Brazilian Vatapá

Brazilian Vatapá

 

Brazilian Vatapá

Brazilian Vatapá

Get right into the center of the Brazilian carnival with this popular street food, Vatapá. Original from Africa, it is known as a specialty from the region of Bahia and spread throughout Brazil. This recipe with a modern twist comes directly from Brazil. Ground annatto seeds add a warm, earthy flavor and natural red color. Though shrimp is a typical ingredient, Vatapá is just as popular without it.
Hands-on Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Brazilian
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb raw shrimp cleaned
  • 1 cup coconut milk shake can well
  • 2 tomatoes diced
  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • up to 1 cup broth fish recommended
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • 2 slices sandwich bread crust removed
  • salt
  • oil

Vatapá Culinary Spice Kit

  • Annatto, turmeric, ginger, cumin, white pepper, bay leaves

Optional

  • 1-2 tbsp peanuts ground
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime for juice
  • 8 oz watercress

Instructions
 

Prepare

  • Cut the bread into small pieces.
  • In a BOWL, add the bread and the coconut milk.
  • Let it soak for 15 minutes.
  • Mash it with a fork.

Cook

  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over high heat.
  • Fry the shrimp until brown on all sides.
  • Take them out and set them aside.
  • Fry the onions over medium heat until translucent.
  • Add garlic, tomatoes, and Vatapá spices.
  • Stir fry for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk with the bread, salt to taste, and optionally peanuts.
  • Cook about 15 minutes over medium-low heat to get a thick creamy sauce. Add some broth if necessary.
  • Return the shrimp to reheat.
  • Optionally, add cilantro and lime juice to taste.

Serve

  • Serve with rice and optionally watercress or a fresh salad of your choice.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Substitute the shrimp with fish filet (e.g. cod or snapper), cut into 1-inch pieces, or chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1/2-inch strips. Return them with the coconut milk.
  • Omit or substitute the shrimp with garbanzo beans.
  • Add 1-2 jalapeno pepper and/or 4 small sweet peppers to the onions, cut into thin slices.
Keyword annatto, bay leaves, turmeric, white pepper
Beetroot Falafel

Falafel with Beetroots or Spinach

Beetroot Falafel

Falafel with Beetroots

Cuisine Egyptian, Fusion
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can garbanzo beans rinsed, pat dried, 15 oz
  • 2 tbsp grated beetroot (raw, peeled) or chopped fresh spinach (as dry as possible)
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1/3 cup ground almonds or bread crumbs

Culinary Spice Kit

  • Coriander, cumin

Instructions
 

  • In a BOWL, mash garbanzo beans with a potato masher*.
  • Add egg, almonds, beetroot or spinach, Falafel spices, and salt to taste. Mix well*.
  • Form small falafel patties.
  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat.
  • Fry patties for about 5 minutes until they become crisp on both sides.
  • Flip the patties halfway.
  • Serve Falafel in bread with salad and yogurt sauce. Optionally, add tahini sauce***. Enjoy!

Notes

*Do not use a food processor!
** Yogurt sauce recipe.
*** Tahini sauce recipe.
Keyword coriander, cumin
Pad Kee Mao

Thailandese Pad Kee Mao

Pad Kee Mao

Pad Kee Mao

Pad Kee Mao's translates to “Drunken Noodles,” though no alcohol is used in its recipe. Many stories try to explain the origin of this dish with the mystery name. One thing is sure: everybody loves the delicious invention. The recipe is so flexible. It works with any finely cut protein and vegetable. 
Hands-on time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb beef steak thinly cut
  • 12 oz vegetables finely cut
  • 8 oz wide long noodles
  • 5 cloves garlic crushed + peeled
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 2-3 tsp sugar to taste
  • 1-2 lime or lemon for juice
  • 10 leaves basil thinly sliced
  • oil
  • salt & pepper

Pad Kee Mao Culinary Spice Kit

  • Chili, coriander, garlic, lemongrass, lemon peel, ginger, star anise, cilantro, onion, basil, cumin, white pepper, cinnamon, lemon oil

Instructions
 

Noodles

  • Cook noodles according to package instructions.

Seasoning

  • In a small BOWL, mix tamari, anchovy paste, 1-2.5 tsp Pad Kee Mao Spices, sugar, and 1/8 cup of water.

Fry

  • In a large PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat.
  • Add garlic. Stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add meat. Fry until meat is almost done. Take meat out and set aside.

