CRE­ATE YOUR OWN FLAVOUR­FUL herb & spice blends

Mix and match your favourite herbs and spices to cre­ate spe­cial blends that friends and fam­ily will love.

NZ Gardener - Gifts from the Gardens - - Food -

Va­ri­ety may be the spice of life, but herbs and spices are the va­ri­ety of many a kitchen pantry. Plant a herb and spice gar­den and make your own spe­cial blends for sea­son­ing foods. To make your own Cre­ole Mix:

• 2 ta­ble­spoons plus 1½ tea­spoons pa­prika • 2 ta­ble­spoons gar­lic pow­der

• 1 ta­ble­spoon salt • 1 ta­ble­spoon onion pow­der • 1 ta­ble­spoon dried oregano

• 1 ta­ble­spoon dried thyme • 1 ta­ble­spoon cayenne pep­per • 1 ta­ble­spoon freshly ground black pep­per. Com­bine all in­gre­di­ents. Makes about ½ cup. Place in an air­tight con­tainer, la­bel and at­tach the fol­low­ing hand­writ­ten or typed in­struc­tions on a card: “Use to sea­son chicken, seafood, steak or veg­eta­bles.”

Make a de­li­cious Le­mon Pep­per Mix for sea­son­ing chicken and fish: • 1 cup ground black pep­per • 1/ 3 cup dried le­mon peel • 3 ta­ble­spoons co­rian­der seeds • ¼ cup dried minced onion

• ¼ cup dried thyme leaves. Place all in­gre­di­ents in a food pro­ces­sor and blitz un­til the mix re­sem­bles bread­crumbs. Store in at­trac­tive, air­tight con­tain­ers. Add a card to the jar with the fol­low­ing in­struc­tions: “To make Le­mon Chicken, in a low, flat dish, mix to­gether ¼ cup le­mon juice, ¼ ex­tra vir­gin olive oil and 2 tea­spoons le­mon pep­per mix. Add 600-700g chicken ten­der­loins and mar­i­nate in the fridge for 30-45 min­utes. Grill on the bar­be­cue for 4 min­utes each side, or un­til done. Serves 4.”

Make your own de­li­cious Herb &

Spice Salt Mix for your­self and friends. You need: • 2 ta­ble­spoons freshly ground black pep­per • 1 ta­ble­spoon chicken stock pow­der • 1 tea­spoon onion pow­der • 1 ta­ble­spoon gar­lic salt • 1 tea­spoon cumin pow­der

• 1 tea­spoon dried ground mar­jo­ram leaves • 1 ta­ble­spoon dried flaked pars­ley • 1 tea­spoon ground pa­prika • ½ tea­spoon curry pow­der

• 1 ta­ble­spoon chili pow­der • 1/ 3 cup salt. Mix all in­gre­di­ents to­gether and place in an air­tight con­tainer and la­bel.

Makes about 1 cup.

For a Fra­grant Herbal Mix you need: • 2 tea­spoons pa­prika • 2 tea­spoons dry mus­tard • 1½ tea­spoons dried ground oregano • 1½ tea­spoons gar­lic pow­der

• 1 tea­spoon dried ground thyme

• 1 tea­spoon coarse salt • 1 tea­spoon curry pow­der • ½ tea­spoon onion pow­der • ¼ tea­spoon dried ground dill leaf. Mix in­gre­di­ents to­gether and store in an air­tight con­tainer and la­bel. At­tach a card that says: “This mix is great in veg­etable soups and potato sal­ads.

Mix with may­on­naise for a de­li­cious sand­wich spread, or add to dev­illed eggs. Shake well be­fore us­ing.”

Herb blend­ing is an an­cient process. Whether fresh or dried, the syn­ergy of blended herbs and spices cre­ates an en­hanced flavour. Pack your mixes in glass jars, la­bel and of­fer as one-of-a-kind gifts.

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