Archive for ‘North Market Spices’

May 21, 2012

Unexpected Savory | Cumin Granola

Sometimes texture can be just as important to a dish as flavor. It’s harder to enjoy something that’s just a bowl of mush.  Ok, aside from perhaps enjoying a whole dinner of say, mashed potatoes with copious amounts of butter or oodles of macaroni and cheese.  I have those days, too.  But sometimes there are some things that need a little crunch.

Enter this delicious and surprising garnish for a ho-hum dinner in need of some oomph.  Consider moderating the spices based on your dish.  I think a curry granola or a chile scented granola would be equally tasty.  And if you’re local to Columbus, stop by North Market Spices to pick up one of their many spice blends (which are amazing) to use.

Savory Cumin Granola

1 c rolled oats

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February 24, 2012

My Most Favorite Soup | Spicy Senegalese Peanut

This is truly and honestly my most favorite soup of all time.  It is creamy and comforting, spicy and flavorful.  It is African-influenced.  It is at once modern and familiar.  And while you’ll need a handful of spices (have you been building your spice cabinet?), the technique is simple and fairly quick.

I first came across this soup years and years ago when I lived in New Jersey.  Montclair, with its “winter views” of Manhattan, had an outpost of what was, for a brief shining moment, a wonderful little soup shop.  Initially, it was really great.  But then, the original owners dropped out after making a cookbook, someone else took over.   You know the story.  This shop was in a teeny what-used-to-probably-be-a-closet-for-maintenance-equipment underneath railroad tracks.

But this soup.  The combination of leeks and curry and peanuts and spice and goodness, well, it was worth it what I seem to recall being like nine bucks a bowl.

Here’s my take on all the warm toasty soup goodness with none of the pesky cost.  Enjoy it when it’s chilly and you want to skip the meat for a night or four.  This makes plenty.

Spicy Senegalese Peanut Soup, makes a whole bunch (inspired by a recipe in The Daily Soup Cookbook)

1  12 oz bag of roasted, salted peanuts (this is the size of a bag from Whole Foods)

2 T vegetable oil, (or preferably peanut oil)

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February 16, 2012

Mix This | Georgian ‘Curry’ Mix

ImageIn Georgian cooking, Khmeli Suneli is a spice mix that can be used as a dry rub or as an enhancement to soups and stews. It is essentially a curry, since it’s just a mix of spices.  You can choose to use all dried ingredients, or include some fresh, if you have it or it’s in season.

I used this in a mixed braise with lamb and short ribs (expect a post about that soon).  But it would also be great mixed with some olive oil and bread crumbs as an herb crust on chicken or fish.  Or sprinkle in a heaping tablespoon once you’ve sweated down some onions as a base for soup.

It’s fragrant, beautiful stuff, with forgiving measurements.

Persephone’s Khmeli Suneli

Mix equal parts dried of (I used a tablespoon each):

Whole fenugreek seeds

Bay leaf (I used 2 huge ones)

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October 2, 2011

Local Foods Week | Brining Two Kinds of Pork

I haven’t made a whole lot of pork lately.  I’ve been swooning over spice-rubbed chicken, braising all manner of cuts beef, and grilling plenty of fish.  I think pork needs its due.  I am a big fan, particularly of bacon and pork belly.  It must be the fat.  But what about the old standby favorites?  I think I’ve been shying away from cuts like pork chops and fresh hams simply because, at first blush, seem kind of mundane.

Enter brining.  A great primer, including a simple ratio, from Cooks Illustrated can be found here.  But in a nutshell, this technique of soaking in a salt, sugar and spice “stock,” really livens up the flavor of the more lean cuts of pork and bumps up the much needed moisture.  It doesn’t require any silly flavor injectors and it’s foolproof.   Adjust the flavors and seasonings as you wish and you’ll have a dinner either as familiar or exotic as you want it to be.  Add in some locally and thoughtfully raised pork, mine was from Curly Tail Organic Farm, and the noble pig doesn’t get much better than this.

Basic Brine, make 1 quart per pound of meat

1 qt water

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November 28, 2010

Giveaway of the Day | North Market Spices Gift

I love the folks at North Market Spices.  I love Ben.  I adore his mom, Cindy.  Cherub loves Cindy.  Loves, loves, loves.  You get tremendous service from the Walters family there.  They have everything you could possibly need.  Plus some things you might not have realized you need.  It’s a fun shop.

Right now they have mulling spices for wine as well as, I’ve heard, a tremendous spicy hocho (hot chocolate for all of you not into the whole brevity thing).  Great grab and go gift bags, too.  Perfect for the last-minute hostess gift.  Because we are all  being invited to a ton of holiday soirees this time of year.

So today’s giveaway from North Market Spices, Ltd. is perfect for giving or keeping.  This gift bag contains 2 ounces of mulling spices, 2.5 ounces of pumpkin spice and 2 ounces of poultry seasoning.  Also included is a “holiday topper” with whole nutmeg, cinnamon sticks and a cute mini grater that stores the nutmeg, perfect for grating over egg nog or a strong hot toddy. 

To enter, let me know who you plan to give this little gift to (yourself?  your mom?  your office mate?) in the comments section of this post or send me a tweet with the same info.  For complete rules, click here.  Entries can be submitted until noon on November 29th.  Good luck!

November 26, 2010

The Official Persephone’s Kitchen Holiday Gift Guide

The turkey coma is fading, the leftover turkey carcass is simmering on the stove for stock, and now you can start thinking about what to do about your holiday gifts.  ‘Tis the season to be giving!  Perhaps you’ve got a friend or family member that loves all things food, or all things Ohio or all things fabulous. 

Persephone is here with a trusty list that’s sure to have them smiling.  Here are some of the things that will be wrapped and given to our nearest and dearest this year, whether it’s under a tree or lovingly pressed into the welcoming hands of a hostess with a houseful of merrymakers.

For the Baker

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November 24, 2010

Presents from Persephone’s Kitchen | A Week of Giveaways

I’m so excited for you, dear reader.  Persephone has presents.  Surprises for you on the terrace! 

I’ve written about a few of my favorite things and now, they are here, in my Kitchen, waiting to be given away.  Beginning this Friday, I’ll be doing a giveaway a day for a week.  The kind folks at The Olive Orchard, North Market Spices, Ltd., Dine Originals Columbus, Silver Bridge Coffee and David Tanis (yes, really!) all gave me things that they knew I loved and thought you’d love, too.  (You will!)

I’ll be putting up a gift guide tomorrow with great suggestions for the foodie that we all have in our lives, then I’ll start giving away gifts from the list beginning Black Friday.  Be sure to follow me on Twitter.  I’ll be tweeting when each giveaway starts.  Good luck!

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