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Fall is in Season

Well here in Florida it’s more of a wish than a fact. Floridians hope for a cool down with highs in the low 80s or high 70s, and that’s pretty much how fall goes here. Even the illusion of fall makes us want those flavors! The lower temperatures and declining downpours make us more apt to fire up our grills in the evenings.

New Delicious Additions

Summer is a creative time for us, and we have been working hard on new spice blends that turned out to be pretty amazing.

Our first creation from the summer is Fin & Feather Schmacker. Not only did we have lots of fun naming this blend, but the flavor combination is delicious on fish, chicken, roasted potatoes, and veggies. About every couple of weeks, my taste buds light up wanting this spice blend, and a round of tasty chicken wings are just the thing to soothe my craving. Try this blend on your next roasted chicken or turkey for a different spin on your common roast. We love Fin & Feather Schmacker on mild white fish as well.

Our next creation is called Sunny Soiree. This is a delightful combination of herbs, shallots, with a hint of sea salt. Originally blended with vegetables in mind, but we are happy to say that this combination works really well on many dishes. We have a super easy and tasty recipe below with this new blend on cauliflower, and it is a definite gotta have, gotta try! Sunny Soiree is incredible on fish, seafood, chicken and turkey, or mix in with pasta or rice dishes.

Maple Flakes are also new to our shop. This is exactly what it sounds like, dehydrated Maple Syrup. What can you do with this? Well … salad dressings, salmon, pancake batter, smoothies, rim a glass for an Old Fashioned, and on and on. We have had a lot of fun finding new way to use maple flakes, and it is the perfect pairing to many fall dishes.

Anyone for Squash?

Fall is a great time to enjoy squash, whether butternut, acorn, or spaghetti, they are delicious and flexible. We also highly recommend a squash called delicata. Delicata is delicious just roasted with salt and pepper, but our house blended curries such as Berbere, Ras El Hanout or Garam Masala would also be an outstanding addition. For those who don’t like curry, our Sweet Singing Seasons would work very nicely as a substitute.

For the Locals

Tune up for the holidays and join us on November 4th from 12 – 3 pm when our professional knife sharpener, Mark, will set up to get your knives sharpened up for the cooking season. There is nothing worse than a dull knife in the kitchen. Mark will be happy to quote the cost to sharpen all your knives while you wait or VSpicery will hold them for pick up at your convenience.

While Mark is busy with your knives, VSpicery will be working in the kitchen. We will have a cooking demonstration of holiday flavors, traditional and some original tastes. Class starts at 1:00 and is $25.00 per person with a tasting included.

To reserve your spot for sharpening or our cooking class please call 813-870-1133 by October 26th or register and pay online. Seating for the cooking class is limited.

Because We Like To Share

Roasted Cauliflower
This is a wonderful side dish that is perfect for fish, chicken, turkey or beef. The bright herbal notes of our Sunny Soiree are brilliantly balanced by the crunchy savory bites of Pecorino Romano cheese. This combo makes it difficult to stop eating because it’s so dang delicious!

1 head of cauliflower, stems removed
3 tbs. Olive Oil or more
Pecorino Romano cheese
Sunny Soiree

Place cauliflower in a microwave proof bowl with ¼ cup of water, cover and microwave for 7 minutes. Remove from microwave, drain, cool and dry.

Line a baking sheet with foil, spray with non-stick spray, and place cauliflower on baking sheet drizzle well with olive oil. Season nicely with Sunny Soiree, top with Pecorino Romano.

Roast in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes, check after 20 minutes.

Well that’s all for now. Remember, if you would like to attend our event on November 4th, please go ahead and register. Until then have a creative time with your food.

Food Should Be Delicious!

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30 Days of Flavor: 03/26/11 – Indian Curries

We will be discussing flavors this month in our “30 Days of Flavor” blog series. Every day this month, VSpicery will select a spice, seasoning, salt, etc., as the flavor of the day, giving you it’s history, flavor profile, and uses. We hope you enjoy these flavors and their unique stories.

When you hear the word “Curry” it may instantly make you think of one dish you had in the past or a whole array of culinary delights. Curry is a broad category of spices in which the ingredients vary from each culture. Most widely known from Asian or Indian cuisine, curry is enormously popular in British, Japanese, Jamaican and Thai cuisines as well, and is gaining fans quickly in the US. The flavors vary according to the local palate, available spices, and food being spiced, but most curry powders have three common ingredients, turmeric, coriander, and cumin, then it branches out from there adding aromatic spices, chilies, and other ingredients to get the desired flavor. VSpicery hand mixes our own recipes every week for five different curries, and we will soon be expanding our variety, however we currently carry Garam Masala, Madras, Sweet, Tandoori, and Vindaloo Curry powders.

Curry_GarahmGaram Masala Curry is our most aromatic variety with very little heat, and lots of flavor. Mixed from peppercorns, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, star anise, and coriander, this blend makes your entire house fill with wonderful aroma and your taste buds dance with joy. Wonderful with chicken, fish, pork, and in rice dishes. Try this curry blend on salmon, and drizzle honey on the fillets for the last 3 to 5 minutes of cooking, or sauté chicken coated with Garam Masala in butter for a delicious meal.

The Madras Curry we make is a mild, yellow curry, we can also add some heat for your desired heat level, just specify when you order. Madras is blended from turmeric, anise, ginger, tamarind, and other spices, with no chemicals or preservatives. Great for chicken, fish, vegetables, and pork. Madras also makes a nice addition to soups and stews for a different flavor profile from your normal fare.

Curry_SweetSweet Curry is a great place to start for newbies to the curry world. This is a mild blend that gives nice, richly balanced curry flavor without overpowering your palate, and is the equivalent to “Curry Powder” you find in the grocery store, although much fresher, making it very flavorful. There are many recipes that don’t specify what kind of curry powder, so it’s always a safe bet to use our Sweet Curry Powder for those recipes. Excellent with fish, chicken, rice and veggies.

Tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven widely used in the Middle East and India for a particular style of cooking and Tandoori is used to describe dishes cooked in a Tandor, the most popular being Tandoori Chicken and Chicken Tikka. Our Tandoori Curry Powder is a red curry with a medium heat level, and we can make it hotter for you if desired. This blend is made from garlic, ginger, cumin, cayenne, and other spices to give you a nice spicy curry for chicken and vegetables.

Vindaloo Curry Powder is our hottest blend, very similar to the Vindaloo that is popular in India, Germany, England, and the Middle East, which originated in the Goa region of India. Made from cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, fenugreek, cayenne and other spices, that really give your food a nice spicy kick. Great with chicken, lamb, pork, and vegetables (especially potatoes).