Global Cuisines

Pumpkin Rolls with Kashmiri Garam Masala

pumpkin_kgm_rolls_pulled_apartTake your cinnamon rolls from simple to sensational with the addition of pumpkin and Kashmiri Garam Masala. When I started looking for a pumpkin dessert, because it is that time of year, the thought of pies, cookies and loaves just seemed…boring. Enter the pumpkin cinnamon roll. I was SOLD as soon as I saw this post on Smitten Kitchen, and in making them found the recipe spot on! I barely adapted it, just a little spice make-over with one of our secret ingredients, Kashmiri Garam Masala, and some maple in the frosting. The results should be illegal. I know I say that about all the desserts, but this one is seriously irresistible.

We opted for maple syrup and buttermilk in the glaze to round out the flavor profile. Next time I think trying coconut oil in place of some of the butter could be tasty, and orange in the frosting. Stay tuned! This one will definitely be back.

Pumpkin Rolls with Kashmiri Garam Masala

Yield: About 16 rolls

Pumpkin Rolls with Kashmiri Garam Masala


    For the Dough
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out
  • 1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground Kashmiri Garam Masala
  • 2/3 cups pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
  • 1 large egg
  • Oil for coating rising bowl
  • For the Filling
  • 3/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground Kashmiri Garam Masala
  • For the Glaze
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup


  1. Combine the warmed milk with the yeast in a small bowl. Cover, and allow the mixture to sit 5-7 minutes in a warm place, until foamy.
  2. While the yeast is developing, melt the butter over medium-low heat and allow it to cool slightly.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugars, salt and Kashmiri Garam Masala. Add 3 tablespoons of the melted butter, yeast-milk mixture, pumpkin and egg. Mix until just combined.
  4. Change the attachment from paddle to dough hook and run on low speed for 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer the mixture into a large oiled bowl and cover. Allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm place; the volume of the dough will nearly double.
  6. While the dough is rising, prepare your pans and assemble the filling.For the pans, line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Butter the sides of the pan and the paper. For the filling, stir the ingredients together in a small bowl.
  7. When the hour is up, transfer the dough onto a well floured surface and flour the top as well. Roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 11"x16" and brush the top with the remaining 3 tablespoons melted butter. Then spread the filling evenly over the top. It will seem like a lot of sugar. It is. Trust me, just do it.
  8. Roll the dough into a tight spiral, starting with the long edge. Some stuff will fall out, and that's okay. This is not a tidy process. It all ends up in the pan one way or another.
  9. Cut the spiral into 1" slices with a heavy serrated knife using a back & forth motion but no downward pressure at all. Let the weight of the knife do the work and there will be less tearing. Try to keep the slices uniform and no wider than an inch. If you cut them too thick it is hard to get them done in the middle without overcooking the top and bottom.
  10. Place the rolls into the pan so they are touching but not overly tight. I included the cut off tips of the spiral in the pan so every gram could get into the oven. Top them off with the sugar that has fallen out of the rolls during assembly.
  11. Cover the pans with plastic and allow to rise again, about 45 minutes more.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  13. After the rising time is up, bake the rolls for 25 minutes, until the smell is irresistible.
  14. While the rolls are baking, create the glaze. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. Continue mixing, and add the powdered sugar, buttermilk and maple syrup. The glaze should be thin enough to brush on. You can thin it by adding more buttermilk one teaspoon at a time to achieve the desired consistency.
  15. Brush the glaze on warm rolls right out of the oven and stand back for the stampede.


If you'd like to make ahead, refrigerate the rolls in the pan after the second rising and bake them the next morning. Remove from the refrigerator one hour before baking.

While the glaze does put them over-the-top, these beauties are so delicious they could stand alone…or with butter…or with maple syrup.

