broth (Master Stock). 

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Use for poaching stone fruits, pineapple, rhubarb or pears.
  • Crumble the star points. Add to Pork Spare Ribs marinades.
  • Use to flavour sabayons, frozen parfaits or ice-cream.
  • Vietnamese Beef Pho (Soup) - Combine diced onion with star anise, cassia quill, fennel, coriander seeds and strong beef stock. Simmer 20 mins - add fish sauce, palm sugar and salt to taste. Strain the broth and discard the spices etc. Place blanched (pre-soaked) thin rice noodles into serving bowls with finely sliced spring onions, sliced white onions, thinly sliced (raw) beef sirloin and boiled beef brisket (optional). Ladle over boiling beef stock. Serve with lime, bean sprouts, chilli & Hoisin sauce.    
 Sichuan Pepper 

Sichuan pepper is a dried berry with a sharp peppery and fragrant earthy flavour. Native to Sichuan Provence in south western China Sichuan pepper is a key ingredient in Chinese five spice mix and Japanese Seven spice mix shichimi togarashi. Sichuan pepper goes well with chicken, roast pork, pork ribs, duck, quail and slow Chinese braised dishes, beef brisket etc. Sichuan pepper is used in the making of traditional Peking Duck and acts a foil to foods high in fat.    

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Make salt and pepper spice mix to use with squid, prawns calamari, whitebait, as a seasoning for home style fries or fried chicken wings.  Combine 30 gms each potato flour and rice flour, 1 tbsp crushed sea salt, 1 heaped tbsp ground Sichuan pepper, 1 tsp each - ground white pepper, smoked paprika, sugar and 1 pinch ground chilli (optional). Combine all ingredients together and use to coat prior to frying in canola or peanut oil. Drain well on paper towels. Serve with lemon wedges, lime mayo and a leaf salad with citrus dressing.
  • Add to Asian style vegetable stir fries. Sichuan goes well with ginger, sesame, chillies, citrus, black beans, cassia and star anise.
 Sumac Ground 

Sumac is the fruit of a bushy shrub that is grown in the Middle East regions of Turkey and Iran and the Mediterranean region around Sicily. The fruit ripens in the form of conical clusters of berries that are sun dried and then crushed into a dark crimson/redish powder. In Middle Eastern cooking sumac is used as a souring agent (in place of lemon, tamarind or vinegar). Sumac is delicious on roast meat and in particular lamb, when mixed with paprika, pepper and oregano.  The traditional herb/seed/spice mix Zaatar is a blend of sumac, thyme, toasted sesame seeds and salt.  Zaatar or pure Sumac is sprinkled on flat breads with olive oil before toasting.

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Use to garnish bowls of Middle eastern dips like hummus or minted Labna (drained natural sheep’s yoghurt).
  • Sprinkle over a Greek salad with oregano or mix in with raw sweet onion/cucumber salad to serve with kebabs.
  • Make a simple Fattoush salad by combining diced tomato, cucumber, radish, spring onions, torn mint and parsley, crispy broken pieces of toasted pita bread. Make a dressing with sumac, lemon juice/zest, olive oil, salt and pepper and pour over the well mixed salad.
 Tarragon Leaves 

Tarragon is native to Siberia and Western Asia and was introduced to Europe in the 16th century. It has an intensely fragrant aroma and a sweet basil, aniseed, liquorice, pine flavour. Tarragons' intense aroma and is often used for perfuming white wine vinegars and pickles. Tarragon is most famously used to flavour the classic French sauces Béarnaise and Tartare. Tarragon can be used to enliven simple vinaigrettes and dressings. A hint of tarragon goes particularly well with poultry, veal, seafood dishes, omelettes and white wine/cream sauces.

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Add Tarragon to softened butter with a dash of Dijon mustard, sea salt and white pepper - place under the skin of whole chicken for roasting - use extra for basting!
  • Make a variation of Escabeche (seared and marinated fish fillets) - sear fillets in olive oil and marinate in a vinaigrette of chardonnay vinegar, lemon zest/juice, extra virgin olive oil, diced Spanish onions (flash blanched), diced (skinned) tomatoes, tarragon, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of cayenne (optional).
  • Add Tarragon to quality mayonnaise - allow flavours to infuse - serve with boiled eggs or poached chicken.
 Thyme Leaves 

Thyme is a herb native to the Mediterranean and has small intensely aromatic leaves. Thyme has flavour/aroma that combines elements of allspice, clove, mint and pepper. Thyme is a key flavour component of bouquet Garni used in stocks and soups and French dishes like pot-au-feu to impart herbal richness. Thyme is well suited to lamb - rubbed over seasoned lamb legs, cutlets, short loin chops, racks or sprinkled over lamb or beef meatballs/burgers or meat sauces/ragus.   

