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Author Archives: Sherrie

Cinnamon Toast Spice Blondies

Sometimes we just want a little something sweet, but not too heavy. This updated version of a classic blondie fits the bill. Our Cinnamon Toast Spice, featuring Indonesian and Vietnamese cassia-cinnamons with True cinnamon, dark brown sugar and just a hint of nutmeg, perfectly complements the sweet potato base. These disappeared in moments at our last recipe test, and may need a “re-test” in my personal kitchen tonight. They’ve got sweet potatoes in them; so they’re totally healthy, right?

cinnamon toast spice blondies

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Cinnamon Toast Sweet Potato Blondies

Ingredients

3/4 cup mashed, cooked sweet potato
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Cinnamon Toast Spice, for top

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  2. Line an 8X8 baking pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray the bottom on the parchment-covered pan with a bit of nonstick spray.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together melted butter, mashed sweet potato, sugar, brown sugar, milk and vanilla extract until smooth. Then add the baking powder, salt, 2 teaspoons of Cinnamon Toast Spice and flour to the mixture. Stir until combined, being careful not to overmix.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Gently spread batter to all corners with a rubber spatula.
  5. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of Cinnamon Toast Spice evenly over the batter
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 - 30 minutes, or until they are just set in the middle. (You can also test with a toothpick in the center - if it comes out clean, then it's done.)
  7. Cool completely before cutting into bars. These will keep in a covered container for a week.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/cinnamon-sweet-potato-blondies/

Categories: Recipes, Snacky Bits, Sweet Somethings | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ancho Chili Beef Empanadas

Who doesn’t love food that you can hold in your hand?  The beauty of empanadas is that the rich, buttery dough can be filled with almost anything - sweet or savory. Our Ancho Chili Powder is mild-medium in heat and adds magnificent depth to the beef and vegetable filling we chose. Ancho chiles have a wonderful, darkly sweet flavor, so we added a little Alderwood Smoked Salt for just a touch of smoky contrast. They can be served either hot or at room temperature; we like ours with salsa,  sour cream and a Hibiscus Margarita.  They freeze well, so make a bunch and plan to enjoy them another day, or surprise yourself at how quickly your guests devour the extras.

Ancho Chili Beef Empanadas

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Ancho Chili Beef Empanadas

Yield: 24 empanadas

Ingredients

For the Dough
4 1/2 cups flour
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
2 large eggs
2/3 cup ice water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
For the Filling
1/4 cup olive oil
5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoons Alderwood Smoked Salt
3 tablespoons Ancho Chili Powder, ground
1 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
1/2 cup sliced black olives
For the Egg Wash
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water

Instructions

    To Make The Dough
  1. Sift flour into a large bowl. Add salt and chilled, cubed butter. Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, mix together until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, chilled water and vinegar and add to flour mixture.Combine until well incorporated.
  3. Empty onto a lightly floured surface and knead just enough to bring the dough together. Cut dough in half and form each half into a rectangle. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  4. To Make the Filling
  5. In a heavy skillet heat olive oil over medium heat.
  6. Add onions, red bell peppers and garlic and saute until softened. Add Alderwood Smoked Salt, Ancho Chili Powder and Mexican Oregano, and saute for about 1 minute.
  7. Add ground beef, breaking up any lumps and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add olives and mix well. Taste for seasoning, adjust as needed. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled.
  8. To Assemble the Empanadas
  9. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  10. Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator. Cut each rectangle into 12 pieces. Form into discs and cover with a towel.
  11. On a lightly floured surface, take one of the pieces and roll it out into a circle (about 1/8 inch thick). Holding the circle in the palm of your hand, place 2 heaping teaspoons of the chilled filling in the center.
  12. Fold the two edges of the circle together over the filling. Press the edges to seal. Using a fork dipped in flour, crimp the edges so the filling won't escape.
  13. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling. Lightly brush the empanadas with egg wash.
  14. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. They are done if they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  15. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 5 minutes.
  16. Serve with salsa and sour cream.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/ancho-chili-powder-beef-empanadas/

Categories: Caribbean, Latin America, Main Meals, Recipes, Snacky Bits | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Continental Curry Biryani

It’s almost Buddha’s birthday! Buddha’s birthday is celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month of the Chinese lunar calendar in nearly all east-Asian countries. This year it falls on Friday, May 17th in the Western calendar. Because it is customary to eat rice on Buddha’s birthday, we developed this heavily spiced vegetarian biryani to honor the Buddha and many of the exotic lands from which our spices come. Our Continental Curry is the perfect blend for this occasion, as it combines the best elements of several varieties of yellow curry. While we can’t promise a permanent Nirvana as a result of this dish, we guarantee at least a transient one!

