Oui Chef! Charmoula is one of these great sauces that require you to do nothing more than put all the ingredients in a food processor and whiz them until the mixture is still a little rough and not fully pureed, similar to pesto. It will taste even better if you make it an hour or so in advance to let the flavors develop. *
Traditionally this mix of fresh cilantro, garlic and aromatic spices such as cumin, paprika and black or hot red pepper, bound together with lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil, is served as both a marinade and a sauce for cooked fish… use it Moroccan-style as a marinade for fish, and for poultry or lamb. It can be a finishing sauce that is spooned over grilled fish or shellfish or stirred into a fish soup. As a dressing, it’s excellent on grilled vegetables as well as on bean, potato or grain salads. *
“Harissa (Arabic: هريسة | harîsa) is a Tunisian hot chili pepper paste the main ingredients of which are… hot chili peppers and spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander seed, or caraway… Harissa is…described as “Tunisia’s main condiment”,… and…is used as an ingredient in a meat (goat or lamb) or fish stew with vegetables, and as a flavoring for couscous… Harissa paste can also be used as a rub for meat or eggplants…” *
As we continue our exploration of North African Spices, today we are featuring Harissa, the native Tunisian chili spice mix. Harissa makes a zesty rub for grilled meats and a lively flavoring for stews and couscous. Adding a little olive oil to the spice mix creates a Harissa paste that can be used as a marinade and rub for vegetables, fish and meats.
Spice Specialist’s Harissa spice blend contains caraway seed, dark chili powder, coriander, cumin and garlic. BTW our Dark Chili Powder is a blend of over a dozen different chilies! So expect some “heat” from our Harissa blend.
“Ras el Hanout is used in many savory dishes, sometimes rubbed on meat or fish, or stirred into couscous or rice…There is no definitive composition of spices that makes up Ras el Hanout…Commonly used ingredients include cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, dry ginger, chili peppers, coriander seed, peppercorn, sweet and hot paprika, fenugreek, and dry turmeric. Some spices may be particular to the region, such as ash berries, chufa, grains of paradise, orris root, monk’s pepper, cubebs, dried rosebud, fennelseed or aniseed, galangal, long pepper. Ingredients may be toasted before being ground or pounded in a mortar and mixed together.” *
Oui Chef! Spice Specialist’s featured spice is Ras el Hanout, the savory spice mix from North Africa. Used as a rub on meat or fish it can also be added to rice or couscous. Our mix contains nutmeg, pepper, cardamom, ginger, thai long chili, cubeb, allspice, cinnamon, clove, rosebuds / petals, lavender, grains of paradise, turmeric, black onion seeds (nigella) and orris root.
Oui Chef! Spice Specialist is featuring the Japanese Pepper Shichimi Togarashi. This savory-spicy pepper, which literally means “seven flavor chili pepper,” can vary by region, cooks and custom blends. Spice Specialist’s recipe is blended with chili pepper, orange peel, black sesame seed, white sesame seed, Japanese pepper, ginger, seaweed.
Oui Chef! It’s true! Spice Specialist does carry an exhaustive selection of chilies from around the world. With over 30 types of chilies, both ground and whole pods, Spice Specialist’s selection is “bar none!”
Among the different ground chilies we carry are Aji Amarillo Chili,, Aji Panca Chili, Ancho Chili, Chipotle Chili, Chili De Arbol, Guajillo Chili, Habanero Chili, Jalapeno Chili, Pasilla Chili, and New Mexico Red Chili. We also carry Cayenne Pepper in heat indexes 30,000, 90,000 and 160,000 as well as chili blends. Our Chili Powders are available in Chili Light, Chili Dark, Chili Hot and Chili Smoked!
Spice Specialist’s selection of whole chili pods include Ancho Chili Pods, Chipotle Chili Pods, Chili De Arbol Pods, Guajillo Chili Pods, Habanero Chili Pods, Pasilla Chili Pods, and New Mexico Red Chili Pods. We even carry Thai Long Chili Pods and Thai Short Chili Pods!
Oui Chef! Warm weather is the perfect time to introduce kebabs to your menu. Simply made and easily grilled, Spice Specialist offers the perfect Kebab Seasoning Spices for your dishes. Whether its chicken, meat, lamb or even veggies, one of our kebab seasoning spice blends would be the ideal answer.
Happy National Donut Day!
Donuts. Too sweet! Too oily! Too bland! Just awful! How about trying something different for National Donut Day (June 5)? Why not a savory donut?
Many bakeries and donut shops have been experimenting, successfully too, with savory donuts. Think onions. Prochini mushrooms. Sour Cream. Chorizo. Gruyere. And of course bacon! Savory has overtaken the donut world and spiced up the bland.
Recently SFGATE took us through the savory donut haunts of San Francisco. How about a Porchini donut dusted with a powder of dried porchini mushrooms and umami powder*! Or a Bacon Beignet? Applewood smoked bacon steeped in milk. Ricotta donuts with beet jam? Duck liver mousse donuts? And more savory gems.
One of our favorites – a sour cream and onion donut. Very easy to make. And a great savory donut starting point.
* Umami Powder: Umami is that mysterious 5th flavor introduced by the Japanese. Simply translated it means “pleasant savory taste.”
Spice Specialist carries a wide selection of “Umami” spices, including:
- Shitake Extract Powder
- Porcini Extract Powder
- Roasted Cabbage Powder
- Soy Sauce Powder
- Tomato Powder
- Worcestershire Sauce Powder
- Parmesan Cheese Powder
- Han Dashi (Han Doshi)
Happy National Cheese Day!
In honor of National Cheese Day*, Spice Specialist is celebrating our cheese powders. Our cheese selection includes Gorgonzola, Brie, Cheddar (white and orange), Smoked Gouda and Parmesan. We even carry a Nacho Cheese. Cheese powders are the perfect flavor boost to sauces, dips, veggie dishes, and more. Sprinkle over snacks like popcorn for a cheesy nosh. Enjoy the cheesy goodness of our cheese powders. Their uses are unlimited.
*National Cheese Day is June 04th.