Tagged With: Fall

Besar Cranberry Chutney

The rich and toasty taste of our Besar blend makes an ideal complement for the pop of fresh cranberry in this exotic twist on a holiday classic. Candied ginger and dried apricots round out the fruity flavors, and the result is an intensely flavored chutney that you can serve well past Thanksgiving. You can try variations too- add an apple to mellow the flavors or some chopped walnuts for a little crunch. Any way you make it, the bright flavor of cranberries add a bit of sunshine to a winter feast. Go cranberries!

Besar Cranberry Chutney is good year round!

Besar Cranberry Chutney

Besar Cranberry Chutney

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bag (12 oz) fresh cranberries
  • 1 onion, diced (use a sweet or red onion for extra flavor)
  • 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 large orange (or 2 medium), zested and juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Murray River flake salt
  • 3 tablespoons ground Besar
  • 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper

Instructions

  1. Put olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced onions and saute for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and, stirring frequently, cooking for about 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning. You might want to add more salt, vinegar or brown sugar.
  3. If you want a 'smoother' sauce, cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool, then put into a covered container in the refrigerator. This will keep for about a week.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/besar-cranberry-chutney/

 

Categories: Course, Global Cuisines, Holiday, Hot Topics, Middle East, North America, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Sri Lankan Sweet Potato Pie

Our holiday motto? Don’t skimp on the sweets! And add ambrosial spices whenever possible…

Sri Lankan Sweet Potato Pie

As such, this incredible sweet potato pie is a must for our Thanksgiving menu because it does both. We adapted this recipe to feature our Sri Lankan Curry, which has none of the savory turmeric that we often expect in our curries but is instead made up of a melange of warm, sweet spices. Each component is individually toasted before being mixed in perfect proportion, yielding an intensely dark and aromatic blend so intoxicating that most customers who give it a whiff can’t leave without it. The sweet potatoes are a perfect canvas for the deep, toasted flavors of the spice, with just a pop of orange zest added for contrast. The crust is a dense, almost shortbread-like shell made with chopped pecans for a special crunch. This pie will please all who grace your autumn table!

Sri Lankan Sweet Potato Pie

Sri Lankan Sweet Potato Pie

Ingredients

    For the Dough:
  • 1 cup raw unsalted pecans, shelled, half coarsely ground and half finely ground
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk plus 1 large egg
  •  
  • For The Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground Sri Lankan Curry
  • 2 cups roasted and mashed sweet potatoes (see recipe for roasting instructions)
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

    To make the dough:
  1. Whisk together nuts, flour, sugar, salt, and zest in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, work butter in to the dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of peas.
  2. Make a well in the center of the dough. Whisk yolk and egg in a small bowl, and pour into the well. Gradually draw flour mixture into center, kneading until combined. Shape dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate overnight (up to 3 days).
  3. Let dough come to room temperature; roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Fit dough into a 9 inch spring form pan, pressing and patching so that dough reaches up sides of the plate. Chill in freezer while you make the filling.
  4. To make the filling:
  5. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes, and pierce them in several places with a fork. Place on a baking sheet lined with tin foil or parchment paper, and roast for 45-55 minutes or until very tender. Puree in a food processor, mash with a potato masher or in a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment.
  7. Combine dry ingredients in small bowl.
  8. Beat sweet potatoes in medium bowl, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sugar, beat to incorporate
  9. Add Sri Lankan Curry, milk, butter, and vanilla, and beat at low speed to incorporate everything evenly and well.
  10. Pour filling in to prepared crust, and bake at 350 degrees until puffed and firm, 40-50 minutes.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/sri-lankan-curry-sweet-potato-pie/

Categories: Course, Curries & Masalas, Global Cuisines, North America, Recipes, Sweet Somethings | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Heavenly Hawaij Soup

Soup shots are the perfect starter for a long holiday feast, and this Heavenly Hawaij Soup is the ideal choice. Combining aromatic spices, earthy mushrooms and velvety cream, it is as decadent as holiday fare should be. If you start with this, what could be next? Cardamom, turmeric and saffron are the essential spice elements of the  Yemenese blend Hawaij, and they play wonderfully in this exotic mushroom soup. It’s a leftover that will have you sneaking back to the kitchen at four am.

