How can I use Green Cardamom?
Cardamom, pronounced kaar-duh-muhm is an ancient spice with a vast variety of benefits and uses that is sure to transform a casual home cook into a world-renowned chef at a dinner party. But what exactly is Cardamom and why are people so fascinated with not only its great taste but its very unique and aromatic smell?
Green Cardamom is a small, triangular-shaped seed with a light green texture (there are black and even white cardamom as-well). It’s used to add flavor and aroma to savory and spicy foods of all types. Cardamom grew into the spice it is today and found its way into many kitchens after centuries of ancient practices. The Greeks used it to add flavor to their sauces and vegetables while some Middle Eastern countries used it in various desserts and teas. Among its many uses in dishes of all sorts, it also has health benefits that can help to fight bad breath and has antioxidants that may help to lower blood pressure.
But in the context of culinary arts, cardamom is a game-changer, and a sure champion to start a conversation at the dinner table. But when you first look at cardamom, you might not know exactly what to do with them. You might think of just throwing a bunch in your dish, or blending them, or chopping them up. It all depends on what you’re cooking and the type of taste and texture you’re going for.
So if you’re cooking meats, most chefs usually crush the desired amount with a spoon or the bottom of a small pot. Doing so will allow the flavor to be kept and to cook just right.
If you’re looking to add seasoning to vegetables, you can add the cardamom in a grinder and sprinkle to the taste. This method allows other spices to perfectly mix in as you toss and turn the vegetables, giving it a light taste. You can also use crushed green cardamom in baked goods like layered spice cakes.
Roasting cardamom is another alternative. Doing so could be done by taking the seeds from the pods and putting them in a dry skillet for a few minutes. This method is most favored by chefs who want to try recipes like roasted chicken or roasted rice. This allows a crisp texture along with the signature cardamom aroma.
Cardamoms great health benefits, great taste and smell will give off a subtle feeling of a cleansing and calming atmosphere, fit for any kitchen. So if you ever run out of ginger or cinnamon, cardamom will be sure to add an amazing taste, texture, and aroma to your favorite dishes.
How will you use it?
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Trying to eat better? Top spices for veggies.
We have all been stuck in our homes for too long, some have taken the opportunity to veg out, and some have been dabbling in eating better and cooking more. Either way you have gone, this article is sure to get you salivating, here are the top spices for veggies.
Rosemary: Strong and delicious
One of the best spices to use is Rosemary, which has been a staple classic with a strong piney flavor that will elevate bland tasting raw vegetables. It will change your perspective on eating veggies more regularly by adding a savory and sweet addition to your meals. They can be cooked with the vegetables in dried or raw form and each yields a different flavor.
Thyme: A classic taste
Thyme has the ability to add a savory quality to any vegetable with a remarkable flavor profile that has been used in cooking since ancient times. It has a slight mint profile but it doesn’t overpower. You can cook it with the vegetables in the same way as rosemary and can choose between raw or dry ingredients. This particular spice has every pleasant aromatic profile that sends your tastebuds on a journey. They are an excellent spice for vegetables.
Mint, coriander, and parsley
These herbs can be utilized on their own or are commonly combined into an herb medley that will accomplish a complex and delicious flavor profile. There are definitely ways to experiment with combining herbs to spice up your veggies, and sometimes it takes experimentation to accomplished the desired results. These are some of the best spices to use in combination for an incredible taste. It will be so good that you’ll forget you’re eating veggies. Finely chop these herbs and add some olive oil or butter to the mix while cooking with a delicious vegetable selection.
Italian mixed herbs
This is an example of a mixture of herbs that are combined to create a specific effect. In this case, the result will be a zingy Italian blend of oregano, basil, and thyme for an interesting and invigorating flavor. There are also some other herbs available in different blends that make it so powerful with one simple shake into your cooking apparatus. They are great for Italian meals that feature a vegetable side dish to make them compliment any dish with a mouth-watering aroma.
