Now that you’ve learned the basics of cooking, it’s time to spice things up. Many of our parents only had a few spices available to them, typically salt, pepper, some form of all purpose seasoning, and maybe paprika for color. Ah, what we were missing! The addition of a few spices can transform a “meh” dinner into a feast. The Culinary Institute of America, through The Great Courses, offers a video series entitled The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking. In this series, Chef Bill Briwa reviews spices from India, China, Mexico, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and America. Yum! Again, each lecture is only thirty minutes long, and is not complicated.
Once you’ve learned about the spices from various regions, how about trying them? I promise, you’ll be able to whip up some dishes that are by far better than most of the foods served in local restaurants. Again, this lecture series can be purchased through Amazon or The Great Courses, or rented from various libraries. Still a bit hesitant? The metroplex has numerous ethnic restaurants and grocery stores that are offering take out and delivery! In the dog days of summer, when it’s too hot to play outdoors, how about spending some time exploring what these fantastic little shops have to offer?