...*a glimse into the daily life of a chef*...

...this blog is a place for me to record and reflect the passion that i put into my everyday life.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

the power of CuMiN*

....i believe in the magic of cumin, it just taste so good and you can go to so many different regions of the world with cumin, so hope on my magic carpet and lets to for a cumin*ride! hold on tight!...when someone says cumin most people go directly to Mexico without even passing GO! it is just where their mind is off the bat. but there are so many places- Morocco (and many other parts of Africa), Thailand India, all over south America, Texas and Mexico....

1st stop: India, for some CURRRrrrrRRRY----> Curry is a combo of a bunch of pretty regular flavors like ginger, peppercorn, coriander, clove, cinnamon, turmeric (not to regular), cardamom (also not regluar) some sort of chile if you want it spicy, garlic, and cumin (seeds taste the best)
1 1/2 T coriander seeds
6 cloves
6 whole peppercorns
3 caramom
2" fresh ginger
1 T tumeric
1/2 T cumin seeds
1" cinnamon stick
4 garlic cloves
3 jalapenos
if you grind this all with the ginger and garlic you will get a paste, but i recommend slicing the jalapenos, grating the ginger and garlic and grinding the spices and then mixing them together. This is a great with chicken legs, duck, shrimp or whatever you like just mix with some stock and coconut milk, and 2 T peanut butter or ground nuts...So good! 
**(if you need a more in depth recipe let me know!!)**
Different places have different curries they are all about the same things it is just more of one thing and less of another. But there are also red curries and green curries, this to me is just a basic curry that i LOVE, it is simple and always tastes good, but learn what you like about curry and go from there...if you love them and want more info i'll be glad to provide just ask!
***for making anything like curry i recommend getting a coffee grinder that you use only to grind whole spice...they taste WAYYYYY better!***

2nd stop: Morocco----> Cous Cous=yum yum
1 c cous cous
1/2 c rasins
1/2 slivered almonds, toasted
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 c. Water
1 red onion, diced
1/2 c. carrot, diced
1 can chickpeas, drained
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 c. sliced green olives
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T cumin seeds, ground
1/4 t cayenne
1" fresh ginger minced
1 t paprika

In a pan with 3 T olive oil brown onions, carrots, and garlic then add couscous, cumin and other spices to heat up oils, then add chickpeas, raisins, almonds, and tomatoes(all liquid) and water bring to a boil and turn off the heat and cover, let sit for 15-20 minutes till all liquid is soaked up and then add in your green onions and cloves. This is great paired with chicken or fish....and best with lamb!

To pair with this i have a yogurt sauce i love that i have to share!
1 c plain yogurt
1/4 c chopped cilantro
zest and juice of 1 lime
2 T finely minced white onion
1 1/2 T cumin
1 t salt
(this is so good on grilled chicken, shrimp, or lamb and paired with the cous cous....yum yum!)

3rd stop: Mexico---->
Well this isn't really from Mexico just inspired from it

(The spice blend i have talked about and will talk about, i figured out how to make it)
2 dried anchos, gently pulsed up but remove seeds
3T dried onion
2 T dried garlic (or powder if you can't find)
2 T cumin seeds 
1/2 T chili powder

this is a great spice blend to add background flavor or to use as seasoning on just about anything...
add it to meat loaf, hamburgers, coat steaks, and lots of soups!

hope you enjoyed our cumin trip and learn to love it as much as i do, some times i can't get enough! Happy cooking, better eating, and HAVE FUN!!!

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