Spice Up Your Hot Chocolate
During the colder months, hot chocolate becomes a standard drink in many households. It almost becomes a wintertime ritual on cold, blustery days. Whether it’s instant or made from milk and cocoa, every family has their “go-to” method of making hot chocolate. Warm your cold-weather hot beverage with a dash of spice.
Spices to add
- Commonly paired with hot chocolate, cinnamon adds earthy warmth. Stir in a dash of Saigon cinnamon for an added layer of flavor. If you start with milk and cocoa, use cinnamon sugar for a sweeter drink. Or sweeten the milk with a dab of molasses.
- There are many spices used in desserts and sweet dishes, including allspice. Despite the name, allspice is not a blend of spices. Allspice is processed from the dried berries of a plant in the myrtle family.
- Add a dash of green cardamom for a unique, complex flavor. Cardamon is often used in coffee and tea drinks. Cardamom is one of the most common main ingredients of chai. Use it sparingly, unless you already know you like cardamom.
- Pumpkin fans can create a fall pumpkin hot-chocolate with a little pumpkin puree (1 teaspoon per cup of liquid) and a dash of pumpkin spice.
- Turn up the heat with a dash of cayenne pepper. If you want ‘hot’ hot chocolate, cayenne pepper is the spice to use. Many chocolate manufactures produce chili chocolate. Take advantage of this spicy warm pairing on a day with colder weather. If you know you like it hot, use habanero pepper instead. Or try adding our habanero sugar for some sweet spice.
- If you miss the taste of gingerbread from the holidays of your youth, add ground ginger, allspice, cinnamon, molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla.
- Ground clove pairs well with chocolate and is often added to hot drinks along with cinnamon. Clove is another spice to add sparingly. It is easier to add more than diluting after the fact.
- Top off your mug with a dollop or spray of whipped cream. Garnish with a sprig of mint, a dash of cocoa, cinnamon, or nutmeg. Add some color with a maraschino cherry or some orange zest.
- In the morning, add an extra kick with a teaspoon of espresso powder. Turn your hot chocolate into an adult mocha treat by adding a shot of coffee liqueur.
Experiment with your own blend of spices for a truly unique warm hot chocolate experience. You will look forward to those days of colder weather.
Mole and its Ingredients
What is mole?
The term mole originates from the word mōlli of the Nahuatl (or Uto-Aztecan) language, which translated means “sauce”. The traditional ingredients in mole is an elaborate and sophisticated layering of flavors, extracted through a timely process from a variety of dried chilies, seasonings, spices, and fruits. Since the recording of the first written recipe in 1810, mole has been named the national dish of Mexico, and historically has been reserved for special occasions or holidays. Over the years the whole world has come to embrace mole, so much so that as of today there are more than 300 different moles with varying colors such as yellow, red, green, and even black.
Seven main variations of mole:
- Mole Amarillo: With a soft and slightly spicy flavor, the main ingredient is the yellow chilhuacle (a regional chile of Oaxaca, Mexico), thought to be one of the rarest chilies in the world.
- Mole Verde: Beloved in central Mexico, a vital element in the preparation of this mole is established by the grinding of tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, serrano, and hoja santa chilies.
- Mole Coloradito: Slightly sweeter than red mole, the combination of sesame, oregano, tomato, garlic, cinnamon, chile ancho, and chocolate, provide it with an extraordinary brick-red color.
- Mole Manchamanteles: The blending of ingredients such as white sweet potato, plantain, yellow sweet potato, and plum, provide this mole with a fruitier flavor.
- Mole Negro: Described to have a smokey flavor, the inclusion of a larger amount of chocolate in the preparation of this mole provides a darker color than others.
- Mole Almendrado: With a slightly sweet flavor and velvety texture, the inclusion of costly ingredients such as almonds, chile ancho, and chile guajillo, make this a historically popular dish with the upper class.
- Mole Poblano: One of the most popular moles in the US and Mexico, this mole has a soft flavor with a reddish touch to its predominantly brown color.