Cajun Spice seasoning to add a flare
Spice up your veggies by seeking a seasoning that steps outside the box and adds some heat to the mix. It doesn’t overwhelm but adds the perfect amount of spice for a fantastic finish. It can help to bring out the natural flavors of vegetables and is also a common spice blend used in cooking. The cajun spice seasoning features classics such as paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and a few more that make this an incredibly versatile option. It will definitely be a noticeable flare that will have you craving veggies again to remain healthy. Spices are a great way to make healthy vegetables taste great and trigger future cravings.
Different Ways to Spice Up Your Winter Squash
Winter squash is one of the most delectable delicacies for the Winter culinary palette. There are many different types of Winter squashes, including Pumpkin, Spaghetti Squash, Red Kuri and Kabocha. These types of squash are hearty and sweet in flavor. They conjure up memories of cold Winter nights and warm Winter meals. While these are some of the finest assortment of foods in the culinary palette, their deliciousness relies in many parts on the spices with which they are seasoned. There are a number of ways to spice up your Winter squash dishes, as listed below.
Make it Spicy
This one is a simple strategy – make your Winter squash spicy. You can do this using dry spice ingredients like Cayenne pepper sprinkles on top while baking or black pepper used in abundance mixed into the hollow of the squash. Additionally, it is possible to use bulk peppers to spice your dish. You may choose to simmer whole jalapenos or cayenne peppers in cooking oil on the stove. You may then coat the squash in this cooking oil and allow it to marinate as you would with chicken. Either way, be sure to bake the spicy flavor into the meal in the oven.
Sweeten Your Pallette
One of the most lovely ways to add flavor to your squash dish is with the addition of fruit. You may choose to add fresh fruit such as oranges in the baking dish while you bake this seasonal vegetable. You may even choose to drench the squash in orange juice or even apple juice, allowing it to absorb all of the sweet flavors. It is advisable to use fruits that are seasonal to the squash, such as the Fall fruits apples, oranges, and dates. Another idea is to set your squash in a pool of fruit juices, then cover the dish before baking so that the juices evaporate into the squash vegetable.
Decorate Your Squash
There are a number of different edibles that can be used to decorate the squash, making the process of eating quite beautiful. You can add cloves to the exterior of the squash by poking them into a butternut squash. You can also sprinkle our brightly colored Spice Station Spices like cayenne or Mustard on top of the squash for a celebratory appearance.
This holiday season, there are so many ways to take your Winter squash dish from drab to fabulous by using certain cooking methods. You can make your dish extra spicy with Jalapeno and Cayenne peppers. You can sweeten your dish with natural fruits and fruit juices to create a candy-like taste. You can even make your squash dish appear very elegant by decorating with colorful spices.
Be sure to check out our spices here.
Some history on a well-loved Mexican dish, Fajitas.
Currently, the Fajita meal is prevalent in all Mexican or Tex-Mexican restaurants. The meat can vary from steak to chicken or seafood. Also, some places have vegetable Fajitas. Notably, when the dish first came into existence, it was considered as an unwanted part of a cow, which is the skirt steak. The word Fajita has a Spanish origin from “Faja,” which refers to girdle, hence the word Fajita means a “little strap.”
How did Fajitas get its Start?
Fajitas were initially created at the end of the 1930s and beginning of the 1940s by Mexican ranch workers that were located in Texas. There were instances where the workers were paid with meat, which consisted of the least wanted parts like the head, entrails together with skirt steak. The workers taught themselves how to turn these undesirable parts of meat into a meal that can be consumed by serving the grilled marinated meat on tortillas.
Since then, the dish has frequently been served as a backyard and campfire dish. It was passed down from one generation to another but had no intention of making it a significant meal in restaurants.
At the end of the 1960s, Sonny Falcon worked at Guajardo’s Cash Grocery as a meat market manager and started trying out some experiments with the meat. In a festival in 1969, he set up a Fajita stand and sold them to the crowd.
