Sunday, December 22, 2013

Playing with spices (Part I)

The crushed pistachios were added to each recipe
I have a big collection of spices from all over the world at home, and trying to get along with each flavour is part of a daily practice that I want to acquire. The winter time is most recommended for various combinations especially because the weather allows long hours of cooking. 
The two weeks ago Friday evening menu included a delicacy that I cannot find easily here: kosher turkey that was simply prepared in the oven, with some olive oil poured over it and some Indian Garam Masala that gave a special delicious nutty flavour.  
Such a delicious treat needs some side dishes and I was offered another occasion to create a dream recipe I was thinking about for a long time: couscous with raisins. I am not a big fan of raisins, but in the case of this recipe, it goes very well as the taste matches all the other ingredients.
The recipe can be prepared in around 20 minutes and serves 5.
Here are the directions I followed: 
2 tablespoon olive oil and 1 spoon cumin are mixed and fried in a pan heated at 150C, for 5 minutes.
Add 20 crushed pistachios in the pan for another 2 minutes
In the next minutes pour and mix together: 200 ml water, 250 gr. couscous grains, 1/4 tablespoon kosher salt. If necessary and the couscous is absorbing the water too fast, add another 250 ml. water after 10 minutes. 
2 beaten eggs
2 tablespoon raisins
Mix the composition carefully in order to avoid getting too sticky or burned.
To be served cold or hot, adorned with some fresh coriander. 
For the next recipe, I needed to prepare first the oil: 2-3 tablespoons olive oil with 1/2 teaspoon cumin, mixed well. 
In a frying pan add: 6 medium potatoes cut in 8 little pieces, 20 crushed pistachios. Paint the potatoes on all sizes with the  oil and cumin prepared before. Bake them at 250C - around 30 minutes. It serves two and it goes very well with fresh coriander.
I needed also a salad, and the simplest I had in my mind was the following: 250 gr. cherry tomatoes, sliced in 4; 25 crushed pistachios; 3 tablespoon olive oil; 150 gr. corn; 1 generous bunch of coriander. The preparation takes around 15 minutes and it serves two hungry adults. Add some salt on taste if needed. 

I was offered a package of spices to try by Spice Kitchen UK, but the opinions are, as usual, exclusively my own. 

To be continued...

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