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How to Stock A Spice Cabinet

Keep these essential spices on hand and make any dish at a moment's notice.

Photo: Antonis Achilleos

Face it, it's time to think beyond salt and pepper -- having the right flavorful spices on hand will help you make any dish taste delish. Here's a list of must-haves and how to use them.

Chili Powder Season ground beef with chili powder when making Mexican food. Spicy alert: Add just a pinch at a time.

Cumin Seeds Taste them in Middle Eastern and Mexican dishes. Add cumin powder and a drizzle of olive oil to spike up blah hummus.

Dry Mustard Put a sprinkle of dry mustard into vinaigrettes or mix it with paprika to season beef. It packs a bit of heat, so use it sparingly.

Garlic Powder Unlike fresh garlic, powder will not burn. Season flour with garlic powder for perfect fried chicken.

Red Pepper Flakes Get the great taste of New York pizza by sprinkling red pepper flakes on your slice.

Rosemary Pair rosemary and garlic to create a flavorful leg of lamb. For a side dish, combine potatoes, olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper -- then roast in the oven.

Paprika It has a subtle smoky flavor, which is great for seasoning meats and chicken before searing or grilling, and gives meat a beautiful color when cooked.

Bay Leaves Create a base flavor in soups, stocks, and savory dishes by using bay leaves. Add one when sauteing onions too. But never leave them in when its time to serve.

Oregano Widely present in Mediterranean cooking, use oregano in tomato sauces and Greek salads with olives, tomatoes, and feta cheese.

Now that you've stocked up learn how to organize your spices and how to organize your recipes.

Nestpert: Katie Lee Joel, chef and author of The Comfort Table.

-- The Nest Editors

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