Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The New Ingredients In My Kitchen

Hi fellow food lovers....

I know it's been a long while since one of us has posted so I thought I would take the time to post one...So recently after having traveled to certain parts of Asia, I've been cooking a lot with Lemongrass and Merguez Spice mix; Two ingredients from different parts of Asia.

Lemongrass, also called Cochin Grass or Malabar Grass, native in India but is predominantly used in Burmese and Thai dishes. It has a citrus flavor which can be dried and powdered, or used fresh. The trick to using this ingredient is that you should use the bulb at the bottom of the lemongrass then peel and bruise it with a large kitchen knife. You can steep it to make a sauce or use in a stir-fry or make a lemon grass tea. Lemon grass is commonly used in teas, soups, and curries. It is also suitable for poultry, fish, and seafood.

Originally Merguez know as a sausage that originated in the North African region. It is usually made with lamb or beef. Its specific spices flavor the meat as tarty, spicy and red in color. It is popular in France, Morocco, Israel, Belgium, The Netherlands and the German state of Saarland. Down below is the list and measurements of ingredients that make up this spice blend. It is a great spice mix for when making lamb roasts, tagines, kabobs and sausages.

Merguez Spice Blend

1 part Cumin

1/4 part turmeric

1/8 part caraway

1/6 coriander

1/16 fennel

1/8 dried thyme (zaatar)

¼ sumac

1/4 sweet paprika

1/8 ancho chile powder

1/4 cayenne

1/32 black pepper

1/32 white pepper

1/32 pink pepper

Soon I will post recipes using these ingredients.

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