Showing posts with label herbs and spices. Show all posts
Showing posts with label herbs and spices. Show all posts

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Spices in Filipino Cuisine by Carlo Villamayor (Guest Post)

It's no secret that Filipino cuisine is one of the best in the world, but like any good food, it has to have its secrets. Few people have really mastered authentic Filipino food, not the washed-down fare you get in fast foods and diners, but real, home-made native dishes. Although most of us can whip up something when we need to, it can be hard to capture that distinct Filipino taste.

So what really goes into our food? How do you make your food taste truly Filipino? There's really no single answer, because no one can define our food; we come from a hodgepodge of cultures, after all. But one thing that sets us apart from our Asian neighbors is our heavy use of spices. Whereas other cuisines prefer subtle hints of flavor, we like a big burst of it with every bite.

So that's the first rule: be generous with the spice. If you want your dish to fit in with other Filipino recipes, get to know the spices that go into them. Here are some of the most common.

Ginger

Ginger is used in most of Asian cuisine, and Filipino food recipes. In the Philippines, it is most commonly used in soups and stews; dishes such as arroz caldo (rice porridge), and tinola (chicken stew) use garlic as their main spice. It goes particularly well with chicken and fish dishes, where it provides a nice contrast to the strong meat flavors. Ginger is used both for flavor and aroma, although the flesh of the root is not always eaten. Most people just crush the root and drop it into the dish, then take it out just before serving.

Chili

We're not as wild about spicy food as the Thais, but we do like a bit of bite in our food. Virtually every Filipino dish can be spiced up with chili peppers, from rich meat viands to everyday soups and noodles. Sauces like patis (fish sauce) and soy sauce are often mixed with crushed chili and used as dips or marinades. Bicol, a region in southeastern Luzon, is known for using chili peppers in most of its dishes. Perhaps the most popular is Bicol express, made with meat, bagoong (saut'ed shrimp paste), coconut milk, and chopped green chilies.

Garlic and onions

These two almost always go together, especially in meat and vegetable dishes. You may be more familiar with Taiwanese and Australian garlic, which have larger cloves and are easier to work with. But if you want a stronger, spicier flavor, go for native garlic. Philippine garlic comes in smaller bulbs, with cloves less than half the size of other types. This makes them hard to handle, but it's well worth the trouble.

Philippine onions are strong and pungent, making them a great source of flavor. Use native red onions for saut'ing and pickling, but use the white ones for salads and sandwiches. If you're making rice porridge, top it with chopped green onions for extra spice.

Lemongrass

Lemongrass has strong-smelling leaves and stalks commonly used in soups, teas and sauces. The leaf is slightly sweet with a hint of citrus, a perfect complement to gravy and other meat sauces. There are several ways to use lemongrass, but the most common method is cooking the fresh leaves (sometimes the entire stalk or bulb) with the food to release the flavor. If you're using the stalk, take only the soft inner part and chop it up before dropping it in. You can also use dried and powdered lemongrass, especially if you're in the city and fresh leaves are hard to find. 




Pandan

Pandan is mostly an aromatic ingredient, most commonly used with plain white rice. Just add a couple of leaves to your rice as it boils, and it comes out with a strong, inviting aroma. Some regions even weave it onto rice pots for an even stronger scent. You can do the same with rice cakes, puddings, and other Filipino desserts recipes.

Bay leaf

The strong, pungent taste of bay leaves makes them a perfect fit for Filipino cooking recipes. The leaf has a wide range of uses, from meat sauces and dips to main dishes like adobo, menudo and mechado. Dried bay leaves are traditionally used; fresh bay is seldom available in local markets. The leaf itself is not usually eaten; like ginger, you can take out the leaves once you're ready to serve. However, most people just leave them in and set them aside when eating.



About The Author:  
Carlo Villamayor is a devoted cook, he makes it his personal mission to spread the joy of one of his Filipino food recipes with food lovers the world over. Bon appetit!  (Source:  ArticleCity.com)




EES shares recipes, cooking tips
and all things foodie!

 




Friday, April 21, 2017

Foodie Friday : World Cuisine : Cooking : The Right Blend of Spices for Cajun Food Lovers

Enjoy Everyday Exotic Spices Every Day!

If you are a spicy food lover then more than likely Cajun food is on your list of most awesome world cuisines ever! Right? But you don’t know just the right blend of spices needed get that authentic spicy Cajun flavor. Also right. Huh?


Image credit: © Photographer: Ppy2010ha | Agency: Dreamstime.com
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Ever tried Slap Ya Mama seasonings?

Interesting name huh?. The way Walker & Sons advertise their food products is:

"Taste so good. Make you wanna slap ya mama!"

Say what??!! There is nothing in my entire life that I've eaten that ever made me want to slay my momma. But guess what? These are award-winning spice blends.

"Real Cajun Seasoning for Real Cajun Cooking."

How did I find out about these products? The Internet and Facebook, in particular, is a beautiful thing. This person saw my foodie website, Everyday Exotic Spices, which is advertised on Facebook via my business page, contacted me, and asked if they could send me samples. Of course, my response was “Yes!”
Received various products in a box delivered straight to my door. Tried them in different recipes and here's my reaction. Did I want to slap my momma? No. But I was ready go mano-y-mano with my spouse!
He wanted to keep it all to himself. I'm like: “Oh no! That ain't happening!!”

View the entire selection of Slap Ya Mama products.

Below are my favorites.


Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Seasoning



Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning White Pepper Blend



Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning Hot Blend



Slap Ya Mama Etouffee Sauce

"Étouffée or etouffee (pronounced: [e.tu.fe] ay-TOO-fay) is a dish found in both Cajun and Creole cuisine typically served with shellfish over rice." (Source: Wikipedia)

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Links of Interest:
Cajun Food History and Louisiana Creole Cuisine History
Cajun vs. Creole: What’s The Difference?

Hope you enjoyed this post.


Image credit: © Photographer: Moneca1 | Agency: Dreamstime.com



Previous #FoodieFriday posts?


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Beyond Turmeric: 5 Indian Spices You Need in Your Pantry Now | One Green Planet (Reblog)

So happy to be learning more and more about world cuisine; especially India food and the spices used in various dishes. Found this blog post and have to reblog. Wouldn't be right to keep this cooking wisdom to myself.  😊

The best thing is that I love all of these spices and they can be easily be purchased via my online spice shop or probably at your local grocery store, depending on where you live.


Beyond Turmeric: 5 Indian Spices You Need in Your Pantry Now | One Green Planet


OGP specializes in vegan recipes.
 More from One Green Planet.


Tips and Tricks to Use Turmeric in the Kitchen

Turmeric is potent stuff, and it has made a recent bang on the "Let food by thy medicine" scene. It's no wonder really, as the bright orange spice has serious anti-inflammatory properties that have garnered it attention as a natural preventative and/or treatment for things like arthritis, assorted cancers and Alzheimer's, to name but a few.

Peach Jalebi: Indian Funnel Cake [Vegan] - Made with Saffron and Cardamon

1 cups sugar; 1/2 cup water; 1/2 cup peach juice; 4-5 saffron strands; 1 teaspoon ground cardamom; A pinch of orange food coloring (optional) ...


Spicing It Up with Cumin: Health Benefits, Tips, and Recipes

Cumin, an oblong seed with ridges and a yellow-brown color, has been used since ancient times in Mediterranean and Asian cuisine. It originated in Egypt and belongs to the same family as caraway, parsley, and dill.


Why Ginger-fication of our Food Is a Good Thing

Ginger is a wonderful thing. It's highly medicinal, known to combat stomach ailments of all kinds and has anti-inflammatory properties said to rival any non-steroidal drug in its treatment of muscle and joint pain.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Indian Food - Myth or Fact

Do you like Indian food? I do! Although must admit, had to acquire a taste for it. My first time trying a so-called authentic Indian dish was at one of those American mall-type food courts, where there are all kinds of restaurants for you to choose from. That probably wasn't the best place for me to get my first taste. Was taken aback by some sort of flavor or spice that my palette was clearly not expecting. It threw me off!


Later on, when cooking channels became so popular on television, started learning how to prepare Indian dishes. There was the one lady who referred to herself as a “spice goddess”.  Because really it comes to cooking, Indians do know their spices.  No argument.  Her recipes always seemed so simple, easy to prepare, and she explained the herbs and spices she used for flavoring and showed you how to incorporate them into the recipes.  Crush these seeds.  Warm this spice in the pan.  Sprinkle these herbs.  Decided to try Indian food again and was very pleased with the tasting tests.

Below is a link to a blog post that eliminates common myths about Indian food. Didn't know there were myths but good to know they can be ignored. What were some of the myths?

  • All Indian food is spicy.
  • All Indian food is vegetarian.
  • All Indian food is overloaded with curry.

Discover the Truth behind the Indian Food Myths



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Content first published Mar 21, 2015 via Persona Paper


5 Things You Thought You Knew about Indian Food


5 Things You Thought You Knew about Indian Food

By Petrina Verma Sarkar Come on, be honest. What are the first things that come to your mind when you think of Indian food? Hot, spicy, oily, rich, fatty, bad for you, difficult and time-consuming to cook, curry powder....


15 Interesting Facts Related To Indian Food You Should Know


15 Interesting Facts Related To Indian Food You Should Know

Facts that will blow your taste buds


20 unbelievable facts about Indian food


20 unbelievable facts about Indian food

Before it turned into an art that involved culinary expertise, food in India was about rasas and doshas. Taste or rasa in Sanskrit guides the tongue and it is a balance or misbalance of these rasas that cause or correct the doashas in body.


Known and unknown facts about Indian cooking


Known and unknown facts about Indian cooking

It is about experimenting with different spices and ingredients and to come up with your own secret recipes. Then just go for it, Visit Masala Fry! Enjoy!


Indian ladies: glitter-graphics.com

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Five Exotic Spices (Guest Post)

Even though many herbs and spices are now readily available in local grocery stores all around the world or can easily be purchased online, most of us don't know know the history of these marvelous cooking ingredients and which country is responsible for introducing these exciting flavors to the global community.  Sharing a brief introduction to five (5) exotic spices:

SPICE Spotlight: Juniper Berries

http://everydayspices.webs.com/apps/blog/show/6664512-spice-spotlight-juniper-berries


1. Asafetida. This is an Asian spice made from the roots of certain species of Ferula. It is a gum-like spice with a very strong and unpleasant smell.  Actually, the name of the spice has a Latin origin, which means “evil-smelling gum”.  Asafetida is common in Indian vegetarian cuisine and is often a main ingredient in rice and bean dishes. Additionally, it has a wide range of medicinal properties and is beneficial for people with digestive disorders, high cholesterol, and/or nervous disorders.  Asafetida is rich in minerals and nutrients, such as iron, calcium, phosphorus, and protein.  Although most chefs and cooks rarely prepare a dish without onion and garlic, some people do not eat onion or garlic.  Certain people are allergic to onions and for some people garlic causes extreme heart burn.  Asafetida is an ideal spice for those people.  In fact, its smell is similar to both onion and garlic.






2. Dried Avocado Leaves.  This spice (or herb) originated in Mexico. It is one of the most popular spices in Mexican cuisine.  Avocado leaves have an aniseed fragrance; however, these dried leaves are odorless and have pungent taste. Dried avocado leaves are added to bean or meat dishes. Regarding health benefits, they are useful for people who have kidney stones and hypertension. Noteworthy:  Only certain varieties of avocado leaves are to be used in cooking or for medicinal purposes because some kinds of avocado leaves can contain toxic substances.

Additional References:

Avocado Leaves: A Secret Mexican Ingredient

Avocado Leaves: A Secret Mexican Ingredient

Avocado Leaves: A Secret Mexican Ingredientby Victoria ChallancinLove at First Bite. Like any motivated foodie, I almost made myself sick sampling, musing, and guessing what unknown ingredient I was tasting in what appeared to be an ordinary black bean dip.


3. Epazote. This is another essential spice used in Mexican cuisine. Its extraordinary (or strange) scent can be described as a combination of kerosene, mint, and citrus. Epazote is made from the leaves of Mexican herb called dysphania ambrosioides (aka "Mexican tea").  It is used with bean and meat dishes. Additionally, it can be used in soups.

Additional Reading and Recipes:




4. Grains of Paradise. This delicious spice is an integral part of West African cuisine. It is obtained from flower called Aframomum melegueta. Africans believed that this flower grew in Eden. Grains of paradise look like seeds and have jasmine, citrus, and hazelnut odor. It can be added to meat, fish, and potato dishes.

Link of Interest:
Find spices ordered according to the region:
GEOGRAPHIC SPICE INDEX


Ras El Hanout (4.0 Oz) By Zamouri Spices

Ingredients include over 30 different herbs and spices, such as: 

 Grains of Paradise, Lavender, turmeric, ajawan seeds, kalajeera, ginger, galangal, oris root, rose buds, monk's pepper, cinnamon and more!



5. Juniper Berries. Actually, juniper berries are more likely to be cones than berries. It has the smell of fir and is used for cooking meat dishes, especially stewed rabbit or beef. These “berries” grow on the juniper tree, are common throughout Europe,  included in ancient Greek recipes, and have been found in the Egyptian pyramids.  A wide range of German traditional dishes are cooked with juniper berries.



♦  Hope you enjoyed this intro.
About the writer:  Melisa Marzett works for: bigpaperwriter.com.  She does excellent research and can pen articles and supply blog publishers or website owners with quality content on almost any topic.  View the About tab on her Google+ profile for more samples of her work.



Friday, November 25, 2016

Foodie Friday : Spice Spotlight: Cinnamon

I can smell nutmeg, apples and cinnamon.

I can sprinkle a little powdered pumpkin spice or a dash of plain old cinnamon in my morning cup of coffee.

For an evening meal, I can enjoy a hearty bowl of butternut squash soup or cook up a stew chocked full of root vegetables and meat, made with that special secret ingredient:  cinnamon.


It's my favorite time of the year to experience the joys of the season.  😍  


Shining the spotlight on one of my favorite warming feel good spices.  Cinnamon!






http://amzn.to/2gi4rq4
Did you know:

- There is a mythological creature called the Cinnamon Bird?
- In Ancient Egypt, cinnamon was used in the embalming process?

There's probably lots of other things you didn't know about cinnamon as well.

If you're curious, read more:  18 Facts about Cinnamon.



Community Post: 35 Crazy-Good Ways To Indulge On Cinnamon This Fall


Community Post: 35 Crazy-Good Ways To Indulge On Cinnamon This Fall

Because it is the best of all the fall spices!





Links to a sampling of recipes using cinnamon that reflect world cuisine and global tastes: Snickerdoodles, Pumpkin Soup, Apple Pie, Coffee Cake, Baklava, Biriyani, Chicken Mole, Roast Duck, Rugelach.




Kunafeh, the Middle East's Favorite Cheese Delight!



Kunafeh, the Middle East's Favorite Cheese Delight!

It's about time to share with you one of my favorite recipes ever. It´s not only delicious but also has a special place in my heart. Sometimes we feel strongly towards a dish or a dessert not just because it tastes great but because it brings back memories we cherish.




Chinese Cinnamon Beef Noodle Soup Recipe - Chinese.Food.com


Chinese Cinnamon Beef Noodle Soup Recipe - Chinese.Food.com

This was published in a Fine Cooking magazine a couple of years ago. I was so excited to have found a relatively easy yet very flavorful noodle soup for my family. My husband (the ultimate food critic) loves this and doesnt mind eating it for days.






A Taste of South Africa - Tomato Bredie (One stick of cinnamon required.)



A Taste of South Africa - Tomato Bredie

This Tomato Bredie photo was featured in Brazilian Magazine blog, Verdemar - Copa de Sabores: África do Sul One of my favorite book series is the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series writted by Alexander McCall Smith, a Zimbabwe born, Scottish writer.








Featured Product from SpiceCubed 
for your spice cabinet:






The Indonesian cinnamon sticks are one-inch long to fit in out tins. Our ground cinnamon comes from Vietnam and is highly flavorful and sweet. Both are great with desserts, beverages, breads, stews, chicken or lamb.

Cinnamon Sticks are best when used within a year.

Ground Cinnamon should keep it's peak flavor for about six months.






Enjoy the joys of the season by celebrating cinnamon!



GIF image credit: glitter-graphics.com


Previous #FoodieFriday posts? 

Monday, November 14, 2016

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