Ras el Hanout
Ras el hanout is a special blend of spices used to flavor many North African and Middle Eastern dishes. The combination varies depending on who prepares it, but most blends contain cinnamon, ginger, black pepper and nutmeg. The saffron in this blend imparts a lovely yellow color. Make a large batch and keep it on hand--it's so delicious you'll want to use it as a rub for fish or meat, try it in vegetable stews or add it to roasted vegetables.
Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.
Ingredient note: The dried stigma from Crocus sativus, saffron adds flavor and golden color to a variety of Middle Eastern, African and European foods. Find it in the spice section of supermarkets, gourmet shops and at tienda.com. It will keep in an airtight container for several years.