Heavenly Hawaij Soup

Heavenly Hawaij Soup

Heavenly Hawaij Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ounce (about 1 cup) dried porcinis, broken into smaller pieces
  • 2 pounds chopped crimini mushrooms
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons ground Hawaij
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven, melt the butter on medium heat. Saute the garlic and onions until slightly browned. Add the flour, and mix well (it will be thick).
  2. Add in the porcinis, criminis, stock, wine and Hawaij. Mix well. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium low, and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Once the soup is pureed, return it to the pot and add the heavy cream.
  4. Simmer for about 10 minutes, to reduce the cream a bit. Add the juice of 1/2 of a lemon, then taste for salt and add what you need. If you feel the soup is too thick, add more stock. If you feel it needs to be thicker, continue to reduce it on low until it’s at the consistency you prefer.
  5. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/hawaij-cream-of-mushroom-soup/

Categories: Course, Global Cuisines, Holiday, Middle East, North America, Recipes, Sides, Soups and Stews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Chef Andrea’s Cardamom and Olive Oil Cake

Recently, Holly admitted her powerlessness over the char grilled prawns at the West Edge’s favorite eatery, Lecosho. She recommended following the dish with this fantastic cardamom olive oil cake for dessert, and my ears perked right up.

Exotic spices to feature in this fabulous cake- cardamom, pink peppercorn, and fennel seed.

Now as a Sicilian, when you say “olive oil,” I say “more!” So I called over to beg pastry chef Andrea for her recipe and she graciously gave it up. The Ranier cherries that she serves with it are at the end of their season now, but don’t let that stop you from attempting this cake! Try a few slices of Northwest pear, poached in wine and sugar, or a few cubes of caramelized pumpkin, roasted until soft to garnish. This cake is heavenly with freshly ground cardamom, but is also a brilliant vehicle to feature any number of exotic spices- try pink peppercornssaffronfennel (or fennel pollen!) or anise seed, paired with a different flavors of gelato.

A word on the recipe itself: “Real deal” bakers and pastry chefs weigh their ingredients, much like we weigh our spices here in the shop. Weighing provides far more consistent and accurate measurements, which is why we choose to sell our spices that way, too. I left Chef Andrea’s original weights in the recipe in case you’re in possession of a gram scale, but also translated them to the more commonly used volume measurements for the average home cook, too.

Cardamom Olive Oil Cake with Rose-Poached Pears and Pistachio Gelato

 

Chef Andrea’s Cardamom Olive Oil Cake

Chef Andrea’s Cardamom Olive Oil Cake

Ingredients

  • 290 grams all-purpose flour (2 1/3 cups)
  • 6 grams baking powder (1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 4 grams Utah Basin salt (1 scant teaspoon)
  • 2 eggs
  • 316 grams sugar (1.5 cups plus 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups olive oil- pomace, or a mild-tasting extra virgin
  • Freshly ground cardamom seed, to taste (~2 tablespoons, for us)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F if you've got a convection oven, 350 F for standard.
  2. Line a half sheet tray (for the home cook, a full-sized jelly roll pan) with parchment paper, and grease it liberally with olive oil or non-stick spray.
  3. Cream sugar and eggs to ribbon stage.
  4. Sift together the dry ingredients, and set them aside.
  5. Combine the olive oil and milk (they won’t incorporate, but this is okay).
  6. With a stiff rubber spatula, add the dry ingredients and milk/olive oil mix to the creamed sugar and egg mix in alternating thirds- that is, 1/3 of the dry ingredients, mix, 1/3 of the milk/oil, mix, repeat until all ingredients are just incorporated.
  7. Add your desired amount of freshly ground cardamom.
  8. Pour into the prepared pan, and spread until even.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you're not using a convection oven, turn the cake pan halfway through baking.
  10. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack.
  11. To serve as they do at Lecosho, top with a scoop of almond gelato (Chef Andrea makes her own, but we love Procopio!) and pile of pitted local Rainer cherries, mascerated in just a bit of sugar. Enjoy!
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/chef-andreas-cardamom-olive-oil-cake/

Categories: Course, Holiday, Recipes, Sweet Somethings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Equinox Detox- Autumn Spice Overhaul!

Ready for Fall!

The Autumn Equinox brings many things around the Pacific Northwest: our infamous drizzle begins anew, the few maples and oaks color aflame in between the miles of evergreen, the oysters are firm and plump again, garden kale stems grow thick and tough in preparation for wintering over, and perhaps less famously but no less excitingly, my spice cabinet gets its quarterly makeover! Fall is when my cooking gets hearty, and I rely the heaviest of blended spices to warm my belly and my soul through the short, grey days, and the long, cold nights. It should come as little surprise to anyone who follows my blog-y musings that I delight in the unexpected, so here I’ll share a few of my top, must-have-on-hand blends that add cheer, color, and interest to my standby fall dishes.

Hearty Things: 

Whole Harissa

The man who shares my life also shares with me an almost unnatural love of Harissa. At once familiar and unexpected, Harissa adds such depth and warmth to everything it touches. Instead of the traditional thyme and rosemary, I rub harissa on a chuck roast before sealing it in my dutch oven and slow-roasting it overnight. The juices from the meat mingle with the exotic spice, and makes the most sumptuous little pan sauce- after you’ve pulled your tender roast, just reduce the liquid by half, and add a pat of butter.  Our cous cous with roasted vegetables and Harissa sauce is a year-round classic in my house, too.

