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Irish March Madness

Does March Madness reign supreme at your place? Between the brackets, we suggest hosting a St. Patty’s Day gathering. A good stout is a slam dunk with some great St. Patrick’s Day plates. Bring your “A” game: Beef in Ale with Cheese Cobbler, served with Irish Soda Bread, followed up by Irish Whisky Balls for dessert.

Beef in Ale with Cheese Cobbler

CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons VSpicery’s Herbal Crust Seasoning
1 1/2 pounds beef brisket, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 cups premium ale
1 cup homemade beef stock or low-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 to 2/3 cups water
1 tablespoon milk for brushing tops

DIRECTIONS

This beef casserole dish is best when made with premium Irish ale. Topped with a cheesy Cheddar cobbler, the dish can be prepared in advance, with the cobbler added just before serving time.

To make the casserole: In a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine the flour and VSpicery’s Herbal Crust Seasoning. Dredge the beef in the flour mixture and set aside. Lightly grease a 3-quart casserole dish.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft but not browned. Add the beef and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Add the carrots and celery and stir to coat. Stir in the ale, broth, tomato purée, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the meat and vegetables are tender and the sauce starts to thicken. Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish.

To make the cobbler: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Sift the flour and mustard into a food processor. Season with salt and pepper. Add the butter, and pulse 4 to 5 times, or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the cheese, Tabasco, and 1/2 cup water. Process for 8 to 10 seconds, or until a soft dough forms. Add more water, if necessary. Transfer the dough to a floured surface. Roll it out to 1/2-inch thickness. With a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Arrange the rounds on top of the meat mixture, overlapping in a decorative pattern. Brush the tops of the cobbler with the milk. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden and the mixture is heated through. Remove from the oven and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6 as a main course.

 

Herbed White Soda Bread
Soda bread is as common to Ireland as rice is to China or pasta is to Italy. This bread has a soft rich flavor with a texture that is light and crumbly, and it’s aroma has wafted through every kitchen in Ireland. The delicate flavor of the herbs comes through with a subtle delight. You can add 1/3 cup of raisins or some ground fennel seeds to change it up.

INGREDIENTS
3 1/4 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon freshly chopped herbs, such as rosemary, sage, thyme, chives, and parsley
12 to 14 ounces buttermilk

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, make a well in the center and pour all of the buttermilk in at once. Using 1 hand, stir in a full circle starting in the center of the bowl working towards the outside of the bowl until all the flour is incorporated.

The dough should be soft but not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together, a matter of seconds, turn it out onto a well-floured board. WASH AND DRY YOUR HANDS. Roll dough around gently with floured hands for a second, just enough to tidy it up, flip the dough over. Pat the dough into a round about 1 1/2-inches deep. Sprinkle a little flour onto the center of a baking sheet and place the loaf on top of the flour. Cut a deep cross on it with a sharp knife and prick the four sections. Let the cuts go over the sides of the bread.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until just cooked. If you are in doubt, tap the bottom of the bread: if it is cooked it will sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack.

Irish Coffee Balls
This recipe was one that we couldn’t resist trying, and really glad we did! Recipe by SkinnyMinnie, thank you for this delicious creation.

INGREDIENTS
3 1/2 cups vanilla wafer cookie crumbs
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar, divided
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1/3 cup Irish Whisky
1/3 cup light corn syrup

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, pecans, and 1 cup of sugar. Dissolve coffee granules in Irish whiskey in a small cup. Add to dry mixture along with corn syrup, mixing until blended. Shape mixture into 1 inch balls. Roll in remaining sugar. Store in air tight container. Note: Cookies become more flavorful after sitting 2-3 days. Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies

Well that’s all for now. Hope you give some of these suggests a whirl.

 

Have you heard the news?

Our kitchen is open! This means that you can host your own fantastic evening at VSpicery Flavor Shop and let us do the cooking. Gather your friends (minimum of four couples), contact us so we can work out a menu, set the date and then come enjoy. These evenings consist of an appetizer, entrée, and dessert. We don’t have a liquor license so we can only encourage you to bring wine or other beverages of choice to complement the meal. We will serve iced tea and coffee while you wow your friends with an unforgettable feast.

