Spice Up Food Recipes For Fall

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Interesting, exotic, or perfectly balanced flavor, it’s the holy grail of cooking. One of the best ways to achieve this in your party food recipes is to use the appropriate spices. Knowing which spices are best with which food – now that’s a challenge.

Culinary students spend hours and hours learning the best combinations. While you may simply follow a recipe using just what it calls for, sometimes, stepping things up a bit can really turn a party food recipe from OK, to wow!

Fall Spices

As the air cools, and the leaves begin to change and fall, the foods we crave change also. It’s time to enjoy creamy soups, pot roasts, even favorite deserts like pumpkin pie. What would these recipes be without spices to help jazz them up, or to pull together the various ingredients.

Spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves provide a mellow-sweet hint of flavor. Combinations, like Allspice (a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove together) or pumpkin pie spice (a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and mace) should once again be pulled to the front of your pantry.


How to pair spices and food?

For experienced chefs, knowing the combinations of foods and spices that works best is second nature. For some of us food loving folks who just want to entertain with style, perhaps it can be a bit of a mystery. You should know what spices and seasonings you like, and tend to use the same few with certain things. But try to be more creative, and to experiment.

Allspice – Apples, beets, cabbage, caramel, cardamom, cinnamon, foie gras, game meats, ginger, juniper, nuts, nutmeg, onions, pears, poultry, pumpkin, root vegetables, seafood

Anise – Apples, beets, beef, caramel, carrots, chocolate, citrus, cinnamon, coconut, cranberry, figs, foie gras, game meats, root vegetables, seafood, stone fruits, tea

Caraway – Beets, cabbage, cheese, cured meats, dill, fennel, garlic, nuts, mushrooms, onions, oregano, potatoes, root vegetables, sausage, seafood, yeast breads

Cardamom – Apples, bananas, beans, caramel, cinnamon, citrus, coconut, coffee, coriander, curry, dates, ginger, grains, grains of paradise, nuts, pepper, pumpkin, sugar, squash, yeast breads


Chiles – Bananas, beans, cheese, cilantro, cinnamon, citrus, chocolate, coconut, corn, cumin, basil, beef, garlic, ginger, grains, oregano, potatoes, poultry, seafood, tropical fruits

Cinnamon – Allspice, apples, bananas, beans, caramel, cardamom, chiles, chocolate, clove, coffee, cranberry, curry, dates, game meats, figs, foie gras, ginger, grains, nutmeg, pumpkin, stone fruit, sugar, squash, tea, vanilla

Cumin – Avocados, beans, beef, cilantro, citrus, coconut, cucumber, garlic, grains, mango, mint, onion, parsley, poultry, sausages, seafood, tomatoes

Fennel – Artichokes, anise, apples, artichokes, basil, beans, blue cheese, cabbage, cilantro, dill, eggplant, figs, garlic, olives, onions, oregano, parsley, potatoes, thyme, tomato, sausage, seafood, veal

Fenugreek – Allspice, beans, cumin, cardamom, chiles, cinnamon, curry, game meats, ginger, potatoes, poultry

Ginger – Allspice, anise, asparagus, bananas, carrots, chiles, chives, chocolate, cinnamon, citrus, cloves, coconut, coriander, cranberry, cumin, curry, dates, fennel, figs, garlic, jasmine, nutmeg, onions, pears, pepper, poultry, pumpkin, raisins, root vegetables, rose, seafood, stone fruits, sugar, tea, tropical fruits

Horseradish – Apples, beef, beets, blue cheese, capers, chives, citrus, cured meats, dill, nuts, mustard, onions, potatoes, sausage, seafood, root vegetables, vinegar

Juniper – Allspice, beef, blue cheese, cabbage, cilantro, cured meats, game meats, garlic, lavender, olives, oregano pepper, poultry, rosemary, veal, vinegar

Mustard – Anchovy, anise, asparagus, beef, beets, blue cheese, cabbage, capers, chiles, cured meats, fennel, honey, poultry, root vegetables, sausage, seafood, vinegar, yeast bread

Nutmeg – Allspice, asparagus, blue cheese, cabbage, carrots, cinnamon, cheese, clove, coffee, cranberries, cumin, eggs, foie gras, ginger, green beans, pasta, peaches, pumpkin, potato, sausage, sugar, vanilla, veal

Pepper – Allspice, artichokes, asparagus, beef, blue cheese, cheese, cinnamon, citrus, eggs, figs, foie gras, game meats, ginger, mushrooms, pineapple, poultry, seafood, sugar, tomatoes

Saffron – Basil, bay, berries, chives, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry, fennel, garlic, ginger, grains, mint, parsley, poultry, sausage, seafood, tomatoes

Sesame – Bananas, beans, cinnamon, citrus, coconut, eggplant, game meats, garlic, ginger, leafy greens, nuts, mustard, onions, pasta, pepper, poultry, root vegetables, rosemary, seafood, stone fruits, thyme, vinegar, yeast bread

Vanilla – Apples, bananas, caramel, chocolate, chiles, cinnamon, citrus, coconut, coffee, dates, figs, lavender, nuts, shell fish, stone fruit, tropical fruit.