Eastern Europe

Paprika Potatoes

Paprika Potatoes

Smoked paprika is an indispensable ingredient in any spice pantry, and the authors of Fresh & Fermented agree! Check out their delicious recipe below!

“Smoked paprika, also known as pimentón, has finally reached mainstream status in the spice world, and not a minute too soon. Made from pimento peppers that have been dried or smoked over a fire, this spice imparts a robust smoky flavor. As a hearty side, this dish pairs well with your favorite sausages, pork loin, or any grilled meat. Leftovers are delicious with eggs in a breakfast burrito or scrambled into a breakfast hash.”

Paprika Potatoes

Serving Size: Makes 4 to 6 servings

Paprika Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, butter, or coconut oil
  • 1 large or 2 small yellow onions, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 6 medium unpeeled red potatoes, cut into medium dice (about 3 cups)
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (pimentón)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups stemmed, thinly sliced kale (about ½ pound)
  • 1 cup caraway Kraut

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and sauté, stirring every few minutes, until they’re tender, another 15 to 18 minutes. Add the paprika, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the kale and sauté until it’s just wilted but still vibrantly green, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the potato mixture to a large serving bowl.
  2. Take the kraut out of the jar with a clean fork, letting any extra brine drain back into it. Roughly chop the kraut and add it to the potatoes, tossing thoroughly to incorporate.
  3. Serve immediately, while the potatoes are still warm.
  4. Note: Try soaking cubed potatoes in a bowl of water for an hour to help release the starches, which will help prevent sticking. Drain and lightly dry the potatoes with a towel before cooking.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/paprika-potatoes/

*(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, Global Cuisines, Hot Topics, Mediterranean, Recipes, Sides | 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

Lemon Thyme Rhubarb Cake

Tart, sweet and dramatically red, rhubarb never tasted so good as in this rustic cake with lemon thyme.  The cake is moist and fluffy on the inside with a slight crisp on the outside edge. The sharpness of the rhubarb combined with the delicate pungency of the lemon thyme make this a most wonderful way to take advantage of an abundant rhubarb harvest.

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Lemon Thyme Rhubarb Cake

Lemon Thyme Rhubarb Cake

Ingredients

    For the Compote
  • 3 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • For the Cake
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened, plus extra for pan
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon Murray River flake salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting pan
  • For the Topping
  • 2 teaspoons lemon thyme
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan or cast-iron pan.
  2. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, add rhubarb, sugar and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb has softened. Strain and reserve juice. Set rhubarb aside to cool while you make the rest of the cake.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition (batter should look light and fluffy). Gently mix in the baking powder, salt, lemon thyme and flour - be careful not to over mix.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth. Spoon the rhubarb compote over the top of the batter then, using a butter knife, swirl the compote through the cake batter, being careful not to scrape the bottom of the pan.
  5. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the reserved rhubarb compote juice over the top, sprinkle with the rest of the lemon thyme and sugar.
  6. Bake 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
  7. Serve warm or room temperature. Enjoy with more of the rhubarb compote mixed with whipped cream or Greek yogurt, served on the side.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/lemon-thyme-rhubarb-cake/

Categories: Course, Eastern Europe, Global Cuisines, North America, Recipes, Sweet Somethings | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seasoning Salts and Summer Snacks

summer tomato, popcorn, avocado, seasoning salt, seasoned salt blends

 

Imagine a perfect summer tomato. Vine ripened, deep red, full of flavor. The kind of tomato you you just want to bite into. And why not? Tomato with a pinch of salt is a tasty and refreshing snack for the summer time. Does anything compare?

The perfect summer avocado, perhaps. There’s another delicious summer fruit that begs to be eaten plain, with a bit of salt and pepper to enhance the flavor.

Now’s the tricky part. What salt should you use? At World Spice, we’ve created a tantalizing array of and seasoning salt blends. Here, for your snacking convenience, is our top three seasoned salt blends, and the best snacks to accompany them. Be warned, if you decide to do what I did and have a salt tasting exravaganza, be prepared for a very thirsty afternoon and no regrets.

