Holiday

Nutty Chocolate Chile Thumbprints

We have a new go-to cookie recipe! If you love the marriage of nuts and chocolate (and who doesn’t?), try these for easy baking, gifting and be sure to leave some out on 12/24. These delicious morsels are topped with little bit of salt and infused with mellow chile heat. In this recipe, we’ve mellowed the peanut butter with some almond butter, and added just the right measure of urfa biber to the chocolate ganache. Enjoy a few with your next cup off eggnog – it’s a tasty combination!

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Nutty Chocolate Chile Thumbprints

Yield: About 6 dozen cookies

Nutty Chocolate Chile Thumbprints

Ingredients

    For the Cookies:
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup almond butter, creamy or chunky
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy or chunky
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Ganache:
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon urfa biber
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Maldon smoked sea salt flakes, crushed, for sprinkling

Instructions

    Cookies:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and nut butters together until they are smooth and creamy. Add the sugars and continue to beat until smooth. Add the egg, milk and vanilla extract and beat until completely combined.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture while beating on low speed, and then increase the speed and beat until the flour is completely incorporated and a dough ball forms.
  5. Scoop out the dough in rounded balls of about 2 teaspoons each and place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 2" apart. Using your finger, press a deep well into each dough ball, supporting the edges of the dough ball with the fingers of your other hand to keep the edges intact.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes, until the edges of the cookie begin to darken, but the center is still a little soft. Remove the pan from the oven and, if needed, deepen the well in the center of each cookie by pressing with the back of a teaspoon. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. While the cookies are cooling, make the ganache.
  8. Ganache:
  9. Combine the dark chocolate chips, urfa chile and heavy cream in a small saucepan. Using a double boiler or water bath, melt over medium heat, stirring frequently. The ganache is ready when the ingredients are completely melted and smooth.
  10. When the cookies are cool, spoon a small portion of warm ganache into the center. Allow the ganache too cool a little bit, and then sprinkle with a small measure of the smoked Maldon sea salt. Note: If the ganache is too hot, it will melt the sea salt.

Notes

We've made these cookies several times lately- sometimes using gluten free flour, sometimes using all almond butter, sometimes creamy and sometimes chunky. They always come out great!

https://www.silkroaddiary.com/nutty-chocolate-chile-thumbprints/

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Categories: Holiday, Recipes, Sweet Somethings | 1 Comment

Besar Kaleidoscope Salad

While the name may be a bit dramatic, this colorful salad is worth a little fanfare. First off, Besar and butternut squash is a match made in heaven, although I’ve also made this using Ras el Hanout and Sri Lankan Curry, and those are delicious too. Pair that with the dark leafy kale tenderized with vinegar and wilted by the warm squash, top it off with the pop of fresh pomegranate and a little nutty crunch and you have a kaleidoscope of texture, color and flavor.

ras_butternut_salad

This is a great dish to keep on hand through the season for a healthy lunch, and it will look beautiful on your holiday table.

Besar Kaleidoscope Salad

Besar Kaleidoscope Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Besar, ground
  • 1 teaspoon urfa biber
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pistachios

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Cut the squash into manageable pieces and peel with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, then cut the pieces into 1" cubes.
  4. Transfer the squash cubes to a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the besar, urfa and salt. Sprinkle the spice mixture onto the oiled squash and toss again to coat.
  6. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil, and oil lightly. Transfer the squash to the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake 30-40 minutes until soft enough to pierce easily with a fork.
  7. While the squash is baking, remove the seeds from the pomegranate and set aside.
  8. Rinse the kale and remove the leaf from each side of the stem. Stack the leaves and cross-cut into bite sized pieces.
  9. Transfer the kale to a large mixing bowl or serving dish and add the vinegars. Gently massage the vinegars into the kale.
  10. When the squash is done, transfer to the mixing bowl on top of the kale. Add pomegranate seeds and chopped walnuts, and stir gently to mix.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/besar-kaleidoscope-salad/

Chef Tip: Many different vinegars will work in this recipe and I’ve used everything from simple apple cider vinegar to this fanciful Cranberry Pear White Balsamic from Genesis Kitchen. Try your favorite and enjoy!

butternut_roasted

 

Categories: Curries & Masalas, Global Cuisines, Holiday, Middle East, Recipes, Salads, Sides | Leave a comment

Brussels Sprouts with Za’atar and Nigella

brussels_sprouts_zaatarBrussels sprouts are a leftover food trauma from childhood that I’ve finally overcome. The limp, stinky-sulfur blobs (sorry, Mom) have been replaced with a crisp, roasted vegetable that is full of flavor and befitting a fall feast. Best of all, these are easy to make and a perfect vehicle for one of my favorite spice blends, Israeli Za’atar. The combination of herbs, sesame and sumac make this spice blend good enough to eat straight out of the jar, but it is even better on the brussels sprouts. A sprinkle of nigella seeds tops the dish off with an exotic garnish and a hint of nutty onion flavor.

