Posts Tagged ‘favorite’

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salt-free seasoning blend

January 9, 2019

My first salt-free seasoning blend was improvised without a recipe. I made a ton, and it was perfect. No clue what I put in it, but my goal is to craft a recipe. Here’s round 2:

1 T coarsely ground black pepper 1/2 T coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 T whole white pepper, coarsely ground
1 T whole mustard seed, coarsely ground
1 T garlic powder or roasted garlic powder
1 T dried minced onion
1 T paprika
3/4 T ground chilli or cayenne
1/2 T dried chives
1/2 T dried basil
1/2 T dried thyme
1/2 T whole coriander seed, toasted and ground
1/2 T whole black or white sesame seeds, coarsely ground
1/4 t powdered ginger
3/4 t dried powdered orange zest
1/4 t smoke powder

There is no particular logic to how this ended up this way besides reading recipes by linda larsen at the spruce eats, bake at midnite, and christina at allrecipes, and whatever I read the first time I made this.

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Needs WAY less black pepper, WAY more sour (lemon zest?), and way more diversity of seasoning. Next time, I will add more smoke powder, more seeds or nuts, lemon zest, and way less pepper!

My salt-free seasoning blends are an essential part of my pantry, so I’m tagging this “favorite”. This will be a living document, edited constantly over time, so check back in to see its evolution!

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I’ll also be doing some different salt-free blends this spring – looking forward to trying a ranch seasoning with no dairy, and a mess of new smokey meat salt-free blends with the smoke powder Mark got me for the holidays. But for now, check out some of my favorite salt-free seasoning blends – like ras-el-hanout, bokharat / baharat, and numbing xi’an spice.

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hot and numbing xi’an style spice

September 17, 2018

This is by far my favorite new condiment. I made a batch for numbing Xi-an style oven-fried chicken, and ate the entire container of the spice blend within a week. Since then, I’ve made two or three more batches, because it’s amazing on eggs, in salad dressing, on pork, on popcorn… everywhere!

This is now a blend I keep in the house at all times, along with my salt-free seasoning blend, bokharat / baharat, ras-el-hanout, and a simple curry powder.

The heat comes from the chili. The “numbing” comes from the Sichuan peppercorns. It’s sweet, savory, hot – a really magical flavor when it comes together. It’s impossible to describe the flavor. Just try this:

It couldn’t be easier. Just toast 1 tablespoon whole cumin seed, 1 teaspoon whole fennel seed, 1 tablespoon dried red pepper flakes (preferably Thai,) and 1 tablespoon whole Sichuan peppercorns, seeds removed. When toasty, grind in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of brown sugar.

Recipe from kenji at serious eats

I can’t recommend this highly enough! If you like spicy, you’ll love this! Tagged favorite because it’s just that incredible.

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moroccan roasted vegetable soup

March 14, 2018

just adding this one ingredient (ras-el-hanout – a moroccan spice blend that’s complex and amazing) to a basic roasted vegetable soup is a total game-changer.

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roast one full cookie sheet of chopped veggies (I did carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, whole cloves of garlic, and butternut squash) coated in olive oil

roast an onion, too, or chop it raw and saute it in a soup pot or dutch oven.

when soft, add the roasted veggie chunks and a bunch of stock or broth of some kind, whatever you have in the house. also add ras-el-hanout to taste. the original recipe calls for a tablespoon, but my blend is very spicy with tons of cayenne, and barely a teaspoonful was enough.

when everything is totally soft, after simmering for a while, blend the soup and serve.

you can top with plain yogurt, and/or fresh mint.

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adapted by friedsig from the bbc

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almost exactly the same as the vegetable soup i normally make, but the simple addition of ras el hanout makes it taste totally new again. if you’re bored of the same old veggie soup you always make, definitely give this a try! i always make curried red lentil and squash soup, but coconut milk is getting really pricey, and this is a great alternative!

this is one of my newest vegan soup favorites. i will 100% be making this again soon.

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puliyodharai / puliogare (tamarind rice)

December 17, 2017

This rice recipe from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and other parts of southern India, is the perfect fancy vegan dish for your next special occasion. It is a temple dish, offered as prasāda, or an offering to a deity.

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cook a cup of rice as you normally would. use sesame oil instead of butter – about a tablespoon. when it’s done, add a quarter-teaspoon of turmeric and take off the heat.

for the spice blend, toast the following in an ungreased skillet:

dried red chilis (4 if you’re Indian, 3 if you like it very hot, 2 for medium-hot, and 1 for mild)
2 t whole coriander
1 t chana dal or yellow split peas or split chickpeas, and 1 t urad dal or split black dal
1/2 t whole sesame seeds
1/4 t each whole fenugreek and whole black pepper

when golden brown, crush these ingredients in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, along with a pinch of asafoetida if you have it.

set aside this ground spice mixture.

now bust out a big skillet or dutch oven. you will be tempering more spices in here.

heat 3 T sesame oil in the pan. when shimmering and hot, add 1 t urad dal and 1 t black mustard seeds, 1 t chana dal, and 1/4 t peanuts. when golden, add more dry chilis if you like, ten curry leaves, and 1/4 t turmeric. you can add a pinch of asafoetida here if you have it. add tamarind to taste – i used a few spoonfuls of paste mixed with about a cup of water – or you can use 50g of dried tamarind and soak for about a half-hour. salt the mixture. add a pinch of sugar or jaggery if you like. simmer until the mixture reduces a bit and looks saucy. add the ground spice mixture and stir well until it starts to smell incredible. add the cooked rice, stir, and serve.

