Food: Spiced Out

The Joy of Cooking with Spicessamantha7

I’m a spice freak.  I mean what would food be like without a little spice added to it?  I use it to enhance the natural flavor of whatever I’m cooking, not to disguise it.  Like a healthy relationship, the two should really complement each other.  I have tons of spices in my pantry and enjoy mixing and matching but lately there are a few one-step-wonder blends that make it especially easy to accompany a wide variety of dishes.

Like the ones my new friend Samantha makes from scratch.

Samantha in the kitchen

Samantha Mcleod in the kitchen

The EATHICAL series. It’s like spice mix for dummies.  You can’t go wrong.  Not only do they make your life easier and smell fantastic but they will improve the overall taste of your meal. You’re making Italian for dinner – grab don’t pinch The Italian.  You’re making fish – go for The Seafood and so forth.  They’re healthful wonderful spices.  For instance The Mango Curry  is made of turmeric, coriander, cumin, garam masala (a spice mix of its own which includes cardamon, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg), onion, garlic, amchur (made from dried unripe green mangoes) sea salt & chilies.

samantha3Samantha is a freelance writer and blogs about foods, sustainability and ethical businesses for The Province, a local newspaper in Vancouver and has her own website.  I met her at a barbeque..of sorts..one which she catered for twenty five people and made nine special courses, ALL from scratch, gourmet style.  Definitely not your run-of-the-mill barbeque even though I like those too (after all I want to get invited to more barbeques).  It was just unexpected and extremely delicious.  And since five people never showed up I picked up some leftovers the next day (only to help out of course).  Then she told me about her spices….which I needed to get my hands on.samantha4

One of the many courses

One of many courses

So I just had to tell you because I get inspired by stuff like this.  Good food and good people mix together very well.

Soon you’ll be able to buy these spices at a local specialty store near you.

Samantha McLeod is a global travel and food writer organizing sustainable, organic and gluten-free culinary tours worldwide.

Check out her website: Eathical.ca

Sidenote: my sister just got back from Spain & Morocco and of course she brought me back saffron and a Moroccan spice mix which I just used (in my new clay tagine from Marrakesh) to make Moroccan chicken.  It saved me a whole lot of time because the spices you need to use are plentiful.

Just before going in the oven

Just before going in the oven

Just coming out of the oven

Just coming out of the oven

Plated on an individual serving tagine

Plated on an individual serving tagine over cous cous.

Spices take you on a little holiday.  Last night I went to Morocco.  Tonight it’s Italy.  Tomorrow, India! 

It’s called Spice Travel!  Where are you off to next?

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