Snacky Bits

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

Harissa Spiced Pecans

We never tire of whipping up different spiced nut combinations. Salty or sweet, hot or mild, there are endless combinations to try. Harissa Spiced Pecans are especially addictive, though, because they have it all: mild chile and smoky, savory spice, balanced perfectly with just enough brown sugar. These give a crunchy flavor punch to everything from garden salads to a pre-game cheese ball. But really, the best way to enjoy them is straight out of the oven.

harissa_spiced_pecans

This recipe is easy to make and not too sweet. Spiced nuts are a welcome treat for last minute gatherings or entertaining.

Harissa Spiced Pecans

Harissa Spiced Pecans

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ground Harissa
  • 1 teaspoon Voodoo
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cups whole pecans
  • 1 egg white

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Line a sheet pan with foil, oil lightly and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and spices.
  4. In a large bowl, whip the egg white until soft peaks form. Add the nuts and stir to coat evenly.
  5. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the nuts, and stir again to coat evenly.
  6. Spread the nuts in a single layer on the sheet pan and bake 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure an even toast.
  7. Allow to cool slightly and start munching!
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/harissa-spiced-pecans/

Harissa

Categories: Africa, Recipes, Salads, Snacky Bits | 2 Comments

Advieh Fig Preserves

Figs are such a versatile fruit, conjuring both 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 that 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

Yield: Makes 7 half pint jars.

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.
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: Course, Global Cuisines, Holiday, Mediterranean, Middle East, Recipes, Sides, Snacky Bits, Sweet Somethings | 2 Comments