Are you able to think about what it was like just some many years in the past when lots of the cooking assets we get pleasure from in the present day weren’t obtainable to the common house cook dinner?
It is wonderful how world delicacies has develop into so accessible, and I for one am having fun with the fruits of such meals globalization. I’ve come throughout some very unique recipes with elements I’ve by no means seen within the shops, not to mention heard of, however have been capable of finding a lot of them within the connoisseur grocery shops on the web with veritable ease. Let’s face it, our palates have develop into relatively refined and various.
Within the poem, “The Process” (1785), William Cowper writes, “Selection is the very spice of life, that provides all of it its taste.”
I’ve a bit twist relating to cooking and would provide, “Spice is the variability in cooking, that provides all of it its taste.”
Whereas it is true that many elements can rise up on their very own particularly after they’re contemporary, sadly we aren’t all the time in a position to purchase the very best or freshest. Herbs and spices can elevate a easy stew, a humble lower of meat or a very good scrambled egg.
The one drawback with these little jars of taste is that they have a slim shelf life which many house cooks do not understand. Admit it, what number of of you continue to have the outdated, leftover McCormick crimson and white tins inherited from some relative’s pantry? I’ve even grabbed that outdated spice tin off the shelf and spooned or shaken a bit right into a stew or added some to a cake or two in my early days of cooking. Now I do know higher.
The issue of expiration normally correlates on to how a lot we really use the spices purchased particularly for a sure recipe that will by no means be referenced once more. Chances are you’ll want a bit cream of tartar to stabilize overwhelmed egg whites, however what number of instances have I grabbed mine off the shelf?
So what occurs to these spices you’ve got solely used a few instances within the final 12 months or so? To not point out these jars of spice could be fairly expensive. It is arduous to throw them away due to non use and since I wish to attempt a variety of completely different, regional cuisines, I’ve a variety of unfrequented jars on my cabinets!
The answer: I attempt to purchase the smallest quantities potential. It could be good to have the ability to buy an oz. right here or there, weighted out at my course, however that is not one thing obtainable to me in our shops close by. I’ve found on-line spice shops the place small portions in tiny ziplock luggage are bought and my favourite occurs to be Penzeys which has an exquisite collection of herbs and spices packaged in small, .2oz packages at very affordable costs. Just lately that they had a sale and I used to be in a position to choose up a pair dozen varieties for $1 a pop.
It is also a good way to attempt taste mixes as a substitute of shopping for particular person, costly, bottles which are simply forgotten as soon as they have been examined. Herbs and spices that are available in these taste mixes are a good way to brighten up your dishes and Penzeys has some nice ones just like the “Chili 3000” which is all it’s worthwhile to make a tasty batch of chili. Now, I purchase all my spices on-line and discover I’m throwing much less of them away.
This recipe for Hen Pot Pie makes use of Penzeys French Thyme and Mural of Taste which can be found within the smaller .2oz packages. You possibly can use common thyme and even contemporary thyme however the Mural of Taste actually provides it a very good kick with it is mixture of different elements.
Hen Pot Pie
4 small russet potatoes
1 bundle frozen puff pastry
1/2 roasted hen (darkish and chicken) 3 T all function flour
3 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cup hen inventory
1-1/2 cup entire milk
1⁄2 teaspoon dried French thyme
1⁄2 teaspoon Penzeys Mural of Taste
1 cup frozen peas with carrots
salt & pepper
Debone the cooked hen and simmer bones in a inventory pot simply lined with water for one hour. Drain inventory and put aside. Peel potatoes, lower in half and cook dinner for 25 minutes, drain. Chop in 1⁄2 inch items and place in backside of 5-inch deep evenly buttered casserole.
Place greens within the microwave for about 30-45 seconds to get the surplus ice off. Drain. They are going to nonetheless be a bit frozen however they will not impart the moisture from the ice that melts off within the microwave. For those who add the greens utterly frozen to the casserole, it is going to be a bit watery until you regulate the thickness of the sauce.
Soften butter in small saucepan on low warmth. Stir in flour to make a “roux” which is the idea for the sauce and cook dinner for 4 minutes, stirring slowly however continually. Slowly add milk and inventory combination stirring every time you add the liquid. It would kind a paste at first however will develop into extra liquid as all of the milk/inventory is added. It is very important maintain stirring in order that clumps do not kind. Add salt, pepper, spices and let the sauce thicken on a sluggish simmer for about 7 minutes to utterly cook dinner the flour and soften the dried herbs. Stir often. If crucial, regulate your sauce so that you just get the consistency of a thick, creamed soup (not a pudding consistency) by including extra inventory.
Chop all of the hen meat and lower into small items and layer over the potatoes. Place frozen veggies on prime of the hen. Pour scorching sauce on prime and, utilizing a big spoon, gently stir a number of instances ensuring the sauce is evenly distributed.
Lower one sheet puff pastry diagonally in 1-inch strips. Lattice the strips over the casserole and cook dinner at 375 levels for 20 minutes. Flip oven as much as 400 levels and maintain baking for quarter-hour to brown the pastry.
Let it relaxation for about 10 minutes in order that the sauce units up.

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