Spices of the Month - February
Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013
This month, Kowalski's is featuring tarragon, rosemary and Garam Masala.
Tarragon – along with parsley, chives and chervil – is one of the French "fines herbes." It has a flavor profile that hints of licorice and compliments chicken, eggs and beef well. Tarragon is popular in Mediterranean and classic French cuisine and is one of the notable herbs used to flavor traditional Béarnaise sauce, which is delicious on steak, chicken, green beans, asparagus or French fries.
Rosemary is a woody perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needlelike leaves and delicate, small flowers in shades ranging from white and pale pink to faint purple or even deep blue. From a medieval association with weddings evolved the idea of rosemary as an element of love potions and love charms. Throughout its history, rosemary has been used as a divinatory herb, often to attract love. The name rosemary derives from two Latin words which translate loosely to “dew of the sea.” It flourishes in coastal areas, where it may thrive on water absorbed solely from humidity carried on the sea breezes. One such coastal region is the native home of rosemary. In the Mediterranean, rosemary is widely used in traditional Mediterranean cuisine. Rosemary leaves are faintly bitter and extremely aromatic. It is well suited to meat and game as well as potatoes and vegetables.
Rosemary Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Rosemary Gruyère Potato Gratin
Rosemary Blue Cheese Burgers
Rosemary Blue Cheese Crostini
Herb Roasted Fingerlings and Baby Carrots
Tip: To substitute dried tarragon or rosemary for recipes calling for fresh, use about half as much.
Garam Masala is a traditional Indian spice blend that differs widely throughout India. Garam is the Hindi word for "warm" or "hot," and this spice blend is used to bring warmth in recipes for curry, stir fry, vegetables, soups and stews, among others. No particular blend of Garam Masala is considered more authentic than another.
While there are nearly endless combinations of Garam Masala, a typical Indian version of will include these toasted, ground spices:
- black and white peppercorns
- black and white cumin seeds
- black, brown and green cardamom pods
To use Garam Masala, blend it into cream sauces (including curries) or sprinkle into rice and grain dishes or onto roasted potatoes or vegetables. When mixed to taste with a little Greek yogurt, it makes a uniquely spicy dip for grilled or roasted meats (especially lamb and pork) or chicken.