Cookbook Comfort Classics


with Stephanie Bullen
Chief Flavor Advisor
February 24, 2015
Tags: Bread Caramel Comfort Food cookbook Lamb meatball Soup Spice to Plate Toast

We all know that comfort food has a universal appeal…but what is comfort food? Truly, that depends on who you ask. What you might find is that, regardless of the culture or cuisine, comfort food tends to be hearty and filling, often starchy or carb heavy, and fairly simply – not fussy. It’s the treats our nana or uncle baked and the roasts that mom or grandpa proudly laid on the Sunday dinner table.

Winter is a great time to indulge in these warm childhood favorites. With arctic blasts storming through much of the country, we thought this was a good week to sneak a peek at some of our favorite comfort foods from Savory Spice Shop’s first cookbook, Spice to Plate.
 

Spice to Plate is Savory’s first cookbook featuring 30 recipes using 10 of our signature spice blends.


While comfort food varies from culture to culture, some plates (or bowls) are classics in any cuisine. In taking a tour through Spice to Plate you’ll see a variety of cultural influences, cuisines, and flavors represented.


Lamb Meatball & Orzo Soup
This dish actually started as one of the classic Midwest comfort foods: casserole. Through recipe testing and feedback, it developed into a different but still quintessential comfort food…soup. More than the sum of its parts, hearty meatballs and tender orzo are complemented by sweet carrots and barely wilted spinach. The crowning glory though is the bright, lemony broth. Hidden Cove Lemon Garlic Blend imparts a familiar flavor and fresh dill is the finishing accent. Savory Spice Shop owner and recipe tester Able Blakley (Oklahoma City, OK) enjoyed it so much that he, “made a double batch of this soup for Easter lunch and it was a bit hit…I will totally make (it) again!”




Caramelized Carrot Risotella
You’re probably wondering what ‘risotella’ is. Well, if you’ve never heard of it, you’re not alone. This word (and dish) is a mash-up of the Italian classic, risotto, and Spanish favorite, paella. While the idea of marrying these two comfort foods sounds brilliant, you may know how laborious risotto is and how time-consuming paella can be. This vegetarian version is much easier, with the dish covered and left to cook on the stove, but delivers a hearty flavor that is perfect for a snowy evening in. The flavor of earthy herbs and sharp brown mustard seeds in Bohemian Forest European Style Seasoning adds dimension to the sweet flavor of caramelized carrots and shallots. Another owner and recipe tester, Stephanie Birn (Savory Spice Shop, Encinitas, CA), describes this as, “a colorful and simple dish.”




French Onion Roast on Toast
We’ve already talked about the quintessential comfort food, soup. Imagine a rich French onion soup, caramelized onions, and a bit of salty cheese. Now, throw in a perfectly seasoned roast, so tender it’s falling apart. Oh, and it’s seasoned with an all-purpose favorite – a blend of paprika, earthy seeds, and garlic: Homestead Seasoning. Is your mouth watering yet? The end result is almost like an open faced sandwich—shredded bits of roast and slices of cheese on a thickly sliced baguette, topped with a pile of caramelized onions, and all of it drowning in a hearty, comforting broth. This was among our recipe testers’ favorite dishes and for good reason! Owner and recipe tester Michael Sandhoff (Savory Spice Shop, Southlands/Aurora, CO) adds a pro tip, “Sprinkling the extra Homestead over each serving at the end is a must.”




Salted Caramel Monkey Bread
Sticky, sweet, doughy…it’s everything you want a treat to be. Baker’s Brew Coffee Spice is a customer-favorite blend. It infuses the caramel in this recipe with the rich flavors of coffee and cocoa. We didn’t stop there though; the monkey bread also features the sweet flavor of banana paired with more of the Baker’s Brew. The result is an indulgent sweet treat that begs to be picked at. You’ll find yourself snagging a bit every time you walk through the kitchen. Recipe tester and owner Susan Kirkpatrick (Savory Spice Shop, Fort Collins, CO) shared, “I served this for Sunday brunch with three generations of family at the table. Our young grandchildren loved the name ‘Monkey Bread’ and ate it with gusto!”

 

 

We hope these teasers inspire you to take a closer look at Spice to Plate. For a behind the scenes look at the how we created 30 recipes featuring 10 signature spice blends, read through The Making of a Cookbook.


The Cookbook Crew: 8 People. 12 Job Titles. 220 Days.

Purchase Spice to Plate to make one of these unique twists on comfort food classics. Each book comes with one free (4 fl. oz.) jar of a featured seasoning. You can also purchase a customizable 4-jar gift set or a 10-jar gift set that includes all of the cookbook’s featured seasonings.

If you have already cooked some of the recipes in Spice to Plate, we’d love to hear from you. What recipes are your new comfort food favorites?


Comments on this Article


Demaris Arellano (guest), on February 26, 2015

Are any of the recipes in your cookbook vegan, gluten-free or paleo? I eat whatever the hell I want but my sister-in-law is a real Miss Snooty Snoot and can't eat shit.

sbullen (registered user) on February 26, 2015

Hi Demaris. Using different seasonings, some of the recipes in the book are or could easily be adapted to be paleo friendly. Nearly all of the blends we have used contain salt or sugar so it will depend on how strict those dietary restrictions are. We didn't write the recipes for the cookbook with a paleo diet in mind.

Most of the recipes in the book can easily be modified for vegan and gluten-free diets. Some of the recipes already meet the criteria: Potato Parsnip Soup and Mango Coconut Sorbet, for example. The Caramelized Carrot Risottella uses Arborio rice, which is gluten-free and you could substitute a soy yogurt or silken tofu for the mascarpone cheese. I've listed some of our quick and easy modification notes below. Hopefully that helps with some ideas!

Many of the recipes that include meat could easily be modified to omit it completely or to use a soy protein or tofu substitute: Chilean Shepherd's Pie (ground beef), Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Chicken Biryani, Strawberry BBQ Skewers. There's a delicious recipe for Acorn Squash Salad Rounds - made vegan simply by leaving the cheese off.

As for the gluten-free aspect, while we haven't tested the recipes with alternative flours, you could certainly try substituting a high-quality gluten-free flour. For the recipes that contain bread (Portobello Sandwich or Dill Pickle Roll Ups) you can easily swap in a gluten-free bread.

It's a bit of a tricky request but we're sure your sister-in-law is used to making creative modifications!

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