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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Herb Seasoning Salt (Tempero Mineiro)

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    tempero 5   

 

There are two reasons why I really like this seasoning mixture, and they are both equally important to me. The first one is that I don't have to fight the smell of garlic and onions on my hands whenever I use it. The other reason is because it works almost like your own signature flavour that everyone can recognize on your cooking without really knowing where it comes from. It's that certain something that makes your dishes unique.

In Brazil this kind of seasoning is often found in specialty food stores and certainly in most homes. I actually don't remember ever seeing my mom chopping an onion or garlic cloves. Instead, she would heat up some oil and cook the seasoning in it. The moment the seasoning starts to cook in the oil, the whole kitchen fills up with an aroma that says: home cooking.

Not been able to find it here in Seattle, I was encouraged to make my own. This is a very loose recipe, you can change things around. Once you find a mix that works for you, stick with it and you will get that signature taste.

This recipe makes a lot so freeze it or give to friends and family (and become a star!).  I get 5- 16 oz jars filled up. I place one in the fridge for immediate use and the rest in the freezer. This is a year's worth of supply for me.  Thankfully, because peeling 6 heads of garlic is not my way of having fun...

tempero

Herb Seasoning Salt Recipe:

 

2 green peppers

3 large onions

6 whole heads of garlic

1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley

1 bunch of green onions

1 bunch of fresh bay leaves

about 2 pounds of salt

Remove seeds from green peppers, remove the internal  white membrane and roughly chop it.

Peel and quarter onions.

Peel all garlic cloves.

 

Place all ingredients except the salt  in the food processor and mix until smooth.

 

You won't be able to fit it all in once, so start by pulsing the herbs and adding the onions and garlic as space becomes available.

tempero 2

 

Pour the blended mixture into a large bowl.

tempero 3

 

Add salt and mix it with a spatula until you get a grainy consistency, this will take more or less 2 pounds of salt. I use kosher salt.

tempero 4

 

Transfer the final product to designated containers. They can be kept in the fridge or frozen for later use.

tempero 6

Helpful Notes:

  • Use the seasoning in soups, stews, rice, beans, meats, just about anything.
  • You will need to use very little  to season your foods, a little really goes a long way.
  • Just heat a little olive oil or vegetable oil, add the amount of seasoning desired and cook for a quick minute before proceeding with the remaining ingredients.
  • You can use this seasoning mix when a recipe calls for cooking chopped onions and garlic.
  • When using this mix on a dish, adjust the salt at the end because the seasoning is already quite salty.

You can find pre-peeled garlic sold in jars and it will make the task easier. However, I think the freshness of the ingredients on this recipe is really important, so I buy whole heads and bare the task of peeling them one by one. But then again, I just have to do it once a year, or so.

tempero 1

 

 

59 comments:

brazilliant said...

Oi Rita! Sou eu sim! :) Eu to aqui babando com seus quitutes! Já vou até testar as sopas de cheddar & beer e a chicken and coconut thai curry soup! Tudo bom com vc? Precisamos marcar uma Happy Hour em DT! :)

Carla said...

Rita, adorei o blog. Te respondi la no Rainhas.
Beijo, vou virar freguesa.

Carla said...

Oi Rita, eu moro no estado de NY sim. En Rochester, no Norte do estado. Realmente, tem muito brasileiro aqui. Mas ai nao tem tambem? Eu sempre tenho a impressao de que tem muito brasileiro nesse pais inteirinho...hehehe.

Eu nao conheco suas bandas ai nao, a gente tava ate programando uma viagem pra Portland no proximo feriado, mas nao deu certo.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

I've never even heard of this before. I love all those flavors though and can just imagine how nice it would smell.

tinycook said...

Aren't raw bay leaves poisonous?

Rita said...

WC- it is very common in Brazil,I like the convenience of it.

tinycook- no, the bay leaves sold in supermarkets and food stores are actually OK to eat. The kind you are thinking of is not really an edible leaf.

Ingrid said...

Do you use the stems of the parsley as well or only the leaves ?
Very nice site by the way, lovely recipes.

Rita said...

Ingrid - thanks dear! Yes, I use the whole thing, stems and leaves, it all gets blended in the processor (you can also use a blender).

Kate said...

This looks so interesting, thanks for sharing.

Mauro said...

Ah! Pode comentar em português aqui? :-)

Então, sobre descascar alho... eu faço assim: seguro cada ponta do dente de alho entre o polegar e indicador de cada mão (com o indicador dobrado para fazer uma "mesa" debaixo do polegar) e torço o alho mais ou menos 1/4 de volta. A casca quebra e praticamente solta toda. É fácil, fácil. Rapidinho se descasca a cabeça de alho toda, não se precisa de faca nem nada, só depois para cortar as pontinhas.

Val said...

