Gryffon Ridge Spice Merchants

Strawberry Vinegar

16 oz. Fresh strawberries
16 oz. White vinegar

Wash and drain your strawberries, hull them, and then cut them into small pieces.  Place the strawberries into a clean jar (we used a 1 qt. mason jar) and pour the vinegar over them.  Close the jar tightly and keep at room temperature for 3 days.  After three days, filter the vinegar through a fine sieve and cheese cloth, and pour into a bottle.  Use it to add some summer flavor to salads, greens, or even marinades.  It also looks great just sitting on the counter.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Makes 1 Quart

3/4 Cup Sugar
3 oz. Cream cheese
2 Large egg yolks
1 1/2 Cups Milk
1 Cup Half-and-half
1 1/2 Cup Fresh Strawberries, coarsely chopped
1/8 Cup Powdered sugar
1/8 Cup Water
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
4 Graham crackers, crumbled (Optional)

Combine the sugar, cream cheese, and egg yolks into a large bowl. Beat them with a mixer at high speed until smooth. In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the milk and half-and-half. Bring the mixture a boil and then remove the pan from the heat.  Add 1/4 of the hot milk mixture to the sugar/cream cheese/egg mixture, while stirring constantly with a whisk to combine.  This is called tempering.  Return this milk/sugar/cream cheese/egg mixture back to the saucepan with the remaining milk in it. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees when tested with a thermometer. (This just pasteurized your egg yolks) Ensure you continue to stir throughout the process.

Cool the mixture by placing the pan in an ice-filled bowl. Stir occasionally.While the mixture is cooling, combine the strawberries, powdered sugar, and water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Let the mixture thicken a bit and stir frequently. Set this mixture aside to cool in a pan of ice as well.

Once both of your mixtures are completely cooled, stir the strawberry mixture into the milk mixture. Place into your refrigerator and chill for at least 3 hours. Once it’s cold, process it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is almost done processing, add the optional graham cracker pieces.

Place the ice cream in a separate container and put it in the freezer, for at least 3 hours, or overnight if possible.  Enjoy.

Mild Kimchi with Pear & Apple

1 Head of Napa cabbage
1/4 Cup Sea Salt
1/4 Cup Korean Chile Flakes
2 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Ginger, minced
4 Green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp. Fish sauce
1/2 Apple
1/2 Pear

Separate cabbage leaves and chop into bite-size pieces.   Dissolve a quarter cup of sea salt in a bowl of warm water, then pour salt water over cabbage leaves. Give cabbage a gentle toss to distribute salt water. Allow salted cabbage to sit for at least four hours.

Give cabbage a good rinse to remove excess salt and then transfer cabbage to a large bowl.

Combine the Korean Chile flakes with sufficient water to make a thick paste then add to cabbage.   Add the minced garlic, ginger, green onions, and fish sauce.

Blend the apple and pear with one cup of water in a Food Processor or Blender and then add to the cabbage.  Put on a pair of rubber gloves and give everything a thorough toss and rubdown. You want to evenly distribute all ingredients, especially the red chile paste.

Transfer seasoned cabbage leaves into a large glass bottle.  Be sure to use firm pressure with your hands to push down on cabbage leaves as they stack up inside the bottle.  Transfer any liquid that accumulated during the mixing process into the bottle as well.  This liquid will become Kimchi brine.  Some liquid will also come out of the cabbage leaves as you press down on them as they are stacked in the bottle.

Be sure to leave about 2 inches of room at the top of the bottle before capping it tightly with a lid.  Allow the bottle of Kimchi to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.

Your Kimchi is now ready to eat.  Refrigerate and take out portions as needed.  The refrigerated Kimchi will continue to ferment slowly in the refrigerator over time.  So long as you use clean utensils to take out small portions, it will keep for up to a month or more in your refrigerator.