Common Ingredients of Mole Poblano:
- Dried Mulato Chilies
- Dried Pasilla Negro Chilies
- Dried Ancho Chilies
- Chipotle Chilies
- Plum Tomatoes
- Garlic Cloves
- Coriander Seeds
- Anise Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Corn Tortilla
- Bolillo Roll
- Ripe Plantain
- Raw Peanuts
- Blanched Almonds
- Mexican (or Dark) Chocolate
How can I use Mole?
Mole is commonly utilized in a variety of different ways, these include being served over rice, eggs, chicken, beef, or pork. It is also used as a smothering sauce for burritos, a base for taco fillings, and a topping for enchiladas which are then referred to as enmoladas.
For the best and freshest flavors, check out our mole.
Different ways to use pumpkin pie spice
It’s that time a year again. We all know that Autumn is better known as the Pumpkin Spice season. But with pumpkin spice everywhere and in everything, you might get tired of having it the same way every time. Or you may love pumpkin spice and want to try it in different dishes. Because pumpkin spice is a blend of spices, it can be used in both savory and sweet dishes and drinks. Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg all make up pumpkin pie spice.
Pumpkin spice and coffee go hand in hand. If you like your coffee without all the extra foam and work. You can sprinkle some pumpkin spice in with your coffee grounds. Or you could make a pumpkin spice latte.
It may seem strange, but pumpkin spice can be used in many savory dishes, like pasta. Many pasta dishes could be made better by adding or using pumpkin. You can make pumpkin ravioli or sprinkle a little pumpkin spice over pasta with brown butter or pasta with butternut squash and sage.
3. Roasted Vegetables
Certain roasted vegetables go great with pumpkin pie spice. Butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc. Sprinkle the seasoning on with the rest of the seasoning and then roast. The spice will bring out the sweetness in the vegetables.
4. Pumpkin Pancakes
Pumpkin pancakes are the perfect Sunday morning breakfast and incredibly simple to make. Just take some pumpkin spice into your batter. If you want some extra pumpkin flavor, you can make a pumpkin maple sauce. To make the sauce, you take pumpkin puree, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and unsalted butter and combine in a saucepan. Bring it to a low simmer and let the sauce thicken. Take it off the heat and serve.
5. Butternut Squash Soup
This soup is a staple for the autumn. Roasted butternut squash is pureed with cream, roasted carrots, onions, butter, and spices. The spices include pumpkin spice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Butternut Squash goes hand in hand with pumpkin. So, whenever you think about making butternut squash, think of pumpkin spice.
If you love pumpkin spice like we do, you can order some from us here.
Secrets behind Thai Green Curry
Thai green curry is a popular Thai dish. Its popularity may be due to both its fresh green look and its sweet vs spicy sour taste. Its aroma and slightly spicy taste also make it an appealing oriental culinary delight.
But what is the secret behind its appeal that makes this Thai curry a delight to the palate? The secrets are in the ingredients and the cooking. It is a delicate process of combining and balancing opposite flavors like sweet vs spicy.
Three steps to a good Thai green curry.
First, get the thick curry paste.
You can make this paste or buy it ready-made from an oriental shop. Making your curry paste might not be the best approach. The many ingredients might be hard to get and expensive. Prep time and getting the right consistency and taste might be difficult.
Buying a jar of ready-made paste is the better option. It has all the ingredients in the right proportions and consistency.
Next, get the cooking ingredients for the curry.
- packet of kaffir
- lime leaves.
- lemongrass shoots,
- jar of tamarind paste,
- palm or white sugar,
- green chilies,
- coconut milk,
- desiccated coconut
- Thai fish sauce,
- basil leaves,
- diced chicken breast or vegetables.
With ingredients at hand use the thick ready-made paste to make the perfect sauce. It is important to focus on balancing the sweet vs spicy ingredients you add.
Third, make your curry:
1. In a wok, start by frying these ingredients together: onion, garlic, chopped lemongrass shoots, galangal, lime leaves, green chilies, and basil leaves. Fry for three minutes.
2. Add two tablespoons of curry paste, fish sauce, and tamarind paste. Fry for three to four minutes.
3. Add diced chicken breast or vegetables and stir for two minutes.
4. Add coconut milk and water if too thick, then stir until it begins to boil then leave to simmer.
5. Blend coriander leaves and desiccated coconut into a paste.
6. Add sugar and lime juice, basil leaves. Stir and add coriander paste and stir. After 30 seconds the curry will turn green.
