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Main Meals

Voodoo Shrimp and Grits

Have you ever eaten something so good that it induces a trance?  Well, check out our Voodoo Shrimp and Grits.  This classic dish features our best-selling spice blend, Voodoo, a robust seasoning which includes onion, garlic, whole mustard seeds, thyme and allspice on a base of peppercorns and sea salts. We are excited to share Voodoo Shrimp and Grits just in time for Mardis Gras.  French for Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras refers to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.  Definitely rich, this recipe could be the inspiration for your own Mardi Gras ritual.

Shrimp and Grits

Voodoo Shrimp and Grits

 

Voodoo Shrimp and Grits

Ingredients

For the Grits
6 cups water
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups stone ground grits or polenta
3 cups half and half
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
1/4 teaspoon Tellicherry black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon Voodoo
For the Sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 andouille sausages
1 medium sweet onion
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon dulce pimenton
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 1/2 cups fish stock or shrimp stock made from reserved shells
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 pounds fresh medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Instructions

    For the Grits:
  1. Put water in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil.
  2. Add salt and slowly sprinkle in grits while stirring with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the half-and-half and return to a simmer.
  4. Cook the grits slowly, over low heat for 30-40 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Stir in butter, Tellicherry black pepper and Voodoo
  6. Continue to cook grits until they are smooth and creamy.
  7. Hold covered, in a warm spot, while you finish preparing the shrimp and sauce.
  8. For the Sauce:
  9. In a heavy saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat and brown the andouille sausage. Once the sausage begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes, remove from pan and set aside.
  10. Season both sides of the shrimp with a sprinkle of Voodoo and sear over medium high heat for about a minute on each side, working in batches to not crowd the pan. Remove from pan and set aside.
  11. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to pan
  12. Add cooked sausage onion, pepper, garlic and spices. Sauté for 3 minutes, until the onion is tender and translucent
  13. Add stock and bring to boil, gently scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any flavorful bits on the bottom of the pan
  14. Reduce heat and slowly add the cream
  15. Bring up to a simmer and allow to reduce until sauce begins to thicken slightly, about 10 minutes.
  16. Once thickened, add seared shrimp and simmer until the shrimp are just cooked, about 2-3 minutes.
  17. When the sauce is finished, rewarm the grits and serve in a shallow bowl with the sauce spooned over the grits.
  18. Finish with Voodoo to taste.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/mardi-gras-shrimp-and-grits/

Categories: Cajun & Creole, Fruits of the Sea, Holiday, Hot Topics, Main Meals, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Advieh-Spiced Persian Meatballs

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.

These weren't shared with very many people...

These weren’t shared with very many people…

Advieh-Spiced Persian Meatballs

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground lamb
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ red onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
½ tablespoon chopped mint
1 egg
½ teaspoon Lampong Black Peppercorns, ground
1 teaspooon Sumac
1 tablespoon Advieh, ground
¼ cup Panko bread crumb

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small skillet, add one tablespoon olive oil and saute the onion and garlic over medium heat until softened, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg, and then add the remaining ingredients along with the sautéed onion and garlic and mix well.
  4. Form the meat mixture into golf-ball sized meatballs.
  5. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil into a shallow Dutch oven or cast iron skillet and heat to medium. Add the meatballs and sear them, turning once, 1-2 minutes per side. Work in small batches until all the meatballs are seared. Then put all the meatballs back in the pan.
  6. Place the pan in the oven and cook 10-15 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/advieh-spiced-persian-meatballs/

Categories: Global Cuisines, Main Meals, Middle East, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Day After:Turkey in Mole Ole! Sauce

The scene is set—the date is November 30th, and after the food coma fades, we find ourselves in a fridge-gazing daze at the thought of any more mashed potatoes. Just as the traditional flavors of the season begin to seem dull, we ask ourselves — How can we jazz up the leftovers? Enter Mole Olé! This hearty sauce using our Mole Olé! blend satisfies the craving for an exotic departure from standard fall flavors, and transforms your leftovers into a  delicious, new dish too easy to believe. Make it a day or two before the marathon holiday cooking begins, so it’s all ready to combine with leftover shredded turkey on Thanksgiving Friday. Use it to stuff enchiladas, wet burritos smothered in more of the glorious sauce, or as a filling for tacos.

Chiles for Mole Olé!

Chiles for Mole Olé!

Turkey in Mole Ole! Sauce

Ingredients

2 pounds cooked turkey meat, shredded
1 can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
1 can tomatillos, drained
1 plantain- on the green side- diced small
2, one-inch slices challah or other egg bread
½ cup Mole Ole!, ground
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon Chipotle Chile Flakes
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced

Instructions

  1. Heat two tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add almonds and toast until golden, about four minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to paper towel–lined plate, reserving the oil.
  2. Add raisins to oil in skillet and sauté until plump, about two minutes. Transfer to paper towel–lined plate, again reserving oil.
  3. Add onion and garlic and plantain to skillet and sauté until softened, about five minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and tomatillos to onion and garlic mixture, and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about ten minutes.
  5. Transfer almonds and raisins to the tomato mixture along with the Mole Ole! spice blend and the challah.
  6. Working in batches, add mixture to blender and purée until smooth, adding the stock to thin to the desired consistency.
  7. Return the blended sauce to medium heat, and season to taste with salt, sugar and Chipotle Flakes.
  8. Simmer over low heat for ten minutes to develop flavors. Add the cooked, shredded turkey meat, and toss to coat in the sauce. Use to fill enchiladas, tacos, burritos, or to top nachos.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/mole-ole-sauce-with-turkey/

Categories: Course, Global Cuisines, Latin America, Main Meals, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Get Your Sausage-Making on with Chorizo Bomb!