Bloody Ghost

1 Qt. Tomato Juice
2 Cups Vodka
1/4 Cup Freshly-grated Horseradish
1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 Tsp. Ghost Pepper Salt
1/2 Tsp. Sriracha
Juice of 1 Lime
1/4 Tsp. Celery Seed
1/4 Tsp. Garlic Granules
1/4 Tsp. Onion Granules
1/4 Tsp. Black Peppercorns

Grind ghost pepper salt with celery seed, garlic, onion, and black peppercorns in a mortar and pestle until a powder is achieved.  Blend with remaining ingredients and serve in tall glasses over ice, garnished with celery and dilly beans.  For an extra kick rim your glasses with additional Ghost Pepper Salt.

Maine Strata

Serves 16

3 Cups sliced fresh Mushrooms
3 Cups chopped Chard
2 Cups cubed Cooked Ham Steak
1 1/2 Cups chopped Onions
1 1/2 Cups chopped green pepper
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1/3 Cup vegetable oil
2 (8 ounce) Packages Cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Half-and-half cream
9 Duck Eggs
4 Cups cubed day-old Bread
3 Cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

In a large skillet, sauté’ the mushrooms, chard, ham, onions, green peppers and garlic in oil until vegetables are tender. Drain and pat dry; set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and cream until smooth. Beat in eggs. Stir in the bread, cheese, salt, pepper and vegetable mixture.

Pour into two greased 11-in. x 7-in. x 2-in. baking dishes. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Beef Tagine with Ras el Hanout
Serves 6 – 8

For the spice rub

1 Tbsp. Ras el Hanout
1 Tbsp. Ground cumin
1 Tbsp. Cassia cinnamon
1 Tbsp. Ground ginger
1 Tbsp. Paprika
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
1 Tsp. Freshly ground Black pepper

1 1/2 lbs. Stewing Beef
Olive oil
1 Large Onion, peeled and finely chopped
A small bunch of fresh cilantro, leaves picked and stalks reserved
1 14 oz. Can Chickpeas, drained
1 14 oz. Can Diced Tomatoes
4 Cups Stock, Beef, Chicken, or Vegetable
1 1/2 lbs. Winter Squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 oz. prunes, roughly torn
2 Tbsp. Sliced Almonds, toasted

To make the spice rub:

Mix the Ras el Hanout, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, paprika, salt, and black pepper together in a small bowl.

Put the beef into a large bowl, massage it with the spice rub, then cover and place into the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and preferably overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, heat a several tablespoons of olive oil in a tagine or Dutch oven and fry the meat over a medium heat for 5 minutes.

Add the chopped onion and coriander (cilantro) stalks and fry for another 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes, and 2 cups of the stock and stir. Bring to a boil, then put the lid on the pan or cover with foil and reduce to a simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

At this point add your squash, the prunes and the remainder of the stock. Give everything a stir, place the lid back on the pan and continue cooking for another 1 1/2 hours. Keep an eye on it and add a bit of water if it looks too dry.

Once the time has passed, take the lid off and check the consistency. If it seems a bit too runny, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more with the lid off. The beef should be really tender and flaking apart now, so have a taste and season with salt if necessary. Scatter the cilantro leaves over the tagine along with the toasted almonds and serve with couscous and pita.

Basmati Rice with Black Cardamom

Serves 4

A smoky dish that hails from Kashmir, this is known as a pulao.  Western culture would call it a pilaf.

1 Cup Basmati Rice
2 Tbsp. Ghee (Clarified Butter)
5 Black Cardamom Pods
2 Bay Leaves
1 Small Red Onion – Thinly sliced
1/4 Tsp. Saffron
1 Tsp. Sea Salt

Rinse the rice in cold water until the water is relatively clear. Drain the rice and then cover with fresh cold water and let sit at room temperature until the grains begin to soften, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat the ghee in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat.  Sprinkle in the cardamom pods and bay leaves.  Cook until they swell up and smell aromatic.  Immediately add the onion and cook, stirring until it is light brown, about 3-5 minutes.

