Spice Up Your Cooking This Summer

hand sprinkling spices into pan

The right mix of seasonings can make an ordinary meal extraordinary, so if you’re looking to give your next dish a real flavor boost, try these classic blends of herbs and spices.

BBQ Spice Rub

It’s peak grilling season, and many home cooks always keep a shaker of BBQ seasoning at arm’s reach. The store-bought stuff can always do in a pinch, but serious grill masters take pride in their own blends, and you can perfect your own concoction at home starting with this versatile mix. This BBQ seasoning packs sweet heat into whatever beef, pork, or chicken you’re about to throw on the grill, with brown sugar, paprika, and even cayenne if you really want to liven things up.

Cajun Seasoning

Whenever you want to evoke the flavors of the Big Easy and its surroundings, you can’t go wrong with this piquant Cajun spice blend. Fit for any sort of seafood, steak, or even pasta, this mix goes wonderfully well with any robust dish of hearty meats. It also brightens up a roux whenever you want to whip up some etouffee or gumbo.

Moroccan Spices

While we can always expect cinnamon, allspice, and clove to have a welcome place in our fall and Christmas treats, they play incredibly well with rich, meaty dishes as part of the classic ras el hanout spice mix. Transportive, heady, sweet, and savory, this age-old blend works brilliantly with lamb, chicken, and beef, from adding aromatic flare to your burgers to enriching the slow-simmered Moroccan classic, tagine.

Bundles of Herbs

If you want to add a boost of flavor to any stew, soup, or simmering sauce, a simple bouquet garni will do the trick with a tried and true combination of herbs. This bundle of leafy flavorings is typically tied together with cooking twine, then dropped into the pot to diffuse its flavors into the liquid. It’s also a great way to enhance the taste without adding salt or sugar. The most basic combination is traditionally parsley, thyme, and a bay leaf, but you can swap out ingredients to experiment with your own blend, trying out other herbs like rosemary, basil, or even tarragon.

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