Master Six Spice Techniques with 'Spiced' From America's Test Kitchen

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The Spiced cookbook will help you master six techniques:

  • Season smarter with salt and pepper. You'll learn about brining, using peppercorns of all colors, and making finishers like sriracha salt.
  • Give meat and vegetables a rub. We'll provide blends that you can put to use in our recipes (try juniper and fennel on salmon) or your own.
  • Bloom and toast. Bring out ground spices' complexity by cooking them in oil; unlock dried chiles' fruity or nutty flavors by toasting them.
  • Finish foods with flair. Spice-and-nut/seed blends likes shichimi togarashi (a mix of spices, orange zest, and sesame seeds) add texture, too.
  • Let spices steep. Infuse spices into condiments like pickled fennel that punches up chicken salad or rosemary oil to drizzle over bruschetta.
  • Bake with spices. Go beyond vanilla by rolling doughnuts in strawberry-black pepper sugar. Make your own rose water and add it to pistachio baklava.

The cookbook includes 47 easy spice blends and 139 recipes to help you harness the power of spices. To make all of the spice blends in this book, you will need the following spices, as well as a spice grinder or mortar and pestle:

  • Aleppo pepper
  • allspice berries
  • anise
  • cayenne
  • cardamom
  • celery
  • chili flakes
  • chili powder
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • coriander
  • cocoa 
  • cumin
  • dill weed
  • fennel 
  • fenugreek
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • marjoram
  • Mexican oregano
  • mustard
  • nutmeg
  • paprika
  • peppercorns (black, green, white, and pink)
  • rose buds
  • rosemary
  • saffron
  • salt (kosher flake)
  • salt (coarse finishing salt, like Cyprus, Tamise or Lava)
  • sesame
  • sichuan peppercorns
  • sumac
  • star anise
  • thyme
  • turmeric

Note—the spice blends do not contain salt, to allow you to adjust seasoning while cooking and allow for most flexibility. The blends may at first appear more "bland" than store bought as the salt is needed later to enhance flavor.

Other pantry items you may need: dried chiles (ancho, chipotle, New Mexican, arbor or bird), fresh herbs, garlic and ginger, liquid smoke, peanuts, Sriracha, capers, red currant jelly.

Advieh Spice Mix—Adapted by Gneiss Spice:

Advieh means "spice" in Farsi, and the blend is fundamental to Persian cooking. Complexly flavored, deeply warm and floral, it's traditionally used to flavor all manner of rice dishes and stews. Try some in rice pudding!

  • 2 tsp cinnamon chips
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 tsp hulled cardamom 
  • 1/4 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp dried rose petals
  • 1/4+ tsp Cyprus flake sea salt

Process cinnamon stick in spice grinder until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add cumin seeds, cardamom and peppercorns. Process until coarse ground, about 15 seconds. Add rose petals and pulse until no bigger than 1/8 inch—about 5 pulses. Transfer to small bowl and stir in salt, adjust to taste. 

January 23, 2021 — Beth Weisberger

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