Mediterranean

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

Piment d’Espelette

espelettehouseok2It’s here! This season’s crop of Piment d’Espelette arrived at our doorstep this week, ready to transform our dishes with its mild heat and fruity, almost tomatoey flavor. Piment d’Espelette’s mild flavor is the cornerstone of the traditional Basque stews, and in keeping with Basque tradition we consume our Piment d’Espelette seasonally, making way for each new crop when it comes in.

The seasonal rotation isn’t the only thing traditional about the pepper of Espelette. Piment d’Espelette bears the distinction of being the only spice with an official AOC designation. Being recognized by the AOC, or Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, guarantees that the product which bears its seal will be produced in traditional manners, and originate only from their traditional region. In such illustrious company as true french Champagne, only the superior pepper grown in the ten, tiny approved Basque villages may be labeled as Piment d’Espelette.

Piment d’Espelette originates in the area that joins the southwestern-most corner of France with northeastern Spain, historically known as Basque country. In the region, late summer and early fall are marked by festoons of peppers drying against white stucco houses, just as they have for centuries. Each October, the end of the harvest is marked by a vibrant festival, complete with parade, where peppers are sold fresh, pickled, or dried and ground, as we carry it.

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The Basque have another tradition worth imitating- that of the txoko, or gastronomical society. Generations of Basques have gotten together to cook, sing, and experiment with food in thousands of private clubs. While it might not have centuries of tradition, we’ve got a kind-of txoko of our own, the World Spice Cookbook Club, that meets up to try out recipes from a new cookbook each month. Singing is purely optional.

So come pick up some of the freshest and most flavorful flakes of Piment d’Espelette available in the United States by the ounce or by the jar, and if you’re feeling adventurous drop us a line and come out to the next meeting of our Cookbook Club for a little gastronomical bonding. On egin!

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Categories: Cookbook Club, French, Hot Topics, Mediterranean, Notes from the Field, Spice Notes | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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

Mulling Spiced Wine and Cider

Mulling Spice three ways!

Few things say “winter” better than a steamy cup of spiced cider or mulled wine. Mulling Spice takes many forms, but ours is heavy on the cassia cinnamon and with a hint of orange peel for the power to banish those grey-day blues.

It’s important to choose the right wine to mull, and through much “research” we’ve settled on Pinot Noir as the optimum choice. It’s fairly robust, so stands up to the spices, but the less expensive varieties are not so nuanced so as to make covering their intricacies with spice criminal. Look for one whose shelf-talker boasts a larger body and hints at black or red cherry flavors that will complement the star anise in the Mulling Spice.

A good-quality, unfiltered apple cider is all that’s required for heavenly spiced cider. As the apple capital of the world, Washington state farmers markets are chock full of cider choices, and we’ve yet to find one that disappoints. A few even pair other local fruits with apple- try apple-cranberry, apple-cherry, or apple-blackberry. Simply substitute a quart of apple cider for the wine in the recipe below and perhaps omit the sugar, depending on the variety of cider that you choose.

Mulling Spiced Wine and Cider

Mulling Spiced Wine and Cider

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle Pinot Noir or other larger-bodied, semi-sweet red wine
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons freshly crushed Mulling Spice

Instructions

  1. Whisk half of the sugar in to the wine until it's dissolved.
  2. Add the water and Mulling Spices, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover, and steep for fifteen to twenty minutes, tasting at five-minute intervals to check the intensity level of the spice flavors. The longer you steep, the more pronounced the spice!
  4. When desired flavor is reached, remove from heat, and whisk in more sugar, a tablespoon at a time to taste. Strain, and serve.

Notes

It's also possible to combine wine and cider. Winter Sangria, anyone? Add one bottle of wine to four cups of apple cider, along with 1/4 cup of honey or brown sugar, and 1/3 cup of freshly crushed Mulling Spice. Steep for twenty minutes before straining and serving, and don't forget the cassia stick stirrers!

https://www.silkroaddiary.com/mulling-spiced-wine-and-cider/

Categories: British Isles, Course, French, Global Cuisines, Holiday, Mediterranean, North America, Recipes, Sweet Somethings | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Superhero Shawarma – Just Ask the Avengers!

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“Do you have shawarma spice?” – It’s a request we hear often, and if you’ve tasted it, you know why! If you’re yet unfamiliar, shawarma is an Arabic and Middle Eastern street food traditionally prepared on a rotating spit over an open fire. The open flame cooks the meat to juicy perfection on the inside, with a crisp crust on the outside. Slivers are sliced off the spit all day long, and stuffed in to pitas overflowing with tomatoes, cucumber, tahini, or hummus. It’s a “four napkin” sandwich – meat juices running together with creamy sauce, punctuated by crisp vegetables and fresh herbs. It’s even the official food of superheroes, if you believe 2012’s Avengers movie… and we do!

