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TZATZIKI SAUCE

Tzatziki Sauce! Such a simple, clean and refreshing sauce. I can’t speak better words about this Mediterranean sauce. Typically you find it at Greek restaurants served as a topping or paired with stuffed grape leaves also known as Dolmas. By the way, I have an exquisite recipe for Stuffed Grape Leaves that you’ll really enjoy. There’s a bit of work involved but the enjoyment is extremely worth the time. And when you have some help, it goes fast.

But back to this glorious sauce. I’m all about multi-purpose recipes, this is one of them. You can place a dollop of this on top of your favorite fish or even dip a variety of your favorite veggies into it. Not only that, because you know I love encouraging to take my recipes and make your own, you can always add other herbs and spices to this for variety like adding onions or chives. Just remember, let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two first before serving. Overnight is even better!

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TZATZIKI SAUCE
Servings
heaping cups
Ingredients
Servings
heaping cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Using a potato peeler, peel the cucumber into strands up until you get to the seeds. Throw the seedy center part away. Place the strands of cucumber on a plate, sprinkle the salt on top, mix and let sit for about 15 minutes to draw out the water.
  2. In the meantime, mix the Greek yogurt, crushed garlic, olive oil in a medium bowl.
  3. Then, grab the cucumber and squeeze the remaining excess of water out of it and chop the cucumber strands finely.
  4. Combine the cucumber in with everything else, add salt to taste and let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.

BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

Okay so by all means this isn’t necessarily a healthy recipe. But I’ll admit being excited about this because having homemade biscuits is a little bit of a new thing for me. So much that I did need to figure out how to make them myself. I’m not a baker, baking doesn’t come natural to me so I’ll just say I lucked out at my first attempt because they came out so perfect. This is something I may do once or twice a year. And even though it’s infrequent, it’s still absolutely amazing, worth making instead of some weird cylindrical cardboard at the store. Therefore, I’m totally sharing this with everyone.

You can make these using an all-purpose gluten free flour. They will be tasty so long as you use a flour you know you love. Surely they won’t be identical to the traditional buttermilk biscuit but they will taste really good nonetheless for a healthier alternative. So, you know how I said I rarely will make these? The same goes with my rendition of Poached Eggs, Biscuits and Gravy here on the blog. Definitely a must try!

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BUTTERMILK BISCUITS
Servings
biscuits
Ingredients
Servings
biscuits
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F degrees.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles coarse meal. If using a food processor, just pulse a few times until the consistency is achieved.
  4. Add the buttermilk at a slow continuous stream until it’s combined into a sticky dough. If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Gently pat (don’t use a rolling pin) the dough until it’s about ½” thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently pressing the dough down to an inch thick in between each folds.
  6. Use a round biscuit cutter to cut into disks and place the biscuits on a cookie sheet about an inch apart.
  7. Brush the melted butter on top of each biscuit. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown on top and bottom. You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but there’s a chance they may not be as good as the first batch
Recipe Notes

You can make these biscuits, cut them, put on a cookie sheet and freeze up to a month. When you’re ready for them, place in the oven at 450 F degrees for about 20 minutes.


POACHED EGGS BISCUITS & GRAVY

Confession time. Clearly you don’t really have to live in the South to find “biscuits and gravy” but I’ve lived in the “South” for about a year and a half and have never taken the time to try it, or any Southern food for that matter. Yeah, shame on me. For a foodie lover of many foods, even ones that I won’t eat regularly that I can appreciate… Southern food quite honestly has never looked our sound appealing to me. Doesn’t mean I won’t try it of course. OF COURSE!

The pictures on the internet, how people describe it and the thought of figuring out another culture of food literally overwhelmed me. So I put it off trying to make it from scratch. Then a friend presented me a challenge; to make Southern Biscuits and Gravy with maybe a twist or make it fancy. I thought, hmmm… okay, now I’m fully interested. What better way to do it than ALL HOMEMADE FROM SCRATCH! Go big or go home!

I’m crazy… but, it’s really worth it. And not as hard as it appears or sounds. I should’ve known better. I did add a little Italian touch to it. Nothing crazy. Just some fresh minced garlic and oregano. You’ll see. Of course. But I do intend to take this and make a full blown Italian version and truly start an Italian Southern Fusion. We’ll see LOL. All credit should go to my friend of course. I probably would’ve never thought of this on my own, ever. And to make it slightly more classy, I took the basic concept of an Eggs Benedict by cutting the biscuit open in half, placing a poached egg on each one THEN topping everything with the gravy. I must say, the yolk tied in with everything was spectacular. You have to give it a try at least once.

Last thing. I think this can go without saying that this is definitely not the healthiest breakfast. It’s likely the least healthiest breakfast recipe on this blog. I already have ideas on how we can make this healthier but the question is, will it taste as good? Probably not. Is it even worth it? Ehhhh. Should I even bother when you can just have the better version once in a while instead? Moderation, I swear. It’s your friend. It’s awesome. Okay, go try this recipe like, NOW!


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POACHED EGGS BISCUITS & GRAVY
Servings
biscuits
Ingredients
GRAVY
Servings
biscuits
Ingredients
GRAVY
Instructions
BISCUITS
  1. Preheat the oven at 450 F degrees.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles coarse meal. If using a food processor, just pulse a few times until the consistency is achieved.
  3. Add the buttermilk at a slow continuous stream until it’s combined into a sticky dough. If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Gently pat the dough until it’s about ½” thick (don’t use a rolling pin). Fold the dough about 5 times, gently pressing the dough down to an inch thick in between each folds.
  5. Use a round cutter to cut into disks. Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet about an inch apart. Brush the melted butter on top of each biscuit. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown on top and bottom.
  6. You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but there’s a chance they may not be as good as the first batch.
GRAVY
  1. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, sausage and break it up into fine pieces using a wooden spoon. If it’s too dry, add more olive oil and allow everything to cook through.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage into a bowl leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Add the grated onion, garlic, dried oregano and butter. Stir until the butter melts then add the flour one tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly to make a roux. Continue to stir and let the mixture cook for a minute or two. Don’t let it burn.
  3. Slowly and constantly stir in the milk about ½ cup at a time to work it all together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then, add the cooked sausage back into the pan and stir well. Let everything simmer for about two minutes or until the gravy has reached your desired consistency.
HOW TO POACH AN EGG
  1. Add a dash of white vinegar to a medium pot of boiling water. Crack an egg into a ramekin or cup.
  2. Create a gentle whirlpool in the water to help the egg white wrap around the yolk. Slowly tip the egg into the water and let cook for about 3 minutes. Remove the poached egg with a slotted spoon to drain any excess water.
Recipe Notes

You can make these biscuits, cut them, put on a cookie sheet, and freeze up to a month. When you’re ready for them, place in the oven at 450 F degrees for about 20 minutes.

HOMEMADE HOT CHOCOLATE

Lighten up your hot chocolate without losing its decadence this Winter using unsweetened almond milk. This is perfect for those who are lactose intolerant and it tastes better than soy milk. Avoid all the controversy of soy products and use a nut milk instead (that is, of course if you’re not allergic). Even better make your own. It’s much easier than you think by simply soaking your raw almonds for at least 12 hours, drain, rinse, blend in a high-speed blender with water and a vanilla bean, then strain everything using a cheesecloth over a strainer.


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HOMEMADE HOT CHOCOLATE
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan mix the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt together. Then add the hot water, turn the stove on medium heat and whisk thoroughly until everything is combined with the water.
  2. Whisk frequently until everything comes to a boil to prevent caking on the sides of the saucepan.
  3. Once everything comes to a boil, continuing stirring for two minutes.
  4. Add the almond milk and vanilla extract, whisk. Then, reduce the heat to low. Do not let it boil but allow everything to warm through and serve.

RUSTIC MEAT RUB

This is a semi-wet rub that is extremely packed with flavor. I typically don’t eat red meat often but when I do, I usually will eat filet that comes seasoned with salt and pepper at a decent restaurant. Although I must say that I’ve had an itch to grill and learn how to properly cook steaks. So far so good! But you know me, I LOVE spices and it would be silly of me to not share a yummy meat rub that goes fantastic with steaks, just like my Rustic Rubbed Top Sirloin!

The best thing about this semi-wet rub is that you can use it on any type of red meat, even on chicken. It’s full of warm spices, a little sweet and can have a good amount of heat depending on how much cayenne pepper you want to put in the mix. Okay, I’m gonna go drool now! Enjoy.

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RUSTIC MEAT RUB
Servings
steaks
Ingredients
Servings
steaks
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine everything in a bowl.