Sides

Steve’s Sweet and Spicy Drumsticks

street food

We are always on the lookout for new and interesting spice combinations, and this one is fabulous! It came from our globe trotting friend and fan, Steve R., and features the savory spice blend Tabil along with Piri Piri and Smokin’ Hot Garlic Pepper bringing the heat. The drumsticks get a quick brine to help them retain moisture and the spices flow into a sweet citrus sauce that hits all the hot-sour-salty-sweet flavors that shine in Asian cuisine. Steve was inspired by his travels- and love of street food- to create this fusion BBQ sauce, and we are so happy that he shared this recipe! We’re planning to try it on wings next.

steves drumsticks

Steve’s Sweet and Spicy Drumsticks

Steve’s Sweet and Spicy Drumsticks

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg chicken drumsticks (6 - 8)
  • 1 tablespoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon ground Piri Piri
  • 1 tablespoon ground Tabil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Nuoc Mau (Vietnamese caramelized coconut sauce) - if you can't find it, you can substitute blackstrap molasses instead
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Smokin' Hot Garlic Pepper

Instructions

  1. Rinse chicken and place in a resealable plastic bag. In a small bowl, dissolve the salt in the water and pour over the chicken. Seal the bag, shake, and set aside in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. While chicken is brining, mix together the remaining ingredients in a bowl and set aside for the flavors to blend.
  3. Remove chicken from brine, rinse and pat dry. Put the drumsticks and the spice mixture into another resealable plastic bag, mix and place in the refrigerator for 5 hours (or overnight).
  4. Preheat your grill or the oven to 400 degrees. Cook, turning once, for about 22-24 minutes (or until the meat runs clear when pricked with a knife).
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/steves-sweet-spicy-drumsticks/

Thanks so much, Steve! Safe travels, and stay in touch :-)

Steve R.

Categories: Africa, Course, Global Cuisines, Grilling Season, Recipes, Sides, Snacky Bits | Leave a 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.

figs

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

Coriander Roasted Beets

Ready to Roast!

Roasting beets concentrates their flavor, and the complement of coriander is delicious. We like to roast a whole pan-full and serve them alone as a side dish or atop a dark leafy green salad of chard, kale and spinach. Choose beets of a similar size so they cook at about the same rate, and both the gold and red varieties can be used alone or in combination. The spice mix of coriander, sesame, marjoram and urfa is bright and pleasing with just a hint of mild heat. Inspired by our love of Dukkah and Israeli Za’atar, this blend is a variation on those themes with coriander taking center stage.

Coriander Roasted Beets

Coriander Roasted Beets

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Scrub the beets clean and arrange them in a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. Coat with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt. Cover the pan tightly and roast the beets for 45-60 minutes, until they can easily be pierced with a fork.
  3. While the beets are roasting, prepare the spices. In a heavy dry pan over medium heat, toast the sesame and coriander seeds until they are lightly browned. Remove to a plate to cool.
  4. Crush the toasted sesame and coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle, or pulse in an electric mill, to a medium-fine consistency. Then add the marjoram and urfa and crush or pulse gently to combine. Add the Murray River flake salt.
  5. Remove the beets from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  6. Allow the beets to cool to the touch. Slice off the tops and the peel the beets. The skins should slip off easily.
  7. Chop the beets into quarters or eighths and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle with the avocado oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the beets and spread them on a grill pan.
  8. Roast 10 minutes more to fuse the spice flavors with the beets.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/roasted-beets-coriander-crust/

Toasted Coriander and Sesame

This spice mixture goes well with other roasted vegetables too- like carrots or parsnips and can be used as a crust on meat and seafood. You can vary the consistency to go with your dish- we like it medium-fine to sprinkle on vegetables and a more coarse to use as a crust. For another variation, grind the coriander seeds, but leave the sesame seeds whole for additional crunch.

Medium-fine texture for vegetables.

Out of the oven, these beets have heavenly, and healthy flavor. Enjoy.

Coriander Roasted Beets

Categories: Course, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Besar Cranberry Chutney

The rich and toasty taste of our Besar blend makes an ideal complement for the pop of fresh cranberry in this exotic twist on a holiday classic. Candied ginger and dried apricots round out the fruity flavors, and the result is an intensely flavored chutney that you can serve well past Thanksgiving. You can try variations too- add an apple to mellow the flavors or some chopped walnuts for a little crunch. Any way you make it, the bright flavor of cranberries add a bit of sunshine to a winter feast. Go cranberries!

Besar Cranberry Chutney is good year round!

Besar Cranberry Chutney

Besar Cranberry Chutney

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bag (12 oz) fresh cranberries
  • 1 onion, diced (use a sweet or red onion for extra flavor)
  • 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 large orange (or 2 medium), zested and juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Murray River flake salt
  • 3 tablespoons ground Besar
  • 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper

Instructions

  1. Put olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced onions and saute for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and, stirring frequently, cooking for about 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning. You might want to add more salt, vinegar or brown sugar.
  3. If you want a 'smoother' sauce, cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool, then put into a covered container in the refrigerator. This will keep for about a week.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/besar-cranberry-chutney/

 

Categories: Course, Global Cuisines, Holiday, Hot Topics, Middle East, North America, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments