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Spice

  • The Magic of Spaghetti Aglio E Olio Peperoncino

    Its mid-summer and the weather is living proof that it is still a great time for outdoor bbqs. But what about those days when you dont feel like grilling? Im talking about those days when you just want good old-fashioned tummy filling, palate pleasing food. Well I have just the right suggestion during those momentary mood-food swings -- Spaghetti aglio e oliopeperoncino (translation: Spaghetti with garlic and oil and red-chile flakes). This traditional Italian pasta dish is believed to have its origins from the region of Abruzzo. But Id go further to say that Spaghetti aglio e olio is probably one of the most common and popular dishes that is eaten on a regular basis all across Italy; and Im sure that most Italians would agree with me.
    Continue reading

  • King of Mushrooms

    Porcini mushrooms are at the top of the list for being one of my favorite fungi. Not only because they impart a rich, earthy flavor to any variety of dishes, but because they are very easy to cook with its that simple. I mean you can add dried or fresh porcini's to anything from pasta to soups to eggs or to jazz up burgers. I, for one, am crazy about these born to be wild mushrooms and with a scientific name like Boletus edulis (say that 3 times fast) who can blame me? Continue reading

  • Coriander - Herb or Spice?

    Coriandrum sativum, better known as coriander, is a bright green, shining plant with pinnate leaves and is a member of the parsley family. It has been extensively used in various cuisines from all over the world to enrich the flavor of sauces, salsas and soups sauces like curries and Mexican chile salsas, to name a few. Continue reading

  • Mexican Mole Sauce in 15 Minutes

    One of Mexico's first and greatest gifts to international cuisine is mole, a family of complex, chili-based simmering sauces that can be red, green, brown or nearly black in color.

    Often said to have been invented by poor nuns at a colonial convent in Puebla where the celebrated Cinco de Mayo victory was to take place in 1862 mole takes its name from the indigenous Nahuatl word for mix or sauce. Continue reading

  • Apples, Spices and Hot Mulled Cider

    Where would we be without apples? These crisp, rosy fruits and believe it or not, they are a member of the rose family provide sweet, juicy eating when fresh, thirst-quenching beverages when pressed and mouthwatering flavors when preserved.

    They are also one of the original health foods: Though the old phrase an apple a day keeps the doctor away may not literally be true, apples do contain dietary fiber, vitamin C and potassium. Continue reading

  • Roasted Bell Peppers Brighten Many Dishes

    You might not think of bell peppers as a spice, but they can be roasted and dried to preserve their sweet flavor and bright colors. Diced or powdered, roasted bell peppers give a lift to all kinds of recipes, from omelets to entrees.

    You can use roasted red bell pepper powder in place of paprika in almost any dish or sprinkle it over a cheese plate. Pair it with the stronger-flavored roasted green bell pepper in soups, stews, chilis and sauces like Ronit's recipe below; add a dash of each to dips, dressings and marinades. Continue reading

  • Hot Mulled Cider

    A simple, spiked cider to warm you inside and out. Continue reading

  • Mole Sauce

    Ingredients:

    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1/3 onion, finely chopped
    1 tbsp plantain banana, chopped
    1 tbsp green tomatillo, chopped
    1 cup Mexican Mole spice mixture
    1 tbsp white wine
    1/4 tsp salt Continue reading

  • Curry Fish

    Ingredients:

    Serves 5

    ½ cup vegetable oil
    1 ½ tablespoons mustard seed (brown)
    1 large onion, chopped fine
    10 large cloves garlic, minced
    3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
    4 teaspoons curry powder (we use our basic Indian curry)
    1 teaspoon salt
    ¾ cup coconut milk
    2 fresh roma tomatoes, chopped
    2 tablespoons plain yogurt
    ½ cup methi leaves
    5 salmon fillets Continue reading

  • Liquid Gold

    Golden milk may be a new discovery for us, but this golden beverage is an ancient concoction dating back hundreds of years.

    So what is golden milk? Basically, this golden nectar is a beverage made of milk and turmeric paste with a touch of sweetness. The paste made from turmeric and water is commonly used throughout India for making beauty care products and for creating deliciously, colorful food and beverages.

    Making the paste is easy enough to do, just add powdered turmeric and water and refrigerate until it has the consistency of a paste. Using powdered turmeric is better than the raw form, as it is easier to digest. Once you have your paste ready to use, you prepare the drink by heating a cup of milk, add the turmeric paste, stir in some sweetener, like honey or a sugar substitute to balance the bitterness of the turmeric, and add a wee-bit of oil, like flax seed, sesame, almond, black cumin or coconut. Using essential oil in the recipe helps keep the joints lubricated. You can even add a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom to the mixture for extra flavor. Continue reading

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