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The Best of 2010, Final

And here are the last few thoughts on 2010.

17) Tien Tien Chili Peppers - An essential part of Szechuan cooking, I use these peppers in all sorts of dishes. They have a lively fruity flavor which is somewhat smoky. Just one quickly sauteed and removed adds a nuance of quick heat and a smoky flavor that I've not been able to find anywhere else. Of course if you like it hot, you can leave them in. These can be ordered from the fantastic Spice House.

18) Smoked Paprika- Yes, I am once again bringing up smoked paprika, because I still find so many people do not have it in their kitchens and it is so versatile for everything from deviled eggs to Spanish arroz con pollo to chili. So once again, get some and start experimenting. I know you will find many uses. To encourage you, I will post my niece and nephews favorite Spanish dish which uses this wonderful spice. If it's good enough for them, I'm sure you will love it.

19) Allegrini and Hazan Red Wine Vinegar- I am always on the look out for new vinegars and interesting combinations. I read about this one and gave it a try and it is truly stunning, with a flavor not unlike balsamic vinegar and it's not too acidic. It is aged in oak, so it takes off the edge and a little goes a long way. It's perfect for adding that touch of tartness to any dish and makes a stunning vinaigrette. You can find it at

20) True "Ceylon" Cinnamon- This is the cinnamon which is used mainly in Europe, Mexico and favored by bakers for it's floral, fruity aroma. It is more delicate than the Vietnamese cinnamon, so I find that it's perfect for baking. That being said, it can get lost in heavier dishes like curries and stews, so save it for baking and grind it fresh and put it through a strainer prior to use, as there are always a few little bits that don't grind up.

21) Spice Grinder, Krups - If you've read my post and recipes you will see that I often mention a spice grinder. Basically, it is just a coffee grinder that I reserve just for grinding spices. It makes a huge difference when you grind your spices fresh. They are not expensive, just $19.99 for a Krups 203-42 Touch Coffee Grinder and you can find them at

So, hopefully this list gives you some ideas and encourages you to try some new recipes in the coming year.


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