Inside the Spice House – Black Pepper

Black Pepper

Black pepper has been a staple ingredient all over the world for thousands of years! During the spice trade days black pepper was one of the earliest commodities to be traded in the world! It is known as the ‘King of Spices’ with a history dating back to 1,000 BC and was once used as currency and a measure of a man’s wealth. Black Pepper is still one of the most commonly used spices to date.

Black pepper is generally made by grinding peppercorns which are the dried berries or ‘dupes’ from the flowering vine ‘Piper Nigrum’. Black pepper has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, due to its high concentration of the potent beneficial plant compound Piperine, most importantly it boosts absorption of essential nutrients from our daily diet.

With its subtle heat and bold flavour, it can enhance most savoury dishes and even some sweet dishes, try a little sprinkle on fruit. A dash of ground pepper can be a tasty seasoning for cooked vegetables, pasta dishes, meat, fish, poultry and more. It also pairs well with other healthful seasonings, including garlic, lemon zest, cumin, turmeric and cardamom. For an extra kick and a little crunch try coating fish, chicken, tofu and more with coarsely ground pepper corns and a little rock salt. You will find black pepper in most of Spice&Easy’s blends.

One of our favourite blends that includes black pepper is our Baharat Spice Blend. Used in Middle Eastern and Greek cuisine, it’s a complex and intense blend is perfect for meats, veggies and soups!

Here is a recipe we know you will love!

Baharat Chicken and Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Spice&Easy Baharat Spice Blend
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ fresh lemon, juiced
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 2 chicken legs
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 ½ cups brown basmati rice
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup shelled raw almonds
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ⅛ cup shelled raw pistachio nuts
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Instructions

Step 1 – Combine cilantro, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and lemon juice in a resealable plastic bag. Add 1 tablespoon Baharat blend. Add chicken pieces, seal, and shake. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours.

Step 2 – Meanwhile, place rice in a large bowl and cover with fresh water. Soak at least 1 hour. Rinse and drain and return to the bowl. Add cashews, almonds, raising, and pistachios. Stir in 1 tablespoon Baharat blend. Mix well and set aside.

Step 3 – Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Step 4 – Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until translucent, 1 to 3 minutes. Turn off heat. Add rice mixture and toss to coat.

Step 5 – Place rice mixture in oven proof casserole dish. Remove cilantro from the bag with the chicken. Pour marinated chicken on top of the rice in the casserole, reserve bag. Pour broth into the bag and shake gently; pour over the chicken and rice. Place casserole in the oven with the lid on.

Step 6 – Bake in the preheated oven until rice is soft and chicken is no longer pink in the centre and the juices run clear, about 75 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the centre should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

This recipe can be cooked in a slow cooker on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours

Black Pepper Spice Rub

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Black Peppercorns
  • 1.5 tbsp Dried Oregano Leaves
  • 1/3 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 piece Crushed Garlic Cloves

Instructions

  1. Combine peppercorns, oregano, sea salt, and garlic in a dry grinder or spice grinder.
  2. Pulse 8 to 12 times or until the mixture is coarsely to finely ground.
  3. Store in an airtight container

Try making your own Black Pepper Spice Rub for that perfect black pepper flavour. Use as a rub before cooking or as a seasoning to infuse depth of flavour to your dishes! A simple spice blend that does make your meal extra tasty.

Visit us at The Spice House for your spices, herbs and blends or check our web site

www.spiceandeasycyprus.com for more recipes and info

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