Continental Curry Biryani

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Continental Curry Biryani

Ingredients

For the Rice
1 cup basmati rice, well rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 big pinch of saffron
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons cashews, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cloves, whole
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed, whole
2 cups water
For the Curry Paste
6 large cloves garlic, chopped
3 inch piece of ginger, chopped
2 tablespoons Continental Curry, ground
2 medium onions, chopped
7 mint leaves
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 tablesoon olive oil
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup cauliflower florets
1/2 cup green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup peas
1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup water
For Baking the Biryani
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup warm milk
1 pinch saffron
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons cashews, chopped
Pan spray
Greek yougurt

Instructions

    For the Rice
  1. In a medium-sized pan over medium heat, add the oil. When hot, add the onion and cook until softened.
  2. Add raisins, cashews, cloves, cumin, Indian coriander, green cardamom and cassia sticks.
  3. Saute spices until fragrant and the seeds start to "pop", about 3 minutes.
  4. Add salt, water and saffron and bring to a boil.
  5. Add rice and turn heat down to simmer.
  6. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Rice will be 3/4 of the way cooked. Spread in a shallow pan to cool.
  7. While rice is cooking, par-cook the vegetables. In a shallow pan over medium-high heat, add the vegetables and water. Cover and steam for about 5 minutes.
  8. For the Paste
  9. In a food processor, puree the garlic, ginger, onions, mint leaves, Continental Curry, jalapeno, salt and tomato.
  10. In a medium saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil.
  11. Add paste and saute for 5 minutes.
  12. Add par cooked vegetables, stirring well to combine. Taste for seasoning and salt.
  13. To Bake the Biryani
  14. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  15. In a small saucepan, warm a pinch of saffron and the milk. Remove from heat.
  16. Spray a large ovenproof casserole dish with pan spray.
  17. Layer in half of the rice and sprinkle with half of the cilantro.
  18. Evenly spread the vegetable curry paste mixture over the rice.
  19. Top with remaining rice and sprinkle with remainder of cilantro.
  20. Drizzle with the saffron-infused milk.
  21. Cover the casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes, until the rice is cooked through.
  22. Turn the oven off and let the biryani stay in the hot oven for another 10 minutes.
  23. While the biryani is baking, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
  24. Add the sliced onions and fry until golden. Drain on paper towels.
  25. Add chopped cashews and fry until golden. Drain on paper towels.
  26. Remove the biryani for the oven.
  27. Top with fried onions and cashews.
  28. Serve with Greek yogurt on the side.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/continental-spice-biriyani/

Categories: Asia, Curries & Masalas, Global Cuisines, Holiday, Indian Subcontinent, Main Meals, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kala Masala Skillet Cornbread

This savory cornbread knocked our collective socks off at first bite. Our Kala Masala spice blend is a complex one, and that complexity of flavor transfers easily to the skillet cornbread.  There’s a tiny bit of heat from some guajillo chiles in the blend that is balanced perfectly by a healthy dose of toasted coconut for sweetness. Try it with a fish, lentil or vegetable soup for maximum enjoyment!

Cast Iron is essential for crusty cornbread!

 

Kala Masala Skillet Cornbread

Ingredients

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons Kala Masala, ground
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg
¼ cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons butter, bacon fat or vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven to get hot while you make the batter.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, baking soda and Kala Masala. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and the ¼ cup melted butter together.
  3. Take the hot cast iron skillet out of the oven, and add in the butter. Swirl it around until the butter starts to melt, being sure to tilt the pan to coat the sides and bottom evenly.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients in the dry ingredients and mix quickly, just until moistened. Do not overmix. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake the cornbread until it’s golden brown, about 20 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven, and try to let it cool for a few minutes before you dive into it. Cut into 8 wedges.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/kala-masala-skillet-cornbread/

Categories: Course, Curries & Masalas, Indian Subcontinent, North America, Sides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aleppo Pepper Muhammara

This eastern Mediterranean dish is the perfect example of that regions ability to take simple ingredients like nuts, peppers and olive oil…and make something magical by adding a spice such as Aleppo Pepper. The sweet and sharp chile from the Aleppo region of Syria has a moderate heat and fruity flavor that brings a taste of the sunny Mediterranean to every bite. An elegant alternative to hummus, Muhammara will be the easy holiday hors d’oeuvre that your guests adore.