Our seasoned salt blends:

Provencal: This blend has that unmistakable taste of green in every pinch. Probably due to the tarragon and chervil, a French herb related to parsley. More subtle flavors of lavender, tomato, garlic, and lemon leap out of this blend when paired with the right snack. While it’s good on tomatoes, this blend really shines with green veggies like roasted zucchini, broccoli, and is delightful on a slice of soft French Brie.

Svaneti: This blend has lively and versatile flavors. Coriander, caraway, Tellicherry black pepper, chile, garlic, and fenugreek on a base of sea salt compose this superbly seasoned salt. It will enhance your red meats and potatoes marvelously, and is a great choice to accompany that perfect summer tomato.

Voodoo: What gift do you get the salt blend that has everything? Whole mustard seeds are probably the most endearing member of the Voodoo blend, lending a satisfying texture and flavor, but the red Aleppo pepper, thyme, and peppercorns might be the real stars of the show. Garlic, onion, and allspice round out the flavor. This is the boldest blend of the trio, which goes well with anything that could use a kick, from eggs to broccoli to popcorn. After trying this with avocado, I won’t be having avocado any other way any time soon.

What are your favorite summer snacks? Hit us with ’em in the comments and we’ll hit you back with the right blend for you.

Categories: Eastern Europe, French, Hot Topics, Notes from the Field, Snacky Bits, Spice Notes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kharcho Tuna at Eltana Bagels

Eltana's Wood-fired Bagel

By now most bagel lovers in Seattle have discovered Eltana, and as an ex-pat from the east coast, I can tell you it is about time. The perfect crust on their bagels comes from being boiled in honey water and then baked in a wood burning oven; yielding a hint of sweetness with a very light smokiness that is out of this world. Of course, they use our spices in many of their dips, spreads & salads, too, which always makes for a superior schmear.

With a recent spice delivery, I found Daniel, one of the founders of Eltana, working on something new that was too good not to share. He was making tuna salad using our Kharcho blend. This rare mixture of spices is typically associated with the hearty stews of the former Soviet state Georgia, and its unusual flavor profile often leaves folks wondering what to do with it. When I tasted this Kharcho Tuna Salad, I was sold. This is no ordinary tuna salad. Daniel starts with high grade albacore tuna which is cooked in house before getting mixed with all kinds of delicious goodies, including our Kharcho. I haven’t been able to pry the secret recipe from him yet, but if he does share it, we will pass it along. Until then, we’ll see you at Eltana!

Categories: Eastern Europe, Fruits of the Sea, Hot Topics, Notes from the Field | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Kofte Spice Stuffed Zucchini

Zucchini season has officially begun in the Pacific Northwest, and boy is it a successful one this year. The markets are full of this fine summer squash and I was recently gifted a zucchini from the family garden which is about the size of my torso. I needed to find something delicious to do with my bounty, and stuffed zucchini was just the thing.

This Turkish influenced recipe looks and tastes impressive, but requires little effort to make aside from tossing a few things together and leaving it to cook. Of course since this is a Turkish recipe, my favorite spice blend to pair it with is Kofte Spice – the peppermint and savory are a refreshing addition on warm summer days. For a more complex filling, you can move slightly farther north in influence and use the Black Sea regional spice Khmeli Suneli. A filling dinner for three or a starter for 6, all you need is three medium sized zucchinis (or one monster one).

 

Turkish Baharat Stuffed Zucchini

Turkish Baharat Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2/3 cup short grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons currants
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Kofte Spice or Khmeli Suneli
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook onions in olive oil until soft
  2. Add pine nuts, currants, rice, and lemon juice
  3. Add sugar, salt and pepper, 1 1/2 cups water, cover and cook until water is absorbed
  4. Hollow out zucchini to make “boats”
  5. Add 1 tablespoon Kofte Spice to rice
  6. Fill zucchini with cooked rice and bake in oven at 350°F for 18 minutes
  7. Garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy! You can also serve the zucchini is chilled with some plain yogurt.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/kofte-spice-stuffed-zucchini/

Categories: Eastern Europe, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment