To celebrate the last gasp of summer, and the upcoming release of World Spice at Home, enjoy another sneak peek from the book!
The combination of exotic spices on seafood served with pineapple will transport you straight to the tropics. The bright layers of citrus and spice blend perfectly into the coconut oil and onto the shrimp. If you don’t have time to skewer, just add the shrimp and pineapple to your indoor grill pan and serve on a platter with toothpicks. You can also turn this into a main dish by serving with steamed or grilled vegetables and rice.
*(c)2014 By Amanda Bevill and Julie Kramis Hearne. All rights reserved. Excerpted from World Spice at Home: New Flavors for 75 Favorite Dishes by permission of Sasquatch Books.
My position at World Spice’s professional division has afforded me wonderful opportunities to connect with some of the best chefs around Seattle. One of the most rewarding parts of my role as a spice merchant actually happens when I’m off the clock and I get to experience the delicious dishes that our products enhance. From newcomers like Mamnoon to all the restaurants in the Tom Douglas empire, I never have trouble coming up with great restaurants for date night (deciding on which one is the hard part!) But until recently, I had never had the chance to experience the cuisine of one of our most loyal and long standing chef clients, Lisa Dupar Catering.
Last weekend I was honored to attend one of the winemaker dinners as part of the Auction of Washington Wines fundraiser for Seattle Children’s Hospital. Chef Lisa Dupar and her talented crew teamed up with Dunham Cellars, Willie Green’s, and World Spice for a fabulous “Farmers AT the Table” dinner. Hosted by the gracious and generous Midori Chan and Paul Strisower, this event gave guests the chance to meet some of the people behind the food being served, while giving purveyors like us an opportunity to enjoy the magic that Lisa Dupar creates with our ingredients.
When Lisa first approached us about participating in this dinner we were ecstatic; after getting a sneak peak at the menu, I knew we’d have to do something extra special for the guests who came out to support the Seattle Children’s Hospital. One of the services we offer both our retail customers and professional clients is custom spice blend production, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity for a limited edition spice blend. I was immediately drawn to the goat on the menu and knew I wanted to create a rub for it that was either Persian inspired or with some Caribbean flair. After playing with a few different mixes, it struck me, why not do both? After a few hours of tinkering and a few delicious taste tests, I settled on the playfully named Rastafari el Hanout. By taking the well-known middle eastern spice blend, Ras el Hanout, and adding a few traditional Caribbean ingredients, I believe I created the perfect goat rub.
Unfortunately space in our little shop is extremely limited, so we can’t offer every custom blend we make; only those in attendance at Riverside Falls last weekend got to taste the exact recipe for this particular limited edition blend. That doesn’t mean we can’t create something special just for you! If you have a big event coming up and want to offer your guests something extra special, ask us about creating the perfect custom blend for you.
The evening soiree at Riverside Falls was an unforgettable night, and I’d like to wrap up by thanking Lisa Dupar (check out her wonderful cookbook), Jeff Miller from Willie Green’s, Eric Dunham, the indulgently hospitable Midori Chan and Paul Strisower, and of course all the guests who came out to support such a great cause.
Pork shoulder is one of the most inexpensive cuts of meat, and you can find it almost anywhere. The lean meat is punctuated with ribbons of fat, which self-bastes the pork as it cooks slow and oh-so-low. While the meat is fabulously tender, it doesn’t boast much inherent flavor… which is where our Smoky BBQ Rub comes in. This spice blend, combined with beer, forms a marinade that infuses a wonderful smoked flavor deep in to the roast- you won’t believe it came from the oven. Banana leaves are a nod to traditional Mexican carnitas, effectively steaming the meat as it cooks slowly, holding in the moisture, while imparting some of their own nutty, grassy flavor. They can be purchased in many Latin and Asian markets. You can sometimes find them fresh, but they’ll often be frozen, which works just as well.
Who doesn’t love food that you can hold in your hand? The beauty of empanadas is that the rich, buttery dough can be filled with almost anything – sweet or savory. Our Ancho Chili Powder is mild-medium in heat and adds magnificent depth to the beef and vegetable filling we chose. Ancho chiles have a wonderful, darkly sweet flavor, so we added a little Alderwood Smoked Salt for just a touch of smoky contrast. They can be served either hot or at room temperature; we like ours with salsa, sour cream and a Hibiscus Margarita. They freeze well, so make a bunch and plan to enjoy them another day, or surprise yourself at how quickly your guests devour the extras.
A word of advice from a novice gardener: Carrots are much bigger than carrot seeds. Somehow, fifty-odd square feet of garden space doesn’t seem like that much when it’s being planted, but it can produce a surprising haul, most especially in the carrot department. Praise be that carrots are delicious, so their being excessively plentiful is a problem I’m thankful to have! This soup is hearty and delicious, made velvety by the soft puree of carrots, and from the toasted rice in the Poudre de Colombo curry. We’ve dressed it up a little with the prawns, but this soup can easily be made vegan by omitting them and using red miso paste in favor of the Worcestershire powder.
Fresh pineapple tastes of a wild summer, its tropical sweetness tempered by raucous acidity. Our favorite way to tame the fruit is to cook it slowly until the pale yellow becomes a rich gold and the sugars take center stage, as in this grilled salsa.
Our Caribbean Spice, with the richness of allspice berries, is the perfect blend for this salsa. A bit of extra cumin adds an intense savory note that’s perfect for grilling. The smoky flavor from the grill counterpoints the sweetness of the pineapple and tomato perfectly, leaving you with a well balanced and delicious side for tortilla or plantain chips, as well as chicken or fish.