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Flavors of the Sea

As February is waning and we head into March, VSpicery is ready to spice it up!
Lent means fish on Fridays for many, and here are a couple of fun fish recipes for you to try. We have a few spins on the “usual” and a couple of fun alternatives that will help you keep fresh fish on the table frequently without getting bored. Just because it is healthy for us to eat, doesn’t mean it has to be boring!

Venture down the bayou with a seafood gumbo featuring VSpicery’s Creole Seasoning. Try our Blackening Seasoning on shrimp or fish, and our Shallots N’ Pepper blend is wonderful on any fish variety. Add a touch of our Chophouse Seasoning to perk up an Oyster Stew or Clam Chowder.

Fish Cakes
Fish cakes are fabulous with VSpicery’s Shallots N’ Pepper blend. So easy and so delicious, these fish cakes will please everyone at the table, including our picky kiddos. Here’s all you need:

INGREDIENTS
1 ½ lbs. Cod
1 egg
1 med. onion
1 stalk of celery
¼ cup bread crumbs, plus ½ cup for coating outside
2 tsp. VSpicery’s Shallots N’ Pepper divided

DIRECTIONS
In a food processor, chop down onion and celery until finely minced, and set aside in a bowl. Season fish with 1 tsp. Shallots N’ Pepper (use more, if you like). Put fish into food processor until finely flaked.

Combine fish with onion, celery, egg and 1/4 cup bread crumbs, and mix together well. Combine ½ cup bread crumbs with 1 tsp. Shallots N’ Pepper, form cakes and coat fish cakes with bread crumbs.

Place on a baking sheet, and drizzle a bit of olive oil on the fish cakes. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes and serve immediately.

One of our easy favorites is salmon seasoned with VSpicery’s Tasty Tango served with our French Inspired Rice. Simply bake the seasoned salmon at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes and follow the directions on the rice package. Another delicious combo for salmon is VSpicery’s Sweet Singing Seasoning paired with our India Inspired Rice.

If shrimp is your thing, try Shallots N’ Pepper or spice it up with Sriracha Sizzle. Here’s a quick and delicious shrimp marinade with our Sriracha Sizzle that is incredibly delicious and easy to make as an appetizer or main dish.

 

Sriracha Sizzle Shrimp
You can use fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe. Try this marinade for grilled shrimp too!

INGREDIENTS
3lb bag of shrimp, medium deveined and peeled
3/4 c. Olive Oil
2 tbs Sriracha Sizzle
1/2 c. Soy Sauce (preferably the low sodium Kikkoman)
1 Lime, zested and juiced

DIRECTIONS
Whisk ingredients until well blended, pour over the shrimp in a ziplock bag or bowl, and let the shrimp chill in the fridge for 30 – 60 minutes.

Pour 2 – 3 tbs of Olive Oil in a large skillet, and put on medium-high. When the oil is hot, add shrimp to the pan, searing on both sides until shrimp turns pink and just starts to curl. Don’t overcook, or they become rubbery. Cycle shrimp out of the pan and onto plates as they finish cooking. Each batch should only need about 5 – 6 minutes total.

We like to place the shrimp on a small bed of arugula or any other peppery leafy greens, and a small lime wedge (or wheel) is optional. A fresh spritz of lime juice adds a bright, fresh touch. Serve and enjoy!

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Up Your Game This Valentine’s Day

Avoid the crowds and expensive restaurant meal prices, and make this a year to remember with a deliciously romantic, homemade Valentine’s Day dinner for your someone special.

After many requests over the past few years, VSpicery’s kitchen has reopened! We have rearranged the shop to make room for cooking classes, demonstrations and catering. We will also be offering meals soon on a pre-order basis. Keep an eye out for the update with full details as soon as we are ready to take orders.

Join us for our first class back in the kitchen this weekend where we will show you how to keep your romance alive through culinary bliss. Let us show you how to spark love and admiration in your significant other through your flavor mastery. After this class, you will be able to confidently choose from a couple of simple and delicious dishes that you can prepare for your special night.

When: Saturday, February 10th, 2:00 pm – until?
Where: VSpicery Flavor Shop
2913 W. Cypress Street, Tampa
Cost: $45.00 pp

This class will teach you how to make:

  • Chicken Breast with a Pomegranate Balsamic Reduction over Wilted Spinach.
  • Beef Filet Mignon, topped with a velvety Gorgonzola Sauce and Herb Pasta on the side.
  • Inside Out Strawberries for a quick and tasty dessert.

