Clifton, NJ, OCT 1, 2015 – Along with autumn comes our yearning for comfort food. We retreat into our kitchens hoping to provide our families with a meal that will “stick to their ribs”, bringing them warmth from the inside out. Hearty, rich dishes, full of flavor and made with spices and seasonings reminiscent of the season adorn our tables. Moms and other cooks gather in their kitchens to prepare foods for the cooler days, in anticipation of the chilly holidays.
There are certain spices and seasonings associated with the fall season. We draw on them to provide essential essence to our favorite comfort foods and recipes, add them to our most beloved beverages and use candles redolent of their aroma to provide respite from the chilly temperatures outside.
Among the most popular traditional fall spices and seasonings are cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. These spices have long been tied with the season, making their appearance in many of the recipes we associate with this time of year.
Pereg Gourmet (pereg-gourmet.com), a leading producer of premium, all natural pure spices and spice blends, among other products, offers cooking and recipe ideas using aromatic fall spices.
Cloves are one of the world’s oldest and most popular spices. It’s no wonder since their aromatic, spicy smell and taste are a great complement to many dishes. Cloves can be used in their whole form or ground up. They can be used in dishes that include poultry or meat and you can add a pinch to most any meal. Cloves are also essential in recipes such as pumpkin pie and mulled wine. While a whole clove might be a bit much to handle in a casserole, dessert or stew, the ground version can add a bit of aromatic zip without interfering with the texture. Cloves go a long way toward enhancing recipes like mulled apple cider, marinara sauce and savory glazes.
Ginger can be found in many recipes during the fall months. Ginger, in both dried and fresh root form, is a spice routinely found in both sweet and savory recipes this time of year. Use ginger in hot tea, creamy winter soups, on flaky fish, in stir-fires and many desserts. Gingersnap cookies and gingerbread treats are often included in holiday gift trays. Pumpkin and apple pie recipes rely on the addition of ginger to bring an added dimension of flavor to them.
From your morning toast and tea to homemade cookies baking in your oven, there is probably no spice as widely recognized as a seasonal favorite as cinnamon. While commonly used in baking, cinnamon may also found adding an unexpected hint of flavor to chili, roasted vegetables and savory meat dishes in the hands of creative chefs. Use ground cinnamon in cakes, biscuits and desserts. Sprinkle it over baked fruit and custards. Add it whole to casseroles, mulled wine and punch. Beat cinnamon powder into butter with a little sugar and spread it on toast. Soak a cinnamon stick in herbal tea before drinking; add cinnamon to water when boiling rice. The delicious uses are endless…
Nutmeg is most commonly used during the fall and winter months. Ground nutmeg enhances many foods with its rich flavor. Countless recipes and dishes call for it in combination with other spices like cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Nutmeg is not just for dessert recipes. You can also use it with such seasonal vegetables as sweet potatoes, red potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, winter squash, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and spinach. Along with nutmeg, add a pat of butter, olive or coconut oil to the vegetable dish for an intensely flavorful combination. Fruits taste and look wonderful by themselves, but ground nutmeg kicks up both flavor and the visual appeal. Sprinkle nutmeg onto raw or cooked apples, bananas, peaches, nectarines, pears, pineapple or mango. Cut up several fruits to make a mixed fruit salad, dust the fruit with nutmeg, and squeeze a little fresh lemon evenly onto the dish. You can add a special twist to various drinks by sprinkling ground nutmeg on them. Nutmeg gives a kick to a mug or cup of hot coffee, hot chocolate, hot tea, eggnog or cider. You don’t need to measure — just gently add to taste. For even more flavor, sprinkle ground cinnamon or powdered cocoa on your drink along with nutmeg.
Using a Spice Rub
It’s easy to create your own signature seasoning blends for the Thanksgiving bird, from spice rubs and pastes to savory liquid blends. First, choose a medley of your favorite herbs and spices. For the freshest flavor and aroma, grind whole spices in a spice grinder, then custom-blend your seasonings. Add olive, canola or grape seed oil to make a paste, or broth or wine for liquid blends. Dry rubs and pastes are massaged into the skin, which should be scored first to better allow the flavor to permeate the turkey. Rub the spices under the skin and on the outside of the turkey before roasting.
A good brine keeps your turkey tender, succulent and packed with flavor.
To make a basic brine, stir in 1/4 cup kosher salt (it’s additive free) for every 4 cups of liquid. You may blend with water alone or mix in other flavorful liquids, such as orange juice, apple cider or wine. Brown sugar, lemon zest, garlic, ginger, sage, rosemary and cinnamon sticks are just a few popular brining ingredients. Heating the liquids helps to dissolve the salt and meld the flavors, but be sure to cool the brine completely before adding the turkey.
Pereg Gourmet (www.pereg-gourmet) was established in 1906, and is a family owned business based in Clifton, NJ. They first became known for their vast variety of pure and natural spices and spice blends, more than 60 in all, from traditional favorites to exotics from around the culinary world.
Today Pereg also produces lines of flavored basmati rice, couscous, salad toppings and spreads, bread crumbs, ancient grains such as faro and quinoa, including the newest addition to their line – GMO and gluten-free quinoa flour.
All Pereg products are certified kosher by the Orthodox Union (OU), are dairy and lactose-free as well as all natural, with no additives or preservatives. Many are also certified gluten-free and non-GMO. They are available at many specialty and natural food stores as well as kosher supermarkets throughout the USA, and online at www.pereg-spices.com.
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Product information, interviews, photos and recipes are available. For arrangements, contact Vicki Garfinkel, VICKIGJPR, 973-519-8926, email@example.com.
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