Warm Spices for a Snow Day

As I write this, it is snowing and the scene outside my windows is beautiful.
Tomorrow however, we are scheduled to fly to Italy where it is snowing even more. At this point, I am doubtful we will be able to leave… I was really looking forward to writing my next blog with produce from my local market in Abruzzo.
As they say in italian, “non è detta l’ultima parola” = the last word has not yet been spoken (so we could still make it).

For those of you who read my entry on Feb. 2nd, here is the main course I promised you…

First off, I prepared all my ingredients including, as I mentioned yesterday, the Garam Masala spice mix. The name Garam = hot and Masala = spice, refers to the intensity and warming effect of the mixture not to it being spicy, which it is not.

2 bay leaves
8 cardamon pods (open and use onlyu the seeds)
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp cumin
1″ of cinnamon
1.5 tsp of coriander seeds (or ground)
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Put all your spices in a mortar or spice grinder and reduce to a nice fine grind. Store in an air tight container.

For the Kebabs:
2 lbs of ground meat (I used a mix of beef and pork) you can use lamb or any other combination of meat.
2 cloves of garlic
4″ of fresh ginger
2 spicy green chily
2 chopped onions
6 tsp greek style yoghurt (I used my goat yoghurt which I strained through cheese cloth to make it thicker)
6 tbs cilantro leaves
1 tsp ground black pepper


Add the yoghurt, garlic, onions, cilantro, ginger and chily to your food processor and blend to make a nice paste. Add the paste to the meat, add salt and pepper and mix well. Form even sized ovel patties and let them rest for about 20 minutes. Grill or broil until cooked through.

For my Aloo Goobi style vegetable side dish you will need:
3 tbs of olive oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 chopped onion
1/4 tsp tumeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1.5 tsp garam masala
1 tbs tomato paste
1″ of ginger
1 tsp sugar
125 ml water (about 4oz)
1 cauliflower
2 bok choy

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan (for which you have a lid) and add the mustard seeds. Cover and allow them to “pop”

Add the onion, lower the heat and cook until soft, add garam masala and other spices mix well then add the vegetables. Coat well and finally add the ginger, sugar and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until your vegetables are soft and the liquid has evaporated.

My cousin Bea and her son Yvann came for dinner.  As planned I served the saffron pot au feu with the Millet and the Harissa sauce. They loved adding the Harissa sauce to the broth and on their bread.

The meat and Aloo Gobi was also a big success. The cauliflower was perfectly soft and the spices had coated all the vegetables and the flavors really came together.

The yogurt made the kebabs really soft and moist.

I am really enjoying having to make different dishes with similar ingredients and hopefully giving you ideas on how to “spice” things up.

Bon Appetit from Brussels. Next week, I will be stranded in the Italian mountains… If internet works, I will share my meals with you from there.

Catherine @ Sainte Catherine


One Comment Add yours

  1. Gabor S. de Zagon says:

    madonna buonissimo!!!

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