Should you Brine your Turkey?
The season for turkeys is just around the corner. While many people have their favorite way of cooking their bird, one thing that can’t be disputed is making sure it is properly brined. Brine a Turkey for added flavor!
Why take this extra step? Well, the answers are quite simple. For starters, turkey is not a naturally flavorful bird on its own. Brining helps bring flavorful seasoning into this meat or any meat for that matter. Also, let’s face it, nobody wants a dry and flavorless turkey. There is no joy in that.
Here are 3 tips for making sure that your turkey is properly brined for your big day.
1. The Fresher, The Better
The best thing to make sure your turkey soaks up as much brine as possible is to make sure you buy a fresh one. This is because frozen turkeys are usually injected with a sodium solution to make the meat stay fresher longer.
If you aren’t able to get a fresh one, don’t freak out. Brining a frozen one is better than not doing it at all. Just try to make sure the turkey is thawed properly.
2. What Type Of Brine for my Turkey?
Now that you have the perfect bird, the next thing to figure out is what is the best brine for you.
There are a multitude of premade brines in the store already made for your convenience. While nothing is wrong with these, making your own is the best way to go.
The brine that we suggest is our Turkey Brine. It contains sea salt, black pepper, rosemary, brown sugar, and brown mustard to help give you the flavor and aromatics you need for a turkey. Although it may not seem like much, this 4oz pack is enough for a 20-30 pound turkey.
No matter if you do or don’t use our Spice Station blend, just make sure it contains salt and use water or stock to give it enough liquid.
3. Overnight, Please
So how should you brine your turkey? The best way is to use an extra-large ziplock bag to put both the items in. It is also suggested to put this bag in a pan.
For maximum flavor, leave the turkey in the brine overnight after boiling the brine. Then take it out of the solution, rinse, and cook for at least 2 ½ hours. If you need your turkey sooner, just make sure you let the brine cool with 10 cups of ice before putting it on the turkey.
We hope this has answered why to brine a turkey. Happy eating!
Time to unwind with some Tea
After a stressful day, a calming tea can really help you unwind. Enjoying chamomile tea, or other calming tea after dinner can help you fall asleep quickly. Several factors can lead to a lack of sleep. Stress, among other issues in your life, can make it hard to fall asleep. It is possible to regain good sleep even after suffering from insomnia if you can invest in a cup of tea towards the evening. Caffeine can lead to a lack of sleep, but chamomile tea does not contain caffeine so you dont have to worry about any caffeine jitters. Chamomile will ease the effects of insomnia and help you relax so that you can enjoy a peaceful sleep.
Why drink chamomile Tea?
Our chamomile tea can help you relax after a stressful day. It has apigenin that contributes to sleep. The flavonoid compound has been linked to good sleep. If you have a hard time falling asleep, you can increase your herbal tea intake, and it will contribute towards helping you fall asleep. Green tea is rich in theanine, which is an effective element in promoting good sleep. Always ensure you drink decaffeinated green tea to enjoy the calming effects.
Tea Drinking Tips
Try to drink chamomile tea throughout the day to enjoy the benefits of good sleep. Caffeine can remain active in the body for up to 10 hours. Some find it hard when they drink caffeinated tea even in the early afternoon to fall asleep, so they turn to chamomile tea. Switch to decaffeinated green tea and chamomile tea completely, and it will help you get a good night’s sleep.
Developing a habit of drinking chamomile tea before you go to bed will make you enjoy a sound sleep. People usually need to relax their minds before they can fall asleep. Those who develop the habit of drinking decaffeinated tea each time they go to bed are at a high chance of enjoying a good night’s sleep.
Try our blends of Tea to help you relax and get a good night’s sleep.
The Right Time to Chow Down on Tasty Soup
It can be tough to cope with the weather getting colder in the autumn and winter seasons. There are some things, however, that can truly make up for outdoor temperatures that are the polar opposite of warm and inviting. Food can in many cases do the trick. If you’re a fan of filling up on warm and cozy foods, then soup may be right up your alley. What makes the fall and the winter so terrific? People cannot resist having the chance to chow down on soup that’s simultaneously warm, nutritious, and filling to the max. It’s soup season!
Fantastic Choices in Healthy Soups at Your Disposal
There are so many things that make feasting on soup such a fantastic idea for so many. Feasting on soup can help you pack in the vegetables. If you want to get your hands on all kinds of beneficial nutrients during the winter and fall seasons, then you should test out the joys of chowing down on vegetable soup. If you consume this kind of soup, then you may be able to try out advantageous ingredients like carrots, cabbage, green beans, onions, and peas. Carrots, first of all, can give you lots of beta carotene. Peas can give you sufficient fiber that can do your digestive system a huge favor.
Do you want to spice up your soup approach?
If you do, then there are just as many wondrous options waiting right here eagerly for you. You can enjoy something a bit more exotic thanks to miso soup. This soup has been a staple in Asian restaurants in the United States for many decades at this point. Other soups that are brimming with flavor are both black bean soup and minestrone. If you want to revel in a soup that has Iberian Peninsula flair, then you should check out gazpacho. It’s served chilled.
There are so many ways to relish the joys of healthy soups during soup season. There are so many vegetables that can give your soup vitality. There are so many incredible seasonings that can do the same. Have fun making your own.
Our fresh spices will help give your soup that flavor that you crave.
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.
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.
Some history on Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce, and how to use the Italian Supper Blend.
Italian cuisine makes the top of the list when it comes to some of the most sought after dishes in the world. There are several Italian dishes you can try out, but until your taste buds touch the magic that spaghetti with tomato sauce offers, then you haven’t experienced the best of Italian dishes yet. Almost everyone that has had a taste of this fantastic Italian dish will always want more. Here is what you need to know about the origin of your favorite Italian dish.
