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June 3, 2012

Allspice (Recipe: rhubarb apricot chutney)

First published in May 2008, this updated pantry ingredient post features new photos, links, and a few tweaks to the recipe. If you missed it the first time around, please enjoy this seasonal rhubarb recipe and some fun facts about allspice.

Rhubarb-apricot-chutney-bowl

Next time I reorganize my spice rack, I'm abandoning my usual system.

Next time, I will not group the little jars into peppers, salts, baking spices, warm spices and leafy green herbs.

Next time, I'll sort my dried herbs and spices this way:

  1. aphrodisiacs
  2. miracle cures
  3. brings prosperity and good fortune
  4. used for embalming pharoahs in ancient Egypt

That covers just about everything on my spice rack, including allspice (a triple whammy: numbers 2, 3 and 4).

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May 29, 2012

Recipe for melon with lime, peanut and mint topping

Melon-with-lime-peanut-and-mint-topping

Cantaloupe, casaba, crenshaw, canary: I adore melon, and not just the orange-fleshed ones. Squirt some fresh lime on chunks of ripe, juicy melon, and I'm in breakfast or dessert heaven. Still, I'm in a shake-it-up mood these days when it comes to old favorites in the kitchen (remember the maple cinnamon matzoh brei). So, inspired by mint coming up in my garden, I decided to try slices of melon with a lime, peanut and mint topping. You'll see fish sauce in the list of ingredients; before you turn up your nose, let me assure you the topping is not fishy. It's just pleasantly, vaguely Thai, and the balance of the tart sauce with the sweet melon will make you wish every Thai restaurant in your neighborhood had this dish on its menu.

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December 4, 2011

Recipe for quick and easy apple walnut turnovers

Apple-walnut-turnovers

What if you make a recipe, and after you make it you figure out exactly what you'd change, but you've used up all of the key ingredient and can't find it in the markets within 15 miles of your house, and with gas at close to $4.00 a gallon, you have to admit defeat? That's what happened with these quick and easy apple walnut turnovers, made with store-bought discos. They're delicious, just as you see them, but one thing will make them 100 percent better: chopping the filling a bit in a food processor before you stuff the dough. If you do that, you'll be able to get more filling into your discos, and, after all, turnovers are all about the filling. I wanted to make them again, to prove it to you, but Rhode Island's markets let me down. So, when you see discos in your supermarket (you'll find them in the Goya frozen foods section), be sure to stock up. I'll do that next time.

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November 3, 2011

Recipe for fennel, apple and walnut salad with pomegranate-orange dressing {vegan, gluten-free}

Fennel, apple and walnut salad.

If a vegetable can be called schizophrenic, fennel fits the diagnosis. Roasted or baked fennel melts in your mouth; it's sweet, with a mild flavor that hints of celery and dill. Raw fennel, on the other hand, hits your taste buds with the bite of anise (here in Rhode Island, fennel is often sold as anise), which tastes a bit like licorice. Sometimes that can be a bit overwhelming, but thanks to my sister-in-law Jill, I now know the secret to preparing raw fennel. Slice the fennel as thin as possible, on a mandoline if you have one, and "marinate" it in an acid- or mustard-based dressing for 15 minutes or so before serving. The acid will tenderize the fennel and mellow the flavor while still leaving plenty of crunch, and I promise you will fall in love with it even if you've never loved fennel before. Apples and fennel are available in our markets year-round, making this salad a perfect accompaniment for Thanksgiving turkey, or turkey burgers cooked on the grill.

Continue reading "Recipe for fennel, apple and walnut salad with pomegranate-orange dressing {vegan, gluten-free}" »

About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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