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Magic carpet spice chicken recipe

Magic carpet spice chicken recipe

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  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
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  • Spicy chicken

Be carried off on a magic carpet of flavours with the aromatic Middle Eastern spices and a gorgeous tomato cream sauce in this fragrant and sumptuous chicken fillet dish. Adjust spice amounts to your taste, and serve over steamed white rice or couscous for an exotic magic carpet ride of a meal!

26 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets - cut into cubes
  • 120ml soured cream
  • 60ml milk
  • 60ml double cream
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 400g tinned or homemade stewed tomatoes

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:30min

  1. In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm oil and cook chicken for 5 to 10 minutes or until no longer pink and juices run clear.
  2. Turn heat to low. Add soured cream, milk, double cream, cumin, nutmeg, allspice and ground white pepper to frying pan; simmer for about 5 minutes or until sauce is smooth. Do not allow mixture to boil.
  3. Stir stewed tomatoes into the mixture and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes; serve.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(27)

Reviews in English (23)

by KARISSAM

The great thing about this recipe is that it gives you the taste of world cuisine with household ingredients and very easy preparation. My husband and I both enjoyed this meal and we will make it again. The only changes I made were using milk instead of half and half, black pepper instead of white (that's what I had on hand) and adding salt to taste since the recipe did not call for any. I served over rice with some sauteed eggplant.-27 Oct 2009

by JULIECT

I wish I could make believe I had eaten this.I made this last night and my five year old took one bite and said it was disgusting. He ended up eating a bowl of cereal for dinner.My very easy to please husband took his first bite and said it tastes like chicken and tomatoes. AND I almost doubled the cumin. (When I asked my husband what he would like for dinner tonight, he said "anything as long as it is not what you made last night.")I will not make this again.-17 Aug 2005


7 Homemade Carp Bait Recipes for Fishing Beginners [Tried & Tested!]

Homemade carp bait recipes for fishing beginners are the most cost-efficient way to hook a carp let alone get your bite alarms roaring off. The great thing about making your own baits is you can experiment with various ingredients and discover which one works best. Also, a homemade recipe will give an endless supply of baits for weeks &ndash or even months &ndash of fishing trips. You might not make the next Dynamite The Source Boilies but you could be catching carp on your own bait.

Take note that depending on your demographics, lake composition, and season, some of our recipes here may work less or more effective. Nevertheless, feel free to check our bait recipes as we share it here:

Benefits of homemade carp baits

Homemade baits make angling exciting, much so because you have full control over what you feed the carp. Still, we acknowledge that not all anglers have the time to do some mixing and preparing.

Besides, some will argue: &ldquoIf I can buy it from tackle shops, why bother to do it on my own?&rdquo. There&rsquos a truth here, but you&rsquore also missing something.

Homemade carp bait recipes for fishing beginners are all about experimentation. It opens up a bigger world about fishing. For dedicated anglers who consider carp fishing as a craft, homemade recipes make them a well-rounded angler.

Photo Credits: Bonsai Guest House

Why make your own baits?

Let us admit this: when we first started, we&rsquore also fans of tackle shop baits. It&rsquos convenient and cheap. However, after some time, we began to get bored. Buying the bait, casting the line, and getting our catch became a monotonous practice.

To spice things up, we experimented with various bait recipes. Aside from keeping the fun on fishing, it also gives us more background about carp diet &ndash what they are obsessed with and what they don&rsquot like to eat.

Besides, making homemade carp bait recipes for fishing beginners is easier than cooking Toad in the Hole. You just mix everything then form it to various shapes. After that, you&rsquore good to go.

BAIT RECIPES

*Cornmeal Carp Bait

Let&rsquos start with the simplest yet most effective carp bait: corn. Over the years, we&rsquove tested the wonders corn can do when baiting not just carp but also other game fishes like trout and perch. Here&rsquos our simple recipe:

Ingredients:

*A can of whole sweetcorn
*Vanilla extracts

Procedure

Open the can of corn and drain the water inside while leaving a small amount to keep the corn moist. After that, add the vanilla extracts (just enough to slather the can). Use a plastic sheet to seal the can opening then shake it well to mix the vanilla with the corn bits.

How this bait works

The colour of corn adds an attracting effect to carp. Also, you can quickly hook corn as long as it&rsquos not too soggy. And since we mixed it with vanilla extracts, we have an instant attractant that will be released into the water.

Take note that you should use a small hook to represent the corn well. Moreover, you should have a pole cup handy for pre-baiting this recipe.

*Instant Catch Bait

For this recipe, we&rsquore going to use the old-time favourite Wheaties cereal. Since it contains loads of various grains, including corn, it&rsquos healthy and safe to feed on carp. When mixed with other ingredients, it gives off an instant attractant upon soaking in water:

Ingredients:

*Crumbled Wheaties cereal
*1 cup of flour
*Garlic salt
*Drinking water

Procedure

In a medium-sized bowl, mix all these ingredients well. Use a spatula to ensure that all the ingredients will blend together. You should aim to create a dough consistency. The trick here is to add the water in small amounts to avoid the formula from being soggy.

