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Baked Cauliflower with Pumpkin Pie Spice and Curry Powder

A friend recently posted a baked cauliflower dish on their facebook page and I was tagged by another friend indicating they like to make this with a mix of Pumpkin Pie Spice and Curry Powder.  I was inspired and decided  to cook it immediately  This is a .super easy and very healthy dish that sure pleases one and all.  From the time I left the Pinch workshop to plating was less than two hours, ,making this is a perfect weeknight dish.  You could easily change the spices you use, but I urge you to try this dish in all it’s fall flavored glory.  One note, the original post called for panko breadcrumbs, which I didn’t have, so I  used all purpose flour.  I believe panko would make it a little crispier and I will be using panko next time.

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Baked Pumpkin Curry Cauliflower

This is a tasty, super simple, and healthy side dish.  A perfect compliment to any fall dinner.  

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Thomas "Shoebocks" McGee

Ingredients

  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1-2 tbsp yogurt optional
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 head cauliflower cut into pieces
  • 4 tbsp flour or panko
  • 1 tsp salt optional

Cooking Instructions

  1. preheat the oven to 425F

  2. Cut up the cauliflower into bite size pieces and set aside

  3. Beat the egg, add yogurt if you are using it and beat together with a whisk

  4. Add the pumpkin pies spice and curry powder to the egg mixture and mix to combine

  5. toss the cauliflower into the mixture and coat evenly

  6. sprinkle with flour or panko again making sure to coat evenly

  7. spread on a lightly greased cookie sheet

  8. bake for 30-35 minutes until crispy and browned 

  9. I made an optional curry yogurt sauce for serving.  4 tbsp of yogurt, 1 tsp honey, 1 12 tsp of curry powder.  This is optional but was quite good.  Served with tandoori chicken and spinach this plate was well under 500 calories.

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Doro Wat Recipe (Spicy Ethiopian Chicken)

Ethiopian is one of my favorite cuisines. Most of the core Ethiopian flavors come primarily from the berbere spice blend, so it’s easy to make at home when you have Pinch’s Ethiopian Berbere handy. This is one of our more popular blends and it really highlights the quality of the spices I source.

Doro Wat is especially great in the fall or winter. The slow-cooked chicken absorbs all of the flavor, as do the eggs.  The rich spicy sauce will warm your heart and stimulate your mind.  This recipe doesn’t require much prep or active cooking time, so it works well as a weeknight meal.  It’s also one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day.

ethiopian doro wat organic chicken

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Doro Wat

Easy, Spicy, Delicious doro wat that will warm up your tummy and your spirits.  

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Thomas "Shoebocks" McGee

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds chicken thighs, leg quarters, bone in breasts
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp tomatoe paste
  • 6 soft boiled eggs
  • 2 tbsp Ethiopian Berbere add more if you like spicy
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth water can also be used

Cooking Instructions

  1. in a large pot heat oil over medium high heat

  2. add chicken and brown on all sides

  3. remove chicken and set aside.  you dont need to cook the chicken all the way through just want to brown it.

  4. heat butter in the same pot over medium heat

  5. add onions and sautee until browned.  stir to avoid burning, but you want the onions to carmelize

  6. stir in garlic and berbere and stir until fragrent about 30 seconds

  7. add tomato paste and allow to darken while stirring about 2 minutes.

  8. add water and stir to incorporate everything

  9. add the chicken and reduce the heat to low.

  10. cook for 40 minutes

  11. add the eggs and cook for an additional ten minutes

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Ranch Dressing

 

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Easy Ranch Dressing with Pinch Valley Ranch

Follow this easy recipe to make the best ranch dressing using our dry ranch dressing mix.  

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Pinch Valley Ranch
  • 1/3 cup mayonaise
  • 1/4 cup milk

Cooking Instructions

  1. Mix the Pinch Valley Ranch , mayonnaise and milk together.  Let sit for five minutes and serve.  

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Easy Buffy (Garlic!) Remoulade Sauce for Fish, Sandwiches, Fries & More

Since we recently released our newest blend, Blackened (a must for fish lovers or anyone who likes blackened dishes), we decided to revisit one our other favorite fish topper recipes, Buffy’s Slayer Helper Remoulade.

