It’s like magic. Just warm your spices over a little dry heat and voila! Marvelous flavor, without adding any extra ingredients! Toast spices to bring out their aromatic oils, and your sauces, rubs, seasonings and stews will wow like never before.
whole is best
Whole spices gain the most from toasting, so try cardamom seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, cloves, and dried hot pepper flakes. (On the other hand, don’t toast predried or preground herbs or spices, bay leaves or whole nutmeg.)
how to toast
Think small skillet, not toaster. Place spices in a dry pan over low heat until warm and fragrant. Skip the oil and shake gently while toasting so they don’t burn.
Once spices reach their aromatic peak, turn off the heat and let them cool in a single layer on a plate. A coffee grinder, mini food processor or mortar and pestle all work great for grinding.
keep it fresh
As a cooking method, roasting rules because it’s easy. The cooking happens when the dry air of the oven is circulated, much like baking. A great technique for cuts that are already tender.
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