Pumpkin Rolls with Kashmiri Garam Masala

Categories: Asia, Breakfast, Course, Global Cuisines, North America, Recipes, Sweet Somethings | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Southwest Pumpkin Soup


This delicious fall soup is perfectly spiced with warm heat from our Chorizo Bomb and sultry smoke from our perennial favorite, smoked paprika. Cooking your own pumpkin for this recipe is really easy, but the canned pureé works fine as well. Serve it up with crusty bread and a nice porter or stout and you’ve got an instant Oktoberfest!

Southwest Pumpkin Soup


  • 2 medium pumpkins, or 3 cans pumpkin pureé
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 apple or pear, diced
  • 1 ham hock
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons Chorizo Bomb, divided
  • 1 Turkish bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ cup porter or stout beer


    For the pumpkin:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly oil a large sheet pan. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out all the seeds. Rub a little oil around the rim of each pumpkin half and place them, cut side down, on the sheet pan. Cook 30-45 minutes until you can easily pierce the thickest part of the flesh with a paring knife. Allow the pumpkin to cool just enough to handle. Scoop out the flesh and discard the skin.
  2. For the soup:
  3. In a 6 quart soup pot or Dutch oven, over medium-low heat, add the oil, onion and kosher salt and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, apple or pear and 1 teaspoon of the Chorizo Bomb, and cook one minute more until you can smell the spices.
  4. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the ham hock and chicken broth and bay leaf. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes until you can pull the meat from the bone. Remove the ham hock and set aside.
  5. Add the remaining spices, pumpkin, maple syrup and porter or stout beer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. While the soup is cooking, remove the ham pieces from the bone and set aside.
  6. Allow the soup to cool slightly and pureé with an immersion or countertop blender. Add the ham back to the soup, and warm to serving temperature.
  7. Adjust the seasonings if needed and garnish with Adobo Pumpkin Seeds

Chili Powder Ancho Crop

Categories: Course, Global Cuisines, Latin America, North America, Recipes, Sides, Soups and Stews | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sri Lankan Black Curry Chicken Banh Mi World Spice Cookbook Club is grilling, steaming and frying at the August 2015 Meet & Eat. We are all cooking from Andrea Nguyen’s classic Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More and her more recent and crazy-popular The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches. We are going to taste so many different types of banh mi, and this is perhaps the most anticipated maybe because we are all so fond of our Sri Lankan Curry.

From the author: When Viet people eat curry with baguette, they typically dip the bread into the spiced coconut-scented sauce. San Francisco chef Alex Ong sent me his recipe for this bewitching curry (the name comes from the dark-colored spice blend), insisting that it would be perfect stuffed inside a baguette for banh mi. He was right, but to avoid a soggy sandwich, I hand shredded the cooked chicken and recooked it in the sauce, allowing it to fry in the residual oil and become encrusted with the seasonings. It became like an Indonesian rendang or, as my husband put it, a curried chicken carnitas. It’s fantastic.


Sri Lankan Black Curry Chicken Banh Mi

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 6 sandwiches


  • 1/2teaspoon cardamom, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cloves, ground
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons coriander, ground
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • A hefty 3/4-inch (2-cm) knob of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 slender stalk of lemon-grass, trimmed and coarsely chopped (2 to 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 large Fresno or jalapeño chile, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup (3.5 oz/115 g) coarsely chopped shallot
  • 1-3/4 pounds (800 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons virgin coconut or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/3 cups (330 ml) coconut milk