Around the same time, other restaurants placed Fajitas on their Menu. After a short period, Ninfa Rodriguez established her restaurant and served traditional dishes such as Fajitas.
The 1970s became an excellent year for the Fajitas since they were sold in many restaurants, and it gained a lot of customers. Chefs started cooking Fajitas but changed the recipe a little bit and opted to use the soft sirloin section as an alternative to the initial skirt steak.
The dish has advanced and incorporated other meats such as shrimp or chicken, together with vegetables. It is commonly served in most restaurants together with toasty tortillas and also a mountain of sides. It is also commonly known to be served on a sizzling hot plate, to keep everything warm.
You are probably wondering where you can get some tasty Fajitas after reading about them. Almost any Mexican restaurant has them on the menu, but why not make them at home? With our Fajita blend, you will not be disappointed! Season any type of meat or vegetables with it, even beans as well!
The Best Korean BBQ at Home
What is Korean BBQ? It is a finger-licking meal suitable for a community: friends, family, and workmates. The meal creates a colorful event as diners surround an open grill; everyone prepares their own unique bite. The preparation time for Korean bbq is about 2-3 hours (when all the ingredients are ready).
The complete dish features various banchans (sides), sauces, marinated meats, and other ingredients. Your host or restaurant determines your meal preparation since the Korean barbecue culture is passed from one generation to the other through apprenticeship.
Korean BBQ Culture
Korean barbecue starts with family and friends coming together to enjoy a delicious casual meal. Each guest cooks their own pieces of meat and vegetables (and wrap them in radishes or lettuce). The dish allows flexibility; each guest uses unique spices, sides and wraps to prepare a distinctive flair. Everyone is a chef, irrespective of one’s cooking expertise.
How to Prepare Korean Barbecue
Find a grill or a hot plate that will allow diners to stand around. You can use the traditional metal grill or a hot plate with chairs all around. However, remember to place the grill in a well-ventilated place since charcoal produces toxic fumes.
You can choose to source ingredients from scratch and combine them yourself – however that process will require about a 7-month planning period. Alternatively, you can order marinated and fermented ingredients from online outlets if you do not have much time to complete the spice preparation process.
You will also need thin slices of beef or pork, rice, marinated beef (try our Korean BBQ blend), and wrappings (radishes and lettuce). The rule of the thumb is to pass by an Asian grocery store so that you can buy assorted ready-made sauces and spices for your Korean bbq.
What is Korean BBQ meat choice about? Korean barbecues have various meat options such as squid, pork belly, brisket, beef tongue, and short ribs. However, vegans can substitute meat with grilled eggplant, mushrooms, and tofu, among other options. Seasoning is everything. You can buy prepared meat from an Asian market, or try our Korean BBQ seasoning.
Ensure you have thinly sliced meat because they cook fast.
Serve Korean barbecue at home with various spices and sauces such as doenjang, ssamjang, and gochujang. Do not forget the fermented chili paste for a savory flavor. Preparing the pungent paste and other sauces may take a long to prepare at home; hence, order the ingredients from an online Asian store or brick-and-mortar outlet near you.
Ways of Grilling the Perfect Steak
Typically, during the summer season, the grill comes on and people spend more time outside. Grilling steak is one of American’s favorite summer things to do. No one wants a bland steak, they want a juicy flavorful steak. May we suggest seasoning it with our Montreal Steak Spice to blow your tastebuds away. Read on for ideas on how to up your grilling game to make the most perfect tasting seasoned steak.
Selecting the Steak
Make sure that you consider the cuts of your steak. It is vital to select the best steak for the perfect marinade. Understand that there are various cuts of steak that are best for grilling. Some come with bones while others do not. Below are some of the cuts of steak:
• Tenderloin or Filet. This cut has no bones and is the most tender as well as the most expensive.
• Sirloin. This is usually a big cut of steak and can either have bones or not.
• New York. Usually have no bones and have excellent beef flavor.
• Porterhouse and T-bone. Have huge bones and are best for grilling.
