Spice Road Spices
Artisan Spice Merchants
A journey of 3000 years to bring gourmet, time saving pure spice blends to you the Home Chef
I suppose it's fairly predictable that I would start this way. Quite simply, your favourite dish should start with Spices. Not your artificially flavoured and preservative added mixtures on supermarket shelves but plain, pure and natural Herbs and Spices that have been delivering flavour to us for over 3000 years.
Of course this nicely fits with the acceptance of fresh, sustainable farm produce and free range grass fed meats and poultry, all an essential tenet for our future and importantly, well being.
The first thing you will notice once started on your brief journey for Roasted Garlic is the smell. Soft, warm, slightly sweet and very inviting. Caramelised pretty much covers it.
We did a brief piece on Roasted Garlic some time ago and since then more and more recipes are noting this amazingly simple flavour essential
One of the great joys of Spice Road Spices is discovering true artisan Makers from around Australia and in turn, passing this on to all subscribers.
The outstanding people and their product from Toscana Olive Oil Co in the Grampians, the remarkable Andrew Phillips who runs, without quality compromise, The Coffee Warehouse in the Blue Mountains NSW and Otway Walnuts in Victoria are all classic examples of true artisan Makers .
A note from Jasmine W. Geelong, Victoria gives a nice suggestion that after you have finished poaching a chicken (usual thing, whole chicken, onions, carrot, celery and Spices) with the meat falling from the bones, set aside the meat and return the bones to the pot. Continue on a low heat to reduce the liquid and enrich the broth.
When the broth has reduced to your liking, allow to cool and refrigerate for, ideally, 24 hours to allow all the flavours to blend. Then reheat, reduce a little more then strain through a colander and finally the liquid through a cheesecloth or fine sieve. You will now have an amazing (and very economical) chicken stock for your stews and sauces.
The learned Foodie, Adam Florance mentioned using Parsley Stems in his excellent recipe for Moroccan Lamb Riblets ( refer Recipes ).
Adam would not advise the addition of Parsley Stems as opposed to Parsley Leaves without good reason and given that Parsley is an essential in so many recipes, we decided to look into this Parsley business further.
Having devoted a considerable amount of time arranging new friends for Goats Cheese (refer previous Epicurean Posts) we wondered if other Herbs and Spices might be interested in sharing their partners for special recipes.
Looking further into this and as every good Foodie would have noticed, the stand out Spice pairing in many classic recipes is Coriander and Cumin.
And neither are all Herbs and Spices!
For many of the very special Foodies across Australia the differences in Cinnamon are common knowledge. However, for general interest and starting out Foodies we should note that there are two types of Cinnamon available but only one genuine Cinnamon. Ceylon Cinnamon from Sri Lanka.
The other Cinnamon is the one you will find in most supermarkets. Cassia or fake Cinnamon. Generally from Indonesia, China or Vietnam, the bark is harvested from the Cassia tree and while it is a good deal cheaper than Ceylon Cinnamon it has a very poor flavour imitation of real Cinnamon and a slightly bitter after taste.
All this came to mind when we received our latest delivery of true Ceylon Cinnamon. Looking at the Cinnamon differences, we reflected that the same quality differences are evident with pretty much all Herbs and Spices.
Predictably, we would say that our Spices are the purest and the freshest of course but more importantly, we care about how the Herbs and Spices are grown and harvested.
I know we have used this opening before but from the texts received relating to our previous piece we thought it would be good to dig a bit deeper into this special relationship between Goats Cheese (Chevre) and the ancient Egyptian spice blend, Dukkah.
The unique compatibility with Dukkah is simple enough. Dukkah is made up of Nuts, Sesame Seeds, Coriander, and Cumin. The crunchy texture of the nuts is a lovely counter to the smooth rich and earthy tang of the Goats Cheese. And when combined with the citrus and sage notes of the Coriander and the warm, spicy Cumin, you will have pure North African, Middle Eastern flavour. Awesome !
A lovely recipe for your favourite Goats Cheese and traditional Dukkah
For many people the taste of raw radishes can often be overpowering. However, there is a method of transforming the sharpness into a wonderful accompaniment to favourite recipes.
And beautifully easy. Simply heat your oven to 180c, trim the green bits and ends from the Radishes, coat in a little Sesame Oil, a touch of salt and bake for around 20 - 30 minutes, depending on size of the Radishes, until soft.
Our spices begin their journey.