My family is a bit “leftovers-challenged,” which is a nice way of saying that even the meals that get raves on night one, die slow deaths in the refrigerator if not re-imagined in to other things. When I make our Turkey Mole, the first night I’ll use the meat to make enchiladas or tacos, while the second, I’ll thin the sauce with chicken stock until it’s just thicker than broth consistency, and add chopped tomatoes, white beans, corn, and onion, and simmer for half an hour to make the world’s fastest and most delicious chili. Soul satisfying, and infinitely more interesting that your traditional “bowl of red.”

Roasted Things:

Acorn, Butternut, Delicata, Hubbard, Kabocha, Spaghetti, Turban… Gardens and markets abound with scores of winter squashes — to say nothing of the dozens of pumpkin varieties — all delicious, nutritious, inexpensive, and begging for a roasting. A dash of cinnamon, a grate of nutmeg- fine, I suppose, but who settles for “fine” when “amazing” is available? I stock Kashmiri Curry and Besar for just these occasions. Both have the toasty, sweet spices that bring out the inherent sweetness of the squash, but add so much more, whether you’re roasting whole to mash, or cubing and caramelizing your gourds.

.

The easiest side dish at this time of year is roasted root vegetables. Heat a sheet pan in a 450 degree oven, toss a sampling of carrots, parsnips, turnips, potatoes, and onions in a bit of oil, spread in an even layer on your hot pan, and roast until tender and golden. It may be natural to reach again for the rosemary, or even the Italian Herbs, but I prefer the savory crunch of Svaneti Seasoned Salt. This eastern European blend is so versatile that I find it pairs no matter how I’ve seasoned the main dish — European, north African, Middle Eastern, or Indian. I go through quarts of the stuff, I just can’t get enough.

Sweet Things:
I have to preface all of this by saying that I do not consider myself a baker. I usually find the excessive measuring and strict orders of operations stifling, and too math-like to be enjoyable to my free spirit. However, creatively spicing puts the joy back in. Pumpkin pies abound at every gathering this time of year, and though I love them, I do grow weary. I prefer this pie, adapted from a very traditional Southern recipe, using sweet potatoes and Sri Lankan curry. Deeply toasted and just a bit spicy, this warm, sweet blend has all but replaced Pumpkin Pie Spice in my kitchen, for sweet potato and pumpkin pies.

.

This Apple-Carrot pie has also become a standby in my kitchen. When I first posted it, great Seattle food blogger cook.can.read commented that “Cinnamon is the gateway drug. Chinese Five Spice is the destination.” I couldn’t agree more! Try using Chinese Five Spice anywhere your autumn baking calls for cinnamon- I’m talking pumpkin or zucchini breads, muffins- even toss it with sugar to coat the outside of your snickerdoodles!

So, if you’re open to any advice from your humble spice merchant,  although nature may be hunkering down for the chilly months ahead, use this time to re-awaken your spice stash. Grab a few unfamiliar and exotic blends, and turn over those spices that have been languishing for six months or longer. The bright flavors of fresh spices will all but erase the dreary skies from your psyche. We’ve got an entire display dedicated to these blends and a few other fall staff favorites, (as well as a bunch of new books!) so drop by for a sniff and a chat!

Categories: Hot Topics, Notes from the Field, Spice Notes, Tools of the Trade | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kala Masala Skillet Cornbread

This savory cornbread knocked our collective socks off at first bite. Our Kala Masala spice blend is a complex one, and that complexity of flavor transfers easily to the skillet cornbread.  There’s a tiny bit of heat from some guajillo chiles in the blend that is balanced perfectly by a healthy dose of toasted coconut for sweetness. Try it with a fish, lentil or vegetable soup for maximum enjoyment!

Cast Iron is essential for crusty cornbread!

 

Kala Masala Skillet Cornbread

Kala Masala Skillet Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Murray River flake salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground Kala Masala
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons butter, bacon fat or vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven to get hot while you make the batter.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, baking soda and Kala Masala. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and the ¼ cup melted butter together.
  3. Take the hot cast iron skillet out of the oven, and add in the butter. Swirl it around until the butter starts to melt, being sure to tilt the pan to coat the sides and bottom evenly.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients in the dry ingredients and mix quickly, just until moistened. Do not overmix. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake the cornbread until it’s golden brown, about 20 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven, and try to let it cool for a few minutes before you dive in. Cut into 8 wedges.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/kala-masala-skillet-cornbread/

Categories: Course, Curries & Masalas, Global Cuisines, Indian Subcontinent, North America, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment