Spices are a favorite culinary tool because they add depth to the taste of food. Cooks depend on certain exotic spices or spice blends, which become as popular in their kitchen as salt and pepper. Unfortunately, a manufacturer can discontinue an exotic spice or trendy spice blend, leaving the enthusiast in a culinary lurch. Between 2002 and 2010, McCormick & Company discontinued more than 190 spices or products. For the popular spices and spice rubs, home cooks can create spice blends at home or McCormick has also introduced substitutes.
French Herb Roasting Rub
Patting a cut of meat down with a spice rub before cooking infuses the meat with flavor during the cooking process. To make a French "herbes de provence," combine 1 tbsp. thyme; 1 tbsp. chervil; 1 tbsp. rosemary; 1 tbsp. summer savory; 1 tsp. lavender; 1 tsp. tarragon; 1 tsp. marjoram; 1/2 tsp. oregano; 1/2 tsp. mint; and 2 chopped bay leaves. This mix makes about 1/3 cup and can be stored in an airtight container.
Caribbean Jerk Seasoning Blend
Jerk rubs can be dry or wet and are known for the intense flavors and heat they add to various meats. Jerk seasoning is easy to make at home by mixing together: 3 tbsp. ground coriander; 3 tbsp. ground ginger; 3 tbsp. light brown sugar; 2 tbsp. onion powder; 2 tbsp. garlic powder; 2 tbsp. kosher salt; 2 tbsp. habanero powder; 1 tbsp. thyme leaves; 2 tsp. coarse black pepper; 2 tsp. ground cinnamon; 2 tsp. ground allspice; 2 tsp. ground cloves. Cooks should remember to wash their hands thoroughly to prevent transfer of the hot spices to the face.
Fajitas are not found just in Mexican restaurants and kitchens anymore. Fajitas are a popular recipe made at home because of the intense spicy flavor emanating from an affordable cut of meat. To make fajita seasonings at home, combine in a marinade: the juice of 2 limes; 4 tbsp. olive oil; 2 chopped garlic cloves; 3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, left whole; 3 tbsp. roughly chopped cilantro leaves; 1 tsp. ground cumin; 4 roughly chopped green onions; 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper and 1 tsp. salt. The marinade should be poured over the meat in either a plastic, sealable bag or in a sealable bowl and allowed to marinate for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator.
For those who used Salad Supreme for decades, the bad news is that Salad Supreme is gone; the good news is that it is actually still around but has a new name: Perfect Pinch ® Salad Supreme Seasoning. A favorite salad and baked potato topper, Salad Supreme can also be added to punch up the flavor of vegetables or hamburgers.