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based on recipes from veg recipes of india and padhu’s kitchen

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The flavors are unbelievably good. Since it has so much flavor, it’s great served with something a little bland – we had vegan stewed red cabbage with red wine. The sourness of the rice went perfectly with the cabbage. One of my new favorite vegan side dishes!

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habichuelas con dulce (sweet red beans and sweet potato in coconut milk)

November 24, 2016

if you like sweet red bean paste snacks, you will love habichuelas con dulce, a sweet dominican and puerto rican dessert that’s gluten-free and almost kinda healthy. you can drink it chilled, but i like to sip on hot habichuelas con dulce on a chilly day – it’s filling and sweet.

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boil a sweet potato

separately, prepare red beans (kidney beans). if using dry beans, cook til a bit overdone. if using canned red beans, use about two cans

cook with a can of evaporated milk (or a half-cup or so of milk or half-and-half) and a can of coconut milk til softer.

blend in a blender, or mash together with a fork if you don’t have a blender or food processor.

add a cinnamon stick and around seven cloves, the cooked sweet potato, sugar to taste, and a handful of raisins, and simmer on low heat til fragrant.

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recipe by friedsig, based on this habichuelas con dulce recipe

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hyderabadi baghara baingan (indian sesame peanut eggplant)

August 16, 2016

this recipe by tarla dalal looks like everything i am craving today in one recipe. plans for khatta meetha baingan went right out the window once i read this.

8 to 10 brinjal eggplant (these are a small variety, so use much less if you have large dark purple eggplant)
1/4 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)
1/4 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
1/4 tsp nigella seeds (kalonji)
8 to 10 curry leaves (kadi patta)
1 to 3 green chillies, slit
4 tbsp oil
salt to taste

For the coconut and sesame paste
2 tbsp sesame seeds (til)
2 tbsp grated fresh coconut (or dried coconut flakes)
2 tbsp raw peanuts
1 tsp chopped ginger (adrak)
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp coriander (dhania) powder
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera) powder
1/2 to 1 tsp chilli powder, depending on your taste
1 tsp tamarind (imli) pulp

For the garnish
2 tbsp chopped coriander (dhania)
Method

Slit the brinjals, lengthwise, into four, but leave the stems on, so the eggplants remain joined at the stem. Keep aside.

For the coconut and sesame paste

Combine the sesame seeds, coconut, peanuts, ginger, garlic and onions in a pan and dry roast them over a slow flame till the flavours are released and the ingredients are lightly browned.
Add the turmeric powder, coriander seed powder, cumin seed powder, chilli powder and tamarind paste and grind it to a smooth paste using ½ cup water. Keep aside.

How to proceed

Heat the oil in a deep bottomed pan, add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and nigella seeds.
When they crackle, add the brinjals, curry leaves and green chillies and sauté over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Remove and keep aside.
In the same pan, add the coconut and sesame paste and cook till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
Add the cooked brinjals, ½ cup of water and salt and cook covered over a slow flame till the brinjals are soft.
Serve hot.

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by tarla dalal

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decided to roast the medium lavender-colored italian eggplants at 425. the smaller brinjal eggplants and little red eggplants that look like tomatoes (!!) were fire-roasted over a gas stove and finished in the 425 oven.

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update:

absolutely incredible. a warning that the 3 slit green chilis and 1 t of chilli powder from the original recipe could be fiery depending on your chilis; i did 2 hot green chilis and 1/2 t chilli powder and it could be a bit hotter for my taste but is already hovering near the mild/medium line. if you have super-powered garden chilis, then beware.

the sesame-peanut-coconut mixture smells amazing as it is cooking. the tamarind and coconut add the perfect sweet and sour flavor, so the eggplant isn’t too bitter. the toasted sesame and peanut are absolutely perfect.

this is in my top 5 eggplant recipes of all time, along with georgian style eggplant stuffed with carrot and parsnip, japanese miso eggplant, baba ghanouj, baingan musasalam, and a simple eggplant parmigiana.

seriously this is amazing. tagging as “favorite”.

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curried red lentil, squash, and coconut soup

March 17, 2016

i think this is one of the best pureed soups i’ve tried – but maybe that’s because i haven’t eaten solid food in a week. if you are on a soft foods diet on order of dentist or doctor, make sure to add this one. it’s full of medicinal spices like turmeric and garlic. get well soon!

[edit 2018: still one of my favorite soups. and yes, i got my tooth filled since this post, haha.]

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roast a big (or 2 little) butternut squash (or acorn, or whatever you like)

saute onions and carrots in a dutch oven over medium heat

when soft, add a clove or two of garlic, and stir 2 mins

add:
– chicken stock, vegetable stock, or even lightly salted water
– a tablespoon or 2 of “curry powder” (or make your own with a lot of coriander, some turmeric and cayenne, and a little fenugreek, mustard powder, cumin, black pepper [to help your body absorb the turmeric,] and curry leaf – or whatever you have around)
– the flesh of the roasted squash
– between a half-cup and a cup of red split lentils (masoor dal)
– a good amount of ginger paste or ginger juice

bring to a boil and simmer about 20 minutes

throw everything into a blender or food processor, or mash well.

return to pot and add coconut milk. use a whole can, unless you don’t like the taste of coconut – then just add a half-can.

reheat, adjust spices if necessary

turn off heat, and add fresh lemon juice to taste, about 1/2 to one whole lemon.

recipe sloppily adapted by friedsig from a few different recipes, mostly this epicurious version