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!
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.
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 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.
Have you Tried Berbere?
Berbere is an Ethiopian spice blend you should try!
This spice blend is a tradition originating from Ethiopia. The name “berbere” comes from the Berber people associated with the region in Northern Africa where Ethiopia resides. Berbere serves as the backbone of Ethiopian cooking and may be found in nearly every kitchen there. This classic spice is also used in the national dish of Ethiopia called “Doro wat,” a type of stew using chicken, and “Siga wat” using beef as the primary ingredient.
Berbere has a very spicy profile with a wholesome blend of spices herbs, and so on. One unique thing about this spice is that no two mixes are the same. That’s right, the flavor and consistency of Berbere can vary widely depending on where in Ethiopia you are and which family is cooking. That’s largely due in part because different regions have more restricted access and must use alternative ingredients while others may be less restricted.
Berbere is also used to add flavor to a wide variety of foods from meat, to vegetables and even legumes. This complex spice typically denotes a spicy, sweet, and citrus profile, which leads to a highly unique and interesting flavor combination. Many households also combine the spice with red wine and oil, which produces a paste known as “awaze.” This paste is then served as ketchup like a condiment, which is used to dip other foods into.
What is berbere?
With the background out of the way, you’re probably wondering, what is berbere? Berbere is made from a wide range of ingredients ranging from over a dozen herbs, spices, and blends. Most commonly, however, the blend consists of chili peppers, fenugreek, ginger, allspice, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and lesser-known varieties like long pepper and ajwain. All of this complexity leads to a flavor that is spicy yet tolerable. The heat of this spice is somewhat evened out by the sweetness of the cinnamon and citrusy flavors. So, you can expect a spicy, sweet, and earthy taste overall.
Berbere is most commonly cooked into sauteed onions at the start of the cooking process. This helps release the flavor profile into the onions. However, you can also put dashes of this spice over the meat like fish or even fresh fruit. If you opt to make the awaze, then it can be used as a dipping sauce as well. Dig in and enjoy!