  1. In a small bowl, combine the cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, mace, cloves, cumin, and coriander. Set the spice blend near the stove. Use a mini or full-size food processor to finely chop the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chile, and shallot. Keep by the spices. Trim the chicken of large fat pads and set nearby.
  2. In a 4-quart (4 l) pot, heat the oil over high heat. When hot enough to sizzle a mustard seed upon contact, add all of the mustard seeds. Swirl or stir for about 10 seconds, until a few seeds crackle and pop, then add the shallot mixture. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring, until no longer raw smelling.
  3. Lower the heat slightly, add the spice blend, and stir for about 30 seconds, until toasty and a dark chocolate color. Add the chicken, turning to coat with seasonings. Add the salt and coconut milk, which should barely cover the chicken; add water if necessary. Adjust the heat to simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching; the pot contents will shrink to roughly half the original volume. Remove from the heat and let cool for 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer the chicken to a plate and hand shred, with the grain, into pinkie finger–wide pieces; set aside. Pour the sauce into a large nonstick skillet. Over high heat, vigorously simmer for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until reduced by half and pools of coconut oil dot the surface. Lower the heat slightly, then add the chicken and any accumulated sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, for 8 to 12 minutes, until the chicken has darkened to a rich brown and is coated with crusty seasoning; the sauce will no longer be visible and the chicken will gently fry in hissing oil.
  5. Cool slightly, then season with extra salt, if needed. For great flavor, enjoy the chicken slightly above room temperature in banh mi.
  6. Notes
  7. To let the rich, spiced chicken shine in a black curry chicken banh mi, use just a bit of regular mayo and omit or go light on Maggi. Add pickled shallots, chile, cucumber, and cilantro. Try as a regular banh mi or slider.
  8. Refrigerate for up to 3 days, reheating in a microwave oven or a skillet over medium heat, with a splash of water to moisten and refresh. Perfect for make-ahead banh mi. Instead of fresh chile, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cayenne to the spice blend. Or substitute 2 tablespoons of a favorite curry powder for the spice blend (our Sri Lankan Curry would be perfect). If you have fresh curry leaf (Murraya koenigii), fry 5 or 6 large leaves along with the mustard seeds; remove the leaves before reducing the sauce

Banh mi handbook


The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches is one of the August selection for the World Spice Cookbook Club. The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches is currently available for purchase at our retail store.

Reprinted with permission from The Banh Mi Handbook by Andrea Nguyen. Copyright © 2014 Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photography © 2014 by Paige Green


Categories: Asia, Breads, Cookbook Club, Main Meals, Recipes | Leave a comment

Pan-fried Pork and Scallion Mini Buns (Sheng Jian Baozi) with Chile Oil

Panfried Pork and Scallion Mini BunsThe World Spice Cookbook Club is grilling, steaming and frying at the August 2015 Meet & Eat. We are all cooking from Andrea Nguyen’s classic Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More and her more recent, crazy-popular The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches. Sherrie from World Spice Retail is cooking up these mini buns, and we can’t wait to try them!

From the author: If you like pot stickers and steamed buns, you’ll love these spongy-crisp pan-fried treats from Shanghai, where typically they are cooked in humongous shallow pans (much like large paella pans) with wooden lids. These buns are made of yeast dough that is filled with an aromatic pork mixture and then fried and steamed in a skillet. Cooking under cover with a bit of water delivers plenty of moisture to puff up the buns. Ground beef chuck or chicken thigh can stand in for the pork in this recipe. A bāozi is a mini bāo (bun) and for that reason, I like to keep these true to their name and shape small ones. However, you can elect to form sixteen medium-size (23/4-inch) buns. Roll the dough circles out to 3-1/4 inches in diameter and use about 4 teaspoons of filing for each bun; increase the water and cooking time a tad.

There are several methods for making Chinese yeast dough, some of which employ starters and leavening, such as lye water and ammonium carbonate. Th is dough uses ingredients available at regular American supermarkets, and the results match the best I’ve experienced in China. Many Asian cooks employ—to great success—a cakey, snowy-white Cantonese-style dough made from low-gluten cake flour or from a quickie flour and baking powder blend. This dough is different; it has more depth, and its loft and resilience comes from combining yeast and baking powder; fast-rising yeast works like a champ. All-purpose flour with a moderate amount of gluten, such as Gold Medal brand widely available at supermarkets, is what I prefer for this dough. Use bleached flour for a slightly lighter and brighter finish.