Once you have a paste or dough texture, form the mixture into boilie-like sizes. You can decide on the size depending on the hook you&rsquore planning to use.

How this bait works

Wheaties is packed with various grains like cornmeal, wheat, crisp rice, bran, oats, and more. This is similar to the ingredients of grain-based boilies. Besides, some commercial boilies , pellets, and pastes are made of bird food which also contains various grains and seeds.

The garlic salt adds a kick of flavour on the mixture while the flour holds the mixture together.

*Chicken Liver Carp Bait

One of the most powerful homemade carp bait recipes for fishing beginners is any meat-based mix. And based on our experience, internal organs like chicken liver is irresistible for carp. It&rsquos flavourful and once it&rsquos soaked in water, the strong attractants will be released. Paired with oats, this recipe is guaranteed to be a carp catcher and a healthy meal for the fishes.

Ingredients:

*Chicken livers (always choose fresh liver)
*Anise extract
*1-pound bag of plain instant grits oats (yes, the Quaker oatmeal bag will do)

Procedure

In a bucket, empty the bag of instant grits then set it aside. Next, place the liver in a blender together with the anise extract. Pulse this until you have a liver paste. Mix the pulsed liver into the bucket of instant grits. The oats will keep the bait solid on the hook.

If you want to make the bait stiffer, you can add more grits bit by bit. After that, you can now form the liver and grit paste into small boilie-like balls.

How this bait works

Although it&rsquos messy to prepare and can be a pain to place on the hook, this chicken liver carp bait will work its charm on the water. If the consistency of your chicken bait is a bit pasty, you can place it inside PVA bags. Just puncture a hole and then hook the bait bag through it.

Also, you can use PVA meshes so the attractants will be released in the water fast.

*Peanut Butter Ball Bait

For this recipe, we&rsquore going to combine a protein-rich ingredient with some classic carp baits. It&rsquos a simple recipe that you can make using some kitchen supplies. It&rsquos also easy to come up with, even if you&rsquore a reluctant DIY baiter.

Ingredients:

*2 slices of white bread
*1/2 cup of instant grits
-1/4 cup of flour
-1 cup of peanut butter (sweetened or unsweetened will do)

Procedure:

On a bowl, mix all of these ingredients. For the bread, shred it to bits using your hand so it will mix well with the other components. Once it&rsquos all mixed, form it into tiny balls that you can place on your hook. It&rsquos very simple, but it works like magic when soaked in water.

Also, depending on how thick your choice of peanut butter is, you may need to add more to keep the mixture pasty.

How this bait works

First of all, peanut butter is a protein powerhouse. It&rsquos also flavourful, which won&rsquot go unnoticed by a hungry carp. What we like the most about this bait is that the moment you soak the butter ball in the lake, it will diffuse the attractants in an instant.

If the carp in the lake where you fish seems snobby, you can add a few drops of a liquid attractor for each butterball.

*Cornbread Mix Carp Bait

For this recipe, we&rsquore going to use two of the most popular carp baits among traditional anglers: corn and bread. It&rsquos packed with the bright yellow corn that carp find delicious. It does well on lake fishing.

Ingredients:

*2 slices of bread
*1 box of sweet cornbread mix
*1 can of cream corn

Procedure

In a bowl, mix all of these ingredients. We recommend that you pinch the bread to bits so it will blend well on the other ingredients. After that, add the cream corn (don&rsquot drain anything) and the cornbread mix. Combine it until you come up with a thick paste consistency. Depending on how creamy or soupy the corn is, you may need to add a little more cornbread mix.

Let this mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the cream corn moisture to seep into the bread and mix. After that, form it into bait balls. If the mixture became soggy, PVA bags are handy.

How this bait works

We&rsquore leveraging corn here, which is a tried and tested bait for years. Also, since the cream corn has a flavourful sauce, it will serve as an attractant to the carp. It&rsquos probably one of the best homemade carp bait recipes for fishing beginners which is also effortless to make.

*Premium Corn Carp Bait

In case you&rsquore fishing on a lake with picky carp, you can try our premium corn carp bait. We level this up with more corn and flavour to become a powerful attractant to any carp species. Be it twenties, thirties, or even forties this bait might be what you&rsquore looking for:

Ingredients:

*1 of tablespoon cornstarch
*1 can of blended cream corn
*2 tablespoons of sugar
*1 cup of cornflakes crumbs
*2 cups of cornmeal

Procedure

First, mix the cornstarch and cornmeal in a separate bowl then this aside. After that, heat the blended cream corn in a saucepan until it bubbles. Once the cream corn is steaming, add sugar and cornmeal. Mix this slowly until the ingredients have reached a paste consistency.

After that, remove the saucepan from the stove and let the mixture cool down for about five minutes. Once it&rsquos cool, you can now add the cornflake crumbs. Mix this well and let the bait cool down for a few minutes.

Lastly, you should now form it into ball baits.

How this bait works

Need we say more about corn? Since this bait is nothing but flavourful corn, no carp can resist its pull. You can also use it for pre-baiting. Aside from carp, this is also an efficient bait for other game fishes like trout, tench, and barbell.

*Strawberry Oats Bait

Here&rsquos an exciting bait that you may want to try. Unlike the typical corn-bread mixture, we&rsquore going to use jello here. Intrigued? Here&rsquos how you can do it:

Ingredients:

*Water
*3 ounces of strawberry jello
*2 cups of plain instant oats

Procedure

In a Ziploc bag, mix all of the ingredients until everything is blended. After that, lay the Ziploc flat and flatten any lumps or uneven spots. Let this rest for up to three days until the jello and oats have hardened together.

How this bait works

What we have here are flavour and healthy oats. Once you soak this into the water, the strawberry color will stand and the attractants will be released. Moreover, oats are a bonus for a healthy carp meal.

Also, you can add corn bits here as well if you want to diversify the colour and a little more flavour to the bait.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do carp eat naturally?

A: Carp are omnivorous fish, which means that they eat both vegetables and meat. This is why most homemade and commercial baits use a combination of grains, seeds, fishmeal, and even meat.

Q: What smells are fish attracted to?

A: It depends on the species you&rsquore planning to catch. For carp, anything that contains high-quality protein as it tends to magnetize carp. Also, carp love the scent of green-lipped mussel and other fish-based baits.

Q: What triggers carp to feed?

A: An algae metabolite called Dimethyl propiothetin (DMPT) tickles the taste buds of carp. Also, it&rsquos proven in lab tests to stimulate fish appetite.

Q: What is the best bait to catch carp?

A: Based on our experience, the likes of corn, bread, and fish-based baits work like magic in attracting and catching carp. Also, meat and internal organs of chicken proved to be attractive as well.

Q: Is corn a good carp bait?

A: Yes! Sweetcorn, specifically, is probably the most convenient, affordable, and efficient carp bait. You can purchase a tin can and enjoy fishing twenties and even thirties.

Final Words

These homemade carp bait recipes for fishing beginners are easy to make but very effective in catching carp. Still, you should note that each one will perform differently depending on how the carp reacts on each specific recipe. It&rsquos a trial and error phase, which is exactly what makes carp fishing more fun.

Do you have other bait recipes to share? Feel free to send us down below. We might try it on our next fishing and we&rsquoll tell you how it goes.


How to Make Your Own Spice Blends at Home (Or at Least, How I Tried)

Welcome to Out of the Kitchen , our ongoing exploration of America’s coolest food artisans. Over the next few months, we’reapprenticing with the best knife forgers, cider brewers, and spice blenders, then bringing their knowledge and expertise back to our home kitchens—and to yours.

I’m standing in my kitchen in gym clothes and listening to the theme song from Flashdance . Amid the off-key chorus-singing ("Being's believing!") and some highly questionable dance moves, I’m quietly chanting, “You’re gonna own it. You have to own it. It’s yours.”

These words are not my own mantra. I borrowed them from spice guru Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boîte , who recently gave me a lesson on how to blend spices like a pro . Now I'm trying to put his teachings to use. in my small Brooklyn kitchen with its minor ant infestation. There are bags and jars of spices all around me, my T-shirt is has several stains on it, and our neighbor's outdoor cat is staring at me through the kitchen window, with the most quizzical cat-look ever .

Salt-N-Pepa comes on next, which is fitting, given that I am trying to figure out whether I should use pink peppercorns or marathi moggu (an Indian spice that tastes like a hybrid of mustard and black pepper) for the Middle East-meets-sweet blend I’ve been attempting to develop.

During our lesson, in his minimalist workshop, Sercarz made it look easy. He combined flavors with such finesse that I figured it couldn’t be too complicated to try to blend my own. Heck, I even created a pimentón-heavy blend with him, which I decided to title Quiet Fire. (Sercarz names all his blends—perhaps the easiest of his techniques to copy.) In the two weeks since, Quiet Fire has worked miracles when mixed with plain yogurt, cherry tomatoes, and fresh mint.

Quiet Fire, in the making. Photo: Clay Williams

But there's a big difference between Sercarz helping me—e.g., explaining how ingredients taste and how much of each to add—and my attempting to blend spices without his expert direction.

No wonder I’m pretty into Quiet Fire—there was someone to say “no!” when I thought it would be a good idea to add a lot of za’atar leaves . Too many can make the blend bitter, Sercarz warned.

Before I embarked on my own spice journey, he left me with some smart parting words. “It’s what you like—it’s not about me,” he said. If you’re the type of cook who often microwaves frozen food, Sercarz said, then that’s totally fine. He just wants that microwave dinner to benefit from the magic jar in your kitchen cabinet.

A week after our lesson, I'm sitting at my kitchen table, staring at a couple dozen spices that I purchased in a whirlwind Supermarket Sweep -style purchase spree at Kalustyan's . I pumped up the jams, because if you're not listening to "Whoomp, There It Is" when you're blending spices, then you're clearly doing it wrong .