“Buffy Slayer Helper” is one of our top-selling spice blends, full of extremely high quality garlic, chili flakes, parsley, sea salt and basil.

This super simple, but very flavorful sauce is great on blackened fish too, but also works fabulously on sandwiches, french fries or as treat with freshly chopped vegetables.

It’s the perfect party remoulade – we have seen people drool over this stuff!

Buffy’s Remoulade Quick Mix Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tbls Buffy’s Slayer Helper
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbls relish or chopped up sweet pickle (optional, you could also add chopped, drained giardiniera for some heat)
  • Mix ingredients together and let sit for 5 minutes, then enjoy!

Buffy's Slayer Helper Remoulade

 

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New Farmer’s Market in 2015: Treasure Island Lincoln Park, Chicago

Join us Wednesday this summer from 3-5pm at the new farmer’s market hosted by Treasure Island in the northside Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park.

Sample some of our best BBQ rubs, organic spice blends, and fresh fair trade spices, or just come by for a spice and cooking chat. We look forward to seeing you there!

Organic spices at farmer's market in Chicago

Check out the other vendors and get more details on Treasure Island’s website.

Can’t make it or live somewhere else? You can buy all of our spices online with free delivery on purchases over $45!

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Homemade Cast Iron Pizza with Buffy’s Slayer Helper (the Garlic Lover’s Spice)

garlic lovers spice blend mix on Italian food
Well, I didn’t make a heart shaped pizza for Valentine’s Day, but I did make some delicious homemade pan pizza this weekend for us.

One of Pinch’s most popular blends is our Buffy’s Slayer Helper garlic mix for people who love garlic flavor with some other depth to it.

I wanted to show how easy it is to add amazing flavor to your everyday cooking, and I find this blend shines the most on top of pizza (and garlic bread!). Whether it is an OK frozen pizza, your favorite takeout, or –my favorite– homemade pizza, Buffy really takes it to the next level.

Get to Know Buffy’s Slayer Helper – Our Special Mix for Garlic Lovers

You can only find Buffy’s Slayer Helper at Pinch. We made it with tons of very high quality garlic (minced, powder and granules), parsley, basil, sea salt and a touch of chili flake for a slight heat on the back end.

Get yourself a bag and then make a pizza and become someone’s hero!

garlic lovers spice

How to Make Homemade Pan Pizza with Buffy in a Cast Iron Skillet

I love making all kinds of pizza… you name it; thin crust, deep dish, pan, wood-fired, frozen, gluten-free, simple, and exotic.  I’ve built pizza ovens, made pizza for fun on a car hood, and helped make pizza with my mom when I was a little boy.  I just can’t get enough.  In this instance, the weather was telling me to stay indoors, so pizza was going to happen in the basic kitchen oven.  For this type of cooking, I prefer pan pizza using a cast iron skillet.  Here’s what I do…

First you need to make some dough.  You want to have at it rise for at least a few hours, but my preference is to make dough the day before so it can rise overnight.  There are a ton of recipes out there on the Internet.  I have usually used recipes from Peter Reinhart, as he is kinda of the guru of dough, and his slow fermentation method yields great results.

Here are the ingredients for his basic pizza dough:

  • 5 1/4 cups (24 ounces by weight) unbleached bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons (0.5 oz.) kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (0.14 oz.) instant yeast (or 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast dissolved in the water)
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz.) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons (1/2 oz.) sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups (18 oz.) room temperature water

A couple notes on making dough. When you dissolve the yeast, add your sugar and really let the yeast get frothing BEFORE you incorporate it.  This will insure that the yeast is hungry and active when it meets the flour.  Thus you get really good fermentation, and excellent bubbly dough.

You’ll need to mix all the ingredients together, with either a mixer or by hand.  When it has come together, but still fairly moist, you want to knead the dough.  Add flour as needed.  I like my pizza dough to be fairly moist but you have to be able to work with it.  A dough knife is really helpful at this stage.

