Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Seasoning and Substitutions

I thought that, before I get too involved writing up recipes, I should give some sort of idea of the seasoning I use and what to use to as a substitution.

Firstly, the chipotle seasoning. I use Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle * but there are other brands out there. It's a combination of various peppers (cayenne, chilli, black and chipotle) along with herbs such as marjoram, bay, basil, rosemary and coriander. Throw in some cumin and some citrus and you get a real smoky flavour that adds a subtle kick to most dishes, but especially chicken. It works wonders if you've got a dish that's based around a white sauce. A pinch goes a long way, and if you can't get hold of it, a reasonable substitution would be a medium spiced piri-piri.

Next is another from the same range, but the Steak grilling blend.* A mix of the same peppers and herbs as the chipotle, but with the addition of oregano, thyme and, what I think is the kicker, dill seeds. You can smell the dill as soon as you open the tub, but it's subtle, not in any way the same as when you open a jar of pickles. It's uses are far more obvious, but sprinkling it on some fine cut steaks or a pinch in a burger mix and you'll really notice the difference. A lot of supermarkets do a 'steak seasoning' but I'm unaware of any with dill in, and it is worth checking as it makes all the difference.

I've saved the best for last, and it totally speaks for itself.

Yep, good ol' Old Bay. Absolutely essential and with no equal. I've linked to a store that has it in stock. A brief check of the major supermarkets tells me that none of them do it, but, that doesn't mean that if you live in the major cities one of them won't have it on their shelves. It's been lauded by Nigella for years, so it would amaze me if Waitrose at least didn't stock it.
A teaspoon of it, in anything, will make the world of difference.

Except a Martini...that would just be wrong.

K x

* I know that at the time of writing these are showing as 'out of stock' on the website, but if you are desperate for them, there are other online stores, usually through amazon that stock it. I used these links mainly as a point of reference, although if you give the owners a shout they can normally get stock in for you.