Chorizo is great on the grill!

Chorizo is great on the grill!

World Spice Merchant‘s new Chorizo Bomb spice blend  has been a favorite of our restaurant clients for years, so it was no surprise that it started flying off the shelves as soon as we started offering it to our retail family. This versatile blend can be used to make a Mexican-style chorizo, or even a North African –style merguez sausage — as links or patties. It pulls double, triple, and quadruple duty as a great grill seasoning, taco and fajita spice, or in simple beans and rice. A little smoky from the Pasilla Oaxacas, sweet smoked paprika, and Chipotle flakes, a little herbaceous from the generous dose of oregano, thyme, and marjoram, and a bit sweet from the Hungarian paprika — you’ll see, there’s a reason we call it the “bomb!”

So, how do you use it? We’re testing additional recipes right now, but in the meantime, here are easy patty-making recipes for both Mexican chorizo and North African mergeuz sausage. For additional inspiration, check out HuffpostTaste’s published list of the “The Best Recipes that Use Chorizo.”

P.S. If you decide to go all D.I.Y. homemade, here’s a great article explaining how to grind your own meat for patties as well as case up your sausage links: how to make your own sausage.

Mexican-style Chorizo Sausage

Ingredients

2 pounds ground pork or turkey
4 tablespoons Chorizo Bomb
1-1/2 teaspoons Alderwood Smoked Salt
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup water or beer

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, break apart your ground meat into manageable chunks.
  2. In a blender, combine the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Add the blended ingredients to the ground meat and mix by hand.
  4. When thoroughly mixed, you will want to check to see if it's seasoned to your taste. To do so, take a little bit of the chorizo, flatten it out, then cook it in a small frying pan over medium heat until it's completely cooked through. Taste it to see if it has enough salt or seasoning. If not, then add either more salt or more Chorizo Bomb.
  5. If you like the seasoning, then you can go ahead and cook the remaining chorizo mixture or store it. The raw mixture will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days, but also freezes well. You can portion it into patties for breakfast and/or for burgers, or just use it in recipes.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/mexican-style-chorizonorth-african-merguez/
North African Merguez Sausage

Ingredients

2 pounds ground lamb or beef
1/3 cup chopped roasted red pepper
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
4 tablespoons Chorizo Bomb
1-1/2 teaspoons Alderwood Smoked Salt
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 cup red wine

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, break apart the ground meat into manageable pieces.
  2. In a blender, combine the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Add the blended ingredients to the ground meat and mix well. When thoroughly mixed, you will want to check to see if it's seasoned to your taste. To do so, take a little bit of the mergeuz, flatten it out, then cook it in a small frying pan over medium heat until it's completely cooked through. Taste it to see if it has enough salt or seasoning. If not, then add either more salt or more Chorizo Bomb.
  4. If you like the seasoning, then you can go ahead and cook the remaining merguez mixture or store it. This will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days, but also freezes well. You can portion it into patties for breakfast and/or for burgers, or just use it in recipes.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/mexican-style-chorizonorth-african-merguez/

Categories: Africa, Global Cuisines, Grilling Season, Hot Topics, Latin America, Main Meals, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sassy Bacon Draped Meatloaf

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I’ve finally nailed a simple and satisfying meatloaf recipe! A generous loaf, draped in bacon is always a universal hit, but with classic comfort food, the brilliance is in the details. What set this loaf apart from all the rest was quick saute on the onions before mixing them in. Their natural sweetness develops, complementing the Vietnamese cassia cinnamon in our bewitching Sassy Steak Spice. It’s completely worth the extra step. Tip number two is to leave the loaf pan for banana bread- sculpt this masterpiece free-form in a shallow Pyrex baking dish to allow the bacon to properly crisp, moistening your loaf as it cooks, smoky juices mingling with the beef and spice… Delicious!

Sassy Bacon Draped Meatloaf

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef- 85% lean works well
1 onion, minced
1 teaspoon Lampong Black Pepper, freshly ground
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup ketchup, plus 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Powder
2 tablespoons Sassy Steak Spice
1 teaspoon Utah Basin Salt
4-6 slices bacon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a small skillet, saute minced onion with olive oil and pepper over medium heat until soft and translucent. Set aside, and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, and then stir in bread crumbs, sauteed onions, 1/2 cup of the ketchup, worcestershire, salt and Sassy Steak Spice.
  4. Add the ground beef, and mix until just incorporated.
  5. In a greased 9x13 baking dish, form a tight loaf. Spread remaining ketchup on top and drape with bacon.
  6. Cook 1 hour, or until meat thermometer registers 170 degrees in the center.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/sassy-bacon-draped-meatloaf/

 

Categories: Main Meals, North America, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Equinox Detox- Autumn Spice Overhaul!