Stir in the saffron.  Add the drained rice and toss gently with the onion and spice mixture.  Pour in 1 1/2 cups of cold water and add the salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover.  Cook until all water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for a full ten minutes.

Uncover the pan, fluff the rice with a fork, and serve.  Be sure to not eat the cardamom pods or bay leaves as they can be rather bitter.

Roasted Carrot Hummus

1 lb. Carrots
1 3/4 Cups Chickpeas (14.5 Can)
6 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Lemon, juiced
1 inch piece of Ginger, minced
2 Tbsp. Sesame seeds
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Tsp. Smoked Paprika
1 Tsp. Booda’s Berbere
1/2 Tsp. Sea salt
1/4 Cup of Water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Chop carrots into large chunks. Toss in 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil and lightly salt.  Roast the carrots for 30 minutes, or until fork-tender.  Set aside and allow to cool.

While the carrots are roasting, add the chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, ginger, sesame seeds, garlic, smoked paprika, Booda’s Berbere, and sea salt to either a food processor or blender.  Process until well combined.

Once the carrots have cooled, add them to the processor and pulse or blend adding the water a little at a time until you have a semi-smooth consistency. Scrape down the side and continue to process until fairly smooth.

Garnish with additional sesame seeds and serve with pita or other soft flat-breads.

Mana’eesh with Za’atar

Mana’eesh are like slightly more solid pita breads and have endless uses.

The Dough:
2 1/2 Cups lukewarm water
1 Tbsp. Yeast
1 tsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Sea salt
6 – 7 cups all-purpose or bread flour

The Topping:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Lebanese Za’atar

Place the water in a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water, sprinkle the sugar on top and let rest for 10 minutes, or until the yeast begins to foam. Mix in the salt and half the flour. Add the rest of the flour one cup at a time, just until the dough holds together. Knead the dough well (either by hand or in a standing mixer), adding flour as necessary until the dough is smooth and shiny. You may need more or less flour than called for in the recipe.

Put the kneaded dough in a bowl that has been coated with olive oil, cover the bowl with a dish towel, and place in a warm area to rise. Let the dough rise for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in bulk.

Preheat the oven to 500°F.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces and pat or roll each piece into a 6” round flatbread. Place the flatbreads on baking sheets with rims. Use your fingers to dimple the tops of each flatbread. Let the flatbreads rest for 20 minutes.

Mix together the olive oil and Za’atar.

Dimple the flatbreads one more time. Divide the topping between the flatbreads, about 1 Tbsp. each, and spread it evenly over the flatbreads’ tops. Bake the flatbreads for 8-10 minutes, or until the flatbreads are golden. Serve immediately.

Tomatillo Stew with Hominy and Smoked Pork

Serves 8

1 1/2 lbs. Tomatillos, husked and halved
1 Large Onion, quartered
2 Tbsp. Ancho Chile Powder
1 Tsp. Jalapeno Chile Powder
4 Large Garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 Cup Cilantro
2 Tbsp. Oregano leaves
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
8 Cups Chicken Stock
Three 15-ounce cans of hominy, drained
1 lb. Smoked Pork Shoulder
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Finely shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced radishes, chopped green onion, diced avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips and lime wedges, for serving.

In a blender, combine the tomatillos, onion, chile powders, garlic, cilantro and oregano.  Pulse until coarsely chopped, scraping down the side.  Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and puree until smooth.  In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the tomatillo puree and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce loses some of its raw aroma, about 15 minutes. Add the remainder of the chicken stock and the hominy and bring to a simmer over moderate heat.  Add the shredded pork to the stew, season with salt and pepper and cook just until heated through.

Serve the stew in in deep bowls, passing the lettuce, radishes, onion, avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips and lime wedges at the table.

Back to Top

© Copyright 2020 Gryffon Ridge Spice Merchants | All Rights Reserved

eCom Hosting by Maine Hosting Solutions