Author Archives: Amanda
Who says you have to make curry with curry? No one! This warm winter pudding was inspired by our friends at Hunger Restaurant and since trying theirs we have come up with some delightful variations of our own- and nothing says holiday like bread pudding. We’ve added diced apples to replace the traditional raisins- pears are nice too- and infused a mild amount of spice into the custard and cream. Enjoy with coffee, chai or your favorite toddy.
Want an easy DIY project that you can take from start to finish in under an hour? This is your post. But beware! Once you start gifting this hot fudge sauce you won’t be able to stop- my sister has been asking for it every holiday since 2004. Our favorite formulation combines bittersweet chocolate with Kashmiri Garam Masala and uses maple syrup as the sweetener, but you can switch up the spice and sweetener in all kinds of creative combinations. Chinese Five Spice with agave nectar is another one of our favorites. A decadent dose of sweet and spice will make your holiday extra nice. This recipe makes 2 cups, but double up if you want to make more for gifts.
The rich and toasty taste of our Besar blend makes an ideal complement for the pop of fresh cranberry in this exotic twist on a holiday classic. Candied ginger and dried apricots round out the fruity flavors, and the result is an intensely flavored chutney that you can serve well past Thanksgiving. You can try variations too- add an apple to mellow the flavors or some chopped walnuts for a little crunch. Any way you make it, the bright flavor of cranberries add a bit of sunshine to a winter feast. Go cranberries!
Everyone knows the horror of the dry turkey breast and will do cartwheels to avoid it. Our tried and true solution is the basic turkey brine, pun intended. It requires advance planning, but once you incorporate brining into your holiday routine it simply adds to the bustle and flavor of the season, along with a dose of stress reduction because your turkey will NOT be dry. Here are the basics.
Be prepared! Your turkey should be completely thawed and you must have a brining container that is big enough. The turkey needs to be completely submerged. Brining bags are all the rage- but a bucket or cooler can do the trick just as well. Make sure you have a cool place to put the brining turkey for 12-24 hours prior to cooking. This requires a good bit of refrigerator space, but if you use a brining bag, it doesn’t require much more than it would for the bird itself.
Make your brining solution: Use the correct proportion of water and salt, regardless of what else you add to the mix- the salinity of the brine must be correct for it to flow into the meat. The standard proportion is 1 cup of kosher salt per gallon of water or stock. No need to use specialty salts here, the nuances will not contribute to the flavor. If you are using prepared vegetable stock, make sure it is salt free so you don’t upset the balance.
The brine and turkey should both be cooled to the same temperature before they are combined. Again, this ensures that the brine will flow easily into the turkey. Most refrigerators are set around 38 degrees and that works just fine. Be sure to leave the bird in the brine at least overnight, and 24 hours is better for larger turkeys.
So go ahead and have fun with the flavors! Toss your favorite whole or cracked spices into the brine and experiment with using apple cider in the mix. For more ideas, check out our new favorite cookbook- Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures & Glazes. It’s a wealth of over 400 inspired recipes using loads of spice!
Lamb is the perfect pairing for our version of the signature Persian spice blend, Advieh, and this easy meatball recipe will have a flavor feast on your table in no time. You can serve them on a bed of greens, over grains or as a sandwich or as a wrap. Garnish with feta, mint, parsley, and pomegranate seeds and complement with a tangy sumac salad dressing or a mellow creamy tzatziki. Fabulous! Our version uses Panko bread crumbs as the binder, but for a gluten free option, you could use lentils, quinoa, or gluten free bread crumbs.
We’ve had a bumper crop of jalapeño peppers from the garden this year and that means POPPERS! Autumn is chile season, though Jalapeños are readily available at the grocery store year round. The flavor buzz from these was well worth the effort of seeding all those little suckers, but do wear gloves! The warm bite of jalapeño with smoky paprika in the cheese, and the Voodoo sprinkle on top of these poppers goes down well chased by a rich porter. Enjoy a whole platter by yourself while you watch the game like we did, or serve them up at your next fall fête.