I started by sketching out my ideas and ideal amounts on paper, which Sercarz does every time he creates a new blend. I already had Quiet Fire, so I decided I wanted to make one blend for desserts and another blend with a bit of Indian flair . I love the cuisine but don’t cook it much at home—maybe this could be the jumpstart I needed. (Sercarz suggests having two or three spice blends in your arsenal, one your go-to blend, and others for weekend cooking projects and the like.) Then, as he does, I weighed each ingredient in grams and recorded the amount.

Flashdance spice-blending party time! Iɽ always loved cardamom in cookies but had never actually ground the pods whole, so I started shaping an idea around green cardamom pods, then chose spices that I thought would complement not only cardamom but each other, ending up with anardana (dried pomegranate seeds, more subtly sweet than the fresh version), black sesame, pink peppercorns (for a little heat and color), nutmeg, cinnamon, and lemon peel powder.

The lemon powder smell was particularly potent, and Iɽ never used it before, so I made sure to measure only 1 gram (note: get yourself a digital scale if you're going to be making spice blends ). Iɽ like to say that I had very specific reasons for the other amounts and why I choose to use precisely 8 grams of anardana and 3 grams of black sesame, but really, I was just winging it. Gotta start somewhere, right? "It's not that complicated," Sercarz had told me during his demonstration. I tried to remind myself of that.

Next, toasting: I put the anardana, cardamom, sesame, and peppercorns on a single layer in a sheet pan, as Sercarz recommended, and toasted them in the oven at 170 degrees—the lowest my oven would go—for an hour. (The other ingredients were pre-ground and didn't need toasting.) While the spices were toasting, I made a simple sugar-cookie dough and put it in the refrigerator to chill.

Good Dirt cookies. Photo: Alex Lau

After the hour was up, I took the spices from the oven, briefly let them cool, and put my spice grinder to work for the first time ever. The resulting blend looked like dirt and smelled like flowers—with a lingering odor of cleaning solution. Mm. I didn't get discouraged, though—Sercarz says that he often steps away after putting the blend in a jar and returns about an hour later. So I busied myself itemizing my new spice collection and having some fun with Tupperware organization. Yes, fun.

I smelled the blend again. Same cleaning-solution smell. I tasted it. It wasn't great. "Most spice blends and spices aren't necessarily the most pleasant thing to eat," Sercarz had warned, so I powered on. It was cookie time.

I sprinkled Good Dirt (yup, that's its name) on the cookies and put them in the oven. After they were done, I hesitantly took a bite, wary of tasting Pine-Sol. Then I took a bigger bite. Then another one. Wait! These were really good. I wanted even more Good Dirt taste, so I folded the blend into a second batch of dough, sprinkled more on top, and put them in the oven. Even better!

Feeling pretty high and mighty—cue "Whoomp, There It Is"—I embarked on my next blend, featuring coriander, mustard seed, fenugreek, Sichuan peppercorns (just a little), cumin, and sumac. I wanted mustard to be prominent, so I used a whopping 20 grams (4 teaspoons). As it toasted, however, I began to worry the blend was just going to taste like ground mustard. And, when I blended it, that's pretty much exactly what it looked like. Ground mustard. With flecks. I dubbed it Shag Carpet. Because.

After making a blend, Sercarz takes into account its color and texture. I definitely failed on the color front both times, but I was happy with the textures—spice grinders do great work at turning impossible-to-bite whole spices (looking at you, fenugreek) into soft powders.

To test out the blend, I sautéed some onions and added Shag Carpet, and mixed them into lentils that had been Shag Carpeted as well. I had the same reaction I had with Good Dirt—I really liked the taste, and I wanted even more of it. Who knew that dirt and carpet could be so delectable?

Then I performed the ultimate test: I made a roast chicken, and rubbed one half with Quiet Fire and the other half with Shag Carpet. Could these spices stand up to one of my favorite home-cooked dinners?

Yes! Yes, they could! Actually, this is where both were probably best—they added that little something extra that all roast chicken should have. I was feeling pretty great about myself. So great, in fact, that I couldn't wait to eat the lentils for lunch the next day. And an hour after eating, I was still trying to figure out what that bitter aftertaste in my mouth was. I think it was Shag Carpet. Okay, so maybe the blend doesn't work with everything.

Regardless, I felt invigorated from my first spice blend attempts. While I don't think that Sercarz will be begging for my recipes anytime soon (okay, okay, Good Dirt needs some tweaking, too—I want to add more sesame seeds and reduce the amount of cinnamon), I do plan to continue using these blends, and experimenting with more. After all, there are a lot of tunes left on my Songza "At a ➐s School Dance" playlist.

With my novice skills and Sercarz's expert advice, I've picked up some valuable tips:

The blends: Good Dirt, Quiet Fire, Shag Carpet. Photo: Alex Lau

Be confident. Don't be afraid of flavor. Go bold.
Sercarz was right. This is about your food, your flavor, and your point of view. Don't be timid about how much of an ingredient to add, unless you really know it's going to take over the other flavors. Good Dirt and Shag Carpet both needed a little extra oomph. I was worried about there being too much going on with the blends, but in the end, they actually needed more.