Season the Steak
You have chosen your steak, brought it home, now is the time to marinate it to be prepared for the grill. While some people just like the simplicity of salt and pepper to marinate the steak, our Montreal Steak Spice will delight your palate. We use the freshest spices for the boldest flavors. This blend of Montreal Steak Spice usually includes ingredients such as pepper, salt, coriander, dill, mustard seeds, dehydrated garlic and onions, red pepper flakes, rosemary, thyme, paprika, and caraway seeds. Rub it into the steak on all sides and let it sit for about an hour at room temperature before putting it on the grill.
Tips for Grilling the and adding the Perfect Marinade
• First, turn on your grill. Make it hot as you can. Perfect heat gives the meat color and that color enhances the flavors.
• Secondly, spray the grill with oil a bit. This ensures that it does not stick. Then put your steak on the grill.
• After doing that leave your steak alone. Ensure that you are not poking or flattening it. You will turn it just once with tongs.
• Then time your steak right. Depending on your cut of steak and how you like it, cook your steak for about three to four minutes on each side. You can also use a thermometer where the rare ranges at 125 degrees, medium-rare is around 130 degrees, medium is about 135, medium-well is 140 while well done is above 140 degrees.
• Finally, take your perfectly seasoned and grilled steak off from the grill. Once you do that allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before enjoying it.
What is Kare Raisu, also known as Japanese Curry?
Although it may be unexpected to find curry on a Japanese menu, kare raisu, a thick and hearty stew, is actually one of the most popular entrees in the country. It was in the mid-1800s that the British introduced curry to Japan, finding it themselves in the former British colony of India. If you enjoy curry, it is easy to see why this Japanese comfort food is so well liked.
Like in any other curry, the heat level of kare raisu can be tailored to your particular tastes. It is a nice robust curry that can have any combination of delicious ingredients, so it can also be made to suit any occasion. While a commercially available ‘curry powder’ is available in Japanese grocery stores, more adventurous home chefs prefer to mix their own blend of spices.
If you have decided that you want to make this dish at home, know that this Japanese comfort food can be easily customized to your palette, and can use any ingredients you might have. It generally contains a multitude of vegetables and your meat of choice is served over rice. The rice serves to soak up the gravy and was crucial in past ages to fill a person’s belly. We are giving you a recipe for a very basic style of this stew, using the ever-popular chicken. It is worthwhile to note that a single package of curry tablets from the grocery store will generally make one pot of the stew. However, it can be used for a lot of different recipes.
– 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-size pieces.
– 2 chopped carrots.
– 2 chopped potatoes
– 1 chopped onion
– 2 cups water
– 2-3 tablespoons Kare Raisu blend
1. Saute meat and vegetables over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until soft.
2. Pour in water.
3. Bring to a boil then remove the pan from heat and add curry, stirring constantly with a spoon.
4. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
5. Serve over white rice, garnished with minced shallots, parsley or crunchy radish.
Our Kare Raisu is some of the best flavors you will ever taste.
Cooking with Ancho Peppers
A popular trend in cooking is to eat Mexican, Tex Mex, and southwestern cuisine with as much heat as the mouth can tolerate. Using peppers when preparing certain foods adds spice and flavor to your favorite meals. There are many varieties of peppers, and one that is normally used is the ancho pepper. Many may ask what are ancho peppers. These are the dried version of the poblano peppers that stay on the vines until they are ripened, turned red, harvested, and dried. They have a smoky quality, and sweet heat. Knowing how to use ancho chile, which is the ancho pepper ground up, is very important so as not to have foods too spicy. Cooking with ancho peppers adds a smokey, spicy flavor to any dish.