Brussels Sprouts with Nigella and Za’atar

Ingredients

  • 1# brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Israeli Za'atar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Trim the stems on the brussels sprouts, remove the outer leaves and cut in half.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and kosher salt, and toss to coat.
  4. Transfer the brussels sprouts to a lightly oiled sheet pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  5. Return the brussels sprouts to the bowl and add the balsamic vinegar and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, tossing again to coat. Sprinkle on the Israeli Za'atar and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Transfer the roasted brussels sprouts to a serving dish and garnish with nigella seeds.
  7. Makes 4 side servings.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/brussels-sprouts-nigella-zaatar/

Categories: Holiday, Middle East, Recipes, Sides | Leave a comment

Advieh Fig Preserves

Figs are such a versatile fruit- conjuring exotic images of relief under shade trees in a desert oasis and the comfort of a fireside holiday treat. We’ve whipped up a spiced fig preserve that lives up to its reputation. Rich with wine, balsamic vinegar, orange, spices and honey, this spread is worthy of the finest table yet easy to make. Here’s the recipe, just in time for holiday entertaining.

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Advieh Fig Preserves

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds black mission figs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • zest from 1/2 of a small orange
  • 4 teaspoons ground Advieh, divided
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Instructions

  1. Rinse the figs, remove the stem and chop into halves.
  2. Combine the figs, water, balsamic vinegar, red wine, orange zest, and 2 teaspoons of Advieh in a large pot. Simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft and the mixture thickens to a jam consistency. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Using an immersion blender, pulse the mixture to your desired consistency. We make ours quite chunky---just blending enough to beak down any large pieces of fig.
  4. Return the pan to the stove over low heat and add the honey and 2 remaining teaspoons of Advieh. Stir to combine.
  5. If the preserves thinned after blending, then simmer again to your desired consistency.
  6. Use a pressure or water bath canner to preserve.
  7. Makes 7 half pint jars.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/advieh-fig-preserves/

advieh_fig_jam_2

You can make preserves in a water bath or pressure canner, but rest assured they won’t last. We’ve gobbled up three jars in the first week and are hoping we have enough left for our Thanksgiving guests. Paired with Dukkah encrusted goat cheese and crostini they make a delicious snack. We plan to serve them alongside roast meats too, for a sublime and unexpected combination.

advieh_fig_jam_canned

For this rainy day canning session we had help with the canning AND photography from our good friend Leah Manzari. Thanks, Leah!

Categories: Holiday, Mediterranean, Middle East, Recipes, Sides, Snacky Bits, Sweet Somethings | 2 Comments

Carrot Cake with Kashmiri Garam Masala

It’s time to celebrate! World Spice at Home is hot off the presses and we are sharing one last sneak-peek with this incredible cake recipe. Enjoy!

Kashmiri Garam Masala Carrot Cake

Sometimes change is good—and in this case the flavor is what’s new. Fans have deemed this the best carrot cake they’ve ever had! Serving a favorite dessert that is known and loved, like carrot cake, with a new twist is the joy of exploring with spice. Kashmiri Garam Masala lends roasted spice flavors of pepper, cardamom, and clove to this classic preparation, and the coconut oil adds wonderful moisture and a velvety texture.

Carrot Cake with Kashmiri Garam Masala

Carrot Cake with Kashmiri Garam Masala

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground Kashmiri Garam Masala
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1½ cups coconut oil, melted
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1½ cups chopped walnuts or pecans, plus more for garnish
  • For the frosting:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with greased parchment paper.
  2. To make the cake, in a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and garam masala.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugars. Add the melted coconut oil and whisk 1 minute more. Using a spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture. Fold in the carrots and walnuts. Fill the cake pans with equal portions of the batter and bake for 30 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes spring back to a light touch. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to cool completely.
  4. To make the frosting, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with an electric mixer), beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and continue mixing until the frosting is thick and smooth. You can adjust the consistency by adding a little milk if it is too stiff, or more sugar if it is too runny.
  5. We recommend a rustic presentation for this cake, so frost only between the layers and on top, leaving the beautiful colors and texture visible on the sides. Garnish with chopped nuts and serve.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/carrot-cake-kashmiri-garam-masala/

*(c)2014 By Amanda Bevill and Julie Kramis Hearne. All rights reserved. Excerpted from World Spice at Home: New Flavors for 75 Favorite Dishes by permission of Sasquatch Books.

Categories: Course, Curries & Masalas, Global Cuisines, Holiday, Hot Topics, Indian Subcontinent, Recipes, Sweet Somethings | 3 Comments

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. With no shortage of richness, this recipe could be the inspiration for your own Mardi Gras ritual.

Voodoo 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 freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper
  • 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
  • Voodoo

Instructions

    For the Grits:
  1. Put water in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil. Add salt and slowly sprinkle in grits while stirring with a wooden spoon, then add the half-and-half and return to a simmer.
  2. Cook the grits slowly, over low heat for 30-40 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in butter, Tellicherry black pepper and Voodoo. Continue to cook grits until they are smooth and creamy.
  3. Hold covered, in a warm spot, while you finish preparing the shrimp and sauce.
  4. For the Sauce:
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to pan. Add cooked sausage onion, pepper, garlic and spices. Sauté for 3 minutes, until the onion is tender and translucent.
  8. Add stock and bring to boil, gently scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any flavorful bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat and slowly add the cream.
  9. Bring up to a simmer and allow to reduce until sauce begins to thicken slightly, about 10 minutes.
  10. Once thickened, add seared shrimp and simmer until the shrimp are just cooked, about 2-3 minutes.
  11. When the sauce is finished, rewarm the grits and serve in a shallow bowl with the sauce spooned over the grits. Finish with Voodoo to taste.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/mardi-gras-shrimp-and-grits/

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