VSpicery will share our culinary expertise, provide written recipes, a shopping list and you will be able to sample the finished dishes at the end of class.

Seating is limited to 10, and a deposit is required. Call 813-870-1133 to reserve your spot today.

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15th Anniversary Rollback Sale!

VSpicery is celebrating 15 tasty years!

It’s because of all of you that a small business like ours has made it this far, and we have some great reasons to celebrate. Join us as we let loose with roll back pricing on some of your favorites in celebration of our 15th Anniversary.

Thursday, Feb. 1st – Saturday, Feb. 3rd
Spices (.4oz to 1oz. jars) $3.00 each
Curries (1oz. jars) $4.00 each
Culinary Rub jars $5.00 each

Rollback prices will be available at our shop and online. Net Wt listed in the online product descriptions are the sale priced items to select in the drop down menu on the product pages of the spices and curries.

We would love to see you at the shop if you are in town. Shop hours on Thursday and Friday will be from 10a – 6p, and Saturday 10a -2p. We wish you happy cooking!

This offer excludes Vanilla (ground or whole bean), Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper), Habanero, Saffron, Cocoa Powder, Seasonal spice mixes (Poultry Seasoning, Apple Pie Seasoning and Pumpkin Pie Seasoning), Peppercorns and Salts. 

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Christmas shopping sucks. VSpicery makes it easy.

You’re busy, and Christmas shopping sucks, so let’s keep this short and sweet: if you have people who love to cook in your life, one of these three gift baskets will make the perfect Christmas present. They’re themed around some major flavor sets, and are packed with flavors your wannabe Gordon Ramsey will love. And, as with all VSpicery products, they’re guaranteed to be the freshest and highest quality around.

First up is the Traditional Chef basket. This gift basket contains an assortment of the classics, including Herbal Crust Seasoning, Salad Seasons, Shallots N’ Pepper, Special Peppercorn Blend, Pure Ocean Sea Salt, Champagne Pear Vinegar, and Seraphina Greek Organic Olive Oil. It’s perfect for your budding Martha Stewarts, and anyone interested in European style cuisine. This is an all purpose basket that just about anyone can use to make a fabulous meal. And I do say just about anyone, because I have met some absolutely terrible cooks in my life. These baskets are delicious, but they’re not magic.

Next up is the Grill Master basket. It has a selection of rubs, mustards, and spices that will knock the socks off your resident BBQ boss. I’d like to say that’s me in my house, but everyone knows Kym works the grill better than I do. It includes Java Jo Steak Seasoning, Soulful Seasons, 15th & 5th Rib Rub, Tangerine Habanero Mustard, Sweet Fire Ale, Alderwood Smoked Salt, Smoked Peppercorn, and a Fall Honey Bear. (And if you don’t know, seasonal honeys vary in flavor because of what is currently available to the bees at different times of year).

Finally, we have the Hot Monster basket. If you have a Hot Monster in your life, you probably already know who they are. This is the basket for them. It includes Seraphina Greek Organic Olive Oil, African Bird Pepper, Ancho, Chipotle, Ghost Pepper Salt, Habanero Salt, En Fuego Seasoning Blend, Maroon Jerk Hot, and Red Hot Sting. Being a Hot Monster myself, I can personally attest that you’d be surprised at how much heat a chili salt can pack, and when using it in conjunction with some of our dried ground peppers, it’s easy to bring the fire. Given that winter time is the perfect time for some spicy chili, this is a no brainer for Christmas.

So, save time, simplify your shopping, and still make your home chefs think you went all out. Pick from one of the three baskets below, and finish your Christmas shopping early.

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A Thanksgiving Story from Val at VSpicery

