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 The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine   CarbSmart
    July 2005    Page 8       > About LCL Magazine     > Cover Page      > Inside Cover    Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11  12     

Feature Articles
 The Magic of 5-HTP
 All Scream for Ice Cream!
 It's the Calories, Right?
 Measure Your Progress
 Binge Eating: Why?
 Summer Berries!
 DIY French Manicures
 Make Your Summer Spicy
 Recipes from Dreamfields!
 Cookout Time!
 Make an Apple Cheesecake!
 Kitchen Tips



  InStone Low Carb Pudding

               Make Your Summer Spicy

It's easy to get into a rut... especially in the Summer when we feel less creative about cooking. But that's just the time to experiment a little with some spices you might not be used to using!

Here are our Top 5 Picks for Spicing up your Summer!

Cumin Cumin:
Cumin is the pale green seed of Cuminum cyminum, a small herb in the parsley family. The seed is uniformly eliptical and deeply furrowed. An ancient spice, Cumin is native to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and Egypt. Currently it is grown in many places, as it is rather easy to grow and adapts well to many climates.

Cumin is one of the ancient spices, a favorite of the Romans and it is mentioned in the Old Testament. During medieval times, it was favored in Europe and Britain, but it seems to have gradually lost favor in those places.

It is frequently used in Mexican dishes such as chili con carne and hot tamales. Cumin has a distinctive, slightly bitter yet warm flavor.

For a change of pace, try ground Cumin added to tangy lime or lemon based marinades for chicken, turkey, lamb, and pork. Or, add Cumin to chili, spicy meat stews, barbecue marinades, and sauces. Stir toasted Cumin into your favorite low carb muffin batter to create an easy south-of-the-border accent. Heat Cumin and garlic in olive oil and drizzle over cooked vegetables. Ground Cumin is stronger than whole seeds. The Cumin flavor is accentuated by toasting.

Mace Mace:
The nutmeg tree, Myristica fragrans, is special in that it produces two seperate spices, nutmeg and Mace. Mace is the ground outer covering (aril) of the nutmeg seed. A piece of unground Mace is called a blade.

Mace is indigenous to the Molucca Islands. There are both male and female trees and they are planted in a ratio of about 1 male tree for every 10 female trees. The Portuguese controlled the Mace trade until they were driven out by the Dutch in 1602. At one point the price of Mace was so high and nutmeg so low that one Dutch official, unaware that Mace and nutmeg came from the same tree, ordered growers to burn nutmeg trees and grow more Mace.

Mace is most popular in European foods where it is used in both savory and sweet dishes. It is the dominant flavor in doughnuts, so adding it to your low carb baked goods can offer a familiar, decadent flavor. Mace has a flavor and aroma similar to nutmeg, with slightly more pungency.

You can also use it in an array of savory favorites, such as pates, creamed spinach, and whipped cauliflower (fauxtatoes.)

Tarragon Tarragon:
Tarragon is a small, shrubby herb, Artemisia dracunculus, in the sunflower family. Tarragon, unlike many other herbs, was not used by ancient peoples. It was mentioned briefly in medieval writings as a pharmaceutical, but did not come into common use until the 16th century in England. It was brought to the United States in the early 19th century.

Tarragon has a slightly bittersweet flavor and an aroma similar to anise. It adds flavor to egg and cheese dishes, light soups and even fresh fruits. To baste chicken, fish or seafood, blend Tarragon with butter, chives, and lemon!

Summer Savory Summer Savory:
Summer Savory is an annual herb belonging to the mint family. Its dark-green, narrow leaves are dried and crushed. Romans used Savory as an herb and seasoning even before they used pepper. They used it as a medicine, a bee sting treatment, and an aphrodisiac. When the Romans brought it to England, it was used as an ingredient in stuffing rather than as an herbal remedy.

Summer Savory has a clean, piney fragrance and peppery flavor and enhances almost any savory dish. It goes well with soups, stews, cabbage, and sauerkraut. Or top chilled, poached fish or chicken with a blend of Summer Savory, chives, lemon juice, and mayonnaise. Crush Summer Savory in your hand or with a mortar and pestle before use to release the flavor.

Coriander Coriander:
Coriander is the seed of Coriandrum sativum, a plant in the parsley family. The seed is globular and almost round, brown to yellow red, and 1/5 inch in diameter with alternating straight and wavy ridges. It's probably one of the first spices used by mankind, having been known as early as 5000 BC. Sanskrit writings dating from about 1500 BC also spoke of it. The Romans spread it throughout Europe and it was one of the first spices to arrive in America.

Coriander has a mild, distinctive taste similar to a blend of lemon and sage. It is not interchangable with cilantro, although they are from the same plant. Ground Coriander seed is traditional in desserts and sweet pastries as well as in curries, meat, and seafood dishes with South American, Indian, Mediterranean, and African origins. Add it to stews and marinades for a Mediterranean flavor.


Copyright © July 2005  Lora Ruffner and Low Carb Luxury
Title and inset photos Copyright © 2005  Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury



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