Spice merchants are curious merchants, so with the first inquiry, we were pouring over cookbooks to find exactly what would be in a Shawarma blend. We turned to Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem for our initial inspiration and reveled in the heavy use of spices, including, cloves, cardamom, fenugreek, cinammon, nutmeg, fennel, cumin, star anise, sumac, and coriander just to name a few. Our test kitchen is without the traditional rotisserie setup, so we grilled our marinated shawarma instead. Tucked in to warm pitas with all the traditional accompaniments, we’re confident that our version will earn Iron Man’s seal of approval… and yours, too.

Lamb Shawarma

Lamb Shawarma

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, whisk together everything but the lamb and the oil. Pour this marinade over the lamb and marinate for at least two hours but preferably overnight.
  2. To Cook Shawarma
  3. Prepare your grill- charcoal, preferably- to medium-high heat and remove lamb from marinade, shaking off excess marinade to avoid burning.
  4. Grill the strips of meat directly over the flame. Once the pieces have some color, rotate them 180 degrees to get good, crosshatched grill marks and that toasty flavor- about five minutes. Repeat on the other side, brushing with the oil, until the desired internal temperature has been reached.
  5. Serve with salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, and parsley, yogurt and warmed pitas.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/lamb-shawarma/

Categories: Course, Global Cuisines, Main Meals, Mediterranean, Middle East, Recipes | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Saffron Penne With Sausage and Arugula

Thanks to its luxurious ingredients, this pasta is fancy and decadent enough for special occasions, but is simple enough to be thrown together quickly. Rather than an elaborate sauce, the pasta is dressed with cream flavored by all of the dishes’ components. This makes for a rich-tasting effect that feels far lighter than a traditional cream sauce. It’s worth noting that this is one of the few recipes in which I advocate not toasting the pine nuts, because it is my experience that the toasted flavor doesn’t complement the saffron, and actually competes with it. You can use any shape of pasta, of course, but I find that penne rigatè- the penne with the little ridges- holds the perfect amount of sauce. Each element in this pasta represents one of the tastes detectable by your palate, so the result is a beautifully balanced, crave-worthy dish.

saffron, arugula, penne pasta

 

Saffron Penne With Sausage and Arugula

Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Saffron Penne With Sausage and Arugula

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds penne rigatè pasta
  • 3 cups light cream
  • ¾ teaspoon saffron
  • ¾ cup dried currants
  • ¾ cup pine nuts, untoasted
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 oz. fresh baby arugula
  • 1 lb. medium-spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1-2 large shallot(s), medium diced
  • Salt and freshly ground Lampong black pepper to taste
  • Shaved parmesan to garnish

Instructions

  1. Boil the pasta 'al dente,' according to the package instructions. Reserve one cup of the cooking liquid in case it is needed to "loosen" the sauce at the end. Drain the remainder, and set the cooked pasta aside.
  2. Pour about ¼ cup of boiling water over the saffron, to allow it to steep and release its flavor. Pour about ½ cup of boiling water over the currants to allow them to rehydrate. Set both aside.
  3. In a large skillet (one that will accommodate the entirety of the dish- a large, enameled cast-iron Dutch oven or brazier works wonderfully), heat one tablespoon of oil over medium heat and cook the sausage, breaking up in to bite-sized pieces with a wooden spoon.
  4. When the sausage is nearly cooked through, add the shallot, cooking in the rendered fat from the sausage until softened, but not browned. Add the pine nuts and fennel seeds, and cook for one minute. Pour in cream, and reduce heat to low.
  5. Add in saffron - water, threads, and all. Drain the water from the currants, and add them to the cream mixture. Keep the sauce at the barest simmer for five to ten minutes, to allow all the flavors to meld. Taste, and add lemon zest, salt, and pepper to taste.
  6. Add cooked pasta, tossing to coat with the cream mixture. Cover, and allow the pasta to absorb some of the cream over very low heat for three to five minutes. Turn off the heat, and add in the arugula, allowing the heat from the cream and pasta to wilt it. If at this point the pasta appears dry, add in some of the reserved pasta cooking liquid, a tablespoon or two at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
  7. Garnish with shaved parmesan - the best you can get - and serve with a hearty Tuscan bread.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/saffron-penne-with-sausage-and-arugula/

Categories: Course, Global Cuisines, Main Meals, Mediterranean, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments