Update...I've decided on a recipe for my signature dish!! My ingredient choices are...Tellicherry Pepper, Dried Aji Panca Chili, Wild Porcini Mushrooms, Smoked Sea Salt and Dulse Seaweed...I'm going shopping this Saturday to purchas all my other ingredients and will be spending Sunday and Monday preparing my dish...keep your fingers and toes crossed so I don't burn or ruin anything. What you see on the plate is all I have to work with and if something goes wrong... I'm in deep dodo!!
Rushing home in a blizzard last night, I was hopeful to find my treasure box filled with gourmet goodies from Marx Foods. Sure enough, my little box was sitting on the first step just inches away from the wet and snowy conditions. I ran inside with my treasure, eager to unveil it's gourmet contents.
As I sliced open the box, my senses were overcome with the sweet, smokey and pungent aromas of the contents. What treasures inside this tiny box could offer such an array if diversity to my senses?
Let's take a look at each item individually, starting with the most intriguing.
The Dulse Seaweed is one of the most intriguing ingredients in the box. The smell is nothing like most seaweed varietals I've eaten or cooked with. The fragrance reminded me of tobacco, slightly sweet and earthy. Filled with antioxidants this seaweed is a super-food! I'm really hoping to incorporate Dulse seaweed into my signature dish!
A delightful aroma with a light hint of licorice and lemon, crisp and refreshing.
Dried chilies generally have very little aroma until reconstituted in water. The Anji Panca Chilies have just a hint of the smells reminiscent of my youth, while living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I adore red and green chilies and the foods of the South West. I learned how to eat some of the finest Mexican food on the planet at a very young age, thanks to my parents! I'm really looking forward to comparing the taste and heat of these lovely chilies to my favorite New Mexican dried red Chilies.
Naturally smoked, the fine, black grains conjure up the smell of a camp fire but with a sweetness that is indescribable for salt. This salt is filled with layers and layers of complexity, smooth salinity that's not overpowered by the natural smokiness. I love sea salt and this one ranks very high on my scale of perfectly balanced and tasty.
A vanilla bean soaked in Bourbon...yup, that's a match made in heaven! Plump, and filled with flavor, I can't wait to slice open the brown slender bean to reach the lusciousness inside...YUM!
Wow! I'm not much for maple flavor but this sugar was the bomb! Growing up with Aunt Jamima on the table I never became accustom to the "real" flavor of maple syrup. To strong for my taste in it's natural form, but not overpowering in the least, in this fine sugar.
After being introduced to Tellicherry Peppers four years ago, I haven't cooked with any other variety since!! A complex little peppercorn with fruitiness and good heat, is a staple in my kitchen!