Tag: spices



Not only is Coucou fun to make, it’s fun to say. I’ve been meaning to make this for more than a month. I finally got around to it! Coucou is one of the national dishes of Barbados, along with flying fish. INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 cups […]

Mughlai Parantha-Bangladesh

Mughlai Parantha-Bangladesh

Yes. Just yes. So much yes. Spiced lamb wrapped in a flaky pastry, deep fried. I repeat: yes. I’m not going to ramble on for hours like I usually do. You need to make this. You NEED to make this. You deserve this.   INGREDIENTS […]

Cruciferous Masala

Cruciferous Masala

(Title courtesy of my mother)


This is quite possibly the weirdest dish I have EVER cooked. It’s basically cauliflower with ginger, garlic, green onions, apples, red cabbage, and spices. It sounds

freaky, but it’s pretty much the only form in which I will eat cauliflower.




1 medium sized head of cauliflower

2 apples

1 head of red cabbage

7 green onions (7 is the most magically powerful number, you see)

3 inch ginger piece

10 cloves garlic (You. Heard. Me.)

1 ½ tbsps turmeric

½ tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed

1 ½ cups water (not shown)


Start with ze ginger and ze garlic.


Peel zem, dice zem,


and stop with all the Zs. Z’s? Zees? Plural Z? Anyways, stop making ‘em happen. Next, throw them into a Dutch Oven if you happen to have one, or any pot will do. Add some vegetable or canola oil. This is one of the very few times (not including baking), that I wouldn’t recommend olive oil. Stir them around and let them soften and lose some of their sharpness, then dump in the spices.


Alternately, lightly sprinkle the spices in.

Stir it some more, and then slice up ze red cabbage!


I did it again. Sorry. Trying to quit. Next, slice THE (see? I can do it) apples, you can peel them if you want, but I like the rustic look of the peels.


Read: I couldn’t find a peeler and I’m too lazy to do it with a knife. Toss the cauliflower into the pot (I had already chopped mine, if you haven’t please do so, cause I don’t know how cooking a cauliflower whole would turn out).


Stir it so it gets thoroughly coated- it might take a bit of time and elbow grease.


If it looks too dry, just add a splash more oil!

Next, grab the onions,


and slice them up.


Throw everything-cabbage, apples, and onions-into the pot, reserving some of the dark parts of the onion as a garnish.


Green onions can make anything look pretty! Add some salt, and the water, then stir it one last time and put the lid on. Now go play with your dog for 30 minutes. If you don’t have a dog, go buy one. I’ll wait. Played with a dog/found one? Peachy! You are now ready to eat this magical mess.


If you have not touched a dog, then it won’t be cooked yet. I joke! I’m always looking to make a bad joke out of things. But all joking aside, this cruciferous masala is wonderful.


Here’s the printable recipe, with ingredients and instructions: Cruciferous Masala

Maqlouba- Bahrain

Maqlouba- Bahrain

Literally translated, Maqlouba means “upside down”. Really. Maqlouba is one of the best rice dishes I have ever had. Really. Since it takes a bit of time to make, I won’t ramble on for hours like I usually do, but get right to it! INGREDIENTS […]

Souse- The Bahamas

Souse- The Bahamas

It’s the first recipe in the Bs! It took me a while to get around to this one. I kept getting distracted by things like ‘the sauce’. We should get something out of the way: Souse isn’t as photogenic as, say, dandelion green pesto or […]

Salmon with “The Sauce”

Salmon with “The Sauce”

This dinner had been stewing in my head for a pretty long time. This post has also been stewing in my head for a long time. I’ve been meaning to write this post for weeks now! Well, I finally got around to it. This sauce… This sauce will change your life.




Three boneless salmon fillets

10 stalks asparagus

4 carrots

3 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tomatoes

2 oz blue cheese

1 tablespoon oregano

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons butter

1 ½ cups milk

½ cup half and half

½ onion

2 small bay leaves

½ teaspoon nutmeg

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

There’s a lot going on in this dish! Start by snapping the asparagus.


Everyone says you should do it, but no one seems to tell you exactly where to do it. Essentially, you want to break it off at the white point, leaving only the juicy green part. Throw those in a steamer if you have it,


if not, boil water in a pot, put a colander on top, and cover it with a lid or inverted skillet. Next, cut the tomatoes into large chunks.



Mix it up with the blue cheese,


and dried oregano.


I call this the tomato-blue-cheese-oregano-salsa!


Concise title, right? This is an excellent time to dice the onion.


Now, lop the ends off the carrots (I’m using rainbow),


and peel them.


Slice them into rings,


and throw them into the steamer with the asparagus.


Steam them for about 7 minutes, or until they’re fork-tender.


Next up, the rub for the salmon! It’s just the garlic powder, cayenne, and a pinch of salt.


Rub (get it?) it into the salmon, and then let the salmon sit for a few minutes. In the meanwhile, get started on the bechamel. Well, this isn’t a bechamel in the traditional sense due to my addition of onion and bay leaves. Let’s call it a white sauce, and agree to disagree. By the way, this is probably my favorite sauce ever. I basically use it as a dipping sauce for everything on my plate. And, by the way, you MUST use whole milk and half and half. There is a time and place for skim milk… Now is neither that time nor that place. Oh, and don’t even think about that fat free half and half nonsense. See, when I was really little, my parents would buy those massive boxes of half and half creamers from the grocery store. And I would sit there and knock back probably 30 at a time. With Genoa salami. Moving on. My mom, sick of having to make space in the fridge, sat me down one spring day and very gently told me that those boxes were no longer being made. I don’t remember much of the aftermath. There were just a lot of tears. Flash forward to a Christmas dinner 10 years later, with my parents reminiscing. They got on the subject of those boxes. I said I was still heartbroken about them. They then casually told me that they had never stopped being produced, they just didn’t want to buy those bulky boxes. The very next day, we went to the store. I was determined to buy a box and set things right. But by that time, they truly had stopped producing those boxes. If you, reading this, are one of those magical people who made those boxes: bring them back. You’ll be doing your fellow humankind a favor. Pardon me, I need a minute to get a grip.


