Posts Tagged “pantry staple”
The first day of Spring was a few weeks ago. In Santa Fe, we are experiencing the usual Spring weather – windy sunny afternoons and chilly mornings / evenings, with the occasional snowstorm! It was cold and cloudy a few mornings ago and this turned into a “wintry mix” of rain and snow. I’m ready for a true spring.
In contrast, a week ago the fruit trees are blossoming. Cholula and I went on a jog through my neighborhood. There were apricot, peach, and cherry trees in full bloom. Last year we had a bad freeze in January and a bad spring for blossoms. I’m hoping for a good fruit season in spite of the snow.
Harissa is a North African chile paste that seasons everything it touches a delightful spice. It is most commonly found in Tunisia, and can be found at ethnic markets. Why not make this tasty condiment yourself and leave the sodium and other questionable additives at the factory?
Harissa is a blend of chiles, spices, garlic and olive oil. It’s traditionally used to liven up soups, stews, grilled eggplant and couscous.
Sweet soy sauce is a basic condiment throughout Asia, but is most common in China, Japan, and Korea. This is a basic staple I created to replace its commercially prepared counterpart, which is loaded with white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and MSG. I’m sure traditionally prepared sweet soy sauce uses more wholesome ingredients, but unfortunately I’ve never found it. I like making my own condiments, because it allows me enjoy the foods I like, but without the junk.
To give the soy sauce its sweetness I use medjool dates. Dates are my go to sweetener.
When people think of Indian food, most often people think of curry. Curry is both a ground spice blend and a dish stewed with the ground spices. Like all traditional regional cuisines, each Indian household has their own family recipes, yet there are consistencies throughout each region. The recipes below are great basic recipes, one southern and the other northern Indian. They are essentially interchangeable in any Indian soup, curry or sauté of vegetables. The recipes are
Zach and I have both been fighting colds this week. I thought the topic of home made vegetable stock would be fitting. We have been eating a lot of soup in hopes of speeding up our recoveries.
Many of my recipes for soups, stews, and braises call for vegetable stock. Though you can always find a nice quality stock at the grocery store, I see it as an unnecessary expense. It is very easy to make your own and costs practically nothing.
Kim Chi is definitely an acquired taste. I love all things pickled, but it took me a few tastes to really enjoy kimchi’s flavor. It is a spicy fermented vegetable mixture, seasoned with garlic, ginger, green onion, and hot chile powder. The flavor of the ginger after the fermentation process is quite strong.
Kimchi is the staple condiment that completes a traditional Korean meal. When I use the word “complete,” it’s no joke.