You know the food is good when you have a crazed chef running at you with a big spoon yelling, “Taste this” and evidence of their own sampling on their chin! This actually started last Thanksgiving when my sous chef and I were preparing a luncheon for a holiday office party. We made a full Thanksgiving spread, complete with turkey, ham, stuffing, spiced cranberry and orange relish, mashed potatoes and gravy, all made from scratch in our kitchen at VSpicery.
In the final preparations for this catering event, I had to run out for an ingredient and left her stirring the gravy.  As I walked back in the door, she came running at me with a heaping spoonful of mashed potatoes and gravy shouting, “You gotta try this!”, and shoved the spoon in my mouth.  This sensational gravy that caused all the commotion was a simple concoction of  turkey fat, pan drippings and flour.  All this flavor from simply sprinkling on and rubbing Herbal Crust Seasoning onto a lightly oiled turkey (also great for beef roasts or venison) and roasting it in the oven until done.
We successfully repeated this fabulous gravy this past Thanksgiving and the only thing we can attribute to it’s divine flavor was the rub we used on the turkey.  That rub is called Herbal Crust Seasoning.  The pan drippings are the key to a fantastically flavored gravy or sauce to complete your meal, and “wow” your guests. We have known for a very long time that this rub is terrific on just about any roasted meat and makes a great beef stew.   Originally blended at customer’s request for something to put on venison, it has become one of our favorites.
We also have used it to make eggplant and turkey burgers.  Just mixing some of this rub into bread crumbs, using an egg wash and bread the eggplant rounds.  Drizzling with olive oil and baking for 20-30 minutes on 375 degrees.  A little pita bread and whatever condiments we like on our normal burgers makes this meatless dish a satisfying alternative.  Also fantastic on turkey burgers, and you can either sprinkle it on each side of the patty or mix it into the turkey meat as you form the burgers. But the gravy, oh the gravy!  Just fabulous.
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Cool Weather, Hot Plates

It’s that time of the year when the weather starts cooling down, and kitchens start heating up with soups, stews and all kinds of delicious takes on chili. We’re also just ahead of Holiday baking. Here are a few tips from our kitchen to help you welcome in the season.

Chili can be complicated or quick and easy. Our Cha Cha Chili blend makes a pot of delightful chili in about an hour or less. VSpicery believes that when cooking with tomatoes, keeping it at a simmer a little longer always makes a big difference.

Suggestion: Cha Cha can also be used to make a delicious tasting dinner using simple ingredients. Make a pot of yellow rice, then season chicken tenders with Cha Cha Chili blend. Sauté chicken in olive oil until cooked through, serve over yellow rice with a bit of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream. A side salad works nicely to round out dinner.

If you want to make a different type of chili, we recommend using ground turkey, black beans, a can of tomatoes and our Cocoa Loco Taco Mix. It not only makes great tacos, but this chili is deliciously different.

Now if you want to make an all day pot of chili, we have a large variety of chili powders, from mild to wild. We simply love the combination of Ancho, Pasilla and Chipotle chili powders to season the pot, and Mexican Oregano is a must. This oregano makes a huge difference when seeking that special background flavor. Most “oregano” in the grocery stores is sweet oregano. Mexican oregano is earthly with hints of citrus and licorice (in a good way), and has a spicier flavor. VSpicery also has super fresh cumin, which makes your dishes even more delicious.

 

We love making a nice pot of stew to warm us up on cool nights! Our blend, Herbal Crust Seasoning, was originally developed for venison, this blend has taken us on all sorts of culinary journeys. We use it to season flour to dredge the beef and add a bit to the vegetables for beef stew. The end result is one of our favorite fall flavors. VSpicery also uses Herbal Crust Seasoning in turkey burgers, eggplant burgers, on our Thanksgiving turkey, and in a vegetable stew. We have discovered that our Thanksgiving Day gravy is ridiculously delicious just from using the pan drippings after baking a turkey with Herbal Crust Seasoning.

Baking season is just around the corner and VSpicery has all your fresh baking spices – whether you are looking for Korintje cinnamon, whole vanilla beans, Grains of Paradise, cardamom … we help your kitchen creativity soar!

For the Holiday season, VSpicery freshly blends brines, mulling spices, poultry seasoning, pumpkin spice, and apple pie spice. We want you to have the freshest possible flavors for your eating pleasures.

One last thing, we were astounded at the price in the grocery stores for cloves. VSpicery has fresh cloves priced just like all our other spices – only $4.00, and far fresher than you will find anywhere else in the bay area.

Remember, good ingredients equal great results.

 

 

MARKET UPDATE:
On a sad note, VSpicery has decided to sit out the market season this year so we will not be at the Saturday Morning Market, this was a decision made due to changes in our personal lives. We will miss the market and hope you all attend and enjoy.

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End of Summer Dishes

Heading towards the end of summer. Of course, being in Florida, it feels like summer most of the time.

