Tagged With: holiday
Eggs Benedict is a classic, there’s no denying that, but “classic” is perhaps not the word I’d use to celebrate my funny, youthful, and adventurous mother! For my mom, poached eggs will sit atop crisp potato pancakes, under a blanket of creamy Orange-Tarragon hollandaise sauce. The sweetness of the orange peel plays against the anise notes of the tarragon in this classic French combination, made whole with shallots and Tellicherry black pepper. The sauce is so sumptuous, and the crunchy fried potatoes make a perfect vehicle for it. Not to mention the eggs- nothing says “love” like a perfectly poached yolk, don’t you know! Mother’s Day is May 12th, so make Mom breakfast, and let her know how sorry you are for your teenage years.
If you thought that the Easter fun was over far too soon, not to fear! Greek Easter is this coming Sunday, and awash with delicious traditions all its own. Not to be missed are these tasty little pockets of meat, rice, and nuts, expertly seasoned with our savory and tangy El Greco blend. They’re called “dolmas” in the singular, and “dolmades” when referring to the scores of them you’ll eat once you’ve had a taste of their perfect balance of Mediterranean flavors, all wrapped in a convenient little two-bite gnosh. All of the ingredients ought to be readily available in most markets, including grape leaves, which often come in cans or jars. If you’ve got a grape vine over an arbor, fresh work wonderfully, too; just poach them a bit of salted water with a half a lemon thrown in. Admittedly a little time-consuming, the dolmades can be prepared 2 to 3 days before serving, and refrigerated or frozen until you’re ready to use them. If you do freeze them, they can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator, and gently heated with a little broth or water before serving. You’ll find them more than worth the effort! Kalo Pascha!
Easter can be the time for pastel-dyed confections, day-glo-hued eggs, baskets filled with cheap, plastic toys, waxy chocolate, and dapper-dressed rabbits intent on stuffing you with all of the above… unless you’re World Spice! We’re big believers in featuring the earth’s natural gifts, and with a host of spices and teas to choose from, we decided try our hand at the season’s chosen craft of dyeing eggs. What resulted were beautifully dappled eggs in a rainbow of subtle spicy hues. Below are our favorites, and a bit of our process, too!
The vibrant yellow you see, is of course, from turmeric. The pinkish color is from beet powder, which we expected to make a more intense color, but instead came out as closer to a dusty rose. Hibiscus flower tea made the periwinkle color right in the middle, but combining beet powder and hibiscus made the intense indigo up in the left-hand corner. The hibiscus was so intense that if another of our experiments didn’t work, we soaked them in the hibiscus after, and came up with all sorts of odd colors, some even close to black!
We used white vinegar for our mordant, but you can use cream of tartar, as well. Distilled water works better than tap for dyeing, too. We were less than scientific in our measurements, but a good ratio is two tablespoons of mordant per four cups of water, and about a half cup of dyestuff. Bring mordant and water to a boil with your spice or tea to dye, turn off the heat, and allow the eggs to soak for at least half an hour, but in the fridge as long as overnight for the best results.
To make designs on your spice and tea dyed eggs, you can draw on the shells with beeswax prior to dyeing, or wrap the egg in rubber bands for a fun batik effect. To increase the dappled look, marbleize your egg by adding a drop of oil to the dye liquid. If you prefer a smoother look, strain the dyeing liquid before soaking the eggs. Which ever you do, be sure not to stir or shake up the eggs when they’re soaking, or you’ll disturb the setting of the mordant, and they won’t color as deeply. Happy Easter from the World Spice team!
Blending the tart flavor of sumac and the heady sweetness of rose, this cocktail tickles the palate with a full spectrum of flavors. As is so often the case, we perfected the recipe by happy accident and now consider it the perfect cocktail to herald the coming of spring. Pretty, pink and refreshing, Rose 75 is perfect for special occasions, cocktail parties or intimate gatherings.
Exotic, aromatic and romantic we prepared this intimate feast with a table for two in mind. Succulent quail are roasted to perfection with one of our most alchemical blends: Ras el Hanout, which contains a hint of Moroccan rose petals and finished with a finger licking honey glaze. Our Wild Rice Pilaf accompaniment features the bold, classic flavor of cassia cinnamon while the Paradise Pistachio Relish combines grains of paradise and Aleppo to bring everything together for a memorable Valentine’s Day Feast, we’ll leave the desert up to you.
Expect a huddle in the kitchen as well as around the TV with this Creole-inspired dish. Many of us fondly remember Sesto’s Cafe, our neighbor here on Western Avenue and its New Orleans native and owner, Chuck Smith. Chuck made some of the most memorable and mouthwatering Gumbo out of the Bayou. We sure miss Sesto’s but lucky for us, Chuck generously shared his recipe for Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. We’ve streamlined his process just a tad (Don’t worry, Chuck, your secret is safe!), and layered it with a classic roux from the cookbook of the Junior League of Lafayette, LA. There’s this big game happening on February 3rd in New Orleans – a city rich with culinary history, laden with exotic influences. What an excellent opportunity to enjoy this delicious dish.
This recipe has been a long time coming. Hardly anyone who comes in to the shop — spice masters and novices alike — can pass over the North African section without some long, lingering sniffs. The spices from that region are so exotic, in their perfect union of sweet-spicy-aromatic. “How do you use the Harissa?” is one of the most common questions following the exclamations of delight, and though my fellow merchants and I have written versions of this recipe on many a business card, envelope, and scratch paper, it’s about time it took its place among our favorites here on the blog.
The tender-crisp vegetables and fluffy cous cous are a perfect vehicle for this sumptuous sauce; our version of the traditional Tunisian red pepper condiment that is so ubiquitous in Northern Africa. The cumin, coriander, and caraway add complexity and depth, with the guajillos lending just enough heat to be interesting without being overwhelming. You can also try the Harissa sauce on grilled meats or eggplant — or even on halibut!
This decadent mushroom soup wowed us at our last tasting. The fusion of the aromatic cardamom, turmeric and saffron in the essential Yemenese blend combined with mushrooms and cream to make one heavenly bowl of soup. We added Porcinis for a meaty richness and additional depth of flavor. This exotic twist on an American classic is perfect as a soup shot for a holiday party or on those chilly winter nights.
Sri Lankan Curry has none of the turmeric that we often expect in our curries, but is made up of a melange of warm, sweet spices. Each component is individually toasted before being mixed in perfect proportion, yielding an intensely dark and aromatic blend, so intoxicating that most customers who give it a whiff, can’t leave without it. To answer the call for alternative uses of this irresistible blend, we adapted a very classic Southern sweet potato pie filling to feature it, and we are so proud of the result! The sweet potatoes are a perfect canvas for the deep, toasted flavors of the spice, with just a pop of orange zest here and there for contrast. The crust is a dense, almost shortbread-esque shell, made special by the chopped pecans within. This pie is sure to please all who grace your autumn table!