Wow! I can't wait to make a batch. ( 1/2 batch actually). Seems like I'm always chopping garlic & onions, & hate the time it takes. This is a great idea! Thank you for sharing it. ;o}

Val said...

When you say "You will need to use very little to season your foods, a little really goes a long way.", how 'very little' do you mean? Say if you wanted to use some in the pasta dish features today? Or a batch of soup? Just a rough starting point would be helpful. Thank you ;o}

Deseree said...

This is very interesting. I don't think I would've ever thought to do this. Thanks for sharing!

Rita said...

Mauro- e como nao? So que o Portugues meu e sem acento....nao sei como por acentos no meu keyboard. Ah sim...e tambem tem uns erros de gramatica, ne, ja que o Portugues ta enferrujando (acento com C, ou com S, ou com SC??) Vou tentar essa do alho, nunca fiz assim nao. Valeu.

Val - Just yesterday I made a soup just for myself (1 large bowl). I used perhaps 1 teaspoon of the seasoning and fried it in about 1 tablespoon of hot oil. If I was making a large batch of soup, say a whole pot, I would have doubled it. Try it out, it might take you a few trials until you figure out how much you like of it. Hope I helped!

Deseree - You are welcome, dear, try it!

Val said...

Thanks for the reply! ;o}

Kevin said...

I really like the sound of herb seasoned salt!

k said...

That sounds delicious--and efficient!! Thanks for sharing - Kim

Anonymous said...

What is a "bunch" of bay leaves?
Thanks, Nicole

Rita said...

Kevin- once yoy try this, you'll get hooked on it!

Nicole - I actually used exactly what you see in the photo with all the ingredients. It is about 20 leaves. I bought one of those small containers, the same that sells basil, thyme and other herbs. I just used maybe half of the container. You can add more or use less if you want to. The bay leaves when are fresh are not as strong as the dried ones. Did that help?

Rita said...

Kim- you are welcome, I hope yo make it!

glaucia said...

wow! Que legal. Vou fazer esta receita. Estava me lembrando de quando minha vó preparava isto, e dava alguns desses já preparado pra minha mae. Ela sempre usava o tempero, e não tinha que cortar alho ou cebola. Vai ser uma boa!! Obrigada!!!

Rita said...

glaucia - pois e, na falta da avo, tive que aprender a fazer o meu mesmo, rsrs

Silvia said...

Rita, tinha deixado uma msg aqui sobre o açaí e nem pensei que você pudesse ser brasileira hahahaha. Uma dica legal desse tempero é fazer maionese com ele. Você bate maionese com o tempero no liquidificador e adiciona um pouco de leite pra ficar mais "cremoso". Fica uma delícia, fora que fazer os temperos usando os talos da salsa dão um sabor picante único!!!!
Beijos pra você e parabéns pelo blog

teresa maria cruz carns said...

That is a wonderful recipe, thank you!
tereza maria

Rita said...

Silvia - esse tempero e pra ser frito no azeite, nao sei se iria ser muito bom usado cru com maionese.

tereza maria - You are welcome, it's super handy

T said...

Does it have to be refrigerated? Does the salt preserve it?

Rita said...

T - yes, it stays in the fridge. I keep an open jar in the fridge and use until it's gone, and the rest I freezer. Hope I helped, let m eknow if you still have questions.

Viki said...

What a great idea. I grow my own garlic and puree and freeze it in olive oil. I want to try this recipe especially since I love all the ingredients.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I made this today and it was so easy and turned out wonderful. Thanks for sharing this with the world.
Sue in NC

Rita said...

Viki - try it out, I think you will love it!

Sue - you are very welcome!!! I am happy you made and like it. I love the aroma when it hits the pan, huuuummmm

Anonymous said...

This sounds really fabulous, my question is technical, really. Do you freeze glass jars. I prefer glass, but just wondered about them breaking, and how much room you leave at the top of the jars.

Rita said...

Answer to Anonymous question -

Yes, I actually use recicled mayo jars, exactly the ones you see on the photos. They didn't break, although I kow where you are coming from, I heard of that before. I filled them up pretty much to the top, until the lid part starts, take a look at the photos, I froze those jars after shooting them for this post. The thing is that this mixture doesn't expand like, say, a liquid would, so I don't think there is much to worry about. I hope I helped!

Anonymous said...

It sounds delicious,I cant wait to try it.
These are my favorite herbs and favors.
Many thanks

Jazzy said...

this actually looks really tasty, I gotta get some jars so i can try this out.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I just made this. I froze several jars, and kept one 8oz. jar for the refigerator. How long do you think I can use the one in the refrigerator before it spoils?

Rita said...

Hi anonymous
I have one open jar in my fridhe for 4 months and it's good, I don't really think it spoils that easily.

Rick said...

Not to be rude, but if you're too lazy to take the time to use a knife in the kitchen, it takes only seconds to peel and crush, get out of the kitchen. Onions and garlic do no freeze well at all.

Rita said...

@ Rick - sorry you feel this way, this seasoning mix not only shortens prep time in the kitchen (which not evryone has a lot of) but it also contributes to flavouring the dishes. It is wonderful in soups, rice, beans and meats.

Mama JJ said...

Hi Rita, This is a helpful post; I linked to it. Thanks!

Lizz said...

Sounds fantastic and I can't wait to make a batch! My question is, can you use sea salt in place of the kosher salt or do you only recommend the kosher?

Rita said...

@Lizz- I never made it with sea salt, so can't say it by experience, but I believe it can be done. Keep inmind the slat will loose its consistency after it gets blended with all ingredients. I've seen this recipe done with regular old table salt in the past, and even that worked well.

Lizz said...

For the life of me I can not find fresh bay leaves anywhere and I am desperate to try this wonderful recipe! Is there something that can be substituted for fresh bay leaves or do you have any recomendations?

Rita said...

Lizz - I buy fresh bay leaves at my local supermarket, near the other fresh herbs like basil, thyme, etc. I would try some fresh oregano if can't find bay leaves,perhaps a small bunch of oregano and a little more parsley. Hope it helps, let me know if you like it!

Allen said...

I love Stephanie’s Seasoned Salt, it is all natural and all purpose. It has no fillers, caking agents, sugar or MSG. It tastes great on everything! Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Just a query about the suggestion to puree garlic and then keep in oil. I have been reading up as much as I can about preserving as I am new to it all. However, I read about the dreaded botulism and one of the things that they said not to do was put garlic in oil. Have you any thoughts on this. The recipe looks great and I would love to try it. But would I have to take any precautions re botulism with this recipe? Thanks Jill

Rita said...

@ Anonymous: there is no oil on this recipe, it's basically herbs, onions, garlic and salt. I have done this seasoning salt for years and never had any problems with it.

Linda said...

How long does it take to thaw a jar out if I run out unexpectedly?

Rita said...

@ Linda: that's a good question Linda, I never had this problem, but taking in consideration the cosistency and ingredients, I think it wouldn't take more than 20-30 minutes under hot water. If the entire jar doesn't thaw, at leats some part of it will, probably enough for what you need. Another thing I want to mention is that you can probably use the seasoning frozen as well, once it heats the hot pan it will start melting immediately. Just give a few extra minutes before you add the rest of the ingrediets, to make sure it got hot enough. Hope this helps!

ritit123 said...

another cool thing to do is make an herbed mayo

Anonymous said...

thank you very much for sharing. Can this recipe be used in place of vegetable stock? That is one thing i never have time to prepare so it would be great, it looks similar to Pam's recipe from the River cottage preserve book which is why i ask.

Rita said...

@ Anonymous - I am not familiar with Pam's recipe. But I do use this seasoning in soup bases all the time. I normally start by frying it in some olive oil, then add vegetables or mishroom, depending on the soup, and then water and proceed with the recipe. It makes it very flavourful, try it!

Anonymous said...

thanks for wasting my time and money.i should have known when you said about two pounds of salt,this is the saltiest creation i have ever got off the internet.you might want to say add salt to taste.save everybody else a heart attack.this recipe had a chance until "about"two pounds of salt came in.iam a salt-aholic and this about killed me.revise the recipe,it sucks!!!

Rita said...

@ Anonymous- I am sorry you didn't like it, as the name suggests, this is a salt. A herb salt, used to enhance flavours just like any salt is, but it needs to be sauted first to get the edge out of the raw onions and garlic in it. Try it that way. As the post also suggests, start small, with a teaspoon (sauted in olive oil) for a cup of rice, for example, and see how you like it then.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rita. I love this idea. Thank you so much for posting. I will probably use half the salt though. That should be ok right? I do have a suggestion for you though. Even though this post is an older one I wanted to let you know (which you probably know by now) an easy way to peel your garlic. Pull your garlic apart and put in a large metal bowl. Place another bowl the next size down upside down on top of the first bowl and garlic. Them hold on tight and shake shake shake that bowl hard for 15 to 20 seconds. Look and see......your garlic is peeled.
Thanks again for the recipe. I'm gonna try it tomorrow.
Bless you

Trina

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! This seems like a really fabulous season salt... Thanks for sharing and great photos too!

allandas said...

I have a ton of basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary and chives growing in my garden now. I'm going to try this and use a few of those. My husband and I are always looking for a good seasoning salt. I will use sea salt with it though.

Anonymous said...

Does mixing the herb paste with the salt fully preserve it for a year?

Evil von Scarry said...

Excellent article, thanks for putting it out there! This stuff keeps forever.

Anonymous said...

I think I will freeze it in ice trays, then pop it out and store in freezer bags, Then just take out one cube at a time :)

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