Did you know that Labor Day became an official holiday to honor the contributions of American workers in 1894. That’s 123 years of cookouts and, wow, how cookouts have changed through the years. Baked beans were around during the cookouts of the 1800’s. Potato salad as we know it today didn’t make an appearance until approximately 1940, when mayonnaise replaced a French style dressing. Deviled eggs have actually been around longer than baked beans.

Most of us just open, add a few enhancements and bake the beans from the can then call it baked beans. Here’s how you can make them from scratch.

Baked Beans
Serves 10-12 as a side dish

Ingredients
1 lb dried navy or Great Northern beans
8 cups water
1/4 lb bacon (or salt pork), diced
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup molasses or maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Rinse 1 pound (about 2-1/3 cups) dried navy beans or Great Northern beans in a colander under cool running water. Be sure to sort through the beans to remove any debris. Soak the beans overnight. The next morning, drain and rinse the beans.

In a large Dutch oven combine the beans and 8 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Drain beans, reserving the liquid.

Now, it’s time to add the Flavorings! In a 2-1/2-quart casserole combine the beans with bacon, onion, molasses, brown sugar, mustard, salt and pepper.

Cover the casserole, and bake the Beans in a preheated oven at 300°F for 2-1/2 hours or until the beans reach the desired consistency.

Baked Beans Tip: You can get a head start on baked beans by soaking them and cooking them in advance. Cover and store the cooked beans in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Some cooks like their beans saucy, while some prefer them more dry. If you like them saucy, add additional reserved bean liquid during cooking. If, at the end of cooking time, the beans are not as dry as you like, continue to bake them, uncovered, until some of the liquid has evaporated. Keep in mind, though, that beans will continue to soak up the liquid after cooking.

 

Okay, that takes care of the baked beans, now on to the potato salad!

This is VSpicery’s take on potato salad using simple ingredients for great flavor. Wash, peel and chunk 5 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes. Place in pan large enough to cover potatoes with an inch of water. Add 3 eggs to the potatoes so that they will cook with the potatoes. Bring water to a boil, adding 1 tbsp. salt and cook until fork tender.

While potatoes are boiling dice 2 carrots and a medium red onion. When potatoes are ready, remove eggs and drain water from potatoes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl, stir in carrots, cover and cool.

Peel and dice 2 eggs, third egg should be sliced to place on top of completed salad. Combine 1-1 ½ cup of mayo with VSpicery’s Salad Seasons to taste, set aside so flavors mingle together to make this tasty dressing.

When potatoes are cooled, fold in onion and dressing until totally covered with dressing. Place sliced eggs on top; sprinkle VSpicery’s Hungarian or Smoked Spanish Paprika for color and bit more flavor.

 

We also love deviled eggs and lots of our blends make delightful deviled eggs. Some suggestions to add to the mayo are: Shallots N’ Pepper, Salad Seasons, Greek Seasonings or even Red Hot Sting. Something as simple as Black Truffle Salt and Chervil make a lovely deviled egg. Our curries also make delicious additions to deviled eggs. Our favorite to use is Madras Curry Powder, but Ral El Hanout and Sweet Curry powder work really well too. Be unique, not traditional here!

Fruit salad
We have a delightful Strawberry Champagne Finishing Sauce which adds amazing flavor to a cut fruit salad.

If you’re grilling burgers we got your seasonings. Java-Jo Steak Seasoning, Soulful Seasons, Chophouse Kitchen, and Savory Steak Seasoning go great. Combine Chophouse Kitchen and Savory Steak Seasoning for that WOW factor! Of course, if you’re grilling steak, any of these will work perfectly as well!

Don’t forget the mustard if you serving burgers, hot dogs or grilled shrimp. We have a variety to change it up and delight your guests at any cookout.

VSpicery has all kinds of suggestions and we are always happy to share our ideas. Those of you who have stopped by the shop know we love talking recipes and how to’s. If you need a suggestion or have a question feel free to call, email or stop by the shop.

Well that’s it for now. Hope you all have a great Labor Day Weekend. Happy grilling!

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Pumpkin Chicken Curry

Seminole Pumpkin Chicken Curry

We like to grow lots of different veggies in our garden, and recently harvested some Seminole pumpkins. We thought about making soup or roasted pumpkin for a side dish, but really wanted something different. That’s when Val came up with this scrumptious curry dish. We think you will love just as much as we did! If you don’t have pumpkins available, use butternut or acorn squash. This recipe is also delicious to make without the chicken and bacon for a great vegan curry.

