Saturday, 15 November 2014

Curry Spice Blend

Home Made Curry Powder

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons Ground Coriander*
4 Teaspoons Turmeric Powder
3 Teaspoons Cumin Powder
1-2 Teaspoons Ground Black Pepper*
1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Chili Flakes
1 Teaspoon Cardamom Powder*
3 Teaspoons Cinnamon Powder(or 2-3 inches cinnamon stick, toasted and powdered*)
1 Teaspoon Ground Cloves*
1/2 Ground Ginger Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds, Ground*
2 Teaspoons Mustard Seeds, Ground*
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2-3 Teaspoons Paprika

* If you have whole spices instead of ground, don't worry! In a dry skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the measured amount of whole spices until the fragrances pop or bloom (you can really smell them strongly)  then transfer toasted spices to a mortar and grind with a pestle or you can grind the spices in a spice grinder, blender, clean coffee bean grinder etc. Then mix the freshly ground spices into the rest of the ingredients.

Instructions:

As required, lightly toast and grind any whole spices you are using. Measure out the rest of the ingredients into a small bowl. Stir all the ground spices together. Store in an air tight container for pretty much ever. . .  or until the spices no longer smell strongly.

Makes a little less than a cup of spice blend. Which seems like a lot until you realize that you often use 2-6 tablespoons of it at once in a recipe.

Use in curries, soups, on veggies, in dips etc.

Enjoy!

Notes:

You can adjust the spices in this recipe to better suit your tastes. Things like turmeric, cayenne, crushed chilies and cumin will add more heat. Ginger, fennel, cloves, ginger will add a little bit of sweetness to compensate the spice, an the others bring complexity to the final combined flavors. If you know you really like the flavor of one of the spices, try adding more of that spice as a way to start experimenting. Just keep track of the changes you make, or else you could end up with the perfect curry spice in a jar, but no way to recreate it again. Which would be sad.

Always keep notes! This is my training as a biologist coming back. . . always keep clear and dated notes to know what you were doing in case something awesome happens.

Happy spice blending!

Other Places:

How about Trying to make a curry?

Coconut Curried Chicken

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Black Bean and Seafood Noodles

Black Bean Noodle Stir Fry

Ingredients:

2-4 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
1 inch Peeled Ginger Root, finely minced
1/4 Cup sliced Green Onions
1/4 Cup Black Bean Sauce
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Mirin or Sugar
1 Tablespoon Sesame Seed Oil

2-4 Servings Plain ramen, rice or alternate noodle of your choice, prepared according to package
1/2 Cup Diced Squid Tube (About 1 inch square)
1/2 Cup Cooked Shrimp

Optional:
1 Bunch Sliced Enoki Mushrooms
Julienne Carrots
1/2 Cup Edamame


You can Also sub a cooked diced chicken breast for the seafood

Instructions:

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and oil lightly. Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare the noodles according to the package directions.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat and oil lightly.

Add the minced garlic and ginger and stir fry cook for about 2-5 minutes.

Add the Black bean sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, mirin, and sesame seed oil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

When small skillet is heated, lightly fry the diced squid lightly, only about 1-2 minutes until squid is just cooked through. Overcooked squid turns to rubber.

Add the cooked shrimp to the sauce skillet, and the cooked squid. Add any other vegetables as desired.

Before serving, stir in the green onions, and toss the sauce with the noodles.

Serve hot.

Enjoy!

Notes:

Fresh squid is best but hard to come by in some places. If you can't get fresh squid look for flash frozen squid that have been individually frozen, and then slowly defrost over night in the fridge. Also be careful to not over cook the squid because it really does turn to rubber when over cooked and that is why a lot of people think they don't like squid. I am sure if people tried fresh fried squid they would love it.

Other Places:

Spicy Squid Chips