Author Archives: World Spice Merchants

Paprika Potatoes

Paprika Potatoes

Smoked paprika is an indispensable ingredient in any spice pantry, and the authors of Fresh & Fermented agree! Check out their delicious recipe below!

“Smoked paprika, also known as pimentón, has finally reached mainstream status in the spice world, and not a minute too soon. Made from pimento peppers that have been dried or smoked over a fire, this spice imparts a robust smoky flavor. As a hearty side, this dish pairs well with your favorite sausages, pork loin, or any grilled meat. Leftovers are delicious with eggs in a breakfast burrito or scrambled into a breakfast hash.”

Paprika Potatoes

Serving Size: Makes 4 to 6 servings

Paprika Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, butter, or coconut oil
  • 1 large or 2 small yellow onions, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 6 medium unpeeled red potatoes, cut into medium dice (about 3 cups)
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (pimentón)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups stemmed, thinly sliced kale (about ½ pound)
  • 1 cup caraway Kraut

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and sauté, stirring every few minutes, until they’re tender, another 15 to 18 minutes. Add the paprika, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the kale and sauté until it’s just wilted but still vibrantly green, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the potato mixture to a large serving bowl.
  2. Take the kraut out of the jar with a clean fork, letting any extra brine drain back into it. Roughly chop the kraut and add it to the potatoes, tossing thoroughly to incorporate.
  3. Serve immediately, while the potatoes are still warm.
  4. Note: Try soaking cubed potatoes in a bowl of water for an hour to help release the starches, which will help prevent sticking. Drain and lightly dry the potatoes with a towel before cooking.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/paprika-potatoes/

*(c)2014 By Julie O’Brien and Richard Climenhage. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Fresh & Fermented: 85 Delicious Ways to Make Fermented Carrots, Kraut, and Kimchi Part of Every Meal by permission of Sasquatch Books. Photography by Charity Burggraaf

Categories: Cookbook Club, Eastern Europe, Global Cuisines, Hot Topics, Mediterranean, Recipes, Sides | Leave a comment

Caraway Kraut

Our April Cookbook Club selection is Fresh & Fermented: 85 Delicious Ways to Make Fermented Carrots, Kraut, and Kimchi Part of Every Meal by Julie O’Brien and Richard Climenhage. Join us to taste and learn about the mysteries of kraut! Here’s a sneak peek at one of their recipes…
Caraway Kraut 2

“We didn’t start making Caraway Kraut until our third year in business—we just weren’t sure if our customers would like the distinctive caraway flavor. When we started experimenting, however, it took just one test batch to convince us that Caraway Kraut belonged in Firefly’s lineup of fermented foods.

Caraway Kraut contributes its pleasing earthy taste to some of the recipes in this book and also makes a great side dish for grilled meats or mashed potatoes. It’s the perfect addition to the classic Reuben (of course) and adds intrigue to potato salads and coleslaws too. Whirl it with fresh avocado for a simple sandwich spread or as a dip for chips and veggies. (The acid does double duty—it adds flavor and keeps the avocado from getting brown.)

Caraway Kraut brine, which results from the fermentation process, is a delicious tonic on its own. For hundreds of years people have been drinking sauerkraut brine to heal ulcers or temper hangovers—it’s a well-known Russian remedy—and that inspired us to start bottling and selling the extra brine as our first Tummy Tonic.”

Caraway Kraut

Yield: Makes about 1 quart

Caraway Kraut

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Peel off any older, discolored outer leaves from the cabbage, reserving the leaves, and rinse the head. Quarter and core the cabbage, reserving the core. Slice the cabbage into 1/8-1/4 inch-wide strips. You should have about 12 cups of shredded cabbage.
  2. Put the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle it with the salt. Use your hands to thoroughly work the salt into the cabbage. When the cabbage has shrunk to about half its original volume and has generated a briny, watery base, taste it and add more salt or water if necessary. Stir in the caraway seeds, making sure they’re evenly distributed throughout the ferment.
  3. Pack the cabbage tightly into a quart jar until it’s about 2 inches below the rim, weighing it down with the reserved leaves and core. Make sure the brine completely covers the compressed cabbage by about 1 inch, and that it’s about 1 inch below the rim of the jar. Let the jar sit at room temperature, roughly 64 to 70 degrees F, topping the cabbage with more brine if needed. The kraut could be ready to eat after 1 week (or let it ferment longer for a richer taste). Store it in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Notes

Make It Quick & Simple

Start with 2 cups of your own Classic Kraut, or 1 pound plain unpasteurized sauerkraut from your local market. (You’ll find it in the refrigerator case.)

