The Middle Eastern. So much more than a Curry Blend!
It occurred to me the other day that I didn’t grow up using ‘exotic’ spices. And now that I use spices regularly, I realize that they are not ‘exotic’ at all. In our house we had the usual suspects, I’m guessing, that every Bermudian household has. I’m not gonna name names but you know who they are.
But I remember always liking when my mom made curry.
Now my mom did NOT like to cook, but she had a few dishes that were her signature dishes and they were good. And she didn’t make anything like other people did. I literally found out as an adult that fishcakes were made from codfish and not canned tuna. (Imagine my surprise.) Her curry was basically a one pot situation with boiled chicken, rice and a whole onion, but I think what made it special was the curry spices and that onion. Yum. Enter The Middle Eastern…
3 Ways to use The Middle Eastern
Lamb is my absolute favorite thing to put The Middle Eastern on. It was literally made for it. Literally. It’s a must try for leg of lamb but don’t stop there. Season your baked chicken with it to get out of your Sunday dinner rut. Sprinkle it on salmon and serve on top of a salad or lentils, or even a vegetable puree. Roast a whole fish; squeeze it with lime and sprinkle The Middle Eastern inside and out. And don’t forget whole roasted chicken or Cornish hens. To take them up a notch, mix with softened butter and rub under the skin.
My second favorite way to use The Middle Eastern is on whole roasted cauliflower. It is delicious but it’s also gorgeous and great for entertaining because it presents so well. Do you ever sauté cabbage? Start by sautéing onions in olive oil and/or grass-fed butter, then add The Middle Eastern and sliced cabbage. Cover and cook on low until tender. Add more of the blend if necessary. If you like hummus, make sure you add in a little of The Middle Eastern and sprinkle some roasted eggplant on top, seasoned with, you guessed it, The Middle Eastern.
Lastly, and maybe most obviously The Middle Eastern is great on beans and especially lentils. I sauté a couple teaspoons with my onions and garlic, add beans/lentils and simmer in chicken or vegetable stock.
With coriander, cumin, allspice and turmeric being the main ingredients, another really popular way to use the blend is as a substitute for seasonings in other recipes. I get so discouraged when I see a slew of ingredients for something I want to make. My patience just isn’t set up that way. If you have this same problem, just look at the main spices called for and substitute with a blend. There really is no savory recipe alive where the spices have to be exact. Trust me, I know!
And guess what?!
The Middle Eastern is so good for you.
Did you know that TURMERIC combats more than 70 diseases, including the big ones like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s and when it is combined with blacker pepper (and fat) its nutrients become even more available?
GARLIC fights (and prevents) heart disease, colon cancer and colds.
ALLSPICE has antiviral and antibacterial qualities, making it an infection fighter.
CORIANDER is a classic for tummy troubles, soothing IBS, easing constipation and stopping intestinal spasms.
CUMIN fights diabetes, protects the bones and combats cancer.
BLACK PEPPER (four peppercorn) stimulates digestion, may prevent and treat cancer, eases arthritis, prevents Alzheimer’s and improves brain function.
CAYENNE has a wealth of antioxidant vitamins, increases metabolism and decreases appetite.
So there you have it! The Middle Eastern in a nutshell. Let me warn you, all of this goodness is addictive but you now have the inside scoop on all things The Middle Eastern. Be sure to let me know how you make out or tag me in your recipes on Instagram.
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