Push your palate. "If you like roast chicken, make it 7,000 ways and give it that flare of Moroccan, or flair of Turkish, or flair of Afghan," Sercarz told me. "You're still eating chicken, it's the same chicken you ate before." The chicken just tastes better, or at least different.

Cook what you'll actually use. No longer will I randomly grab several spice jars from my cabinet to attempt to flavor whatever I'm making. As Sercarz said, it's all about that magic jar. And now I have several of them! Or, if you know you're never going to blend your own spices, then seek out a source that makes quality spices that you like. Spices do wane over time—why keep dumping bad paprika on your potatoes if it still doesn't taste like anything? "You're just holding onto something that has no more flavor or scent or anything," explained Sercarz.

Clean your pantry every so often. There's no joy like the unbridled joy you get from tossing stuff you don't use. That includes that spice jar sitting in the back of the cabinet collecting dust. Accept it—you're never going to use it. So long, Southwestern Seasoning.


How to Make Your Own Spice Blends at Home (Or at Least, How I Tried)

Welcome to Out of the Kitchen , our ongoing exploration of America’s coolest food artisans. Over the next few months, we’reapprenticing with the best knife forgers, cider brewers, and spice blenders, then bringing their knowledge and expertise back to our home kitchens—and to yours.

I’m standing in my kitchen in gym clothes and listening to the theme song from Flashdance . Amid the off-key chorus-singing ("Being's believing!") and some highly questionable dance moves, I’m quietly chanting, “You’re gonna own it. You have to own it. It’s yours.”

These words are not my own mantra. I borrowed them from spice guru Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boîte , who recently gave me a lesson on how to blend spices like a pro . Now I'm trying to put his teachings to use. in my small Brooklyn kitchen with its minor ant infestation. There are bags and jars of spices all around me, my T-shirt is has several stains on it, and our neighbor's outdoor cat is staring at me through the kitchen window, with the most quizzical cat-look ever .

Salt-N-Pepa comes on next, which is fitting, given that I am trying to figure out whether I should use pink peppercorns or marathi moggu (an Indian spice that tastes like a hybrid of mustard and black pepper) for the Middle East-meets-sweet blend I’ve been attempting to develop.

During our lesson, in his minimalist workshop, Sercarz made it look easy. He combined flavors with such finesse that I figured it couldn’t be too complicated to try to blend my own. Heck, I even created a pimentón-heavy blend with him, which I decided to title Quiet Fire. (Sercarz names all his blends—perhaps the easiest of his techniques to copy.) In the two weeks since, Quiet Fire has worked miracles when mixed with plain yogurt, cherry tomatoes, and fresh mint.

Quiet Fire, in the making. Photo: Clay Williams

But there's a big difference between Sercarz helping me—e.g., explaining how ingredients taste and how much of each to add—and my attempting to blend spices without his expert direction.

No wonder I’m pretty into Quiet Fire—there was someone to say “no!” when I thought it would be a good idea to add a lot of za’atar leaves . Too many can make the blend bitter, Sercarz warned.

Before I embarked on my own spice journey, he left me with some smart parting words. “It’s what you like—it’s not about me,” he said. If you’re the type of cook who often microwaves frozen food, Sercarz said, then that’s totally fine. He just wants that microwave dinner to benefit from the magic jar in your kitchen cabinet.

A week after our lesson, I'm sitting at my kitchen table, staring at a couple dozen spices that I purchased in a whirlwind Supermarket Sweep -style purchase spree at Kalustyan's . I pumped up the jams, because if you're not listening to "Whoomp, There It Is" when you're blending spices, then you're clearly doing it wrong .

I started by sketching out my ideas and ideal amounts on paper, which Sercarz does every time he creates a new blend. I already had Quiet Fire, so I decided I wanted to make one blend for desserts and another blend with a bit of Indian flair . I love the cuisine but don’t cook it much at home—maybe this could be the jumpstart I needed. (Sercarz suggests having two or three spice blends in your arsenal, one your go-to blend, and others for weekend cooking projects and the like.) Then, as he does, I weighed each ingredient in grams and recorded the amount.

Flashdance spice-blending party time! Iɽ always loved cardamom in cookies but had never actually ground the pods whole, so I started shaping an idea around green cardamom pods, then chose spices that I thought would complement not only cardamom but each other, ending up with anardana (dried pomegranate seeds, more subtly sweet than the fresh version), black sesame, pink peppercorns (for a little heat and color), nutmeg, cinnamon, and lemon peel powder.

The lemon powder smell was particularly potent, and Iɽ never used it before, so I made sure to measure only 1 gram (note: get yourself a digital scale if you're going to be making spice blends ). Iɽ like to say that I had very specific reasons for the other amounts and why I choose to use precisely 8 grams of anardana and 3 grams of black sesame, but really, I was just winging it. Gotta start somewhere, right? "It's not that complicated," Sercarz had told me during his demonstration. I tried to remind myself of that.