After kneading, you will want to let the dough rise.  If you are going 24 hours, let it rise in the fridge.  If you are cooking same day, put it somewhere to keep it at room temperature.  Either way, cover it with plastic wrap, a moist towel, or put it into a tupperware container.

When it’s ready, the dough should double, maybe even triple in size.  If not, something went wrong and you want to start over.

Now you need to pull the dough out, and separate it in to separate pieces.  Each piece will represent a pizza.  This size recipe yields 5 thins, or in my case yielded 3 pan pizzas.

Form each piece into it’s own ball and allow to rise for another 30 minutes or so.

Get your oven going.  I put mine at 500.  You want that sucker to be hot.  Let it preheat while the dough is resting/rising.

Now shape your dough.  I put some oil in the pan.  Plop the dough in and start stretching it evenly to the edges of the pan.  It might fight you a bit, but it should hold its form.  Now add some sauce, cheese, and plenty of Buffy garlic spice, and whatever other toppings you like.  On this pizza, we put fresh mushrooms and giardiniera from Pickle O’Pete.

Throw it in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until it has browned up to your liking.  Carefully remove it, the pan will be extremely hot.  You should be able to run a spatula around the edge and transfer the pizza to a cutting board.

Cut and serve and enjoy!

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Za’atar Hummus Recipe

I was so excited to be on WCIU this morning for the You & Me This Morning show.  I always enjoy getting to highlight my love of spices and all things delicious.  If you didn’t get to see the show, I was asked by Meaghan Thomas, creator of EatGiardiniera.com, to come on and talk about giardieniera with Melissa and Jeanne.  It seemed a little much to try and eat giant Italian beef sandwiches on a morning show, and we didn’t think just tasting straight giardiniera would be all thatfun, so we decided to make some homemade hummus to talk about spice profiles. Hummus is one of my favorite dishes that is so easy to make at home (and when you make it fresh, it’s so much better than store-bought brands).

For this recipe you will need a blender, or food processor.  I guess you could do this with a mortar and pestle, but that seems like a bit too much work.  Here’s what you will need to grab from the store:

  • 1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1/4 cup of tahini
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 clove of garlic or a teaspoon of minced garlic (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • about a tablespoon or 2 of Za’atar Spice Blend

Of course I like to recommend Pinch Spices in our blog, but you certainly can use what ever you have on hand.  In this case we used our very own Za’atar blend, that has sumac, thyme, marjoram, and sesame seeds.  We also love making hummus with our Buffy’s Slayer Helper or our Humboldt Sazon.

Ok, enough with the spices, let’s get back to the hummus.  So to get started drain and rinse the chickpeas.  It is definitely worth the time to take the skin off the chickpeas.  This is really pretty easy and takes about 10 minutes to go through a can.  Simply pinch the skin and the bean will pop out.  I do this over a separate bowl and discard the skins.

Now we want to get out our blender or processor going.  First add the tahini and lemon juice and blend for 45 seconds.  It will get really thick and creamy, and will smell absolutely divine.  If you are adding garlic, now would be a good time to do so. Now we add about half the chickpeas and blend until smooth, drizzle in half the oil and blend for 5 seconds.  Now add the rest of the chickpeas and blend, finally add the rest of the olive oil and blend until smooth.  Wow….you just made hummus.

At this point I add the Za’atar or what ever spice I am using and stir with a spoon.  This is ready to serve, but will stay fresh covered in the fridge for a week or so.  For all of our giardiniera fans this is great served on a cracker with your favorite giardiniera on top.  Need some help picking out the perfect giardiniera, why not pop over to EatGiardiniera.com and check out their awesome list of giardinieras available both locally and nationally.

