I’m a huge fan of modern conveniences, and every day I wake up happy of the luck of having been born at a time when science and technology have allowed me to live and survive in relative comfort.
This hasn’t blinded me to the things that we would have been better off not changing. The one closest to my heart is the way we eat: each day more synthetic, more industrial.
Fortunately a lot of our daily food is still made from fresh, natural ingredients. The vast majority of Dominicans still chop their onions and crush their garlic every day. We still use dry or fresh pulses and legumes. Good for us! And even if I am not here to criticize anyone’s tastes (“people who live in glass houses” and all that jazz…), I like to write our recipes in a way that encourages people to eat more naturally, healthier.
We choose ingredients not only on the basis of flavor, but also with an eye on their nutritional value and quality. That’s how we eat at home. We have nothing against the occasional use of convenience products, but they are best chosen with a careful reading of the ingredients, and we don’t make a habit of it.
I know that it’s often all a matter of time, but with a little investment of time, and even less money than industrial seasonings, we can end up with a superior product. Made at home from ingredients we can spell. I swear that the constant use of all these all-purpose seasonings accomplish little more than dulling the taste. It’s like using an axe where a scalpel is required.
Another reason to make this seasoning powder is to save a bunch of herbs from ending in the trash. I don’t like wasting food. Once you see how easy it is to make this you too will be loath to pay for seasoning powder. Homemade is best.
What to do with herbs that are going bad? This seasoning powder (dominican sazon) solves that and helps shorten preparation time of some dishes.
- A bunch of cilantro
- A bunch of parsley
- A bunch of thyme
- 3 sprigs of fresh oregano
- 2 large onions, cut into very thin slices
- 2 head of garlic, the cloves cut into very thin slices
- 2 tablespoons of coarse sea salt
- 1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns
- Place the parsley, thyme, cilantro, oregano, onion and garlic on a baking tray.
- Cook in the oven at 180 ºF for one hour, or until all the ingredients are dry.
- Remove from the oven and get rid of the oregano and thyme twigs, leaving only the dry leaves.
- Mix with peppercorns and salt and pulse in the food processor until it turns into the desired consistency.
- Save in a tight-fitting lid jar in a fresh and dry spot.
- Use to season beans, pulses, fish and meats.
Do you have any other herb at hand (leek, chives, culantro, etc.)? Throw them in too!