Salmon

Pan-seared Salmon with Cilantro-mint Chutney

Pan-seared Salmon with Cilantro-mint Chutney

Pan-seared Salmon with Cilantro-mint Chutney, Photography by America’s Test Kitchen

Spices: You probably have a cabinet full of them, but do you know how to make the most of them? Spiced opens up the world of possibility hidden in your own pantry, with six chapters, each of which shares a way to use spices to amp up the flavour of your cooking, along with foolproof recipes that put these simple techniques to work.

Sprinkle a finishing salt you make from sea salt and herbs on seared white fish fillets to make them special. Make a different roast chicken every week by applying a different rub. Learn the best spices to use in curries–and when to add them for fragrant (not dusty) results.

Add flavour—and texture—with homemade blends (you’ll eat your spinach when it’s topped with pistachio dukkah). Infuse condiments with spices (try chipotle ketchup on a burger). With the following six simple techniques, plus vibrant recipes, you’ll find yourself not only spooning chilli powder into the chilli pot but making the chilli powder yourself, or flavouring desserts with saffron or cardamom rather than just cinnamon.

  1. Season smarter with salt and pepper. You’ll learn about brining, using peppercorns of all colours, and making finishers like sriracha salt.
  2. Give meat and vegetables a rub. We’ll provide blends that you can put to use in our recipes (try juniper and fennel on salmon) or your own.
  3. Bloom and toast. Bring out ground spices’ complexity by cooking them in oil; unlock dried chiles’ fruity or nutty flavours by toasting them.
  4. Finish foods with flair. Spice-and-nut/seed blends likes shichimi togarashi (a mix of spices, orange zest, and sesame seeds) add texture, too.
  5. Let spices steep. Infuse spices into condiments like pickled fennel that punches up chicken salad or rosemary oil to drizzle over bruschetta.
  6. Bake with spices. Go beyond vanilla by rolling doughnuts in strawberry-black pepper sugar. Make your own rose water and add it to pistachio baklava.

Spiced: Unlock the Power of Spices to Transform Your Cooking, America's Test Kitchen

Spiced: Unlock the Power of Spices to Transform Your Cooking, is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

 

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"Birthday Month" officially begins!

You know how some people shy away from their birthdays? How they prefer to downplay the festivities and jubilation? How they think that gifts are no longer necessary once they reach the age of 30? We’ll let me tell ya something, I’m not one of those people. I think birthdays are meant to be feted. That’s why a full month is dedicated to the celebration of my being. My family and friends know all too well that I like to make a big deal out of birthdays and they are happy to oblige.

If this is sounding a little too much to bear and self-indulgent, here’s how I see it. Life is short. Who knows? This may well be my last birthday. Why not do it up big? But the real reason behind this month-long bday affair is this: It’s a good reason to get together with the people I love, create some memories and enjoy our time together. And to me, that’s worth a whole lot. So check out CFD throughout the month of August for some bday postings. And from these postings you’ll be able to see what I already know. That I’m one the luckiest guys around.

View the food pics from a birthday celebration courtesy of some very good friends.

Stacked tomato salad with buffalo mozzarella
Salmon in a lemongrass hollandaise sauce, asparagus, wild rice and peach salsa
Berry cake