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Jamaican Jerk Tacos Two Way

One of the most common questions I get from our customers is, “Can this be used to make vegetarian food?”, or “What’s good on, say, chicken or beef?”.  So I thought it would be fun to start showing off how versatile our blends our.  In this month’s installment of the Two Way Recipe we are going to make a super simple and extremely easy dish,  Jamaican Jerk Tacos Two Ways. P1030652

Who doesn’t love Caribbean cuisine?  You get a great mix of sweet and savory with a nice blast of heat.  When I made this dish for a vegetarian friend, she exclaimed that she had never had jerk before.  At first I was kind of shocked, but then it dawned on me that the most common jerk dishes are made with some form of animal protein.  If a few vegetarians get to taste the magic that is jerk spice because of this recipe, then I will be one happy spice guy.  Regardless, this is such an easy method, I feel that everyone can enjoy some delicious jerk tacos.  Lets get started…

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Your going to need some Jerk Seasoning.  I recommend our authentic jamaican jerk rub, available for purchase in our shop, or of course you can use what ever you have.  Seriously though, our Jerk is pretty frigging awesome!!! Just check out the list of organic ingredients we use in our hand made jerk rub (brown sugar, sea salt, onion, black pepper, garlic, bird’s eye chili, allspice, coriander, cinnamon, galangal, thyme, clove, and nutmeg). You are also going to need a little citrus, such as orange, lemon, lime, or pineapple juice, and a touch of soy sauce.  Finally you will want all the things you like on tacos.  In this case we chose; chicken and mushrooms as our base, and pickled onions, avocado, cilantro, and corn tortillas.  Lets make some tacos….

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This is the process for the mushroom tacos, but the method is exactly the same for the chicken tacos.  You will want to do this prep at least a few hours before you are going to cook, but overnight is best.  Here you can see we have chopped up the mushrooms and added a generous dose of jerk mix.  This is a fairly spicy concoction and the more you use the hotter it will be.  For 12oz. of mushrooms you are looking at a heaping spoonful of rub.  Now we add a tablespoon of soy and a table spoon of citrus.  I used fresh squeezed orange juice in this case.  Below you will see the mushrooms ready for a nap in the fridge and also the chicken after the same treatment.

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After marinating you are ready to make some tacos.  I sure was.  You are going to want to get a pan sizzling hot and add a little cooking oil.  Since everything is chopped up it is going to cook fast, and I like to get a nice sear on mine.

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Both the mushrooms and the chicken will cook rapidly.  You can stir them around a bit to get even cooking.  Make sure to use separate pans and separate stirring apparatus for each if you are cooking for people with different dietary desires.

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Once everything is finished cooking, you are going to want to get some tortillas ready and get your tummy ready for delicious taco time.

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Now you just need to fix up the tacos with your favorite toppings and enjoy with a few friends.  Here is the chicken taco all dressed up.

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And for my poor friend who has waited far to long in life to enjoy the magic of Jamaican Jerk, I present jerk mushroom tacos.  Her first comment was that she wasn’t going to waste space with beans.

Jerk Mushroom

Thanks for checking this out.  I am going to continue this series, and will have a new “two way” sometime next month.  Please feel free to comment or send us a message (pinch@pinchspicemarket.com)  if you need some tips, have a question, or just want to say hi.

Your friend in flavor,

Shoebocks

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Pinch: Chicago Farmers Market Schedules (2014)

UPDATE: As of late 2017, Pinch is no longer attending Farmer’s markets. While we’ve had a blast and have loved our time at each market, we are going 100% online so we can help more people around the country and world get the highest quality spices they want and need.

We look forward to serving you online and delivering the best spices in the world to your doorstep! (We also look forward to attending local farmer’s markets as just regular ol’ people who like to cook, so maybe we’ll see you there in passing!)

2014: We’re happy to be participating in the Logan Square and Wicker Park Farmer’s Market on Sundays in Chicago this year on alternating weekends for the summer season. We accept pre-orders by email or through our web store for pickup at the markets until Saturdays at noon.

Logan Square: 5/18, 6/1, 6/15, 6/29, 7/13, 7/27, 8/10, 8/24, 9/7, 9/21, 10/5, 10/19.

Wicker Park: 5/25, 6/8, 7/6, 7/20, 8/3, 8/17, 8/31, 9/14, 9/28, 10/12, 10/26

Have a great Summer and we hope to see you out at the markets!