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Posts Tagged ‘Adult Indulgences custom spice blends’

Indeed.  I am a spice mixer at heart, and as so, I do sell custom spice blends.  To see some recipes using my blends check out my “Recipes” page.  While I rarely plug my own product, preferring to let others discover their spicy side, today I am shamelessly promoting my custom spice blends which are sold at ETSY under the business name:  Adult Indulgences Wickedly Delicious Custom Spice Blends (http://www.adultindulgences.etsy.com). 

Believe me when I say that my blends are incredible, fresh, new, all original, all natural and will make your recipes pop!  Beginner to gourmet cook will be able to use my blends and create an unending list of delicious recipes.  I not one to toot my own horn, but I am about this–just take a look at my feedback from happy purchasers on ETSY.  Come on by and visit!  Who knows what you will find!

Adult Indulgences Dios del Sol Mexican Spice Blend
Adult Indulgences Royal Herbs de Provence Spice Blend
Adult Indulgences Royal Herbs de Provence 2 oz. Gift Pack
Adult Indulgences Moroccan Madness Moroccan Spice Blend
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Photo Courtesy of:  http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3508/3832870548_46043bcc4c.jpg

Photo Courtesy of:  http://www.ediblelandscaping.com/Plants/PlantImages/kaffir%20lime%20DSC_0624.jpg

 

Yes, I know I have been tardy in my posting.  But, my return from vacation was met with a huge water leak in a wall line and a wonderful visit from my cousin from Italy and his lovely significant other.  What a great way to spend my time–with the relatives, not the leak and subsequent clean-up.  So, on with our travels and spice/herb education.  I promised Cambodian or Khmer spices and herbs and here they are!

1.  Kaffir Lime.  The lime is small, very green, and has a bumpy skin.  When Kaffir Lime is used in Khmer cooking it is only the rind of the fruit that is used.  The leaves of the Kaffir Lime tree are used as well and are called Makrud.  The leaves give your dish a definite citrus flavor!  You will find kaffir Lime leaves used in many South East Asian dishes.

2. Rice-paddy Herb.  This herb has a very lemony flavor with plenty of plucky tang.  It is most often used in fish and seafood dishes.  I have seen it used in salads as well.

3.  Galangal.  Many people mistake Galangal as ginger and it is from the same family.  But, its flavor leaves a peppery, lemony taste on the tongue.  After a few moments, I could swear I get a hint of pine pitch.  Sigh.  Just remember that Galangal is not ginger!

4.  Taro Root.  Taro is a tuber (root) that is very starchy and tastes like a potato with some lingering nutty after-notes.  Taro is often used as a staple and a major benefit is that its starch has a definite purple color.  When you see purple”ish” ice-creams and desserts in Cambodia, they are often colored with Taro starch.

5.  Asian Coriander.   Believe it or not, Asian Coriander is not related to the Coriander we normally know.  It is from an entirely different family, but its flavor is like a stronger Coriander.

6.  Water Spinach.  Water Spinach grows in wet-lands and often the stems are picked just like asparagus.  Also the tender roots are eaten as well.  The taste of this relative to morning-glory is just like Spinach and it is frequently eaten in Khmer cooking.

7.  Turmeric.  Turmeric, or as it is known in Khmer, Kunyit, if most often used freshly grated from the root.  Turmeric is used for color and to add flavor and aroma to curry dishes.  Americans are most often used to powdered Turmeric, which, depending on its age, truly lacks the beautiful color and aroma of freshly grated Turmeric.

8.  Star Anise.  Star Anise, as we have learned, tastes and smells of licorice.  Anise is used to flavor baked goods as well as savory dishes.  When I lived in Viet Nam it was common for locals to chew the Anise seed as a breath freshener.

9.  Jicama Root.  Jicama Root has become increasingly popular in America and can be found in most large grocery stores.  It tastes like a cross between a potato, an apple, and a turnip.  I love eating raw root as it is quite sweet and crunchy.  In Asian cultures Jicama is often substituted for water chestnut in stir fries.

10.  Cilantro.  As we discussed in an earlier post, Coriander and Cilantro are one and the same!  The leaf portion of the plant is Cilantro and the seed portion is Coriander.  

11.  Tamarind.  The Tamarind pod has a fruit whose pulp is, generally speaking,  sweet.  Thai Tamarind is quite sour, as are its leaves, both of which are often used in soups and stew-like dishes.

12.  Finger Root.  This root is considered a relative of ginger root, but is much milder in flavor.  Interestingly enough, I have heard it argued that Finger Root is not related to ginger at all.  Who knows!  Finger Root is softer than ginger root and the skin is removed and the internal meat is julienned.  You can rest assured that Finger Root will be found in most Cambodian curries.

13.  Sweet Basil.   As discussed in a previous post, Basil is a member of the mint family and is widely used throughout World cooking.  However, I am told that the Thai variety has a subtle taste of licorice.  I have never tried Thai Sweet Basil myself.