 

Roasted Pumpkin
Ingredients

1 Seminole Pumpkin
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Salt

Directions

Cut pumpkin in half lengthwise, and season each cut side of the pumpkin halves with the olive oil and salt. Place seasoned pumpkin, cut side down, on foil lined baking pan. Roast in 350 degree oven 30 – 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

 

Curry
Ingredients

1 Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper, diced
1 medium Onion, diced
3 strips of Bacon, cut into pieces
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can Coconut Cream
1 cup Water
1 cube Vegetable or Chicken Bouillon
1 – 2 tbsp VSpicery’s Madras Curry
1 roasted or store brought chicken, shredded (leftover chicken works fine too)

Directions

Render bacon and cook until crispy. Add onion and bell pepper, season with a bit of salt and saute until tender. Add tomatoes and cook until softened.

Add water and bouillon, bring to boil crushing bouillon until dissolved. Lower heat and add coconut cream and curry stir well to combine.

Skin pumpkin and cut into chunks, then add to sauce along with the shredded chicken. Simmer on low heat, until all ingredients are fully heated. Serve with brown rice.

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Super Bowl Party Food

Super Bowl Sunday is right around the corner, and if you are hosting a Super Bowl LI party, you know that the food is one of the most important aspects of the day. We have a few traditional recipes and a few unique spins on old favorites that will keep your guests happy no matter what team is winning.

Game Day
Sunday, February 5, 6:30 PM on FOX

NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons 

 

Pita Chips

 

Here is something a little different for your Superbowl party that you can make in place of potato chips. These pita chips are also great with hummus, dips or on their own.

Ingredients
2 pita breads (get the thicker, Greek style)
2 tbs. water
3 tbs. olive oil
¼ tsp salt
1 tbs. VSpicery’s Za’atar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice pita into bite-size squares and place them in a small salad bowl. Drizzle with water and olive oil; season with salt and Za’atar. Toss gently to mix and coat. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. (serves 4 – 6)

 

Crab Dip with Bacon

This delicious dip is great with the pita chips or regular crackers. Either way, your guests will gobble it up and may ask for more after the dip bowl is empty.

 

Ingredients
6 oz crab meat
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Fines, plus more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon Fresh Bay Seasoning
Crumbled bacon
Crackers for serving

Directions
In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Shred the crab and stir in all remaining ingredients except for the bacon. Cover and chill for two hours. Sprinkle with bacon pieces and additional chives right before serving. Serve with pita chips or crackers.

 

Cha Cha Chili

Our award-winning Cha Cha Chili seasoning includes 5 different varieties of chili peppers along with cumin, paprika and a number of other ingredients. This blend has a pleasant, mild-to-medium heat and is big on flavor.

Ingredients 
16 oz can tomatoes, chopped
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 lb ground beef
2-3 tbls Cha Cha Chili
16 oz can beans (optional)
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbls olive oil
salt
pepper
garlic powder

Directions
Season ground beef with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then brown meat over medium heat. Remove from pan when cooked through and drain fat.

Heat oil in large pot and saute onions and peppers until soft, then add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add browned ground beef to the pot, then add tomatoes and chicken stock and stir until well combined.

Bring chili back to a low boil over medium to medium high heat and add Cha Cha to taste. Add beans (if using) and let simmer for 30 – 40 minutes.

Taste before serving and adjust spices to your liking. If you want to bump up the heat level, use our Habanero or Ghost Pepper Salt in place of regular salt. Taste as you go to make sure it’s not too hot for everyone. Serve with chips, cheese and sour cream, if desired.

 

Smoked Wings

Tasty Tango and Ale & Herbs are two very different blends that love the grill, and it do amazing things to grilled or smoked chicken.

Put wings, or chicken breasts into a bowl or ziplock bag, add enough olive oil and seasoning to evenly coat the chicken. Marinate from 1 hour to overnight, and grill or smoke until done.

Anytime we smoke chicken wings for a party with either of these delicious blends, they never last more than an hour after they come off the grill. Become an instant gourmet with a simple and delicious way to get big flavor in your wings with our seasoning blends!