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.
Thanks so much, Steve! Safe travels, and stay in touch
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.
This recipe is easy to make and not too sweet. Spiced nuts are a welcome treat for last minute gatherings or entertaining.
Sometimes it’s hard to get enough of a good thing, and that is certainly true with pasilla Oaxaca. Every summer we run out of the small crop of these rare chiles, and celebrate when they are harvested again in the fall. They come only from the Oaxaca region of southern Mexico and combine a rich dose of smoky chile flavor with just the right level of heat- not too much. We are thrilled, because this years crop just arrived!
Pasilla Oaxaca are traditional in molé sauces, rellenos and salsas but are also SUPER easy to use whole if you want fabulous flavor in your next hearty fall soup. Just drop one in and remove before serving…like a bay leaf!
Use pasilla Oaxaca in your favorite recipe for chili or vegetable soup, or try this creative Afro-Latin fusion. We’ve used both our Harissa spice blend, traditional in North Africa and the pasilla Oaxaca chile to season a chunky melange of carrots, zucchini, okra and black eyed peas in this satisfying fall soup. Enjoy!
Chef tip! It is worth the extra effort to sauté the zucchini with some spices before boiling them in the soup pot. This allows the flavors to be fully absorbed by the zucchini, and creates a nice texture too.
World Spice Merchant’s new Chorizo Bomb spice blend has been a favorite of our restaurant clients for years, so it was no surprise that it started flying off the shelves as soon as we started offering it to our retail family. This versatile blend can be used to make a Mexican-style chorizo, or even a North African-style merguez sausage, as links or patties. It pulls double, triple, and quadruple duty as a great grill seasoning, taco and fajita spice, or in simple beans and rice. A little smoky from the Pasilla Oaxacas, sweet smoked paprika, and Chipotle flakes, a little herbaceous from the generous dose of oregano, thyme, and marjoram, and a bit sweet from the Hungarian paprika… well, you’ll see. There’s a reason we call it the “bomb!”
So, how do you use it? We’re testing additional recipes right now, but in the meantime, here are easy patty-making recipes for both Mexican chorizo and North African mergeuz sausage. For additional inspiration, check out HuffpostTaste’s published list of the “The Best Recipes that Use Chorizo.”
P.S. If you decide to go all D.I.Y. homemade, here’s a great article explaining how to grind your own meat for patties as well as case up your sausage links: how to make your own sausage.
This month, World Spice Merchants was happy to host Georgina Koomsen from Ghana and Nefisa Siraj from Ethiopia. Participants in the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, both women work in the spice industry in their home countries and visited Seattle looking to connect with their peers in the United States. Lucky for us, our own Amanda Bevill was on their list.
As business leaders in their respective countries, Georgina and Nefisa are both pursuing fair trade and organic production practices. In September 2006, Georgina was the first woman and the first African ever awarded the ‘Spirit of Organic’ Award, by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements in recognition of being the most progressive organic-producing co-operative having overcome huge odds.
Are these women representative of the type of farmer co-operatives with which we’d like to partner? You bet. Ghana happens to be the world’s largest supplier of grains of paradise, a perennial herb belonging to the same family as ginger and turmeric. Georgina’s farm grows many acres this exotic and expensive spice, and we are hoping to get just a modest quantity of that deliciousness to supply customer demand and to satisfy our own desire for Grains of Paradise Peanut Soup.
This last photo shows a sampling of their wares including from left to right, dried turmeric root, nigella seed, mixed sesame seed, coriander, white sesame seed, and dried ginger root. We’re currently taste testing these and other samples provided against our current stock, and if they are superior we will be placing our first order. Either way, it was a delight to discuss trade with these two visionaries.
Is there a spice or blend that you would like to see added to our inventory? If so, please put in a comment below, and we’ll investigate adding it to our shelves.
This recipe has been a long time coming. Hardly anyone who comes in to the shop — spice masters and novices alike — can pass over the North African section without some long, lingering sniffs. The spices from that region are so exotic, in their perfect union of sweet-spicy-aromatic. “How do you use the Harissa?” is one of the most common questions following the exclamations of delight, and though my fellow merchants and I have written versions of this recipe on many a business card, envelope, and scratch paper, it’s about time it took its place among our favorites here on the blog.
The tender-crisp vegetables and fluffy cous cous are a perfect vehicle for this sumptuous sauce; our version of the traditional Tunisian red pepper condiment that is so ubiquitous in Northern Africa. The cumin, coriander, and caraway add complexity and depth, with the guajillos lending just enough heat to be interesting without being overwhelming. You can also try the Harissa sauce on grilled meats or eggplant — or even on halibut!