Archive for August 31st, 2010

Roasted spices jazz up fall dishes

As we move into another season, our cooking styles will change. We’ll turn to soups, stews, chilies and oven-baked meats. To add heartier flavor to fall dishes, try this flavor-boosting secret: Roast your spices.

Spices such as cumin, coriander, cinnamon – even ground ginger – can be heated on the stovetop to release essential oils and create deeper, more aromatic flavors.

Spices burn easily, however, and the speed with which they cook varies depending on heat, pan and individual spice. For those looking to skip the time and temperature guesswork, a new group of roasted spices from the McCormick Gourmet Collection delivers the rich, fuller taste and mouthwatering aromas of roasting – without the extra effort.

  • Add depth: Explore earthy flavors – and save a step in dishes calling for roasting and grinding cumin seed – by adding roasted ground cumin to Indian, Moroccan and Southwestern meals. Try it in favorite recipes for grilled steak, chili, tacos and salsas.
  • Play with sweetness: Roasting cinnamon brings out a delightfully strong and sweet flavor similar to red-hot candies. It is a playful addition to mole recipes, spice rubs and sweet dishes such as yogurt, cookies and fresh fruit salad.
  • Turn up the heat: With its sharper notes balanced to create a warmer, rounder flavor, roasted ground ginger is surprisingly versatile and brings a mellow sweet heat to barbecue sauces, marinades and chutneys.

Find more information and recipes using roasted spices, visit

Roasted cumin-crusted grilled steaks with tomato relish

1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon roasted ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano leaves, Mediterranean
1 teaspoon Sicilian sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 pound boneless beef sirloin or New York strip steaks (about 3/4-inch thick)
1 pint assorted colors cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Mix sugar, cumin, oregano, sea salt, garlic powder and red pepper in small bowl until well blended. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture. Brush steaks lightly with oil. Rub remaining spice mixture on both sides of steaks. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor.
Meanwhile, mix tomatoes, onion, oil, vinegar and reserved spice mixture in medium bowl. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Grill steaks over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Slice steak and serve with tomato relish. Makes 4 servings.
Each serving contains:  267 calories, 15 g. fat, 24 g. protein, 9 g. carbohydrates,  57 mg. cholesterol, 560 mg. sodium, 2 g. fiber.
Note: For maximum flavor, refrigerate steaks for 2 hours after rubbing with spice mixture. Tomato relish can also be prepared earlier in the day and refrigerated until ready to serve.
Source: McCormick Kitchens