Cooking With Spices
Spices from all over the world flavor our recipes, thanks to our partnership with Burlap and Barrel. We wanted to share their startling flavor and equitable business practices. Burlap and Barrel connects consumers to the source of spices- small-holder farmers who use organic and/or biodynamic farming practices. The result are super fresh spices that you can feel good using. We used yellow cardamom for a Persian rice layered with dried fruit, and topped with a crunchy crust. The Indian spiced salmon was great for a weeknight, rubbed with Burlap and Barrel turmeric and cardamom, garam masala, cumin, fresh ginger, and garlic. Serve it with the garam masala cucumber raita and celebrate Tuesday. Lastly, we made a stunner of an egg recipe with Ciblir- Inspired Poached eggs. Betsy also brewed a bonus recipe of cardamom iced tea and is fighting her kids for every sip. Cooking with spices was a fun way to spend a week!
Jeweled is an apt description for this version of Persian Rice, studded with golden raisins, apricots, and barberries. The whole pot gets turned onto a serving tray- perfectly steamed white rice with a layer of spiced fruit and a toasted rice topping. While the recipe took some time and some nerve to flip, we felt the taste made the effort worth it.
- Goji berries or dried cranberries are a fine substitute for barberries. (Or get yourself a friend like Betsy!)
- Don’t skimp on butter for the final rice step. It’s needed so the crust (tahdig) will brown up and release from the pot.
- Really give the rice some time to get golden brown. A solid five minutes at medium high heat is minimum. Your stove may vary but use your nose- a rich toasty smell is key. Go ahead, stick your head in that pot!
- Since we didn’t have a holiday to celebrate, we served this with a simple protein on the side. Betsy made chicken thighs, Kate roasted some salmon.
- Kate also ate this with a scoop of plain yogurt. A solid lunch choice, if we do say do ourselves.
Roast salmon for dinner should be in everyone’s repertoire. It’s quick, forgiving (unless you choose wild sockeye but that’s another story and another fifty dollars) and readily available. Indian Spiced Salmon has a topping of warm spices like cumin, turmeric, and cardomom, served with a raita of cucumbers and garam masala. In case you’re considering skipping it, we thought the yogurt sauce was deliciously necessary.
- Grate the garlic and ginger on a microplane for a quick solution for paste.
- Try to avoid subbing dried garlic and ginger. Fresh gives it such a punch. That said, if you do, it will still have lovely flavors.
- Make the raita ahead, if you like. It will keep in the fridge for several days.
Cilbir -Inspired Poached Eggs: Burlap and Barrel, recipe by Carly Sutherland
Direct from Burlap and Barrel’s site, Turkish style (Cilbir) Poached eggs, is a swoop of garlicky yogurt with a duo of poached eggs on top. The dish is finished with two distinct sauces, one with fresh basil and another spice infused chili oil. Breakfast (or lunch) at the next level when you're cooking with spices.
- For an easy egg recipe for dinner, make the sauces and yogurt ahead and store in the refrigerator. Assembly is a snap.
- Kate made her poached eggs in her favorite unitasker, her egg poaching pan. Chek out our ProTIp: Unitasker episode for more details.
- The basil sauce will only last a couple days in the refrigerator. The oil lasts much longer. Consider it to drizzle over rice, a plate of beans, or roasted vegetables.
Toasted cardamom and honey make this summer cooler a bonus to have in the fridge.
- Pick up rosewater in the Middle East aisle of your better grocery store, at a local specialty shop, or online.
- Maybe you can’t wait for it to cool or summer’s temperatures haven’t caught up yet. This is lovely hot.
From the Smorgasbord:
Betsy also interviewed their co- founder, Ethan Frisch about his company, ethical trade practices, and vanilla prices. If you’re curious about Burlap and Barrel, you can go to their website to learn more about their spices and buying practices.
Interested in spices and their impact on communities, economies, and even crime? Ethan Frisch suggested this article about Madagascar vanilla: Vanilla Fever (The Economist).
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