Next, toasting: I put the anardana, cardamom, sesame, and peppercorns on a single layer in a sheet pan, as Sercarz recommended, and toasted them in the oven at 170 degrees—the lowest my oven would go—for an hour. (The other ingredients were pre-ground and didn't need toasting.) While the spices were toasting, I made a simple sugar-cookie dough and put it in the refrigerator to chill.

Good Dirt cookies. Photo: Alex Lau

After the hour was up, I took the spices from the oven, briefly let them cool, and put my spice grinder to work for the first time ever. The resulting blend looked like dirt and smelled like flowers—with a lingering odor of cleaning solution. Mm. I didn't get discouraged, though—Sercarz says that he often steps away after putting the blend in a jar and returns about an hour later. So I busied myself itemizing my new spice collection and having some fun with Tupperware organization. Yes, fun.

I smelled the blend again. Same cleaning-solution smell. I tasted it. It wasn't great. "Most spice blends and spices aren't necessarily the most pleasant thing to eat," Sercarz had warned, so I powered on. It was cookie time.

I sprinkled Good Dirt (yup, that's its name) on the cookies and put them in the oven. After they were done, I hesitantly took a bite, wary of tasting Pine-Sol. Then I took a bigger bite. Then another one. Wait! These were really good. I wanted even more Good Dirt taste, so I folded the blend into a second batch of dough, sprinkled more on top, and put them in the oven. Even better!

Feeling pretty high and mighty—cue "Whoomp, There It Is"—I embarked on my next blend, featuring coriander, mustard seed, fenugreek, Sichuan peppercorns (just a little), cumin, and sumac. I wanted mustard to be prominent, so I used a whopping 20 grams (4 teaspoons). As it toasted, however, I began to worry the blend was just going to taste like ground mustard. And, when I blended it, that's pretty much exactly what it looked like. Ground mustard. With flecks. I dubbed it Shag Carpet. Because.

After making a blend, Sercarz takes into account its color and texture. I definitely failed on the color front both times, but I was happy with the textures—spice grinders do great work at turning impossible-to-bite whole spices (looking at you, fenugreek) into soft powders.

To test out the blend, I sautéed some onions and added Shag Carpet, and mixed them into lentils that had been Shag Carpeted as well. I had the same reaction I had with Good Dirt—I really liked the taste, and I wanted even more of it. Who knew that dirt and carpet could be so delectable?

Then I performed the ultimate test: I made a roast chicken, and rubbed one half with Quiet Fire and the other half with Shag Carpet. Could these spices stand up to one of my favorite home-cooked dinners?

Yes! Yes, they could! Actually, this is where both were probably best—they added that little something extra that all roast chicken should have. I was feeling pretty great about myself. So great, in fact, that I couldn't wait to eat the lentils for lunch the next day. And an hour after eating, I was still trying to figure out what that bitter aftertaste in my mouth was. I think it was Shag Carpet. Okay, so maybe the blend doesn't work with everything.

Regardless, I felt invigorated from my first spice blend attempts. While I don't think that Sercarz will be begging for my recipes anytime soon (okay, okay, Good Dirt needs some tweaking, too—I want to add more sesame seeds and reduce the amount of cinnamon), I do plan to continue using these blends, and experimenting with more. After all, there are a lot of tunes left on my Songza "At a ➐s School Dance" playlist.

With my novice skills and Sercarz's expert advice, I've picked up some valuable tips:

The blends: Good Dirt, Quiet Fire, Shag Carpet. Photo: Alex Lau

Be confident. Don't be afraid of flavor. Go bold.
Sercarz was right. This is about your food, your flavor, and your point of view. Don't be timid about how much of an ingredient to add, unless you really know it's going to take over the other flavors. Good Dirt and Shag Carpet both needed a little extra oomph. I was worried about there being too much going on with the blends, but in the end, they actually needed more.

Push your palate. "If you like roast chicken, make it 7,000 ways and give it that flare of Moroccan, or flair of Turkish, or flair of Afghan," Sercarz told me. "You're still eating chicken, it's the same chicken you ate before." The chicken just tastes better, or at least different.

Cook what you'll actually use. No longer will I randomly grab several spice jars from my cabinet to attempt to flavor whatever I'm making. As Sercarz said, it's all about that magic jar. And now I have several of them! Or, if you know you're never going to blend your own spices, then seek out a source that makes quality spices that you like. Spices do wane over time—why keep dumping bad paprika on your potatoes if it still doesn't taste like anything? "You're just holding onto something that has no more flavor or scent or anything," explained Sercarz.

Clean your pantry every so often. There's no joy like the unbridled joy you get from tossing stuff you don't use. That includes that spice jar sitting in the back of the cabinet collecting dust. Accept it—you're never going to use it. So long, Southwestern Seasoning.


I call this incredible concoction “Magic Dust” It’s an exceptionally delicious and simple steak rub which tastes like Outback—I think maybe even better! It has the ability to turn a plain steak into a culinary work of art! Rib eye is my choice, but most any marbleized cut will suffice. Also. allow this mystical meat magic carpet to perform amazing voodoo on chicken, pork or fish as well. Simply follow the cooking directions and adjust cooking times for different cuts of meat. Truly MAGICAL!

