This month, Paul Dickson demonstrates the versatility of a well-stocked herbs and spices store cupboard. Country Range spices and dried herbs are of particularly high quality and it’s all in the way they’re treated to ensure that oils are not being depleted unnecessarily, meaning that they keep their colour and flavour. Indian dishes are an obvious use of spices and there is so much variety in styles that you can never run out of new recipes to try. And don’t be shy when experimenting with flavours in classic dishes, both savoury and sweet.
Spice Up A Classic
When looking for inspiration for new recipes, don’t overlook the classics – they’re staple dishes for good reason and instantly recognisable on menus for those looking for some comfort and familiarity. Adding spice in the right places can transform a classic whilst still keeping the essence of the dish. Try this spiced cottage pie which is a lovely warming hug on a plate for the colder months ahead.
Give it a Goa
The blend of spices in Goan curries is really versatile and works so well with the coconut milk base that makes this the trademark dish of South-West India, in all its different varieties. I’ve added chick peas to create a rich curry which could be served on its own as a delicious vegan dish. Alternatively, I’ve added a slow braised spiced lamb shank to add even more complexity of flavour. The lamb can really stand up against the strength of the spices.
A Viral Hit
Have you noticed the trend for upside down puff pastry tarts? This is one viral hit that I can get on board with and this recipe for a savoury version with caramelised onions is an instant crowd pleaser. I use Country Range dried herbs to get the intensity of flavour and some carefully chosen spices, such as coriander seeds make it sing. Country Range Puff Pastry Blocks create the perfect crisp pastry base. Serve with a fresh and zingy Greek salad to cut through the richness, using dried herbs in the dressing.
Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice
I love to incorporate spices into desserts and sweet treats and dark chocolate is the perfect match for bold flavours. These spiced dark chocolate truffles include ginger, cinnamon and cardamom to add warmth and depth of flavour. As we head into autumn, you can’t beat a warm apple and blackberry crumble, with a heady hit of cinnamon and why not add some cardamom to your custard to make it extra special?