• Rutabaga, Celery, Dill, & Smoked Chicken Soup
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The Spice is Right VIII: Frankenstein’s Monster

I am hosting The Spice is Right, a food blog event created by Barbara of Tigers & Strawberries, for just one more month. Barbara is still busy taking care of her gorgeous new baby girl (with the help of her other fabulous daughter), after all.

Since Halloween is coming up…

This month’s challenge is: Frankenstein’s Monster

Ethnic ingredients never quite stay where they belong at my place. “Let’s improve that stir-fry with pomegranate molasses!” Dave will cry. “And put fermented black beans in the lamb tagine!”

It usually works out for the best, though, and it’s awfully fun to mix and match. Our pantry isn’t organized by nation, and if sometimes our ethnicities meld, what harm in that?

Let us celebrate November by switching things around. Try using a spice (or blend of spices) with a technique or dish from a cuisine that typically never uses that spice (or blend). For example, you could make a stir-fry with cardamom, or ras al hanout paella, or chicken paprikash with Chinese five spice powder instead.

Email me your name, a link to the post, and any unposted photographs you would like me to use in the round-up at habeasbruleeATgmailDOTcom by midnight on November 15, 2006.

In Barbara’s own words (with some edits by me), here are the general rules:

1. Email me your entry with your name as you want it to appear on the round-up, the url to the entry and any unposted photographs you may want me to use, on or before the 15th of every month so I can do an efficient round-up post. Your post can occur wherever you like in the month–I don’t care when, just send it to me on, by or before the 15th at helgardeATgmailDOTcom habeasbruleeATgmailDOTcom. Include a link back in your entry to this post announcing “The Spice is Right” so that if other folks read it and want to play, they know where to go to find the rules. One entry per blogger, please. If you have no blog–email me a photo and a description and I will include you in the roundup anyway. (Or, be like the rest of us food-obsessed geeks and start a blog!)

2. Your entry should include some background about the spice you have chosen to highlight. Whether this is something you learned from books, or that was passed down from your grandma or is from your own experience, tell us about it. Tell us why you chose this particular spice to highlight on this particular month. Describe how it tastes, and why you like it.

3. The recipe does not have to contain only the one spice you are posting about, however, the flavor of that spice should predominate. Say, you have chosen cardamom, and want to post an Indian dish featuring it. You could choose kheer–Indian rice pudding–which is predominately flavored with cardamom, which is fine, but you could also choose sindi elaichi murgh– a dish which has other spices in the masala, but the cardamom flavor soars above the other flavors, supported by their presence.

4. Finally, the definition of a spice that we will be using for the purpose of this event is as follows: “Any aromatic substance, fresh or dried, that is derived from the root, rhizome, bulb, bark, woody stem, flower, fruit or seed of a plant that is used to flavor foods.” You will notice that I left out soft stems and leaves–that is because those are herbs. I didn’t want to step on Kalyn’s toes with her Weekly Herb Blogging event at Kalyn’s Kitchen. I am also not counting minerals, such as salt, as spices, though we may have a special “salty” edition of the “Spice is Right” challenge someday in the future.

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12 Responses to “The Spice is Right VIII: Frankenstein’s Monster”

  1. K@w. says:

    Off-topic: what is sindi elaichi murgh? I searched the Internet but couldn’t find a recipe :(

  2. Danielle says:

    K@w – Well, murgh means chicken, elaichi is cardamom, and Sindi (or Sindhi) is an ethnic group. So, I figure it’s some sort of cardamom chicken dish made by people descended from the Sindhis that emigrated to India.

    Ah, here we go, Barbara‘s recipe for sindhi elaichi murgh. Hm, that actually looks pretty good! We should make it sometime.

  3. Brilynn says:

    I love that picture!
    I’m going to have to try making something for this round, I’ve been missing out.

  4. shaheen says:

    Whacky concept but at the same time so true. I do indianise burgers and pasta a lot..just to heat things up.

  5. Danielle says:

    Brilynn – Great, I really look forward to seeing what you come up with.

    shaheen – That sounds like a fun idea. I hope you post an entry to this event, then!

  6. Stephanie says:

    This is RIGHT up my alley, I do this all the time! I am so in…. I did exactly this earlier this week without even knowing about the event. I’ll have to decide if I use that dish (yet to be posted) or make up another. I also mix it up with methods quite frequently… the one I did this week played with a spice and used a method in a non-traditional way. Fun!

  7. [...] Habeas Brûlée The Spice is Right VIII – Frankenstein’s Monster [...]

  8. [...] Habeas Brûlée The Spice is Right VIII – Frankenstein’s Monster [...]

  9. [...] Since these vegetables are common almost everywhere I could have made a minestrone soup by using some Italian seasonings or perhaps just a touch of thyme or maybe a bit of herbs de provence to give it a french influence. I could have added curry and had a mulligatawny soup. But because I’d been reading about the IMBB event, The Spice is Right hosted by Habeas Brulee, I decided to get a little creative. I used Penzeys Balti blend. According to Penzeys, Baltistan is a region of northernmost Pakistan with influences from Persia, Tibet and China. This blend contains coriander, garlic, ginger, cumin, dundicut chilies, Ceylon cinnamon, brown mustard seeds, cardamom, clove, fennel, fenugreek, charnushka (kalonji, black onion seed), ajwain, star anise, black cardamom, cilantro, anise seed and bay leaf. According to Wikipedia, Balti is a type of curry served in Birmingham, England and also the flat bottomed pot it is cooked and served in. [...]

  10. [...] That’s right, I said it. Mustard Brownies. In light of the Food Blogging Event being hosted by Habeas Brulee I set out to cook a dish with a spice not normally used for that dish. Except, I don’t cook. Jonathan cooks (usually for good reason). I bake; I have a sweet tooth, and I love chocolate. Clearly it was going to have to be a baked good. But what strange spice to mix in? The answer was actually staring at me from my seat on the couch: Mustard, my favorite condiment, in the form of my empty mustard jar collection. I balked at the initial thought. Mustard? But, I knew that if I used Mustard powder, I could substitute it for normal flour. It was at least feasible. [...]

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