When it comes to spices, it’s a case of use ‘em or lose ‘em, because most lose potency after a year or so. Here, from the American Spice Trade Association, is a list of easy-to-find spices and some dishes they can enhance.
Allspice: Sausages, Jamaican stews, fruit pies, honey-glazed winter squash, baked pears.
Anise: Fish and shellfish (put seeds in the poaching water), cottage cheese, cream-cheese dips, fruit pies, applesauce.
Caraway seeds: Cabbage, pork or veal stews, roasted potatoes, sauerkraut, potato salad.
Cardamom: Cakes, pastries, fruit dishes, curries, pilafs, punches, spiced wines.
Celery seeds: Tomato juice cocktail, chicken chowder, Southwestern chicken and dishes, meat pies, cabbage and carrot slaw.
Coriander: Lentils, curried chicken, Indian rice pilaf, coffeecake.
Cumin: Guacamole, bean soups, Mexican dishes, black beans, curries, chili, tuna salad.
Fennel: Italian tomato sauces, beef stew, seafood salad.
Fenugreek: Indian curries, pilafs.
Ginger: Asian dishes and stir-fries, carrot soup, sweet potatoes, apples, poached winter fruits.
Mace: White cake, chicken pie, cream sauces for vegetables.
Marjoram: Clam dip, split pea soup, roasted potatoes, vegetable salads.
Saffron: Rice dishes like paella, arroz con pollo, risotto; chicken, fish, shellfish.
Sage: Turkey burgers, stuffed peppers, bean soup.
Savory: Lentils, white beans, broiled veal, pork, poultry, cucumbers, goat cheese, tomato sauces.
Star anise: Barbecued or roasted chicken, broths, rice pudding, poached fish or shellfish.
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