Category: Condiments & Seasonings

Shakshuka (Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce)

closeup photo of shakshouka in a skillet

My first taste of this classic Middle Eastern dish was at an entirely inauthentic location—a fast casual tea shop near my job. Nevertheless, it was an amazing experience. I’m no stranger to tomato sauces, but I’d never had one in quite this way—zesty and seasoned with earthy spices like paprika and cumin. Paired with a

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Herbes de Provence

close-up top-down photo of herbes de Provence in an open glass spice jar on a wooden counter

Herbes de Provence is a mixture of common French herbs used to flavor savory dishes, such as Forty Garlic Chicken. Although this mix has a fancy name, you don’t have to save it for elaborate dishes; the flavors are a good complement for many poultry or pork dishes. There are several different recipes for this

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Strawberry Sauce

close-up photo of a stainless steel spoon displaying strawberry sauce over a small glass bowl of strawberry sauce on a wooden surface

I came up with this one a couple years ago, when I wanted to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but was all out of jam. I had recently learned how to make simple syrup (boil a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar until sugar dissolves) and figured, cooking down some fruit into the

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Recaíto (Puerto Rican Sofrito)

close-up photo of recaíto in a glass bowl on a wooden surface

This green, herbaceous cooking base is one of the most essential ingredients in Puerto Rican cuisine. It is basically sofrito without the tomato sauce and so is an excellent substitute for any recipe calling for sofrito. They are so similar that some Puerto Ricans use the words as synonyms (see Sofrito Eggs). Recaíto contains culantro

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Salsa Fresca

close-up photo of salsa fresca in a glass bowl on a wooden surface

I don’t have a recipe for a traditional liquid salsa because I prefer the fresh taste of this simple blend of chopped vegetables. (Though I suppose all one would have to do is pulse in a food processor a couple times to turn this into a chunky sauce…? Anyway…) This salsa is spicy – I’d

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Marinara Sauce

close-up photo of marinara sauce in a glass bowl on a wooden surface

This basic marinara — calling for only five ingredients — is proof of how little is needed to deliver satisfying flavor. Some cooks sweeten their sauce to balance the tomatoes’ acidity, but I don’t find this hack necessary. Raw tomatoes may start out a little bitter, but that acerbity disappears all on its own if

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Sazón (Puerto Rican Seasoning)

close-up top-down photo of sazon in an open glass spice jar on a wooden surface

The counterpart to adobo seco, sazón is another Puerto Rican seasoned salt – the difference being that while adobo is primarily used to flavor meat, sazón is primarily used to flavor vegetables. Traditionally, sazón contains ground annatto (achiote molido) for color, but I can only find whole annatto seeds in my area. I’ve learned the

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Adobo Seco (Dry Marinade)

close-up photo of adobo seco in glass spice jar on wooden surface

Adobo seco is a Puerto Rican seasoned salt. Sprinkle generously on meat before cooking, to add a distinctive Latin flavor to your meal. Most basic recipes also include onion powder, but I modeled mine after a certain beloved store brand, which omits onion entirely, so now I prefer it that way. I’ve also added a

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Hayley’s Chunky Applesauce

close-up photo of chunky applesauce in glass bowl on wooden surface

In an effort to eat more healthfully, I’ve removed sugar from some of my recipes. This simple chunky applesauce recipe is an early success, as it rightfully makes apples the star of the dish by taking advantage of their natural sweetness. After making this dish, it always bothered me to just throw away the apple

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Chai Spice

close-up top-down photo of chai spice in an open glass spice jar on a wooden counter

My all-time favorite tea is masala chai – a milky spiced black tea drink originating from South Asia – which I got my first taste of from a handful of delis and specialty coffee shops near my job. But enjoying it at home was difficult. Back then (circa 2003), the few offerings available on supermarket

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