Used in Chinese, Japanese, and Southeast Asian cooking, chile oil is easy to prepare at home, and it’s infinitely better than store-bought. Its intense heat enlivens many foods, especially dumplings, which benefit when chile oil is part of the dipping sauce or used as a garnish. Some cooks add aromatics, such as ginger, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns, to the oil, but I like to keep the chile flavor pure. While you may use other cooking oils, such as canola oil, my preference is for the kind of peanut oil often sold at Chinese markets, which is cold pressed and filled with the aroma of roasted peanuts. It is texturally light, has a high smoking point, and offers a wonderful nuttiness that pairs well with the intense chile heat. Lion & Globe peanut oil from Hong Kong is terrific. Use just the infused oil or include the chile flakes for an extra brow-wiping experience.


Pan-fried Pork and Scallion Mini Buns (Sheng Jian Baozi) with Chile Oil

Yield: 32 small buns;1-1/4 cups chile oil


  • 1-1/2 teaspoons rapid-rise (instant) dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 12-1/2 ounces (2-1/2 cups) bleached or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 pounds Basic Yeast Dough, preferably made with unbleached flour
  • 10 ounces fatty ground pork, coarsely chopped to loosen
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Chinese chives or scallions (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light (regular) soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup Chinkiang vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • Light (regular) soy sauce (optional)
  • Chile Oil (optional)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup dried chile flakes or coarsely ground dried chiles
  • 1 cup peanut (or canola) oil