History of Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce
The tomato sauce and spaghetti dish date back to the 1800s when the natives of Naples, Italy, first used its recipe. One fact about tomatoes in Italy is that they were first introduced to Italy by the Spanish between the 16th and 17th centuries. Still, before the Neapolitans began embracing them, most Italians considered tomatoes poisonous. The common use for tomatoes, therefore, was for decorative purposes. After the 1800s, tomatoes became more common, and they were used with various dishes. In 1837 a recipe on tomatoes and spaghetti was published hence making this fantastic item an official Italian dish.
Tips for Preparing the dish
The best tomatoes to use in preparing spaghetti with tomato sauce are organic date tomatoes. However, other tomatoes can be used, but the rule of thumb is that the tomatoes have to be flavorful, have a deep red color, and be ripe. To have the best result with your tomato sauce’s taste, always use our Italian supper seasoning in the sauce. If you want to make it easy, just get canned tomato sauce and sprinkle our seasoning in it.
The way to make this dish can be prepared in two different ways, hence giving the users the freedom of choice on which method they want to follow. First, you can choose to have your spaghetti cook entirely in the sauce. That’s right, no boiling water. Secondly, you can choose to subdivide the required cooking time into two, then proceed to cook the spaghetti halfway in boiling water and then finish cooking in the sauce. While most chefs prefer the second method of preparation, the one guarantee you have is that this dish is world-class and you are destined to enjoy it.
A familiar blend used by cooks in French food
Herbes de Provence is a aromatic and familiar herb blend used in French and Mediterranean cuisine. It is traditionally used to flavor grilled meats, fish, stews, and soups. Its name is borrowed from the Provence region in France, where this herb blend is believed to have originated. And, because the Provence region is also known for its many lavender fields, lavender is often associated with Herbes de Provence, particularly in the United States. However, in French food, lavender is not a necessary component of this blend.
Common Ingredients in Herbes de Provence
The following herbs are frequently found in commercial blends of Herbes de Provence:
Some blends may also include:
- Lavender (more frequently used in the U.S.)
- Summer Savory
- Bay Leaves
French cooks are known for their expertise in cooking with herbs. They carefully select the ingredient notes chosen for their Herbes de Provence blends, depending on the meat, stew, or soup to be prepared. Traditional French food is especially delicious because of its enticing, skillful use of herbs.
Methods of Use
Certain rules need to be observed when cooking with herbs. Some factors to consider include:
- Depth of Flavor
- Cooking Method
- Recipe ingredients
Herbes de Provence provides complex depth of flavor, and so should be added prior to grilling or stewing to lend its flavor to the ingredients. A common technique is to marinate the meat or fish prior to grilling with a combination of oil and Herbes de Provence. This will deeply imbue the flavors of the herbs into the prepared meal. Herbes de Provence can be added to the base of a stew or soup at the same time stock is added to a recipe. A small cheesecloth, gauze, or organza pouch can be used to contain the herbs for easy removal at the end of cooking.
Consideration should be given to amount of Herbes de Provence when using pressure cooking or crockpot methods. Typically recipes would require a lesser amount of herb to produce the same herbal flavor notes given more intense heat or cooking time.
Specific herbal notes should complement the dish you are preparing when cooking with herbs. For example, marjoram and rosemary are especially delicious with lamb, while summer savory accents fish. Aromatic herbal notes are deliciously highlighted in an Herbes de Provence blend.
See our Herbes de Provence.
What is Chinese Five Spice powder?
Mainly used in the red-cooking technique, Chinese Five Spice Powder is a traditional spice used in many Chinese dishes. The spice is sold-year round and considered “the best-known Chinese spice mixture” that combines the five following spices to balance the yin and yang.
The five-spice powder is a blend of ground spices shown as a brown powder. These spices generally include cinnamon, cloves, star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, and either fennel seed or ginger. In Chinese cooking, the spice blend is used for flavoring, braising roasted meat, fish, and poultry dishes. The five-spice blend can also be utilized in numerous marinades or rubs.
Where did the Five Spice powder originate from?
The Five Spice Powder was used as a traditional medicine to balance a person’s yin and yang. The number five associates with healing properties in Chinese Culture. This ideology has been implemented both in the Chinese and Taiwanese cultures and has also considered in other cultures in Asia.
In the world of cooking, the number five brings balance to the dish’s properties. This includes the taste and texture to balance the yin and the yang.
What is the Taste of Chinese Five Spice Powder?
The flavor of this spice is described as having a distinct licorice-like flavor due to the star anise. It also has a sweet/warm flavor from cinnamon and fennel. The cloves add a sensation of cooling in the mouth while the Schezuan peppercorns add a kick to the spice.
Each ingredient in the blend has its part to play and especially in more detail.
The Cinnamon is the “sweet” part of the blend. Unlike sugar, the cinnamon has a hint of spice to it. Many five-spice blends in the Chinese Cuisines do call for cinnamon or cassia which is a cousin to cinnamon.
The Schezuan peppercorn part of the blend is not a spice. It’s a berry that’s a reddish-brown that comes from the ash bush. It’s the fiery part of the blend that gives it the right kick for many traditional Chinese dishes.
The Ground Cloves of the blend has a sweet flavor. Star Annise is another component but it isn’t as sweet. Fennel is another sweet component, except for not having the licorice-tasting component.
Try the Chinese Five Spice
Usually, when using the five-spice blend in different dishes, it is used sparingly due to the strong flavoring/spices it contains. One example of it being used in a traditional Chinese dish would be the five flower pork. This is a traditional dish using pork belly, marinating it in the five-spice blend, then steaming it along with other vegetables and seasonings.
Try our blend here.