The Spice Trail round-up: peppercorns and allspice

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I’m playing catch up with The Spice Trail this month and bringing you two months’ worth of recipe round-ups in one go. November saw us celebrating the humble peppercorn as a star ingredient in its own right, while in December we showcased recipes using the gorgeous and very versatile allspice berry.

Since I’ve kept you waiting long enough already, let’s crack on with the round-up…

We start with some brilliant peppercorn recipes.

First off, two from Heidi at Eat Like You Love Yourself. She shares her heavenly Mulled Grape Juice (1) featuring peppercorns, cardamom pods, coriander seeds and cinnamon, as well as her buttery Spiced Shortbread (2) served with peppered strawberries and lots of lovely whipped cream.

Next is a beautifully spiced Schezwan Idli and Sambar (3) from Linsey at Home Cook Food. The sambar sounds deliciously fragrant and is extremely versatile – Linsey suggests adding any of your favourite vegetables.

I adore a home-baked and glazed ham and this Maple and Mustard Glazed Ham (4) from Corina at Searching for Spice looks just the business, with its temptingly sweet and spicy sticky glaze.

I’m always on the look-out for new ideas to reduce food waste and these Home-roasted Pumpkin Seeds (5) from By the Way… By Nasifriet are an excellent way to use the leftover seeds when you’re cooking pumpkin. Sweet, fragrant and salty with a mild hint of heat from the chilli flakes and black pepper, they look and sound totally addictive.

And here’s another peppercorn dish from Linsey at Home Cook Food – Indian Potato Sliders (6). They’re also know as Dabeli and are a popular street food in the North West of the Gujarat region, made with spicy mashed potatoes stuffed in bun and served with chutneys, thin Indian noodles, roasted peanuts and pom seeds. Don’t they sound good?

We kick off our next round of peppercorn recipes with my own Black Pepper Chicken (7), a simplified version of a gutsy, Keralan-style chicken curry.

Heidi from Eat Like You Love Yourself offers a third peppercorn recipe in the form of her healthy and vibrant Sprouts with Lemon & Black Pepper (8). Do check out Heidi’s blog post where you’ll also be treated to a fab sprout-related joke and childhood anecdote! 

Although Nasifriet says baking is not usually her cup of tea, this tasty Braided Chilli Bread (9) is something she does like to bake again and again. And I can see why. It’s stuffed with spiced meat, vegetables and cheese, and looks just so satisfying.

A couple more sweet peppercorn treats up next. Firstly we have some delicious Tuscan Panforte Biscotti (10) from the talented Alexandra, aka The Lass In The Apron. It’s a genius idea to use panforte to make biscotti and I could seriously do with one or two of these with my afternoon coffee as I write this…

And then there are my Salt and Pepper Chocolate Truffles (11). The white chocolate truffles are paired with dried strawberry and crushed black peppercorns, while the dark chocolate version feature sea salt and Caramac – a retro confectionary favourite of mine.

Our final peppercorn entry comes from Lapin d’Or & More and is a stunning dish of Cambodian Green Peppercorn Prawns (12). It’s a variation on a dish traditionally made with soft shell crab and uses fresh green peppercorns, which you’ll find available in any Asian market. I’m desperate to give this a try; the photo is making my mouth water big time!

Now we move onto the allspice recipes, and first off here’s my Pot-roast Chicken with Soured Cream and Allspice (13). It’s incredibly easy to make and packed full of flavour for a warming dish that’s just perfect for these cold January days.

Another fabulous winter warmer up next from Sarah at Tales from the Kitchen Shed with her flavourful Spicy Roasted Squash & Apple Soup (14), made with squash from her own pumpkin patch. There’s ginger, garlic and plenty of herbs in there along with the allspice, and I love the addition of the apple too. Yum!

I crave colourful foods at this time of year and this Pomegranate & Pine Nut Pilaf with Cauliflower Pineapple Curry (15) from Gayathri at Spices Galore definitely has my name on it. It looks so good for you and wonderfully satisfying too.

Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog made these pretty Spicy Gingerbread with Limoncello Icing (16) to give as gifts to friends to hang on their Christmas trees, which is such a lovely idea.  They’re inspired by a recipe she found in one of my favourite cookbooks of the moment, What to Bake and How to Bake It, but of course had to include a little chocolate too!

And our final allspice recipe comes from Ema at De Tout Coeur Limousin. It’s a gorgeous dish of Ryba po Grecku (Greek Fish) (17) which she explains is a Polish festive favourite, and is a simple combination of affordable, readily available ingredients that come together to create a delicious dish much greater than the sum of its parts. Looks and sounds so tempting, doesn’t it?

And the winner is…

spice jubilee adagio teas

Our prize this month is a Spice Jubilee gift box from Adagio Teas. This gourmet tea collection features premium black tea from Sri Lanka, flavoured with fresh cranberries, spicy pumpkin and minty candy canes. But who is the lucky winner, I hear you ask! Well, I handed this very tricky decision over to Kristine at Adagio, who has selected (drum roll please)…

Sarah at Tales from the Kitchen Shed for her fantastic Spicy Roasted Squash & Apple Soup. Congratulations Sarah! Your Spice Jubilee gift box will be in the post to you very soon.

Thank you so much to all the bloggers for sharing your peppercorn and allspice recipes. I’ll be announcing a new Spice Trail challenge for January/February in the next few days, so watch this space for all the details.

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