Ingredients

4- 6-8z NY strip, top sirloin or rib eye steaks

1-1 1/2 tablespoons salt to taste

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix together seasoning ingredients. Dry steak with paper towel and rub each side with olive oil. Sprinkle rub on both sides of steaks—rubbing in to disperse flavors.

Grill steaks or BBQ grill or for stove-top, use a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat press down on steak with spatula or tongs to sear the edges. Cook until done to preference.

The “Hand” doneness test! Magic again! photo source: marxfood

Want to amp it up a bit? Try a pat of Herb Butter right before serving… after the steak rests for 5-10 minutes Uber Magic!

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup finely chopped mixed herbs (such as basil, thyme, sage, parsley, dill, chives, tarragon, oregano, marjoram or rosemary)
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well until herbs are distributed evenly. Dump onto a piece of waxed paper or parchment, shape into a cylinder or disk, and seal ends by twisting, or pack into a ramekin (however you prefer to store and serve it) and cover with plastic. Chill in refrigerator until firm, at least an hour.

Will keep in refrigerator for about 2 weeks, and in the freezer for a few months.


Slow-Cooker Hamburger Soup

There is something comforting about a nice, hot bowl of soup. Even better when it requires little prep time and can be ready & waiting for you at dinner. This hamburger soup is very hearty, and my version is pretty low carb (so my diabetic hubby can have a huge bowl – this is his favorite soup!) but feel free to add potatoes, corn, carrots, anything you like.

The nice thing about this recipe is that you can use pre-cooked ground beef for a “hands off” meal, or you can add the hamburger raw, allowing it to cook in the broth, but you have to be available to stir and break up the beef as it cooks. You also need to use very lean ground beef for this method, or you will have greasy soup! I’ve made that mistake, so I’ve learned to start writing the fat content on my ground beef if I am freezing it raw. However, I prefer to cook large quantities of ground beef in the crock pot, then freeze in 2 pound portions so it’s ready for recipes like this.

I sometimes add carrots, but as stated earlier, feel free to add any veggies you like. It’s also good with rice. I usually have Cornbread Muffins or Copycat King’s Hawaiian Bread with it, because the kids and I still love our carbs! (This can also be made on the stove top, but it’s just so easy to let it simmer in the crock-pot all day!)
I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) , , , (Tuesday) ,, , (Wednesday) , , , (Thursday) , , (Friday) , , , ,, , , , , (Sunday)


Magic Carpet Ride

It was four o’clock in the morning when we arrived in Essaouira after a 3 hour drive from Marrakech. The ride was epic for many reasons, not to mention having just arrived in the country for the first time ever. The moon lit palm trees, the odd camel, and men …

Posted by Peggy Markel on 8/14/2020 | Filed under: Morocco


Meat Lover’s Pizza Dip

So, I heard there’s a big football game coming up pretty soon. And y’all know me, any excuse to make & eat party food. This pizza dip would be great for a Super Bowl party (or any party), for after school snacking, or you can go crazy and eat it for dinner (which is exactly what my husband did one night recently.) It can be a low-carb alternative to traditional pizza, depending on what you eat it with.

You can also add whatever pizza toppings you like. I made this a ‘Meat Lover’s’ version, full of (turkey) pepperoni, seasoned ground beef, and bacon. Sausage and Canadian Bacon would have been good too.

This is a cheesy, creamy dip, that is good with tortilla chips, corn chips, pita chips, toasted French bread, bread sticks, and the list goes on. I wasn’t a big fan of the pretzels used in the above pic however. They turned a little soft & I didn’t like the texture. Of course, the dip is also good eaten with a spoon!

1 lb ground turkey sausage

1 jar No sugar added Ragu Light Spaghetti Sauce (with lots of added oregano!) – feel free to use your favorite pizza or pasta sauce

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

turkey pepperoni – to taste

**These cheese quantities are estimates. My crowd likes LOTS of cheese, so you can adjust it to suit your fancy. I mean taste buds. You can also add mushrooms, peppers, whatever your family likes on a pizza. I’ve also made this with eggs mixed in with the meat to form a ‘base’ …more like a traditional pizza. However, since Mr. Three is allergic to eggs, I can’t do that anymore.

Cook your ground turkey and onion together, drain if needed. Place a little sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish (I used a 9吉), dump your turkey/onion on top, add the rest of your sauce, top with cheese, place pepperoni on top. Bake until golden brown and bubbly.

Recipe adapted from and my Pizza Casserole

As you can see, the amounts and ingredients are very versatile. Anything you like on pizza will probably work well in this dip. Feel free to add more or less meat, cheese, and spices.

Will you be watching the Super Bowl? Thought about what food you will be serving? That is the most important part, right?
I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) , , , (Tuesday) ,, , (Wednesday) , , , (Thursday) , , (Friday) , , , ,, , , , (Sunday)


Raz el Hanout Chicken – A Moroccon dish

This casserole is really Morocco. When you cook it, so you’ll fly away on a magic carpet and end up in the square in Marrakech.

