Snacky Bits

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

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

Turmeric Tropical Smoothie

I love a simple combination where all the ingredients are balanced and the flavors blend perfectly. This tropical smoothie with turmeric is a great example. Any number of ingredients would make a great add-in, from coconut and vanilla to ginger and cayenne- but if you really want to taste the turmeric, keep it simple! Everyone is raving about the super-spice these days and touting the health benefits of turmeric, so pop some into your morning smoothie and enjoy the flavors too!

turmeric_smoothie_2

Turmeric Tropical Smoothie

Serving Size: 2

Turmeric Tropical Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 banana, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup mango chunks, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups hemp milk, unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/turmeric-tropical-smoothie/

Categories: Breakfast, Course, Healthy, Recipes, Snacky Bits | Leave a comment

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

Voodoo Cheese Ball

The Seattle Seahawks are at it again, and we are busily prepping food for the next playoff game. This time it is a spiced up version of the classic cheese ball, enhanced with a little voodoo, smoked paprika and Harissa Spiced Pecans. The presentation is fun and easy, and the football shape allows for more nutty crunch on the outside.

voodoo_cheese_ball

Voodoo Cheese Ball

Voodoo Cheese Ball

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 8 oz. medium cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon minced pimentos
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Voodoo
  • 1/2 cup Harissa Spiced Pecans
  • Carrot and celery sticks for garnish and dipping

Instructions

  1. Take the cheeses out of the refrigerator about an hour before assembling to allow them to come to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cheeses, shallots, pimentos, smoked paprika and Voodoo. Mix well.
  3. On a plate, form the cheese mixture into a football shape and press firmly on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  4. While the cheese ball is chilling, make the Harissa Spiced Pecans.
  5. When the pecans have cooled, measure 1/2 cup from the batch and chop finely.
  6. Remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator and use celery or carrot strips to make the "laces" of the football. Then sprinkle the chopped nuts on the cheese ball and press firmly to make them stick. Allow the excess to fall off the cheese ball and repeat until all sides are covered.
  7. Serve with veggie sticks and chips on game day!
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/voodoo-cheese-ball/

If you want more fan fare, whip up a batch of Hawk Wings too!

Categories: North America, Recipes, Snacky Bits | Leave a comment