July Staff Testing
This month, Spicerers Maria, Maisie, Dan, Levi and Jess got the chance to test out recipes at home to determine any last tweaks before we begin blending, designing and packing for the upcoming Subscription Boxes...
Read on to see how it went!
Maria's Trini Beef Stew
This time I was very lucky to choose a Trini recipe to test at home. I loved that all the spices used in this recipe are so colourful and as soon as I started the kitchen was suddenly captured by an exotic smell! The beef stew is very easy to prepare and was absolutely delicious and goes really well with butternut squash mash and greens beans plus the lime pepper sauce is delicious!
The apple kuchela adds a sweet and savoury touch. The sweet bread is so tasty, what a great meal and amazing inspiration to visit Trinidad!
Maisie's Cajun Po' Boys
This was a recipe that was originally cooked for my birthday lunch and so it seemed fitting that I test it out at home. Food truck is also the subscription which holds some of my favourite recipes from The Spicery- Who remembers Goan pulled pork Mac and Cheese!?
I think this recipe may even top the Mac and Cheese, as i've never had such great feedback from a meal i've cooked! The method itself was so simple, and despite running out of bowls to prep my veggies, the rest ran so smoothly (uncharacteristic for me- see last month's blog!)
It was a hot afternoon and so these cajun smokey and crispy sandwiches were just perfect along with the fresh celery, lettuce and pickled cucumber. The remoulade especially was well received- and we dipped our celery sticks in to finish the lot off. So many prawns and hush puppies were left over, this recipe could probably have fed us all over again the next day! A very satisfied crowd left at the end of this one.
Levi's Shashlik Kebabs
So for this month I got to test Shashlik, I have travelled to the Baltic's a few times and I absolutely love the Shashlik that is part of Slavic cuisine so I was excited to see what Indian Shashlik is like.
I am a very slow cook but I finished this in just over the rated time of half an hour for prep and an hour for cooking and it actually was fairly simple and straightforward, and if you were a normal speed cook it could definitely be cooked within an hour and a half.
The potatoes were really good, I don't usually like tamarind and I was really curious how you could have potatoes with tamarind and it not be too sweet but, it was really nice and subtle/sweet savory. The naans were amazing, super simple and with the garlic butter they were amazing. I've never made naan or any kind of bread before but these turned out awesome. The shashlik was lovely and when combined the whole meal was like a symphony of lovely herbs and spices and savoryness. The shashlik, the naan, the salad, the lovely Herby raita. Lush!
Jess' Mexican Elote with Yellow Mole
Reading through the recipe it looked like I had a lot to do so I made a coffee and cracked on. After mopping up said coffee from the recipe and counter, I continued, perhaps feeling a little bit grumpy!
This Meat Free Magic recipe was for a corn on the cob starter, followed by yellow mole, which Id never heard of before! I had made a (brown?!) mole a year or so ago by some fluke that I'd never been able to replicate so hopes were high that this would live up!
Mishap number 1 - no plain flour - I don't think I've ever been out of flour before!! So I had to bypass the home made tortillas, which I was looking forward to learning how to make! The starter was my favourite bit, corn on the cobs slathered in elote, a creamy, cheese mix spiced with chilli, garlic and paprika.
Lesson learnt though, never griddle corn on the cob (unless you want popcorn!). With the lack of tortillas, we had the vibrant mole with rice, a smoky charred salsa, refried beans, extremely spicy picked onions and grilled courgettes (which we in fact charred on the BBQ!). A perfect Mexican fiesta!
Dan's Gujarati Lauka Kofta Curry
This month I was excited to create the Lauki Kofta Curry with fresh mango chutney. Having tried out similar dishes in the Spicery kitchen before I was determined to make sure mine was just as tasty! This particular recipe had a LOT going on so be prepared for a mountain of washing up by the end (unless you're a whizz at multi tasking!)
Firstly, the mango chutney and raita were nice and simple to make. The chutney in particular was lovely and fresh with so much flavour, i'll most definitely be making it again to go alongside other Indian dishes.
The Lauki Kofta Curry itself was made up of deep fried courgette koftas simmered in a tomato based curry sauce. It was actually quite fun to make as preparing and deep frying the courgette balls was a little different to what i'm usually used to doing when cooking a curry. The sauce was delicious, it wasn't too spicy and all the flavours really complimented one another. As well as the curry, chutney and raita the meal also included stuffed chillies, jeera rice and baingan bharta. Baingan Bharta is an aubergine based dish, I may have accidentally read this part of the recipe wrong and blended it by accident however it was still really delicious..plus I didn't get any raised eyebrows from my girlfriend at the dinner table! All in all I really enjoyed prepping this meal. The food was great and I cant wait to try it out again!