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Add thyme to new potatoes and sauté in a little olive oil.
  • Add thyme to a stuffing mixture for roast chicken.
  • Sprinkle over foccacia with a drizzle of olive oil, top with crumbled goat cheese, diced chorizo, olives and grill.
  • Use thyme when sautéing onions or button mushrooms.
  • Add thyme to Mediterranean style white bean soups, gumbos or one pot dishes requiring a spike of flavour.
  • Add thyme to red wine marinades for cheaper cuts of red meats like skirt steak, flank steak, rump or beef ribs.
  • Add thyme to braised dishes using beef cheeks or lamb shanks with rich stocks and market fresh vegetables. 
 Texas BBQ Spice Mix 

Barbecue is a traditional style of preparing beef in the cuisine of Texas (United States) and is one of the many different varieties of barbecue found around the world. The Caribbean style of slow cooking meat formed the basis of the Southern barbecue tradition that influenced Texas when some of its first American settlers arrived.[5]Texas barbecue traditions can be divided into four general styles: East Texas, Central Texas, South Texas, and West Texas.[1] The Central and East Texas varieties are generally the most well-known.

 

 

Use Texas BBQ as a rub (moisten meats with olive oil first), on beef brisket, short ribs or pork shoulder for classic pulled pork. Then sow roast BBQ or smoke over low heat until tender. Use mix to saeaosn quick grill items like chicken, seafood, staek and cutlets. Or use as a seasoning for potato wedges, home made fries and grilled vegetables.

 Turmeric Ground 

Turmeric is native to Southern Asia and regarded globally as a flavouring, medicine and dye for clothing. Turmeric has a distinctive fragrant ginger (it is a member of the ginger family), citrus and mildly bitter taste. Turmeric has a vibrant and, intense golden yellow colour - care should be taken as it readily stains materials and surfaces. It is most commonly associated for its ability to intensely colour curries, pickles, spice mixtures/pastes, rice dishes, soups, mustards and marinades. Turmeric is famously used to used to colour and flavour Malaysian Rendang and laksas, Indian curries and lentil dishes, North African tagines/stews and the Moroccan soups e.g. harira, and south east Asian sambals and Satay marinades. 

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Make Thai hawker style grilled chicken wings - Combine 2 tbsp ground black pepper, 1 tbsp turmeric, 6 garlic cloves, 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, diced coriander stalks (1/4 bunch), 5 tbsp fish sauce and 2 tbsp palm sugar and 2 tbsp peanut oil - grind to a paste. Marinate 12-14 chicken wings for 1 hour - grill until cooked and serve with lime cheeks and fresh sprigs of coriander.
 Vanilla Bean - 1 pod 

Vanilla beans pods are an expensive, (labour intensive) spice to harvest. Green vanilla beans require about 9 months to mature before an extensive period of curing - resulting in sweet, moist fragrant beans. To use - simply split the bean lengthways & scrape out the seeds with the back of a small knife. Add both the seeds & the pod to the liquid to be flavoured. The pods can be removed, rinsed and allowed to dry, and added to your sugar jar to make an ongoing supply of vanilla sugar.

 

Uses and Ideas!  ©

  • Use vanilla to flavour shortbread, compotes, poached fruits, sabayons, vanilla bean ice cream, and vanilla bavarois, vanilla scented mascarpone or vanilla panacotta.
  • To make vanilla crème brûlée (serves 6). Whisk 8 egg yolks, 70 gms sugar and seeds of 1 vanilla bean until light and pale. Bring 800 ml pouring cream and 100 ml milk plus the scraped vanilla pod to the boil. Strain into the egg/sugar mix. Allow to cool, pour mix into ramekins. Bake in a cloth lined tray filled with 2cm of water at 100 degrees C for 80 mins. Remove, cool, (keep chilled), dust with sugar and carefully use a grill or "chefs torch" to caramelise the top. Chef’s tip - Make the mix the day before, as refrigeration overnight before baking results in an even suspension of the vanilla seeds. 
 Zaatar Spice Mix Zaatar is a generic name given to this middle eastern herb, seed & spice mix. Zaatar mixes vary slightly from region to region throughout the middle east but most contain thyme, sesame & sumac. Jordanian Zaatar also includes cumin. Zaatar is traditionally sprinkled over flatbreads that have been lightly brushed with oil and quickly baked or toasted. Zaatar can be used as a seasoning for chicken or used in stuffing mixes. Serve Zaatar alongside Dukkah and virgin olive oil. Dip Turkish bread in the oil, then coat in a thin layer of Zaatar, then enjoy!  Zaatar can sprinkled over baked/mashed potatoes or mixed with butter to serve with vegetables or make a variation on garlic bread.