  1. Put the yeast in a small bowl, add the water, and set aside for 1 minute to soft en. Whisk in the oil to blend and dissolve the yeast. Set aside.
  2. To make the dough in a food processor, combine the sugar, baking powder, and flour in the work bowl. Pulse two or three times to combine. With the motor on, pour the yeast mixture through the feed tube in a steady stream and allow the machine to continue running, for about 20 seconds, or until the dough starts coming together into a ball. (If this doesn’t happen, add lukewarm water by the teaspoon.) Let the machine continue for 45 to 60 seconds to knead most of the dough into a large ball that cleans the sides of the bowl; expect some dangling bits. Press on the finished dough; it should feel medium-soft and tacky but should not stick to your finger.
  3. To make the dough by hand, combine the sugar, baking powder, and flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture. Slowly stir with a wooden spoon, moving from the center toward the rim, to work in all the flour. (Add lukewarm water by the teaspoon if this doesn’t happen with relative ease.) Keep stirring as a ragged, soft mass forms. Then use your fingers to gather and pat the dough together into a ball. Transfer to a work surface and knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth, fingertip soft , and slightly elastic. (You shouldn’t need any additional flour on the work surface if the dough was properly made. Keep kneading and after the first minute or two, the dough shouldn’t stick to your fingers. If it does, work in a sprinkling of flour.) Press your finger into the dough; the dough should spring back, with a faint indentation remaining.
  4. Regardless of the mixing method, lightly oil a clean bowl and add the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm, draft -free place (for example, in an oven with the light on) to rise for about 45 minutes, or until nearly doubled. The dough is now ready to use.
  5. Though the dough can be left to sit for an hour or so after it has doubled, it’s best to have
  6. the filling already prepared, especially if it requires cooking and cooling. Alternatively, punch down the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Return the dough to room temperature
  7. before using.
  8. To make the filling, combine the pork, ginger, and Chinese chives in a bowl. Use a fork or spatula to stir and mash the ingredients together.
  9. Combine the salt, white pepper, sugar, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, and water in a small bowl and stir to combine well. Pour over the meat mixture, then vigorously stir to create a compact mixture. Cover the filling with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes, or refrigerate overnight, returning it to room temperature before assembling the buns. There should be 1-1/3 cups of filling.
  10. Transfer the dough to a very lightly floured work surface, gather it into a ball if needed,and then pat it to flatten it to a thick disk. Cut the disk in half and cover one-half with plastic wrap or an inverted bowl to prevent drying while you work on the other half.
  11. Roll the dough into a 12 to 14-inch log, and then cut it into 16 pieces. (Halve the log first to make it easier to cut even-size pieces. The tapered end pieces should be cut a little longer than the rest.) Lightly roll each piece between your hands into a ball, then flatten each one into a 1/4-inch-thick disk.
  12. Use a wooden dowel–style rolling pin to roll the pieces into circles, each about 2-1/2 inches in diameter. The rim of each circle should be thinner than the center; keeping a 1-inch wide belly ensures consistent thickness all over the bun. The finished circle will thicken as it sits. Lay the finished circles out on your work surface, lightly dusting their bottoms with flour if you fear them sticking.
  13. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly dust with flour. To assemble a bun, hold a dough circle in a slightly cupped hand. Use a bamboo spatula, dinner knife, or spoon to center about 2 teaspoons of filling on the dough circle, pressing down very gently and keeping about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of the dough clear on all sides. Use the thumb of the hand cradling the bun to push down the filling while the other hand pulls up the dough edge and pleats and pinches the rim together to form a closed satchel. Pinch and twist to completely close. Place the bun, pleated side down, on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough circles and filling. Loosely cover the buns with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 30 minutes, or until about 50 percent larger than their original size. Meanwhile, make buns from the remaining dough and filling.
  14. While the buns rise, divide the ginger and vinegar between 2 bowls. Taste and if the vinegar is too tart, add water by the teaspoon. Set these at the table along with the soy sauce and chile oil for guests to mix their own sauce.
  15. To pan fry the buns, use a medium or large nonstick skillet; if both sizes are handy, cook 2 batches at the same time. Heat the skillet(s) over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of canola oil for a medium skillet and 1-1/2 tablespoons for a large one. Add the buns one at a time, arranging them, pleated side up, 1/2 inch apart; they will expand during cooking. (In general, medium skillets will fit 8 or 9 buns; large skillets will fit 12 or 13 buns.) Fry the buns for 1 to 2 minutes, until they are golden or light brown on the bottom. Gently lift to check the color.
  16. Holding the lid close to the skillet to lessen the spattering effect of water hitting hot oil, add enough water to come up the side of the buns by 1/4 inch, about 1/4 cup. The water and oil will sputter a bit. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil, placing it very slightly ajar to allow steam to escape, so condensation doesn’t fall on the buns and perhaps cause their collapse. Let the water bubble away until it is mostly gone, about 6 minutes.
  17. When you hear sizzling noises (a sign that most of the water is gone), remove the lid. Let the dumplings fry for about 1 minute, until the bottoms are brown and crisp. At this point, you can serve the buns, crisp bottoms up like pot stickers. Or, you can use chopsticks to flip each bun over (separate any that are sticking together first) and then fry the other side for about 45 seconds, or until golden.
  18. Turn off the heat, wait for the cooking action to cease, and transfer the buns to a serving plate. Display them with a golden side up. Serve with the gingered vinegar, chile oil, and soy sauce. Eat these buns with chopsticks—they’re a little greasy on the fingers.Reheat left overs with some oil and water in a nonstick skillet, as you would a pot sticker.
  19. To make chile oil, put the chile flakes in a dry glass jar.
  20. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to a small saucepan and add the oil. Heat over medium-high heat until smoking hot (the temperature will top 400°F) and remove from the heat. Wait 5 to 7 minutes for the temperature to decrease to 325° to 350°F (drop a chile flake in and it should gently sizzle), and then pour the oil into the glass jar. The chile flakes will sizzle and swirl and then settle down.
  21. Cool completely before covering and storing. Give it a couple days to mature before using. Chile oil keeps for months in the cupboard.

Asian Dumplings


Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More is one of the August selection for the World Spice Cookbook Club. Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More is currently available for purchase at our retail store.

Reprinted with permission from Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen. Copyright © 2009 Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photography © 2009 by Penny De Los Santos

Categories: Asia, Cookbook Club, Global Cuisines, Recipes, Snacky Bits | Leave a comment

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


    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


    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.


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!

The stories and recipes just keep coming so connect with Leslie her on her website,, on Facebook,, or on Twitter

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


  • 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


  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.

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


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