Cook

  • Add to the same PAN: vegetables, seasoning, and 1/2 cup of water. Mix well.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes until vegetables are done.
  • Add noodles to PAN, and return meat. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off.
  • Stir in 2 tbsp lime juice or more to taste.

Serve

  • Serve on plates and sprinkle 1 tbsp basil on top of the noodles. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Substitute beef steak with shrimps, chicken, ground meat, tofu or more vegetables.
  • Substitute sugar with palm sugar.
  • Try rice noodles for a change.
* Suggested vegetables: bell pepper, carrots, mushrooms, Savoy cabbage, broccoli, mung bean sprouts.
 
Keyword lemongrass, star anise
Chios Mastic Tears

Mastic Tears

Mastic tears of Chios in a Greek bowl
No Tears Left?

Unique Mastic Tears

If a spice deserves to be labeled “unique” it is mastic, also called mastiha. There is only one place in the world where it is produced, on Chios, a small island in the Mediterranean Sea. The rarity and complex production are reflected in a price much higher than most spices.

The Mastic Tears Culinary Spice Kit includes the following spices:

  • Small Mastic Tears
  • Green cardamom pods (organic)

In case you get hooked on this distinctive spice, your “PEPPER” rewards secure you an attractive offer in our online store.

The Tears of Chios

The Mastiha tree grows in other parts of Greece and the Mediterranean, but it only “cries” in Chios, as the locals sometimes call the slitting-tearing process the tree must undergo in order to produce its resinous spice.

natural mastic drop on the tree close up
Natural Mastic Drop on the Tree

Mastiha is produced in 24 specific Mastiha Villages, Mastihohoria, in the southern, coastal area of Chios, Greece.

Greek Islands
Greek Islands
Cooking With Mastic Tears

Cooking with mastic tears is very special. Before you start, smell the flavor. How do you like it?

Mastic is a precious, extremely versatile spice that enhances just about every dish. It has a distinctive flavor, fresh and slightly pine-like. A small amount goes a long way. Too much can leave a bitter aftertaste.

Give your favorite dinner dish a new flavor, follow one of our starter recipes, or find your favorite recipe on our website. Important! Decide first how you prefer to use the included Mastic Tears pouch, as a flavored oil or ground powder. Both ways need different preparations.

Choose one of these two preparations for your Mastic Tears and find recipes below:
  • Mastic infused olive oil (see recipe below)
  • Grind Mastic Tears (see recipe below)

Mastic Infused Olive Oil

Cuisine Greek

Ingredients
  

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp small mastic tears

Instructions
 

  • In a small POT, heat olive oil over low heat.
  • Add all mastic tears and stir over low heat until they are dissolved.
  • Pour oil into a glass container and let cool.
  • It keeps fresh in a cool, dark place.
  • Always stir or shake oil before using it.
Mastic Recipe Inspirations for Mastic Infused Olive Oil:
  • Drizzle 1-2 tbsp mastic oil over salads, vegetables, or feta. Find the recipe for Halloumi Salad below.
  • Reheat cooked broccoli or another firm vegetable in 1 tbsp mastic oil and garlic. Serve as a side.
  • Roasted Pepper, Mastiha and Goat Cheese Spread – recipe
  • Warm Spinach-Orange Salad with Mastiha Scented Olive Oil – recipe (the recipe refers to 1/3 tbsp mastic infused olive oil)
  • Warm Vegetable Taboule Seasoned with Chios Mastiha – recipe
Chios Mastic Tears In A Mortar

Grind Mastic Tears

Cuisine Greek

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tsp small mastic tears

Instructions
 

Freeze

  • Place pouch with mastic tears for 1 hour in the freezer.

Grind with mortar and pestle

  • Grind with a mortar and pestle half or all mastic tears with 1 tsp salt or sugar, depending on your recipe. For sweet recipes use 1 tsp sugar, for savory recipes 1 tsp salt.