Okay, I’m back. How did I get started on this road of despair and tragedy? Right! Fat free half and half. I bought it a couple of weeks ago. I tried it. It was disgusting. Filled with high fructose corn syrup, and therefore nauseatingly sweet. Some people might not think it’s as bad, but I’m a total half and half snob. So, long, long, long story short, don’t use fat free!


Into a large, preferably shallow pot, throw in the butter and flour.


Whisk it until it comes together in a smooth paste,


and then add in the milk and half and half.




Don’t stop whisking it, it might burn otherwise. And it’ll look lumpy and grainy and weird,


but as long as you keep whisking, all shall be well.


Add in the onion about a minute after you pour in the milk. It needs to cook a little bit to lose that strong raw onion flavor. Once everything’s incorporated, and the sauce is thickening, throw in the nutmeg and bay leaves,


get the heat as low as your stove will allow, and heat up some oil or butter in a skillet on a different burner.


Throw in the salmon,


and cook it on both sides til it’s cooked through. I like to put a lid on top, then 90 seconds later flip it to the skin side, and leave it for 120 seconds, covered. Now, at long, long, long last, it’s time to pull it all together. I like to put the salmon on a bed of carrots, lay the asparagus on top, heap some salsa on the side, and pour the sauce all over it. This isn’t exactly a quick and easy meal, but it looks impressive, and it’s one of the best uses for a white sauce I can think of. This sauce can also be used on chicken, pork, beef, or any vegetables. The world is your oyster! (This would be pretty good on oysters, too)



Here’s the full recipe, with ingredients and instructions:  Salmon with “The Sauce”



This is the last recipe in A! One down, twenty five to go. It’s been fun so far! And it’s about to get a lot more fun, cause Shekerbura is delicious. I’ve adapted it a little bit, substituting ground hazelnuts for almond meal, changing the […]

Meat Pie- Australia

Meat Pie- Australia

This was so good. So far, this is my favorite dish. I didn’t have very high hopes for it, I had never made a pie crust before, and I hadn’t liked any of the meat pies I had tried over the years. I resolved to […]

Cupcakes Au Jus

Cupcakes Au Jus

You’re probably wondering if you read the title right. You did. These are indeed, cupcakes au jus. This happened by mistake- in the original recipe I had planned for a firm buttercream. The frosting ended up watery, and I was just about to dump it down the drain, when I realized how much fun it is to dip things in little bowls. So I went with it. And it was so, so, so good. I’m scarfing one down as I type this (and trying my utmost to not get frosting on the keyboard). Let’s make them, shall we?



6  tablespoons finely grated dark chocolate

1 stick butter

½ cup warm water

¼ cup buttermilk (nonfat is best, if making it use nonfat milk)

1 egg

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon nutmeg

½ tablespoon instant coffee

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger


1 cup powdered sugar

¾ cup milk

½ cup half and half

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ cup flour

Food coloring (optional)

1 tablespoon vanilla

½ stick softened butter

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cardamom



Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Start by grating up some good quality dark chocolate- a microplane zester works great (Get it? Great? Grate? Heh.), but if you don’t have one the fine side of a grater works just GREAT. Sorry. I’m using half cinnamon, half dark.




When it’s all grated, melt the butter in a pan,


whisk in the chocolate,


and add the water. The butter may seem like a lot, but the cupcakes really need the moisture. Whisk this for a little bit while you count all the ways you can burn this off. When you get to five, turn off the stove. Oh, and forget to take a picture of the finished product. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, coffee, nutmeg, ginger, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a mixer.


(And forget to take a picture of anything other than the flour. This was the first recipe I ever photographed)

For the longest time, I had no idea why salt was used in baking. I thought it was ridiculous and never did it. My baked goods used to be sickeningly sweet, which was just the way I liked them. Since then, I’ve seen the light. The light showed me to a better path. One lined with dark chocolate. Blessed dark chocolate. Anyways! Mix up the buttermilk,






add in the baking soda, and mix.


IF YOU DO NOT HAVE BUTTERMILK (I didn’t) Pour in a little less than ½ cup milk, fill it the rest of the way with vinegar. Buttermilk! Now, it’s important to melt the chocolate mixture first so that it cools, and doesn’t cook the egg. With the mixer on low, slowly pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients.



Turn up the speed and pour in the cooled chocolate.




Once it’s all nice and mixed, ladle into a greased muffin tin,


and bake for  25-30 minutes, until crispy around the edges.

Now it’s time for the frosting! In a saucepan, dump in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and butter.



Mix it up, and dump in the flour and sugar.


It looks lumpy and grainy right now, but once you add the food coloring and stir, it’ll look more like…


This! (Sprinkles are, of course, mandatory)

Heres the printable recipe, with ingredients and instructions: Cupcakes au Jus

Stuffed Peppers a la Byorek- Armenia

Stuffed Peppers a la Byorek- Armenia

There is a story behind these peppers (I like stories). I had originally intended to make Byorek, which is essentially spanakopita’s Armenian cousin. But my phyllo disappeared. Really! In the morning it was there, in the evening, it was gone. After sobbing on the table […]