How to use ancho chile
When cooking with ancho peppers, it is essential to understand that although they have a moderately mild heat they still have a kick. On the Scoville Heat Units, the ancho peppers measure between 1,000 and 2,000 compared to a bell pepper which measures 0 and the jalapeño which measures 5,00. You know where you stand with the ancho pepper, and how much to use. The ancho peppers are normally re-hydrated before using. Place them in hot water for up to 30 minutes, and they are ready to use. Seed and stem them first, then they are ready to season sauces, stews, soups, salsa, and any food that you want to add some spice to. Learning how to use ancho chile is as easy as adding any other spices to your food when you want a mild to moderate heat content.
Other uses for ancho peppers
When someone asks what are ancho peppers, a good answer would be that they are the seasonings used for chili powder that gives chili that awesome flavor. The peppers are ground while they are still dried to make the chili powder, and can be used in many other recipes besides chili. the southwest region of the United States are not the only people who enjoy the spicy foods often prepared in Mexican cuisine. The ancho peppers have made their way into the flavoring of foods that are often used in many other cultures.
Here is a link to our ancho chile peppers.
See more of our spices here.
What Makes Saffron so special?
The way we value anything is largely dependent on the effort we put into getting it. This is especially true of saffron of which is asked why so special. Why is it “one of the most precious spices in the world”? Its highly labor-intensive production is one factor that makes it a most expensive spice.
What is saffron?
It comes from the saffron crocus flower. There are three stigmas in the center of each flower. These must be manually taken out, placed on a sieve to dry over a heat source to enhance the flavor. According to one source, it can take more than 75,000 flowers harvested by hand to make one pound of it. With so much labor going into the production of saffron it must be considered special.
The many uses and health benefits derived from the use of saffron also makes it a special spice. Research suggests that this spice is:
• an aphrodisiac, among the health benefits associated with its use.
• It also offers protection against cancer. Crocin, which it contains has been found to prevent the formation of malignant cells and trigger cell death for different types of human cancer.
• While not affecting normal body cells, it also stimulates immune cells that help destroy cancer cells.
Studies have also shown that crocin is useful for age-related mental problems and is used in treating memory loss, Parkinson’s disease, and inflammation. Saffron is also useful as a stimulant. A pinch in a tablespoon of milk is useful to promote hormone production in underdeveloped girls. As an aphrodisiac, it can be used for low libido to be taken at bedtime. Mixed in licorice and milk, saffron also is an effective topical application to promote hair growth. It is also an effective treatment for cold and fever that gives quick relief.
There are other ways in which this spice is used including it as food additives. It is also a culinary treasure that is used in combination with other condiments, to marinate fish and add color and a rich aroma to cakes and other foods and drinks.
The labor that goes into producing what is saffron and the many ways in which it is useful, makes it an incredibly special spice.
Come see our saffron here.
So What Really is Rhubarb?
When you mention the word rhubarb, most people think first about the always popular rhubarb pie. While the pie is always amazing, cooking with it can really intensify a meal and satisfy any diner.
When is it used?
Really answering the question of what this ingredient is fairly simple. In addition to being used for food, it was used for medicinal purposes. Most people prefer to cook it with sugar, because of its bitterness. This versatile ingredient is often paired with strawberry because of the sweetness to help balance it out.
What kind of food is it?
Rhubarb resembles celery and is technically a vegetable but legally is designated as a fruit. This was for importing purposes and a New York court made the declaration in the late 1940s.
When can I get rhubarb?
It is normally in season and you can harvest rhubarb from April through June. The earlier you find it the more tender, while later it is more robust. Rhubarb stalks are generally very crisp. The ideal stalk has the leaves still attached and is a dark red color. Dark red makes for a much sweeter taste overall.
What is the best way to cook it?
There are a number of ways to think about when cooking with this “fruit”. This includes stewed, pureed, roasted, and sauteed. There is no need for a great deal of water when cooking it since it has high water content already.
There are a lot of different recipes to look at here MyRecipes.
The next time you are at the grocery store, be sure to consider trying this strange but unique ingredient. Or tell your friend who is ready to bring over a treat exactly what is rhubarb. The sweetness is simply amazing!
For more information on harvesting rhubarb yourself, check out this amazing article from Happy DIY HOME.