Grind without mortar and pestle

  • Place mastic tears on a flat surface.
  • Cover mastic tears with a large piece of plastic wrap.
  • Roll over the plastic wrap with a baking pin until all mastic tears are pulverized.
Mastic Recipe Inspirations for Ground Mastic:
  • In a PAN, fry cardamom 1 minute in 2 tbsp oil. Add ground meat and/or small vegetables. Season with salt, pepper, and ground mastic to taste. Fry until done.
  • Savory rice porridge (see recipe below).
  • Spaghetti with Fresh Mastiha-Tomato Sauce and Bocconcini – recipe
  • Greek Fries with Homemade Mastiha Scented Ketchup – recipe
  • Plum and Purslane Salad with Mastiha-Lemon Vinaigrette – recipe
  • Orange Chicken with Cinnamon, Ginger and Mastiha – recipe (make half of the recipe for 4 servings)
  • Asparagus Sautéed with Mastiha-Butter. Optional: Double all ingredients, except the asparagus, and add 1 lb shrimps. – recipe
  • Skilled-Seared Lamb Chops Rubbed with Mastiha – recipe
  • Greek cake recipes with ground mastic tears (see recipes below).
  • Orange Poached Pears Dipped in Dark Chocolate and Mastiha – recipe (make half of the recipe for 5 desserts).
  • Greek rice pudding (see recipe below).
Traditional Greek rizogalo

Rizogalo Rice Pudding

Cuisine Greek
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

Shopping list

  • 1/2 cup rice rinsed with cold water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar use less or more to taste
  • 1/2-1 tsp small mastic tears ground

Optional

  • 1 stick stick cinnamon or cinnamon powder
  • 3 pods cardamom

Instructions
 

  • 1/2 cup rice, rinsed with cold water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar (use less or more to taste)
  • 1/2-1 tsp mastic (ground)
  • Optional:
  • 1 stick cinnamon or cinnamon powder
  • 3 pods cardamom
  • In a POT, add rice and 1 cup cold water with a pinch of salt.
  • Optional: Add cinnamon and/ or cardamom.
  • Cover. Bring to boil.
  • Turn heat to low and cook for 15-30 minutes until the rice is cooked. The time depends on the type of rice.
  • Add milk and sugar. Mix well.
  • Stir in ground mastic. Start with 1/2 tsp. Add more to your taste.
  • Cover. Bring to boil.
  • Turn heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes, until the rice thickens.
  • Fill rice pudding in 3-4 dessert dishes.
  • Let cool for 30 minutes.
  • Let cool in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Enjoy!
Grilled Halloumi Cheese salad

Halloumi Salad

Cuisine Greek
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

Shopping list

  • 2 oz pack Halloumi cheese or firm mozzarella or firm tofu about 8each
  • 1 Frisee lettuce or your lettuce of choice
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 baguette

You might have

  • 1-2 oranges
  • 1 tbsp mastic olive oil
  • oil
  • salty & pepper

Instructions
 

Prepare oranges

  • Peel the oranges.
  • With a sharp knife, remove the peel and white pith from the sections.

Mix vinaigrette

  • In a BOWL, mix mastic olive oil with 1 tbsp orange juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Fry cheese

  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat.
  • Cut halloumi into thin slices (8 slices per pack) and fry for about 2 minutes until golden on both sides, and it begins to melt.

Assemble

  • Distribute lettuce on plates.
  • Place cherry tomatoes and orange sections on lettuce.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  • Place halloumi slices on top.
  • Enjoy!
Rice porridge with grilled vegetables

Savory Rice Porridge

Cuisine Greek
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb grilled meat and/or grilled vegetables
  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups broth
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 lemon for juice
  • 1 tbsp parsley chopped
  • 4 tomato/es chopped
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • green cardamom pods
  • 1/2-1 tsp ground mastic
  • salt

Instructions
 

Rice

  • In a POT, add rice, broth, cardamom and salt to taste.
  • Cover. Bring to boil. Turn heat to low. Cook until rice is done.
  • Optional: Add 1/2 cup milk and cook about 5 minutes until the rice thickens
  • Take cardamom out.

Mastic Butter

  • In a small POT, melt butter with ground mastic to taste over low heat.

Serve

  • Drizzle butter over plated rice.
  • Serve with grilled meat and/or veggies.
  • Add a tomato salad seasoned with 1 tbsp lemon juice, fresh parsley, and garlic. No oil.
Orange Semolina Cake

Orange Semolina Cake

Cuisine Greek

Ingredients
  

Shopping list for the batter

  • 1.5 cup semolina
  • 0.5 cup sugar use to taste: up to 0.25less or more
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 0.25-0.5 tsp ground small mastic tears
  • 1.5 cup yogurt
  • 0.5 c milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Shopping list for the syrup

  • 0.75 cup sugar use to taste: 0.25less or up to 0.75more
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 green cardamom pods optional
  • 1 stick cinnamon optional

Shopping list for garnish (optional)

  • 1 orange halved and sliced
  • 0.5 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup ice cream vanilla or orange flavor

Instructions
 

Syrup

  • In a small POT, add bring 0.5 cup of water to boil.
  • Stir in sugar until dissolved.
  • Optional: Add cardamom or cinnamon.
  • Mix in orange juice. Return to a boil.
  • Turn heat to low and cook slowly for about 10 minutes. The syrup shall have thickened but still be runny.
  • Remove and let cool.

Batter

  • In a BOWL, mix semolina with sugar, baking soda, and mastic.
  • Add yogurt, milk, and lemon juice.
  • With an ELECTRIC MIXER, beat until the batter is creamy.

Bake

  • Preheat OVEN to 350°F.
  • Spread a thinly layer of butter onto a BAKING PAN.
  • Pour the batter into the BAKING PAN.
  • Bake for about 1 to 1.5 hours until its baked and lightly golden.
  • If the top turns brown before it fully baked, cover the pan with aluminum foil for the remaining baking time.
  • Take the BAKING PAN out.
  • Pour syrup over hot cake.
  • Let cool.

Serve

  • Sprinkle cake with powdered sugar.
  • Serve cake with orange slices and/or ice cream.

Notes

Here are some Greek cake recipes. For all you can add ground mastic tears to the batter to get this special flavor:
Orange Semolina Cake

Mastic Orange Semolina Cake

Orange Semolina Cake

Orange Semolina Cake

Cuisine Greek

Ingredients
  

Shopping list for the batter

  • 1.5 cup semolina
  • 0.5 cup sugar use to taste: up to 0.25less or more
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 0.25-0.5 tsp ground small mastic tears
  • 1.5 cup yogurt
  • 0.5 c milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Shopping list for the syrup

  • 0.75 cup sugar use to taste: 0.25less or up to 0.75more
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 green cardamom pods optional
  • 1 stick cinnamon optional

Shopping list for garnish (optional)

  • 1 orange halved and sliced
  • 0.5 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup ice cream vanilla or orange flavor

Instructions
 

Syrup

  • In a small POT, add bring 0.5 cup of water to boil.
  • Stir in sugar until dissolved.
  • Optional: Add cardamom or cinnamon.
  • Mix in orange juice. Return to a boil.
  • Turn heat to low and cook slowly for about 10 minutes. The syrup shall have thickened but still be runny.
  • Remove and let cool.

Batter

  • In a BOWL, mix semolina with sugar, baking soda, and mastic.
  • Add yogurt, milk, and lemon juice.
  • With an ELECTRIC MIXER, beat until the batter is creamy.

Bake

  • Preheat OVEN to 350°F.
  • Spread a thinly layer of butter onto a BAKING PAN.
  • Pour the batter into the BAKING PAN.
  • Bake for about 1 to 1.5 hours until its baked and lightly golden.
  • If the top turns brown before it fully baked, cover the pan with aluminum foil for the remaining baking time.
  • Take the BAKING PAN out.
  • Pour syrup over hot cake.
  • Let cool.

Serve

  • Sprinkle cake with powdered sugar.
  • Serve cake with orange slices and/or ice cream.

Notes

Here are some Greek cake recipes. For all you can add ground mastic tears to the batter to get this special flavor:
Rice porridge with grilled vegetables

Savory Rice Porridge

Rice porridge with grilled vegetables

Savory Rice Porridge

Cuisine Greek
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb grilled meat and/or grilled vegetables
  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups broth
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 lemon for juice
  • 1 tbsp parsley chopped
  • 4 tomato/es chopped
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • green cardamom pods
  • 1/2-1 tsp ground mastic
  • salt

Instructions
 

Rice

  • In a POT, add rice, broth, cardamom and salt to taste.
  • Cover. Bring to boil. Turn heat to low. Cook until rice is done.
  • Optional: Add 1/2 cup milk and cook about 5 minutes until the rice thickens
  • Take cardamom out.

Mastic Butter

  • In a small POT, melt butter with ground mastic to taste over low heat.

Serve

  • Drizzle butter over plated rice.
  • Serve with grilled meat and/or veggies.
  • Add a tomato salad seasoned with 1 tbsp lemon juice, fresh parsley, and garlic. No oil.