ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › saute dry spices and herbs?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

saute dry spices and herbs?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a chicken chili recipe I've made (successfully) loads of times. Last night I doubled it for company, and instead of sauteing the dry spices and herbs (ground cumin, chili powder, and oregano) after adding them to the already sauteed onions, garlic and chicken, I just tossed them in and immediately added the liquids (chicken stock and diced tomatoes in juice) when I was running behind. The result had some of that raw flour taste in sauces where the flour hasn't been cooked enough and also some bitterness. I doctored it with some sweeter tomatoes, salt and lime and it came out fine.

So my question is this: Is it better to saute dry spices and herbs before adding liquids?
Emily

______________________

"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
Reply
Emily

______________________

"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
Reply
post #2 of 9
I usually do, either alone in the oil, or mixed with the aromatics. For instance, after sauteeing onions I'll add the dry spices and continue sauteeing for a bit before adding other ingredients.

I do it because heating activates the essential oils.

I can see where skipping that step might produce that raw-flour taste, particularly if the spices are preground and old.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #3 of 9
As a rule of thumb. Whole spices can take the heat, so fry with onions, or dry fry. Ground spices, as KYH says, need heat to relase the oils, but at a much lower temp. In Indian cuisine they throw ground spices into a sizzling pot and add water to stop them from burning
2 tips i was given by an Indian cook :-

You can never add spice to a made dish, that should have gone in earlier and expect it to be right

If you are frying, sauteing onions and the heat isnt right. They "boil" doesnt matter what you do to them they will always taste boiled *****(5 star tip)
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
post #4 of 9
I am Of the opposite school of thought. I say no you shouldn't because you prematurely release the essential oils and lose some of the punch you would otherwise get. The bitterness you got was from the chili powder, it is naturally a bit bitter because of the manufacturing process. By sauteeing the cumin and oregano you lose quite a bit of the aroma in the chili. Try it with some sugar or molasses or even a light chili powder rather than a dark one to offset the bitterness and it will be fine.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #5 of 9
>I am Of the opposite school of thought. I say no you shouldn't because you prematurely release the essential oils and lose some of the punch you would otherwise get<

Surely you then develop background flavours. The "punch" can come from adding a little more ground spice at the point o service. Ie Garam masala/paprika/ mild chilli powder/nutmeg/cumin...
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
post #6 of 9
I prefer to develope background flavors in the browning of the onions, garlic and any proteins you may use, add liquids and then aromatic herbs and spices and let it cook.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #7 of 9
I think you answered your own question. ;)
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
Reply
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
Reply
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your responses. Yes Suzanne, :blush: in a way I did answer my own question. I kind of figured not sauteing was the problem (especially with a double portion of the spices). But I also posted to find out what others thought. As Bughut mentions, I'm used to sauteeing whole spices in Indian food, but I've gone ahead and sauteed ground spices on a hunch. But it would seem that not everyone agrees.
Emily

______________________

"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
Reply
Emily

______________________

"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
Reply
post #9 of 9
[QUOTE=phoebe;278004]Thank you all for your responses. Yes Suzanne, :blush: in a way I did answer my own question. I kind of figured not sauteing was the problem (especially with a double portion of the spices). But I also posted to find out what others thought. As Bughut mentions, I'm used to sauteeing whole spices in Indian food, but I've gone ahead and sauteed ground spices on a hunch. But it would seem that not everyone agrees.[/QUOTE


As long as the final result taste good to you and your clientele, that's the main thing . One could discuss the pro's and con's all day. There really is no right or wrong.:talk:
CHEFED
Reply
CHEFED
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › saute dry spices and herbs?