One of the things we love about the internet in the last few days of December are the various ‘best of the year’ posts and articles that surface– best places to eat, most ‘pinned’ images, 6 best pictures on Instagram… you know this only too well, don’t you? One of the best things to happen to us in 2016, was the discovery of SPRIG! We love their range of offerings and the difference they have made to our cooking this year. But 2016 is not wrapped up yet! We still have year-end parties coming! And since most of you always ask us for help with ideas for entertaining here is a round- up of our experiments with SPRIG’s products in 2016 to help you with some ideas for your soiree –
1. Wasabi Cheese Ball with Crackers- That’s right, wasabi isn’t just for sushi! Combine cream cheese and cheddar, with a smidgen of SPRIG’s Wasabi paste and a dash of garlic powder, form into walnut sized balls and roll in a mixture of sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds… Yes, this heady mix of textures and flavours will add oomph to your party platters!?
2. Whole Wheat Crackers – Do you know what can add the ‘wow’ factor to simple, wholesome crackers? SPRIG’s Chipotle salt! A couple of rounds of this from the handy bottle over your crackers before you bake them will add oodles of texture and flavour to them. Serve with one of their lovely dipping sauces stirred into hung yogurt or mayonnaise.
3. Tempura with Flavoured Sea Salts –As pakora-loving Indians, it comes as no surprise that we take to tempura so easily. Flavoured sea salts are considered the epitome of gourmet cooking these days. And may we say we are thrilled that thanks to SPRIG, we don’t have to lug these back in our suitcases from trips abroad anymore! Use these to add that ‘wow’ factor, by serving fresh tempura with flavoured sea salt for dipping instead of the traditional soy sauce. The salt crystals make for a gem-like coating on the crisp tempura and the texture… and the crackle of sea salt followed by the crunch of tempura and the juicy bite of a vegetable or prawn is sublime! Umm… did we mention that SPRIG’s Celery Infused Sea Salt is a particularly great option for this?
4. Palm Sugar and Chipotle-Spiced Nuts –When hosting a party, it’s always a good idea to park a bowl of nuts on the table. But plain old cashews and almonds can be a bit boring, so we like to add our signature touch to them by melting some butter and adding a mix of SPRIG’s Mexican Chipotle Powder and their Coconut Sugar (not too sweet and reminiscent of jaggery) to make a coating for the nuts before lightly toasting them in the oven.
(P.S: We want to share in the interest of mutual food love that the heady aroma that drifts from the oven while you make these is worth packaging up!! )
5. Savoury Madeleines – You’ve always known them to be sweet, but savoury madeleines, made with instant polenta, make for a quick and impressive appetiser. When it comes to SPRIG, we find it best to let their spice blends do the hard work for us! Their Genoa spice blend has a medley of flavours that include olive oil, tomato and oregano that when added to madeleine batter results in unmistakably Italian versions of these favoured baked delights!
6. Chicken Popcorn –SPRIG’s Syracuse spice blend, with hints of nutmeg, parsley, lime, chives and tomato adds lovely nuances of flavour to Fried Chicken, especially from the South. We like to add a sprinkling of this spice blend to the crumb coating before deep frying it. Trust us, you will never miss a certain Fried Chicken chain once you’ve tried Chicken Popcorn, our way!
7. Harissa Prawns–Just as the Syracuse spice blend captures the essence of America; SPRIG’s Harissa Paste does the same for the flavours of North Africa. Prawns cook very quickly, so our favourite little trick is to marinate them with SPRIG’s Harissa Paste for no more than 20 minutes and then string them on wooden skewers and grill them. That’s it! In no time, you have an appetiser, steeped in the earthy spices from Africa.
Chicken Mole Quesadillas –The folks in Mexico don’t shy away from using chillies, but they have perfected the art of balancing chilli heat with rich chocolate without any sweet notes as you would expect from chocolate. This secret, is packaged and captured in SPRIG’s Mexican Mole Paste. Best used by searing chicken, and finishing it with stock and the paste. Effortless Chicken Mole that would have otherwise taken us forever to make is ready! Use to stuff tortillas top with your favourite cheese for Chicken Mole Quesadillas!
8. Peppercorn Sables –If there is one ingredient that we feel Indian kitchens use too little of, it is peppercorn! In spite of being the one of the largest producers of this beautiful spice! Try SPRIG’s peppercorn, or take it a notch higher and use the SPRIG Six Pepper Medley ( consists of Black, White, Green, Sichuan, Pink and Cubeb Peppercorns) in simple, savoury sable biscuits, with a hint of parmesan , for a quick, peppery appetiser that lets each variety of peppercorn shine through!
9. Roasted Tomato Soup Shots – Eating a bowl of soup at parties can be clumsy, so we like to serve it in shot glasses instead. Slow-roast tomatoes with a sprinkling of SPRIG’s Smoked Paprika for a hint of chilli and depth of flavour in this classic recipe. The mild chilli adds more flavour than spice, so you can safely serve it to kids too!
And this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what SPRIG has inspired in our kitchen, Here’s to loads more cooking, baking and of course, experimenting with SPRIG’s gourmet line-up in 2017! In case you want to stock up, here remember that APB food lovers get a special discount of SPRIG. Click through here and use ‘apbcookstudio’ on checkout to avail a special discount.