You have unlocked the Thai green curry secret. Turn off flame and serve with rice.
To make this easier, just use our Thai Green Curry spice
For more ideas using our fresh spices, check out our blog.
Salmon, It’s What’s For Dinner.
Sensitive white fish can prove to be difficult to prepare. Cook it the wrong way and it will break apart before you get to make your meal. Fortunately, salmon doesn’t fall into the category of “hard-to-cook” fish and is one of the best tasting kinds of fish you can buy. While it may not be as difficult to cook as tilapia, it does require good technique in order for it to be cooked thoroughly.
At the end of the day, if your only experience with salmon has been over-poached crap that’s served in an all-you-can-eat buffet, it’s time you learn some different ways of preparing this fish.
Grilling salmon is tricky, to say the least because it is not as sturdy as red meat. Ideally, when it comes to grilling this fish, you should leave the skin on if you want a nice thin crisp around it. Additionally, you should use our Fraser River Salmon Rub and marinate it for a few hours. Leave some of the marinade to mix with olive oil and coat the fish while it’s on the grill. For a more smoky flavor, consider using a charcoal grill for this way of preparing the fish.
Pan searing is regarded as being an effortless way to cook fish. It’s also the easiest way for the salmon to get overcooked. Therefore, ensure that you pay attention to the process and only keep it on each side for a couple of minutes.
Curing salmon isn’t as difficult as it sounds. This technique consists of mixing brown sugar, kosher salt, and pepper together to create a homemade marinade. You then let the salmon sit for 5 days so that it soaks up all the ingredients. After this, you should rinse the salmon and proceed to eat it directly on toast or bagels.
When it comes to some different ways of preparing salmon for dinner, braised is an unsung hero in the culinary fish world. You will be amazed at how simple, yet rewarding this technique is, as it requires very little work and produces great flavors. In order for you to braise salmon, you simply have to cook it in a flavorful liquid with ingredients that you choose in an oven. The end result is a tender fish that has been infused with robust flavor.
As always, salmon is a delicious protein you should learn how to make, and adding our spices will always make your meals exquisite.
Ideas to Help Make your Salads More Interesting
Are you trying to take control of your health? Maybe lose weight? Most likely, a nutritionist has recommended a change in diet. This means that you should incorporate more vegetables and fruits into your diet, which is easily done with a salad. Preparing the same salad can be monotonous, some salads can have a bland taste which may demotivate you. Here are some tips to spice up your salads and make it more tasty and nutritious.
1.Add Fruits to your salad.
Fruits contain the natural sweet or sour flavor, depending on your preference. The beauty of most salad is the taste. Adding naturally sweet fruits like pears, grapes, pineapples, or blueberries will do some magic to your salad for individuals with a sweet tooth, not to include antioxidant benefits as well.
For those with a preferential sour taste, add citric fruits like lime, oranges, or pomelo to your salad. The citrus fruits are an impeccable source of vitamin C that boosts your immunity and eliminate toxic oxidants.
2. Spice Up Your Salads Using Nuts For That Crunchy Taste.
Nuts are a great source of vitamins and minerals, as well as protein. The use of roasted nuts as toppings to your salad not only modifies your salad’s texture but also makes it tasty by adding a smoky flavor.
3. Incorporate a different Salad Dressing.
Warming the salad dressings can transform the taste of a bland salad to a tasty and savory salad. The beauty of salad dressing is that you can tweak the ingredients to their preference. You can use vinegar, olive oil, coconut milk, spices, or a basic vinaigrette. Two of the most recommended salad dressings are the Thai peanut dressing and a cumin garlic marinade. Or add our Med-Eastern Salad blend to incorporate a little bit of a kick to your salad! You won’t be disappointed.
4. Add color.
Research indicates that an individual’s appetite increases when the plate is filled with bright colors. To break the monotony in your salad, add some colorful fruits and vegetables like beetroot and strawberries. We like to call these rainbow salads, they are fun to eat and beautiful to look at. Try mixing up your base of the salads as well, purple cabbage, spinach, and butterleaf lettuce.
