Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Some of My Favourite Ingredients!

Clockwise from the top:

Penzey's Spices Bay Leaves - This little spice shop in Grand Central Station NYC had the most beautiful bouquets of spices. Their stand was small, but mighty! They import from all over the world, and just a shake of their spices or spice blends will pack a big punch. Everything is authentic, and their flavourings amp up all my dishes. Their bay leaves are wonderful! They are the size of a deck of cards and flavour all my soups, stocks, soups and gravies.

Fresh Spinach - How versatile! It is one of those great foods that taste fabulous both fresh and cooked. I hate that they get a bad-wrap with kids for being too "slimy" or "bitter". Heck! When I was a kid...I LOVED spinach! And, it's health benefits are too numerous to count. *I am a fan of the bigger spinach vs. the baby variety, but that is just personal preference.

A Bunching Onion Studded with Two Cloves - I don't know? Makes a dish feel kind of vintage. The cloves lend a typical dish a more complex flavour. (I used it in a lentil pilaf the other day).

Crimini Mushrooms - Cook in a flash! Have a more sophisticated flavour than regular button mushrooms.

My Spice Wheel from Zanzibar - Kutos to my brother Curtis for bringing this one back from his adventures! The wheel includes, whole seed dill, whole seed cardamom, whole chilis, whole peppercorns, saffron (probably the equivalent of 40$'s worth here!!), curry powder and whole cloves.

Summer Squash - These ones from the farm cook as fast as mushrooms and have the silkiest texture! Just EVOO, s&p and a quick roast in the oven, and you have THE BEST side dish!

Pearl Onions - Maybe it's a Julia Child thing, but there's nothing cuter than a steaming pot roast with little baby onions tucked around. In a funny way, they remind me of a mother pig with 10 little suckling babies beside. :) I have a think for cute food!

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