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Aleppo Pepper Muhammara

Ingredients

2 – 12 oz jars of roasted red peppers
8 oz (or 1-1/2 cups) of roasted walnuts
3 Tbl. lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
3-1/2 Tbl. Pomegranate Molasses
1 toasted pita, broken into small pieces

Instructions

  1. Put the toasted nuts in a food processor or blender, and pulse until they are broken down into small pieces.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree until smooth. Taste for seasoning - you might want to add more salt, lemon juice or pomegranate molasses.
  3. You can then transfer to a serving bowl or put in a container for the fridge. It will keep about a week.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/aleppo-muhammara/

Categories: Global Cuisines, Mediterranean, Middle East, Recipes, Snacky Bits | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Ghost Chile Honey Cake

The combination of chile and chocolate is irresistible, and this Ghost Chile Honey Cake is a mouth watering example. By infusing the chile into honey, we were able to mellow the heat and reveal the subtle fruity flavor of the Ghost Chile. The fudgy and fiery creaminess of the frosting, the moist chocolate cake, and the synergistic tang of the marmalade combine together to make one luscious cake. While it’s perfect for a Halloween party, we’ve made this cake for birthdays, holiday gatherings, and just when we wanted a thick slice of a really good chocolate cake. Enjoy!

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The Ghost Chile Honey infusion in progress.

 

Ghost Chile Honey Cake

Ingredients

Cake:
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup Ghost Chile infused honey (3 Ghost Chile pods and 1 cup honey - instructions below)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cup buttermilk
Filling:
1 cup of Seville orange marmalade
Frosting:
10 oz dark chocolate, chopped or shaved
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Ghost Chile infused honey
Optional - for a spicier cake, add 1/4 tsp of Ghost Chile Flakes ...or more to the cake batter and/or frosting.

Instructions

  1. To make the Ghost Chile infused honey - A "honey bear" works great for this, as it will also give you a container to store it in. Empty the honey into a small pan and turn the burner to low heat. Put a tiny slit in 3 Ghost Chile pods, and place in the honey. (Make sure you push them down in the honey, so you get all of that wonderful flavor.) Let steep for about 1/2 hour. Cool to room temperature and pour the honey and chile pods back in the "honey bear" (or a clean jar with a lid). This can be made ahead.
  2. Preheat 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch sides with pan spray. Cut a piece of parchment to cover the bottom of the pan.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, whisk together sugar, infused honey, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Whisk in the vegetable oil, then half of the flour mixture. Whisk in all of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mixture. Pour into your prepared cake pan.
  4. Bake the cake about 55 minutes (or until your cake tester comes out clean). Your cake will have a slight "dome", but that's ok. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, then invert it onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. Remove parchment.
  5. While the cake is cooling, you can make the frosting. Fill a small saucepan halfway up with water, and put on a medium-high burner. Get a non-plastic bowl that will easily fit on top of the saucepan. You now have a double-boiler, which is used to melt chocolate (so that it doesn't burn). Put the chocolate in bowl, and stir until it's almost melted. Set bowl aside. Pour out the water from the saucepan and pour in the honey and cream. Bring to a boil, then pour over the melting chocolate and stir until smooth. Let it cool.
  6. Assembly - When cake is cool, carefully cut it in half horizontally. Place the bottom of the cake onto a plate. Spread the marmalade over the cake bottom, being careful not to spread it all of the way to the edge. Place the other half of the cake on top of the filling, and gently press down. (This is why you don't want to spread the filling all of the way to the edge - it will ooze out when you press on the cake.) With a butter knife (or offset spatula), frost the cake. (After you've put all of the frosting on the cake, you can 'smooth' it out by dipping a clean knife into hot water, wiping it off, then using the warm knife to 'smooth out' the frosting.)
  7. Keep cake in an airtight container, so that it won't dry out.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/ghost-chile-honey-chocolate-cake/

Categories: North America, Recipes, Sweet Somethings | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment