Monday, December 13, 2010

Seasoning Packets

How often do you use those pre-made seasoning packets?? What about those boxed meals with the powdered cheese mixture?? Ever tried making your own??

I would much rather use them homemade to cut out on the MSG, citric acid and all of those preservatives. Keeping what you would normally use will definitely cut cost at the store and will keep your family a bit healthier....say, if you cook tacos or chili, then you'd wanna have more. And it's much easier than you think.

Making your own seasoning mixes will keep all of the flavor without having to compromise long term effects of all of those "extra" ingredients packed on the label.

Here are a few that you can make and store on the shelf in an airtight container and use when you need them. You probably have most of these herbs and spices in your kitchen already. If not, you can always have an herb swap with a friend and share your spices to make these great homemade packets.

Homemade Sloppy Joe Seasoning Mix

1 tablespoon dried onions
1 teaspoon bell peppers, freeze-dried
1 teaspoon salt -- or to taste
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl until evenly distributed. Spoon mixture onto a 6" square of aluminum foil and fold to make an airtight packet. Label with date and contents. Store in a cool, dry place. Use within 6 months. Makes 1 packet or about 3 tablespoons of Homemade Sloppy Joe Seasoning Mix.

Onion Soup & Dip Mix

3/4 cup instant minced onion
1/3 cup beef flavored instant bouillon
4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. celery seed, crushed
1/4 tsp. sugar

Mix all ingredients together well, and store up to 6 months in cool, dry place. Stir before each use. Five tablespoons of the mix equals 1.25-oz. pkg. of purchased dry onion soup mix.

Taco Seasoning Mix

2 teaspoons instant minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon instant minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed, dried red pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried, minced onion

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl until evenly distributed. Spoon mixture onto a 6-inch square of aluminum foil and fold to make airtight or store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Label. Store in a cool, dry place. Use within 6 months. Makes 1 package (about 2 tablespoons).

To make taco filling, brown 1 pound ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drain excess grease. Add 1/2 cup water and 1 package Taco Seasoning Mix. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes filling for 8 to 10 tacos.

Creole Seasoning Mix

2 T. plus 1-1/2 t. paprika
2 T. garlic powder
1 T. salt
1 T. onion powder
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. dried thyme
1 T. cayenne pepper
1 T. pepper

Great for gumbo, jambalaya, and seasoning for baked chicken or steak.

Italian Seasoning

1/3 cup dried, crushed oregano
1/3 cup dried basil
2 tbsp rosemary
1/4 cup thyme , sage and marjoram
Makes 1 1/4 cups

Combine in jar. Stir or shake before each use.

Montreal Steak Seasoning (My favorite)

4 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried onion
1/2 tablespoon dried garlic
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 tablespoon dried fennel

Mix together and store in a shaker. Shake or rub 1 tablespoon seasoning onto 1 pound steaks, pork chops and hamburgers before grilling or broiling.

Bay Seafood Seasoning Blend

1 tablespoon ground bay leaves
2 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground mace (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)

Combine all ingredients; store in an airtight container. Use with seafood or chicken.
Yields 1/4 cup

Mild Indian Curry Powder

2 tablespoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons turmeric

Pulverize to a fine powder. Store airtight.

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