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Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries

Two great things come together in the Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries– a great mystery story and some great recipes! Inspired in turn by the Pike Place Market food scene and all the spice therein, Montana author Leslie Budewitz has created a feast for the senses.

Assault and Pepper (Final)

Leslie was good enough to share a recipe from the first book in this series with us, and it’s delicious! Here’s what she has to say about it……

“Inspiration for this recipe comes from the potatoes and broccolini in the Market. A hybrid of traditional broccoli and gai lan, also called Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale, broccolini has long, slender stalks with small florets and kale-like leaves, and a peppery taste that holds up well when cooked. If you can’t find it, use traditional broccoli or broccoli raab. Traditional broccoli can be hard to find with the stalks intact, but the search is worth the effort. Use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to cut out any knots and peel off the tough skin. Those stalks carry a lot of flavor and vitamins and minerals.

If you don’t have a chance to pop into the Spice Shop for Herbes de Provence, make your own with whatever you have on hand.  Herbes de Provence are spectacular sprinkled on sautéed potatoes, rubbed on chicken before grilling, or best of all, in roast chicken and potatoes. Add them to a lamb or a vegetable stew—think eggplant, tomatoes, and zucchini, maybe some cannellini (white beans). Use them to season homemade croutons or tomato sauce.

You can also wrap a teaspoon of Herbes de Provence in cheese cloth and tie with kitchen string to make an herb bouquet, also called a bouquet garni. Drop it into a small jar of olive oil for a few days to make an infusion for salads or sautées.

For this recipe- don’t skimp on the Parmesan on top! If you need to cut it because you’re watching sodium—Parmesan is naturally low in fat—reduce the amount that goes in the egg mixture. The cheese on top broils to such lovely salty, crunchy perfection—you don’t want to miss that!

For dinner, serve with a green salad and crunchy bread, and a white wine—a light non-oaky Chardonnay, a Pinot Grigio, or any white with a clean, crisp touch.”

Broccoli Potato Frittata

Yield: Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

    For the Herbes de Provence
  • 2½ tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2½ tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried savory
  • 2 tablespoons dried crushed lavender flowers
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • For the Frittata
  • 8 to 10 small white potatoes (about 10 ounces total), scrubbed and quartered
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8 ounces broccolini, trimmed and chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

    For the Herbes de Provence
  1. Mix spices in a small bowl. Store in a jar with a tightly fitting lid. Makes just over half a cup.
  2. For the Frittata
  3. Place the potatoes and broth in a large (10- to 12-inch) ovenproof skillet. On the stove top, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, turning the potatoes often, until almost all of the stock has been absorbed and the potatoes are tender.
  4. Preheat your broiler. If yours has variable settings, use the high setting and leave the rack in the middle of the oven. If your broiler is not particularly hot, raise the rack.
  5. Add the olive oil, broccolini, onion, and Herbes de Provence to the potatoes in the skillet. Continue cooking on the stove top on medium heat for about 2 minutes, turning frequently, until all the vegetables are coated with oil and herbs. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover the skillet, cooking about 3 minutes, until the broccolini has become mostly tender.
  6. Beat the eggs with half the Parmesan and the salt and pepper. Check the heat in your skillet; you may need to turn it way down to avoid frying the eggs in the next step. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Cover and cook on the stove top over medium-low until the eggs are lightly set, about 10 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top and place the pan under the broiler, until the top is bubbly and golden, and the eggs are just set throughout, about 5 minutes.
  8. Let cool slightly before slicing into wedges. These reheat beautifully for breakfast or lunch.

Notes

As with all herb blends, experiment with your own touches. Let your taste be your guide. Other frequent additions: rosemary, sweet marjoram, or fennel seed. (Marjoram and oregano are distinct herbs but closely related and can be substituted for each other in some recipes.) Try a blend with whatever combination of the suggested herbs you have on hand. Then, next summer, grow a pot of lavender on your deck or in a sunny window!

https://www.silkroaddiary.com/seattle-spice-shop-mysteries/

The stories and recipes just keep coming so connect with Leslie her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, http://www.Facebook.com/LeslieBudewitzAuthor, or on Twitter http://www.Twitter.com/LeslieBudewitz.

Her latest book, Butter off Dead will be hot off the presses July 7th!!!!

Butter Off Dead (final)

Categories: Breakfast, French, Hot Topics, Main Meals, Recipes | Tags: | 2 Comments

Tostadas de Higado de Pollo con Cebollas Caramelizadas, Mango & Berros

What’s that? Chicken Liver Toasts with Caramelized Onions, Mango and Watercress! That’s right, the World Spice Coobook Club is going to Puerto Rico — at least our tastebuds are. This is one of the delicious bites being prepared for the July 1st Meet & Eat featuring “Cocina Tropical: The Classic & Contemporary Flavors of Puerto Rico” by Jose Santaella. We’re excited about this recipe because it looks delicious, and it uses annatto seed — a spice with which many people are unfamiliar. Annatto is frequently used in Latin American and Caribbean countries to impart a natural color and mild, earthy flavor to foods. If you think you’ve never had it, it’s also what makes some butters yellow and cheddar cheese orange.

