HOW TO ADD TO FOOD
Avoid using many spices at once.
Use a dry spoon to add the desired portion. Do not spray directly from the container to the boiling pot, the steam can decrease the potency of the spice or the herb that is left in the jar or it will cause it to cake or spoil more quickly.
Crush leaf herbs such as oregano, thyme and basil in your hand before using them so that their flavor is released more immediately.
Whole spices can be ground in a pepper mill or a mortar.
WHEN TO ADD:
Herbs can be added near the end of cooking for a more distinguished flavor, or at the beginning for more mixed flavors.
Powdered spices and herbs release their flavor quickly.
Add them near the end of the cooking time so that their flavors do not “cook”. Spices and whole leaves release the flavor more slowly, they are ideal for dishes that take a long time to cook.
To be able to remove them more easily after cooking, they can be tied to a cheesecloth or put in a tea bag before adding them to the dishes.
For uncooked food, such as salad dressings, fruits or fruit juices, add the spices and herbs to the vinegar and let it stand before adding the oil, preferably several hours before serving to allow the flavors to mix.
Try to start with ¼ teaspoon for four servings, for half a kilo of meat or for every 2 cups of sauce or soup, adjust if necessary.
For cayenne pepper powder and garlic powder add 1/8 teaspoon; adjust if necessary.
In most cases, 1 teaspoon of dried-smelling herbs is equivalent to 3 teaspoons of fresh herbs.
WHAT NOT TO DO
Do not use the same amount of dried herbs as fresh.
Do not add dried herbs and seasonings to the stews until they have another hour to cook.
Do not use herbs and spices on all dishes.
WHY TOSTAR SOME SPICES?
This process can accentuate and round off the flavor and aroma of spices such as cumin, coriander, mustard seed, fennel seed, poppy seeds and sesame seeds.
HOW TO DO IT?
To toast, heat a comal or heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the spices; roast 2 to 5 minutes or until the spices are fragrant and acquire a light brown color, moving continuously to prevent burning. Remove from heat.