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Along with fallen leaves, autumn brings cooler temperatures that inspire us to spend more time in the kitchen. Whether it's baking or preparing a hearty stew, you'll need to have some cooking spices on hand to liven up your dishes. We have selected a few cooking spices that make a great addition to your fall pantry along with some ideas for how to use them. You'll be surprised at how much you can do with these traditional spices.
Nutmeg and Mace
Nutmeg and mace typically make their way into cookies and pies. But they also make a great addition to soups, stews and sauteed greens. Use a microplane to grate whole nutmeg into your dishes or just sprinkle a bit of ground mace.
Perhaps the first spice that comes to mind when we think of fall, cinnamon is obviously great in sweets but don't overlook its versatily. Add a cinnamon stick to braised meats and you'll experience greater depth of flavor (not sweetness). Use the whole spice to make tea or a fragrant poaching liquid.
The potency of ground cloves makes for excellent pumpkin and apple pies. Consider adding a whole clove to your rice or meat dishes. It will perfume your dish without making it excesively sweet. Along with cinnamon and star anise, it makes a great addition to poaching liquids for apples, pears or wine.
A great addition to pies, ginger is great in marinades. Whether chopped or grated, mix it with scallions and a dash of sesame oil to give a kick to meat marinades. You can also use the same ingredients to sautee shrimp. Mixed with yogurt and garlic, it makes a superb marinade for chicken. Minced ginger will add a nice touch to any sauteed vegetables. Great recipes to try are tandoori duck and Korean beef soup.
A must have when poaching fruit or mulling wine, star anise is also great in meat dishes. Consider adding one star anise to braises or stews and taste the difference. You can also try making pear and anise cupcakes or Pimms and star anise stewed fruit with amaretti biscuits.
Full of antioxidants and a great health booster, turmeric makes a great addition to your stews and bean-based dishes. Since the active ingredient in turmeric is fat soluble, add it at the beginning of the cooking process when preparing chili, soups or stews to really enjoy its health benefits. We recommend making these horseradish croquettes with turmeric and jasmine and this delicious coconut fish curry.