Raz el Hanout = Spice merchant’s head, is a spice mixture which contains up to 30 different spices. Each spice merchant has their own mix and there is not a Moroccan home that does not have it at home.

Raz el Hanout chicken
1 chicken breast into cubes
1 sliced ​​onion
2 pressed garlic cloves
3 teaspoons Raz el Hanout
1 tsp hot paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
0.5 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
oil
—————————————–
1 diced red pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

5 medium peeled diced , half- cooked potatoes

2 sliced, diced picked lemon

water
Mix all the spices above the line. Stir it with oil and garlic. Add the chicken and onion. Let it marinate for 3-4 hours. Heat a frying pan and add the chicken, onion and potato. Let it all quickly fried on. Add the peppers and turn on the water. Put the lid on and let it get to simmer for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are thoroughly cooked. Serve immediately. Sprinkle happy over a little coriander for decoration.


Red Sea Cuisine

When Israel was established in 1947󈛔, it led to an astonishing event&mdashthe famous airlift, sometimes known as Operation Magic Carpet. It moved most of the remaining Yemenite community (about 50,000) to Israel during 1949 and 1950. They took with them their traditional way of life, including a limited but appealing style of cooking.

Yemenite vegetable soup

Agriculture is an important factor in establishing a cuisine, and semidesert or mountainous terrain does not produce the quantity and variety of food that is needed to inspire the creation of new combinations, which also conform to dietary laws. But within their limitations, they created food with an exotic appeal, proven today by the popularity of many Yemenite restaurants that have proliferated around Israel.

Both song and story celebrate the admiration that has always been felt by the Jewish men of India for the Yemenite girls. This led to both intermarriage and an interchange of customs, some of which influenced their food, especially the seasonings.

Yemenite cooking can be reduced to a few categories, with the Indian influence quite often apparent. There are unusual and delicious breads for daily and Sabbath use meat soups and meat stews (chicken is used only in soup&mdashnever roasted or fried) a spice mix for seasoning foods, and a hot chili chutney with fenugreek, a spice that is certainly of Indian origin. The Jews did not make cheese, but butter was prepared from the milk and cream of the cattle.

Yemenites have no desserts as such, but substitute fresh fruit in season. The snacks that replace sweets (jala) are the dry green beans, dry fava beans, dates, almonds, and other mixed nuts. They make a haroset of sesame seeds, honey, almonds, walnuts, and red wine or with dates, sesame, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, raisins, wine, and hot water, cooked together to a paste. The nibbling goes on and on during the Sabbath.

Arak, a colorless alcoholic liquid, is the national drink of the Jews. It is made from grapes, plums, apricots or other seasonal fruits, and the taste differs according to the fruit used. Arak is the Sabbath ritual drink.

Try these Yemenite recipes:

Ethiopia

An Ethiopian Jewish family shortly after arriving in Israel in 2009. (Jewish Agency for Israel/Flickr)

There had been, in the distant past, a historical connection between the Ethiopian, Yemenite, and Indian Jews. Trade was the glue that cemented these relationships, especially in ancient times when there was an open world to discover. The cooking of Ethiopian Jews, therefore, characterized by the use of pungent spices, is in my opinion a result of communication with India. Mustard, cardamom, coriander, caraway, turmeric, ginger are spices that I associate with India. The hot chili and tomato arrived later, perhaps as late as the eighteenth century after its introduction from Central America.

The staff of life for Ethiopians is Injeera, a large pancake prepared from a fermented batter of teff, an African grain of the millet family. A meal without this life-sustaining bread would be unthinkable.

Egypt

In the 19th century, the opening of the Suez Canal brought prosperity to Egypt and an influx of settlers until the Jewish population grew to 25,200. There were communities of Italian and Eastern European Jews in Alexandria, and Italian and Turkish in Cairo. The Jews of Salonika (Greece) followed. The new Jews from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East all added their influence to the cuisine, and it developed a Judaic style.

It would be a great culinary coup to report that I had discovered a cache of ancient Jewish recipes from the time of Moses in Egypt. Alas, this is not to be&mdashit is the ordinary foods of everyday life in Egypt, the accumulation of the new foreign communities, that we have.

Onions, garlic, and cucumbers have been eaten in Egypt since 3,000 BCE. Slaves building the pyramids, some of them Jews, were fed garlic and onions for strength. Lentils, beans, rice, simply seasoned, are incorporated into Sabbath and daily foods. Hot chili is hardly ever used, but pepper and allspice are paramount seasonings. Vegetables and salads, in the hot, desiccating desert air, become life savers when interest is lost in meat and poultry.

Try these Egyptian recipes:

Excerpted and reprinted with permission from Sephardic Cooking, published by Donald I. Fine, Inc.


Watch the video: Τραγανό κοτόπουλο με κρούστα μπαχαρικών και σαλάτα με πετιμέζι - Πέτρος Συρίγος (December 2021).