14.  Lemon grass.  Cambodian cuisine, and East Asian cuisine, widely uses Lemon grass herb.  I personally do not like the flavor of Lemon grass as I find it reminds me of citronella candles and even a tiny bit too much leaves a chemical taste on my tongue.  But, I must be in the minority on this as Lemon grass is a popular herb and the main flavoring in “Kroeung”, a popular Cambodian curry paste.

15.  Angkeadei in Khmer or Sesbania Grandiflora in its scientific terminology is a bitter herb not used much outside Cambodian cuisine.  We can say that Cambodian cuisine accepts bitterness in its cuisine as a sought after flavor.  Both flowers and leaves are used in cooking.

16.  Mreah or Bitter Melon.  This plant’s leaf is often used to attain a bitter note in certain Cambodian dishes.

Well, this has been a bit longer than I anticipated.  I’ll let you all catch your breath, get on your computers and browse on-line East Asian groceries for Khmer spices and herbs.  Later, you can fall asleep to the dreams of tropical jungles, foods of incredible color, friendly local peoples, and aromas drifting past on moist, warm breezes.

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Photo courtesy of:  http://www.paradiseinfiji.com/blogimages/Activities/Culture_Warrior005.jpg

 

Everyone was so pleased with my posts of Fiji, that I thought I would post another Fijian recipe that is as easy as they come and as delicious as can be.  If you like ceviche you will love this slightly spicy white fish dish.  Let’s hit it, folks!

Kokoda

Ingredients:

4 White Fish fillets (I use Halibut, but for more authenticity use Mahi-Mahi)

Juice of 3 large limes or 4 small limes

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 medium tomatoes, seeds removed and diced in small cubes

1 very small green chili (Serrano works fine) minced very, very fine.  Remember, always remove seeds, stems and veins  (use less for less heat)

1 medium onion, minced

1 orange bell pepper, seeds, veins and stems removed and minced

1 cup coconut cream  (NOT coconut milk, but coconut CREAM)

Preparation:

Cut the fish fillets into bite size pieces and put them in a GLASS bowl with the lime juice and salt.  Do NOT put the lime juice in a metal bowl or it WILL react with the metal and ruin the flavor of your dish.  Mix the fish, lime and salt well and then cover and refrigerate overnight for no less than 12 hours. 

Remove from fridge and add coconut cream and minced onion. Stir well.  Serve immediately and sprinkle tomato and diced orange bell pepper over top.  I love serving this dish on a fresh bed of huge lettuce leaves.  I have even had folks roll the Kokoda in a lettuce leaf and eat it like a taco.  If you are really adventuresome, invite some dancers over to give a show to your family and guests.  Or, better yet, have a beach party where less clothing is more fun!  Yum is all I can say. 

 

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Good afternoon fellow spice and herb lovers.  Let us unite today, under grey or blue skies, and make our home a little brighter, lighter and homier with the wonderful aromas created by Chicken Curry, Fijian Indian Style.  Oh yes, let us gather our friends and loved ones and set out tables with bright cloths and drinks of greens, reds and yellows.  Amen.  Let us celebrate life, love and family and friends as we feast and unite over the fresh, delightful cuisine of Fiji!  Take my cyberspace hand and we shall walk through the simple path of cooking this delightful dish.  Don’t forget that the spice mix you will need for this recipe was posted a few days ago.  Just head backwards in my posts, make the blend and you are ready, my friends, to partake of  Chicken Curry.

Photo Courtesy of:  http://www.matavuvale.com/profiles/profile/show?id=joji_Fiji_Living

Chicken Curry Fijian Style

Ingredients:

1 Whole Chicken cut into bite size pieces

5 small cloves of garlic, finely minced

1 small onion, finely minced

Chicken Stock as needed

1 large tomato, chopped

2-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp curry paste

2 tbsp Fijian Curry Spice Blend (see earlier post)

Salt

Preparation:

Add two to three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a medium-sized, deep skillet and heat over medium heat.  Add onions, garlic, 2 tablespoons Fijian Spice Blend and stir for about two minutes.  DO NOT BURN, as spices and oil will become very bitter.   Add 2 tablespoons curry paste ((I recommend a mild curry paste for beginners) and stir well for another minute or so.  Add chicken and salt to taste.  Stir and let cook for 30 minutes over medium heat, stirring to keep chicken from sticking.  If chicken begins to stick I always add a bit of chicken broth to this recipe to keep things simmering along and not burning.  Add chopped tomatoes at end of cooking, stir,  and serve immediately.  My favorite way to finish this dish is with a side of turmeric and saffron steamed rice.  Ummmmmmmmmmmm.  DELICIOUS.  

So simple, but yet so Fijian Indian style.  You will love this recipe and your heart will forever yearn to visit Fiji and wonder at the currents of culture that flow through the Islands and make them what they are today!

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