5. Embrace Different Recipes For Your Salads.
Changing the ingredients in your salad is an incredible way to experiment and discover what works for you. Additionally, it breaks the monotony that develops with regularly using one recipe.
You can adjust the type of veggies that you use. Romaine lettuce adds a bit of crispy texture to your salad while bibb lettuce has a bit of soft and buttery taste. Or forget the lettuce altogether and go for a cucumber, tomato, and feta salad with some lemon juice and olive oil.
The secret to finding what salad works for you is through experimenting. Happy eating!
For more spices to add to your salads, come shop on our website.
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.
What can I use Chimichurri for?
Chimichurri sauce may be unfamiliar to many, particularly those who are not familiar with South American cuisine. So what is Chimichurri? Chimichurri is an uncooked South American green sauce prepared using red wine vinegar, olive oil, fresh herbs, garlic, oregano, parsley, and other spices.
The sauce originated in the rural areas of Argentina and Uruguay. This sauce comes in both red and green versions. This uncooked and vibrant sauce, also known as Argentinian pesto, can be used in many ways including;
• As a dipping spice
• A marinade
• A condiment to drizzle over vegetables, meat, and more.
Ways to use Chimichurri Sauce
In most cases, this Argentinian pesto is served with steak. However, there should be no limits when using it. The sauce is also great on vegetables for vegetarians, it also works great on grilled chicken and fish.
Another great way to use chimichurri is by using it as a dip for toasted crusty bread. When it comes to this sauce, it is almost guaranteed that once you start using it, you will always find yourself looking for more ways to liven up your meal with it. To enjoy chimichurri for long period of time, keep a batch of the sauce in the fridge and sprinkle it on your meals throughout the week.
Other ideas on how to use Chimichurri
• You can brush the sauce on your kebabs after grilling them.
• When serving tacos, you can dab a spoonful of the pesto on them.
• Chimichurri can also be used as a substitute for mustard on hamburgers and hotdogs.
• It can be added to roasted potatoes.
• The sauce can be used as a tangy and light dressing for a vegetable pasta salad.
• When preparing a vegetable pizza, you can drizzle over after baking to add a zesty touch.
• You can substitute mayonnaise or use mix them both for a sandwich spread.
• You can sprinkle the sauce over a sunny side up egg to serve with toast.
How to store the South American sauce
Although chimichurri is best when prepared fresh, it can also be refrigerated for several days. However, the herbs wilt fast becoming less vibrant. Additionally, you can freeze the pesto in an ice cube tray but the herbs will be somewhat less vibrant.
What are the Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric, in addition to being a popular spice used in many cuisines around the world, is also a staple ingredient in many supplements, as it has been scientifically proven to help with a multitude of ailments. Turmeric is derived from a chemical, Curcumin, which is a fat-soluble chemical that you can take as a daily vitamin. Turmeric is believed to help ward off dementia, relieve heart problems, and reduce general inflammation in the body. Keep reading to know the health benefits associated with turmeric and what it actually is.
How Do People Usually Ingest It?
Turmeric as a spice can be added to give flavor and an orange tinge to many savory dishes, including omelets or pasta dishes. It may also be steeped in hot water to produce a soothing, antioxidant-rich tea-like drink. The root chemical, Curcumin may be purchased at a regular supplement store, or even at some drug stores. You can take the recommended dosage (a capsule or two) with a full meal, as this chemical is fat-soluble, so just taking it with water will not do much for you.
Where is Turmeric Usually Found?
Those who love their food to be brightly colored and packing a ton of flavor probably know that turmeric is a spice that originated in India. It is a staple of the cuisine in that part of the world, and wild turmeric grows on plantations along the mainland of India and several Indian Ocean islands. It was in Indian medicine that turmeric made its emergence and people began to really learn what it is and its great health benefits. They saw that tea made from steeping the spice resulted in greater health and vitality.
With an Indian restaurant in just about every community, you have every reason to ask “What is turmeric?” Once you realize how it can be used to add color, flavor and a few health benefits to every meal, you will be sure to keep it in your kitchen. Add turmeric to your favorite dishes or brew some tea and see how this antioxidant and anti-inflammatory spice can help you.
See our Turmeric here.