Friday, June 09, 2006

trying new recipes and spices

Before going home to Hawaii, I usually try to make of list of things to buy. This includes books, foodie things and clothes. I had happened to be flipping through one of Jamie Oliver's cookbooks and in it was a list of spices that you should try to have in your pantry.

So...I listed up the ones I didn't have, and on my last trip home, I bought a LOT of spices from a local supermarket. They had had all of the spices made by Spice Hunter on sale for 50% off the regular price!!

I was actually introduced to this brand by my mom. She really likes this brand because they have a lot of "no salt" stuff (since she has a little high blood pressure). I was interested in this brand because they had a lot of organic stuff.

So, now that I have all these spices, what's a girl gonna do? Well, I got this idea from Ono Kine Grindz' post . One of the dishes that he tried at a restaurant called Aziza in SF, was Moroccan carrot soup. After seeing this post, I quickly surfed the net and found a recipe on Since I had most of the ingredients (and spices!!) for the soup, and since Satoshi would be eating out for dinner tonight, I decided to try it.

Moroccan Spiced Squash & Carrot Soup by Miraklegirl from Sur La Table.
Exotic and Delicious 6 servings

1 butternut squash, about 1.5 to 2 pounds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1.5 teaspoons paprika
1.5 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1.5 teaspoons ground coriander
4 large carrots, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
salt & freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup plain yogurt

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut squash in half from to to bottom and place it cut side down, on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
2. Bake until squash can be easily skewered, 50 to 60 minutes. With a spoon, remove seeds and discard.
3. Scrape the pulp from the skin. Reserve the pulp and discard the skin.
4. Warm the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, 7 minutes.
5. Add the paprika, cumin, turmeric, and coriander and continue to cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
6. Add the squash, carrots, sugar, chicken stock, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
7. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered until carrots are soft, 20 to 25 minutes.
8. Cool for 15 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender in several batches for 3 minutes each batch until the soup is very smooth.
9. Strain soup through a fine strainer back into pot and gently reheat. If the soup is too thick, add additional water. Season with salt and pepper.
10. Place the yogurt in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir well.
11. To serve, heat the soup. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro and a drizzle of yogurt.


Notes: I didn't have squash, so I left it out. And didn't have chicken stock, so I used chicken consomme cubes.

I used the italian parsley which I got recently, which I posted about(here). The smell in the kitchen was awesome! And the soup was sweet, I think it had to do with using only carrots.

The next recipe I decided to try was for Raisin-Nutmeg scones which I saw on the Accidental Hedonist's post. This recipe is really easy and fast. When these scones came out of the oven, it really smelled like Christmas! And they tasted great as is! Note: I didn't have raisins so I used cranberries. And the orange zest I got from the amanatsu which I wrote about (here).

Last but not least, I also tried the recipe for microwave strawberry jam, which I wrote about (here).

I once had an email that had been forwarded around about using the microwave oven. After reading that and passing it on to my mom, she threw her microwave oven out. While I am trying to cut back the amount of use of my microwave, I decided to try this recipe without using the microwave oven.

It was just as fast and just as easy. Oh, and I only used half a vanilla bean pod because they cost so much here!! This concoction also smelled wonderful! Will definitely have to whip up a batch of plain scones for this jam or maybe buy some mac nut ice cream to put this on....

Have a great weekend!


Anonymous said...

Awesome spice collection, Kat! I'm glad you had the opportunity to find all the ones that you wanted. And that 50% off sounds like a great deal!

And the recipe ... wow! That's spicy!

K and S said...

I was happy to get them at that price, Ivonne! I envisioned the soup to be spicy and hard to eat, but with the sweetness of the carrots it was just right. :)

Have a great weekend!


Anonymous said...

Wow, the jam looks great!! And the spices too, look fabulous--I know how important that is, living here in Japan. What is it about the microwave that one shouldn't use it? Does it harm the environment or something? The soup looks good as well. :)

K and S said...

Hi TM,

Thanks for your nice comments. I'll look for the article about the microwave and email it to you.

Thanks again for stopping by!