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Spices: those perfect strangers...

I can assure you that spices, well used, will enhance flavors our dishes, fill the kitchen with aromas, and surprise all its guests.

Gastronomy
mollejas con especias

Few things so precious, throughout history. The cuisine of the East , is based on the good use of these products. Dish preparations start in spice mixtures, which after being toasted and ground, are incorporated into the typical “curry” dishes, when you start cooking. These combined “powders” of different spices are called “ masalas ” and not “currys”. “Curry” is the end result of a dish composed of these mixtures and other ingredients, in long cooking.

 How to use them 

Spices should be purchased in  seeds  and not in powder. The aroma and taste of them lies in the essential oil inside. To activate it, it is necessary to toast them (in a Teflon frying pan, dry), taking care that they do not burn. Then, they grind them. The only way to roast spices is in seeds; powders can not be roasted as they burn. Another reason to buy spices in seeds is not to sell us anything; such as those saffron thimbles that are anything (turmeric in 80% of cases) less saffron.

Argentina and spices

What happens to westerners, especially Argentines, with spices? Here we use dried herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, parsley, bay leaf, etc.), not spices. A separate mention is the chimichurri (parsley, oregano, ground chili), whose name comes from a derivation from English: foreigners asked for curry for meat (“Give me curry! ”). And, notoriously, our Italian and Spanish ancestry, who usually, will not go further from basil, rosemary or paprika. We believe that spice is that with what a dish is “sprinkled” at the end, when spices are used on a dish from the beginning of a cooking.

The third and perhaps most influential point of its misuse or not use is our meat and  roast culture. Argentines are lucky enough to have excellent meat and we get used to that the maximum we add is a brine. We thought it would be a mistake to “contaminate” that meat with external flavors. I can assure you that spices, well used, on the contrary, will enhance  flavors our  dishes, fill the kitchen with aromas, and surprise all its guests. Little by little, I recommend, make yourself a good cupboard, (with some good seeds of cumin, coriander, cloves, cardamom, fennel, mustards, fenugreek, anise, peppers and sesame, bay leaf, chili and cinnamon sticks, we have to entertain us). Start cooking with spices, get out of the “grill comfort zone”, and then tell me. Everything can improve in the kitchen, always.

Our gizzards, in carrot and fennel soup, coriander and cardamom

 ingredients 
  • ½ kg carrots
  • 1 fennel
  • 1 piece of ginger
  • 1 tbsp cardamom
  • tea 1 tbsp coriander
  • tea
  • 1 tbsp fennel coffee
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Kg heart gizzards
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • Juice of an orange
  • 1 cda honey tureen
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Procedure

Whiten the gizzards by boiling from cold water for 30 minutes, clean and cut into large cubes. Marinate them with oyster sauce and honey. For soup, toast coriander, cardamom and fennel seeds for 1 minute over medium heat in a dry Teflon frying pan, cool and grind. Brown the carrot into cubes with the fennel in julienne and ginger, and then add water until cover and cook until everything is tender. Reduce to ¾. Blend by adding the mixture of spices, salt and pepper (and more water if necessary) until a smooth preparation is left. Brown the gizzards, deflaze with orange juice and cook until caramelized. Serve the soup and above the gizzards. Finish with freshly ground pepper.

Publication Date: 20/04/2018

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We suggest you continue reading the following notes:

Cómo asar las mollejas How to roast gizzards?
carnes 3 tips on meat

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