Stir 1 to 1½ teaspoons of crushed caraway seeds into the kraut and mix well. Crush the caraway seeds using a mortar and pestle, rolling pin, or clean coffee grinder. Break them down, but don’t crush them to a powder. Crushing them helps the caraway flavor more fully permeate the kraut.

Pack the entire mixture into a jar, and top off with as much Brine as needed to cover the kraut.

Let the jar sit at room temperature out of bright light for about a week, and then refrigerate. It’s ready to eat; however, the longer you let it ferment, the more fully the flavors will develop.

https://www.silkroaddiary.com/caraway-kraut/

*(c)2014 By Julie O’Brien and Richard Climenhage. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Fresh & Fermented: 85 Delicious Ways to Make Fermented Carrots, Kraut, and Kimchi Part of Every Meal by permission of Sasquatch Books. Photography by Charity Burggraaf.

Categories: Cookbook Club, Eastern Europe, Healthy, Hot Topics, Recipes, Sides, Snacky Bits | Leave a comment

Piment d’Espelette

espelettehouseok2It’s here! This season’s crop of Piment d’Espelette arrived at our doorstep this week, ready to transform our dishes with its mild heat and fruity, almost tomatoey flavor. Piment d’Espelette’s mild flavor is the cornerstone of the traditional Basque stews, and in keeping with Basque tradition we consume our Piment d’Espelette seasonally, making way for each new crop when it comes in.

The seasonal rotation isn’t the only thing traditional about the pepper of Espelette. Piment d’Espelette bears the distinction of being the only spice with an official AOC designation. Being recognized by the AOC, or Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, guarantees that the product which bears its seal will be produced in traditional manners, and originate only from their traditional region. In such illustrious company as true french Champagne, only the superior pepper grown in the ten, tiny approved Basque villages may be labeled as Piment d’Espelette.

Piment d’Espelette originates in the area that joins the southwestern-most corner of France with northeastern Spain, historically known as Basque country. In the region, late summer and early fall are marked by festoons of peppers drying against white stucco houses, just as they have for centuries. Each October, the end of the harvest is marked by a vibrant festival, complete with parade, where peppers are sold fresh, pickled, or dried and ground, as we carry it.

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The Basque have another tradition worth imitating- that of the txoko, or gastronomical society. Generations of Basques have gotten together to cook, sing, and experiment with food in thousands of private clubs. While it might not have centuries of tradition, we’ve got a kind-of txoko of our own, the World Spice Cookbook Club, that meets up to try out recipes from a new cookbook each month. Singing is purely optional.

So come pick up some of the freshest and most flavorful flakes of Piment d’Espelette available in the United States by the ounce or by the jar, and if you’re feeling adventurous drop us a line and come out to the next meeting of our Cookbook Club for a little gastronomical bonding. On egin!

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Categories: Cookbook Club, French, Hot Topics, Mediterranean, Notes from the Field, Spice Notes | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Day After: Turkey in Mole Ole! Sauce

The scene is set —the date is November 30th– 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?

Chiles for Mole Olé!

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 that 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.

Turkey in Mole Ole! Sauce

Turkey in Mole Ole! Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds cooked turkey meat, shredded
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can tomatillos, drained
  • 1 plantain, diced small (on the green side)
  • 2, one-inch slices challah or other egg bread
  • ½ cup ground Mole Ole!
  • 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. Add tomatoes and tomatillos and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about ten minutes.
  4. Transfer almonds and raisins to the tomato mixture along with the Mole Ole! spice blend and the challah.
  5. Working in batches, add mixture to blender and purée until smooth, adding the stock to thin to the desired consistency.
  6. Return the blended sauce to medium heat, and season to taste with salt, sugar and Chipotle Flakes.
  7. 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.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/mole-ole-sauce-with-turkey/

Categories: Course, Global Cuisines, Holiday, Latin America, Main Meals, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

How to Host with the Most!

Bartender Harry Craddock makes potable magic at the Savoy Hotel in London in 1926. Craddock popularized the 'Corpse Reviver,' one of the drinks featured in "Let's Bring Back: Cocktail Edition." Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

There exists an old spice merchant proverb dating back to the early 21st century which, roughly translated, advises that “the better the cocktail; the better the party. The better the party; the better the friends.” E’er here to help, we’ve compiled some of our favorite reference materials on the topic. Serve these delicious, humorous, and historical (and of course, spicy!) signature potent potables at your holiday soiree for insurance on a years’ worth of favors from your party-goers.

Let's Bring Back: Cocktail Edition

“Let’s Bring Back; The Cocktail Edition” touts itself as a “compendium of impish, romantic, amusing, and occasionally appalling potations from bygone eras.” The recipes hail from two-hundred year-old sources, right up to the archives of 1950’s iconic restaurant bars. From chuckles to laughs-out-loud, the history and suggestions accompanying each cocktail will have you and your guests tittering for hours, a la, “think only pure thoughts while sipping [The Bishop],” or consume a Scofflaw to give you the courage to “Wear white after Labor Day… Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese on Seafood Pasta… and all sorts of comparable acts of insurrection.

