“Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to the one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine”
Scarborough Fair (1966)
Simon & Garfunkel
I believe that there is a song for everything and I always have a song running through my head. A single word can trigger a song for me. For the past two weeks, I have had the lyrics from Simon & Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair” running through my head. The reason is very simple. I’m allergic to garlic.
Just in case I lost you with that last statement, I will try to explain why a garlic allergy and the lyrics “Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme” have led to a cooking blog. I thought finding out about my allergy to garlic was BAD news. I like garlic. In fact, most recipes that would call for garlic would get double the amount when I made them because I thought they needed more flavor. So, when I think of my garlic allergy, I hear the words of “Scarborough Fair” because those flavors are safe for me. I am also very lucky to have a mother who is excellent at experimenting in the kitchen and has found ways to replace garlic with other layers of flavor. This allows me to enjoy recipes where in the past I would have said garlic was a vital flavor.
One of the best combinations that my mother, Theresa, has found is a mixture of ground fennel seed and coriander seed. In fact, she made Aioli, which is a garlic sauce, for crab cakes without the garlic and it tastes like a gourmet recipe you would find at the best restaurants. The flavor is more complex than just simple garlic aioli. She will be sharing the Garlic Free Aioli in her next blog.
Today’s recipe is for homemade taco seasoning. After you try homemade taco seasoning you will stop buying the over salted, over processed packets at the grocery store and just get the right herbs and spices to make this yourself. It packs a lot of flavor and is a little spicy, so you may adjust the chili powder or cayenne pepper, if needed. I like using this with ground lamb.
My garlic allergy has given us the opportunity to think outside of the box to create and recreate recipes with other flavors in place of the garlic. Don’t ever be afraid to experiment in the kitchen because you may find that you like the new version better!
2 pounds of Ground Beef (also very good on ground lamb or fish)
2 Tbsp chili powder
3 tsp cumin
2 tsp ground fennel seed
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp white pepper (or black pepper)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper