Dukkah

Another problem from the grocery. That store that (often) makes you find another addiction each time you walk through the door. Thanks Trader Joe’s. This time I found Dukkah.

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It’s a nut & spice blend with several delicious ingredients, which are what make it problematic — almonds, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, coriander, anise seeds and kosher salt. These are all pretty much at the top of my list.

Put in on bread with olive oil, add it to olive oil, sprinkle it on meat or veggies, you’re set! (Or just eat it straight if totally needed).

 

Coriander-Roasted Broccoli

Some recipes catch my attention. Some ingredients in the kitchen find ways to catch the side of the shelf and shatter. Some determination then comes about to still make a recipe happen.

Saw this recipe for Coriander-Roaster Broccoli in a recent issue of Food & Wine, which just sounded amazing. So, had been to the store, everything was ready and cooking was starting.

Ingredients

-2 garlic cloves
-1 tablespoon cumin seeds
-2 teaspoons coriander seeds
-Kosher salt
-1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-2 heads of broccoli 
(1 3/4 pounds), sliced lengthwise through the stems 1/4-inch thick

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Well, reached for the coriander and the (glass) jar fell from the shelf onto the (granite) countertop. I had opted to use ground coriander vs. seeds and the stuff was everywhere, along with chards of glass mixed in. Ok, that was not going to be used. Very fortunately, I happened to have cilantro on hand! Magical/close enough of a substitute.

Note, I was also using ground cumin.

Directions

-Preheat the oven to 450°. In 
a mini food processor, combine the garlic, cumin, coriander, 
1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 cup of the olive oil; puree until smooth. *I added a bit of water because of the (arbitrary) amount of cilantro I used, to make it smoother. Played with the amount of oil, too.

-Arrange the broccoli on 
2 large rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with the remaining 
2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and toss to coat. Roast for 5 minutes. Spoon the coriander oil over the broccoli, toss and roast for about 10 minutes longer, until just tender, shifting the baking sheets halfway through. Serve hot.

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This stuff was awesome! Luckily it was a small error that occurred and can’t wait to try with coriander proper. I will likely make it with this again, too.

What Spices Up Your Life?

As I continue to play in the kitchen, as I read cooking magazines, when I hit the occasional restaurant, when I walk through the grocery store (I’m one of the people who loves that — I have friends who dread it), I think about the flavors I love the most.  I often think about the spices I could not do without.

I have a top two, a solid third, and then two more that cater to the baking side (more sweet than savory).

*I recently took a Smartphone photography class to sharpen my food photo skills since I take all my blog pictures via my iPhone.  So, this was also a great way to start working on these and play with my new olloclip.  If you’re in the DC-area, check out Washington Art Works & Washington School of Photography and Adam S. Lowe‘s Smartphone class — I give them huge props (and all their other classes) — they have food stuff, too — oh, I just found out they have wine tastings, as well.

Anyway, my top spices:

1.  Cumin — give me cumin or give me death.  You can use it in so much stuff, and it’s very convenient that I love (tex)mex food.  Maybe there’s a correlation here…hmmm.

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2.  Coriander (dried cilantro) — will ALWAYS take the fresh stuff.  Where’s the guac when you have the fresh stuff?  I can be caught using this in near everything.

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3. Fennel (seed)!  What’s funny here is I can’t stand black licorice (it’s not a like of many).  Though they aren’t super close to the same, that’s always what I think of when I know that I love this stuff.  So, give me fennel, the spice or fresh stuff and I am in heaven!

IMG_23794.  As we move down to the lower half of the top five, the next two are sort of tied, so I’m going to put them in alphabetical order for safety sake.  So, cinnamon, bring it on!  You’re in my baked goods, and sometimes ‘cooked’ ones.

IMG_23825.  Last but not least, nutmeg.  From baked goods to sprinkling it on fruit.  Has some great health benefits, too.  I definitely won’t say no.

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So, what spices up your life?  What are your favorite spices?  Are they more savory or sweet?  Let everybody know.

Ommegang

Was at a happy hour the other day and found a new (to me) brew on tap, so that of course meant I had to try it.  Ommegang was the wonderful producer, out of Cooperstown, NY (also the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame).  The beer proper was their Rare Vos Amber Ale.

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Very nice.  Matches the name by color, light hops, some herbs & fruit and nice & smooth.  ABV is 6.5%.  Totally worth checking it out if you’re an amber beer fan, or just a beer fan, in general!  Cheers.

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