“Savory Cocktails” is a slender little tome; an ode to all things sour, spicy, herbal, umami, bitter, smoky, high, and strong. These drinks are undeniably sexy – what a modern-day Don Draper might imbibe. They’re interesting and nuanced, and legions away from fru-fru – no neon-hued appletinis here! Sophisticated foodies only need apply. Try a subtle Green Tea Gimlet (I’d pick jade green Mao Feng to offset the lime), or a Dog’s Nose, made with, of all things, powdered porcini mushrooms in combination with porter and shaved nutmeg.

Winter Cocktails

Though we love classic Mulled Wine and Eggnog, there’s so much more to winter-y cocktails than these two standbys. Enter, “Winter Cocktails.” Learn how to give hot chocolate a grown-up twist with lavender flowers and Earl Grey tea, or elevate your ski-lodge lounge with a “Rosy Cheek,” sprinkled with the rosy cheeks of cracked pink peppercorns. In addition to inspired beverages, this book also has a fabulous section on infusing alcohols at home – rose infused gin, anyone? Pair any one of these liquors or cocktails with their suggested finger foods. This is a one-stop-shop for great winter entertaining.

No list of cocktail books would be complete without a mention of the “Drunken Botanist,” shop best-seller and staff favorite since spring. As the name implies, this book unites the best of science and insobriety, leading an alphabetical nature walk from Agave to Strawberry and hitting all the best booze-making plants in between. Learning and jubilating skip hand-in-hand in this volume, the pages dotted with recipes for classic cocktails, as well as tips for updating old favorites in single servings and “pitcher” fulls.

Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails

Out of a workshop in Brooklyn comes “Shake,” self-described as “one part instructional recipe book, one part photo journey, and one part inspirational pep talk” for mixing spectacular cocktails at home. The approach is seasonal and straightforward, focused on simplicity, socializing, and, above all, fun! Our copy in the shop comes with the sweetest Mason jar cocktail shaker, pictured on the front of the book, for an automatic out-hipster of just about any one. (Pair with the “Art of Fermentation”– pickle it! for the win.)

Categories: Cookbook Club, Holiday, Hot Topics, Notes from the Field, Spice Notes, Tea, Wet Your Whistle | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sri Lankan Sweet Potato Pie

Our holiday motto? Don’t skimp on the sweets! And add ambrosial spices whenever possible…

Sri Lankan Sweet Potato Pie

As such, this incredible sweet potato pie is a must for our Thanksgiving menu because it does both. We adapted this recipe to feature our Sri Lankan Curry, which has none of the savory turmeric that we often expect in our curries but is instead 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. The sweet potatoes are a perfect canvas for the deep, toasted flavors of the spice, with just a pop of orange zest added for contrast. The crust is a dense, almost shortbread-like shell made with chopped pecans for a special crunch. This pie will please all who grace your autumn table!

Sri Lankan Sweet Potato Pie

Sri Lankan Sweet Potato Pie

Ingredients

    For the Dough:
  • 1 cup raw unsalted pecans, shelled, half coarsely ground and half finely ground
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk plus 1 large egg
  •  
  • For The Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground Sri Lankan Curry
  • 2 cups roasted and mashed sweet potatoes (see recipe for roasting instructions)
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

    To make the dough:
  1. Whisk together nuts, flour, sugar, salt, and zest in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, work butter in to the dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of peas.
  2. Make a well in the center of the dough. Whisk yolk and egg in a small bowl, and pour into the well. Gradually draw flour mixture into center, kneading until combined. Shape dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate overnight (up to 3 days).
  3. Let dough come to room temperature; roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Fit dough into a 9 inch spring form pan, pressing and patching so that dough reaches up sides of the plate. Chill in freezer while you make the filling.
  4. To make the filling:
  5. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes, and pierce them in several places with a fork. Place on a baking sheet lined with tin foil or parchment paper, and roast for 45-55 minutes or until very tender. Puree in a food processor, mash with a potato masher or in a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment.
  7. Combine dry ingredients in small bowl.
  8. Beat sweet potatoes in medium bowl, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sugar, beat to incorporate
  9. Add Sri Lankan Curry, milk, butter, and vanilla, and beat at low speed to incorporate everything evenly and well.
  10. Pour filling in to prepared crust, and bake at 350 degrees until puffed and firm, 40-50 minutes.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/sri-lankan-curry-sweet-potato-pie/

Categories: Course, Curries & Masalas, Global Cuisines, North America, Recipes, Sweet Somethings | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment