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Spice of the Month Club

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

11:50AM - Chipotle Bagels

In celebration of the declaration of a new spice of the month, I have used said ingredient to make smoky, spicy bagels. They came out quite nicely, with just enough chipotle to impart a nice flavor but not so much as to be overpowering. Here's the recipe, based on the one from Joy of Cooking (otherwise known as "the good book" around my house).

Makes 6 bagels

1/3 cup scalded milk
4 tsp. butter
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

Once the milk has cooled some, add:
3/4 tsp. dry yeast

Once that has dissolved, mix in:
1 chopped chipotle in adobo sauce
1 egg
1 1/4 cups flour

Once that's all well mixed, turn out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead enough flour into the dough to make it easier to handle. Put into greased bowl and cover with dish towel. Keep in warm, non-drafty place and let rise for about an hour, hour and a half.

Once risen, shape bagels and let them rise while you boil two quarts of water with a tablespoon of sugar in it. After about fifteen minutes, or when the water's at a rolling boil, preheat the oven to 400oF and start dropping the dough into the water. Once the dough rises to the suface of the water, let it cook on that side for a minute or so, then turn over and let the over side cook for a few minutes. Remove from water and put on baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush with eggwash and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if you want. Put in oven for about 20 - 25 minutes.

Remove, eat, enjoy.

Current mood: pleased

Friday, March 18, 2005

2:34PM - Back With a Kick!

Um, yeah, so, we're back!
March 2005's SPICE OF THE MONTH is (drumroll, please):

Chipotle Pepper!

Chipotles are dried, smoked jalapeño peppers (Capsicum annum CV 'Jalapeño'), which means they have amazing potential for lending their rich smokiness and piquant kick to any number of dishes. They are commonly available dry or canned in adobo (check the Mexican food section). Some places you can also find it powdered.

So, go to it, and don't afraid of a little heat!

(We're going to make a chicken dish with a raspberry-chipotle sauce in the next couple days. If it's any good, we'll tell you more. This may also be the excuse Grace needs to make her chipotle chocolate torte she's been fantasizing about for months. You can tell we're professionals because we talk about ourselves in the third person.)

Also, to bring you up to date, we have had spices of the month for the past few months, we just haven't posted them. Because we're lazy and we suck (see? professionalism of 3rd person gone because of suckage).
Nov. 2004: Caraway Seed
Dec. 2004: Anise Seed
Jan/Feb. 2005: Fennel Seed (So much to do with fennel. Maybe we tell you about it later)
So, yes, we've been busy being seedy.

Saturday, January 8, 2005

4:09PM - Cinnamon

Hi all,
I'm fairly new to spices and think this community to be terrific and helpful. I also have a simple question on Cinnamon spice. I brought a few cinnamon quills today and was wondering whether ground cinnamon was just a matter of grinding the quills in a mortar and pestle? And also, does anyone have any recipes or tips to share on Cinnamon itself?
Thanks heaps, Jodie.

Current mood: cheerful

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

11:44AM - Peach Crumble

I made a Peach-Pecan Crumble on Sunday night-- adapted from a rhubarb ginger crumble.
However, cloves and peaches set each other off wonderfully, so I substituted the ginger with
cloves (and a dash of nutmeg), and then added cloves and cinnamon to the brown sugar/oat/butter
topping. Kind of like a summer version of Apple crisp.

Current mood: content

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

1:16AM - Clove Chicken

Don't feel like speculating about exact amounts I don't know right now, but this was quite good and highlighted the clove quite nicely, so I thought I'd put it up as a conversation starter for the spice of the month.

Cut about a lb of chicken into bite sized pieces
sprinkle with salt, pepper, nutmeg, gr. cloves, (& a little of my beloved poultry seasoning!)
then with flour
put a couple Tblsp. oil in deep frypan with 6 or 7 cloves
brown chicken pieces and put aside
Deglaze pan with juice from 1 small can peeled tomatoes
and put the chicken pieces back in
break up the tomatoes into the pan
1-2 Tblsp brown sugar
more gr. clove
more nutmeg
red pepper flakes
sliced black olives
some olive juice
black pepper

at the end add:
3-4 cloves garlic
a whole lot of fresh basil, chiffonade-cut
juice from half a lime

serve with rice

1:07AM - August 2004: Month of the Clove

Presenting the incredibly belated Spice of the Month for August 2004:

Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum)
Click here for further information

The fragrant bud of a temperate-zone evergreen, cloves lend a fragrant spicy-sweet zing to anything from pumpkin pie to jerk chicken, but can make your tongue go numb if eaten directly. Chewing cloves is actually an old remedy for mouth owies because of this anagesic property.

So, a clove jumped in your pot recently? Tell us about it!

Thursday, July 15, 2004

11:23PM - Sage-Rosemary Rolls

I recently made some sage-rosemary rolls to go with dinner, which were quite nice. If you make any bread or rolls soon, try putting some of each in there - it's nummy!

For those of you who want to play along at home but need a recipe.Collapse )

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

10:44AM - Sage means Saltimbocca

I made this right after watching the Iron Chef America where Mario Batali made saltimbocca with lobster.

4 large prawns and 4 large sea scallops
fresh sage
olive oil
White wine

I wrapped each of the prawns/scallops with a sage leaf, than a piece of pancetta around it. Dredged in flour and then pan-fried in the olive oil. Added msuhrooms to the pan, and once they were done, I deglazed the pan using about 1/4 cup white wine. Cooked it until the liquid becam saucy.
Served with pasta.

Ooooh man that was soo good. I really should hit that one again.

Monday, July 12, 2004

4:51PM - New Spice of the Month

Hello everybody! It's time for a new spice of the month!

Yeah, I know, it's kinda late, but I've been busy and indesicive and having trouble with the internet and all that foo.

Anyway, here it is, the moment you've all been waiting for...


Yeah, so it's technically an herb. It is still yummy and must be explored, however.

To start you off, here's a simple little idea to get you acquainted with our new friend: sage butter. Yes, it's as simple as it sounds. Melt some butter in a saucepan and throw in some fresh chopped sage, then toss it with some pasta. Eat. You can add a little salt or cheese to the pasta once the butter's tossed in if you want, but it's really best kept simple.

So go. Get some fresh sage and play with it, and report back here to let others know what you've done.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

11:16PM - July

So I finally used coriander tonight.
I put garam masala on the chicken,
so I have officially used the spice of
the month, though I've used Coriander
Root a few times in Thai Food. Another
thought: Moderators, what is the spice
for July going to be?

Current mood: accomplished

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

12:59AM - Green Bean Salad (with coriander, mais oui)

Made this tonight and was pleased. It was missing something before the coriander though. Namely, the coriander.

1/2 lb fresh green beans

2 Tblsp olive oil
2 Tblsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
ground pepper
1-2 tsp whole coriander - crushed up a little bit with mortar and pestle
2 cloves garlic
1 Tblsp maple syrup
small bunch fresh oregano, chopped

Knock off the stem ends of the green beans and steam or blanch them so they're still pretty crisp. Mix other ingredients together and toss it all together. If you can let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours, all the better.

Tuesday, June 8, 2004

11:26PM - Coriander fruit.

Spice of the month for June 2004:

Coriander fruit (not the seed) (Coriandrum sativum)

More background on coriander.

Not to be confused with its leafy counterpart (also known as cilantro), coriander fruit (often misidentified as a seed - I didn't know that until about 5 min. ago) has a pungent and vaguely sweet aroma and taste.

It is a common ingredient in curry powders and garam masala, but turns up all over the world.

So, what has coriander done for you lately? Go out there and play with it, and then tell us about it.

Click for full size (not that much bigger)