Ready for Fall!

Ready for Fall!

The Autumn Equinox brings many things around the Pacific Northwest: our infamous drizzle begins anew, the few maples and oaks color aflame in between the miles of evergreen, the oysters are firm and plump again, garden kale stems grow thick and tough in preparation for wintering over, and, perhaps less famously but no less excitingly– my spice cabinet gets its quarterly makeover! Fall is when my cooking gets hearty, and I rely the heaviest of blended spices to warm my belly and my soul through the short, grey days, and the long, cold nights. It should come as little surprise to anyone who follows my blog-y musings that I delight in the unexpected, so here I’ll share a few of my top, must-have-on-hand blends that add cheer, color, and interest to my standby fall dishes.

Hearty Things: 

Whole Harissa

Whole Harissa

The man who shares my life also shares with me an almost unnatural love of Harissa. At once familiar and unexpected, Harissa adds such depth and warmth to everything it touches. Instead of the traditional thyme and rosemary, I rub harissa on a chuck roast before sealing it in my dutch oven and slow-roasting it overnight. The juices from the meat mingle with the exotic spice, and makes the most sumptuous little pan sauce- after you’ve pulled your tender roast, just reduce the liquid by half, and add a pat of butter.  Our cous cous with roasted vegetables and Harissa sauce is a year-round classic in my house, too.

My family is a bit “leftovers-challenged,” which is a nice way of saying that even the meals that get raves on night one, die slow deaths in the refrigerator if not re-imagined in to other things. When I make our Turkey Mole, the first night I’ll use the meat to make enchiladas or tacos, while the second, I’ll thin the sauce with chicken stock until it’s just thicker than broth consistency, and add chopped tomatoes, white beans, corn, and onion, and simmer for half an hour to make the world’s fastest and most delicious chili. Soul satisfying, and infinitely more interesting that your traditional “bowl of red.”

Roasted Things:

Acorn, Butternut, Delicata, Hubbard, Kabocha, Spaghetti, Turban… Gardens and markets abound with scores of winter squashes — to say nothing of the dozens of pumpkin varieties — all delicious, nutritious, inexpensive, and begging for a roasting. A dash of cinnamon, a grate of nutmeg- fine, I suppose, but who settles for “fine” when “amazing” is available? I stock Kashmiri Curry and Besar for just these occasions. Both have the toasty, sweet spices that bring out the inherent sweetness of the squash, but add so much more, whether you’re roasting whole to mash, or cubing and caramelizing your gourds.

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The easiest side dish at this time of year is roasted root vegetables. Heat a sheet pan in a 450 degree oven, toss a sampling of carrots, parsnips, turnips, potatoes, and onions in a bit of oil, spread in an even layer on your hot pan, and roast until tender and golden. It may be natural to reach again for the rosemary, or even the Italian Herbs, but I prefer the savory crunch of Svaneti Seasoned Salt. This eastern European blend is so versatile that I find it pairs no matter how I’ve seasoned the main dish — European, north African, Middle Eastern, or Indian. I go through quarts of the stuff, I just can’t get enough.

Sweet Things:
I have to preface all of this by saying that I do not consider myself a baker. I usually find the excessive measuring and strict orders of operations stifling, and too math-like to be enjoyable to my free spirit. However, creatively spicing puts the joy back in. Pumpkin pies abound at every gathering this time of year, and though I love them, I do grow weary. I prefer this pie, adapted from a very traditional Southern recipe, using sweet potatoes and Sri Lankan curry. Deeply toasted and just a bit spicy, this warm, sweet blend has all but replaced Pumpkin Pie Spice in my kitchen, for sweet potato and pumpkin pies.

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This Apple-Carrot pie has also become a standby in my kitchen. When I first posted it, great Seattle food blogger cook.can.read commented that “Cinnamon is the gateway drug. Chinese Five Spice is the destination.” I couldn’t agree more! Try using Chinese Five Spice anywhere your autumn baking calls for cinnamon- I’m talking pumpkin or zucchini breads, muffins- even toss it with sugar to coat the outside of your snickerdoodles!

So, if you’re open to any advice from your humble spice merchant,  although nature may be hunkering down for the chilly months ahead, use this time to re-awaken your spice stash. Grab a few unfamiliar and exotic blends, and turn over those spices that have been languishing for six months or longer. The bright flavors of fresh spices will all but erase the dreary skies from your psyche. We’ve got an entire display dedicated to these blends and a few other fall staff favorites, (as well as a bunch of new books!) so drop by for a sniff and a chat!

Categories: Curries & Masalas, Eastern Europe, Global Cuisines, Hot Topics, Indian Subcontinent, Main Meals, Middle East, Recipes, Sides, Spice Notes, Sweet Somethings, Tools of the Trade | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment