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Mrs Dash

post #1 of 7
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This is why I can cook but not be called a chef, spices! I can never tell which spice would go with what. Puting meat to flame is no great trick but combine flavors into something great isn't a skill most of us have. I'm just wondering if Mrs Dash and other commercial sold spice blends make it into professional kitchens
post #2 of 7

Some do, some don't. It depends on the kitchen, the chef, the spice blend and the circumstances. Many chefs make their own spice blends.

     The only way to understand which spices go together with which foods is to educate yourself. You can learn a lot from reading recipes and there are numerous books on the subject. Some combinations are well known such as basil goes well with tomatoes, garlic goes well with many things, vanilla is most often used for dessert dishes but goes well in some savory.

      Once you have tasted various spices and made a few dishes with them, you will begin to see connections. Taste fresh spices versus dried, toasted versus not toasted, ground vs. whole. Read the labels on some spice blends and you will see many of the same ingredients despite the brands. They are supposed to be listed by weight so you should be able to tell approximately how much of each was included. Watch for things like msg and salt. And like individual spices, blends get old and lose their potency. 

     Combining spices to make a great dish is a learned skill for most people. There are the rare few who seem to understand it without effort but for the majority of people it just takes effort and practice. You can't know if you should add a spice or not if you have never tried the spice. You can try a spice blend or two but if you take the time and effort to learn you should be able to make your own. 

post #3 of 7

Mrs. Dash has a number of blends. The Table Blend, for example, is finer ground and good for at table seasoning particularly for the sodium restricted such as myself.

 

I don't think it's well suited to the pro kitchen in general though I can construct Personal Chef and similar situations where it would be useful. The pitfall of pre-blended spices is being well illustrated in the Taco Soup thread right now. You lose some control and can end up with flavors not as well suited to each other in the final mix. 

 

As a pro having that control and consistency is part of the point. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 7

There is no great mystery, most of us started off just following recipes.  Over time you get to know what spices you like paired with food and with eachother.  A good basic set of spices should include black pepper, sea salt, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, paprika, garlic powder, crystalized or powdered ginger, allspice, dried chili flakes, well the list goes on from there.  I myself have many types of pepper and salt, many types of paprika too.

 

As you read and make more recipes you begin to collect more spices.  And then you become a foodie :)

 

There is no room in my pantry for Mrs. Dash, Baco Bits or anything by Emeril.  I have every single ingredient in Mrs. Dash in my pantry and fridge, there is simply no reason to buy it.  

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #5 of 7

I'd say that Montreal Seasoning and Lawry's Seasoned Salt can be found in a whole lot of professional kitchens.  I've worked in several kitchens that used Old Bay, too.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #6 of 7
I have to admit that I love a herb de provance mix from my French import guy that Ive never have been able to reproduce.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagger View Post

This is why I can cook but not be called a chef, spices! I can never tell which spice would go with what. Puting meat to flame is no great trick but combine flavors into something great isn't a skill most of us have. I'm just wondering if Mrs Dash and other commercial sold spice blends make it into professional kitchens


I used Mrs. Dash years ago, for dietary reasons - way too much salt in packaged products, & not a salt fan.  I took a quick look at their site, and looks okay re nutritional labels.  I read, read, read labels.

 

I much prefer fresh over dried packaged ingredients, except for special dishes. In a 'pinch' I keep a bare minimum on hand.  I buy a small amount, store in a cool dry place. Check about every 6 months by smell and taste, as they lose potency. If you are following a recipe, adjust amounts accordingly (dry vs fresh & vice versa).

 

There are home cooks that rave about Penzy's.  (You can find them online.)

 

In years gone by, I had a spice rack.  Ditched it, and buy what I need.


Edited by Cerise - 8/11/15 at 9:45am
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