From the authors: Chopped chicken liver is one of those delicious recipes that is a bit of a throwback to the days of elegant cocktail hours and dinner parties with passed hors d’oeuvres. Pate and terrine are back in fashion, and this dish falls right into step with them. The richness of the velvety liver and the sweetness of the caramelized onions get a tangy tropical hit from the mango with a bit of peppery bite from the watercress garnish. Serve as is for a small plate appetizer or spread the liver on smaller crostini for a perfect party bite.Chicken Liver Toasts from "Cocina Tropical"

 

Tostadas de Higado de Pollo con Cebollas Caramelizadas, Mango & Berros

Ingredients

  • For the Annatto Oil:
  • 1/4 cup annatto (achiote) seeds
  • 1 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • For the Tostadas:
  • 3 cups fresh chicken livers
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup light rum or brandy
  • 2 tablesppoons annatto oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed to a paste in a mortar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 6 slices crusty bread
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt] and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 bunch watercress

Instructions

  1. For the Annatto Oil:
  2. In a small saucepan combine the annatto seeds and the oil and place over low heat. Bring the oil to a simmer, stirring the seeds around occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow them to cool for about 15 minutes before straining the oil through a sieve into a clean bowl or jar, discarding the seeds. Once cooked, the oil can be sealed and refrigerated for up to 3 months.
  3. For the Tostadas:
  4. In a large bowl, combine the livers, cream, rum, annatto,oil, oregano, and garlic. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to marinate.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the butter and onion in a saucepan over low heat and saute until caramelized, about 4 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Toast the bread slices until golden brown and set aside.
  6. Drain the chicken livers, reserving the marinade,. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken livers and saute until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. In a separate saucepan, bring the reserved marinade to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the liquid has thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Roughly chop the livers. Put the cream mixture in a blender and blend until creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Fold the cream mixture into the chopped livers.
  7. Place some of the chopped liver mixture on each piece of toast and top with a spoonful of the caramelized onions. Place a few pieces of the mango on top of the caramelized onions and garnish with some watercress leaves. Serve immediately.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/tostadas-de-higado-de-pollo-con-cebollas-caramelizadas-mango-berros/

Cocina Tropical

Cocina Tropical: The Classic & Contemporary Flavors of Puerto Rico is the July selection for the World Spice Cookbook Club. Cocina Tropical: The Classic & Contemporary Flavors of Puerto Rico is currently available for purchase at our retail store.

Reprinted with permission from © COCINA TROPICAL: The Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Puerto Rico by Jose Santaella, Rizzoli New York, 2014. Photography © 2014 Ben Fink. All rights reserved

 

Categories: Cookbook Club, Hot Topics, Latin America, North America, Notes from the Field, Snacky Bits | Leave a comment

Banana Upside Down Cake

This Banana Upside-Down Cake sounded so delicious that we just have to make it for our “Brazilian Barbecue & Beyond” Cookbook Club Meet & Eat!

From the authors, “In Brazil there are many types of banana cakes: cuca, a German cake with a rich, crumbly topping; banana bread; bolo cakes, which are sometimes made in a ring shape and often spread with cinnamon; and our favorite, the upside-down cake. Like the French tarte tatin, this indulgent cake is cooked with a layer of caramelized bananas at the bottom, then turned upside-down to show its sticky-sweet banana topping. Perfect as a teatime treat.”

banana upside down cake blog final

 

Banana Upside-Down Cake

Ingredients

  • For the banana caramel:
  • 11/2 cups superfine sugar
  • 4–5 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • For the cake batter:
  • 2/3 cup soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 11/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 11/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup unrefined superfine sugar
  • 2 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a heavy 9-inch diameter springform cake pan, then line it with baking parchment.
  2. To make the banana caramel, put the sugar and 2/3 cup water in a heavy pan and cook over high heat until the sugar has dissolved. Let it boil until thickened to a golden-brown caramel, taking care not to burn it. Remove and immediately pour it into the cake pan, tipping the pan slightly from side to side until evenly coated.
  3. Peel the bananas and halve them lengthwise. Arrange them over the caramel in a neat pattern, trimming as necessary, then dust with the ground cinnamon.
  4. For the cake, sift together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon into a bowl.
  5. Put the egg whites in a separate clean bowl and whisk to stiff peaks.
  6. Put the butter and sugar in another large bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Slowly whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Fold in the mashed bananas, followed by the dry ingredients. Finally, fold in the egg whites.
  7. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove and let cool for a few minutes before unmolding. (It is easier to unmold while it is still warm, before the caramel base hardens). Run a thin knife around the inside of the pan. Put a large flat plate over the top and, holding the pan and the plate, invert it, gently lift off the pan and peel off the baking parchment.
  9. Serve warm.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/banana-upside-down-cake/

BrazilianBBQCover

Brazilian Barbecue & Beyond is the June selection for the World Spice Cookbook Club. Brazilian Barbecue & Beyond is currently available for purchase at our retail store.

Reprinted with permission from Brazilian Barbecue & Beyond, published in 2014 by Sterling Epicure. Text © 2014 Cabana; Photography © 2014 Martin Poole. All rights reserved.

Categories: Cookbook Club, Hot Topics, Latin America, Notes from the Field, Recipes, Snacky Bits, Sweet Somethings | Leave a comment

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