Category Archives: 30 Days of Ingredients

Day Thirty – the last day!

Thank you to every every everyone that supported, pledged, retweeted, reposted, and took the time to read the 30 Day of Ingredients posts! It has been super fun to write them, I hope you all have shared in my fun by reading them (and I hope there was some inspiration that happened too!).

Our last day is something strange, and (at least to me) exciting.

I went shopping yesterday to get food for our party tonight (you can read about that here) and I purchase two kinds of spring roll wrappers – one was the normal thin kind, and then I purchased a thicker kind with Sesame Seeds inside, like this:

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It says “Spring Roll Wrapper” on the package – so, like a normal spring roll wrapper, I soaked it in water to soften it. But it didn’t work, it never got very soft. Then my dear friend Joe mentioned that it also says  “microwave for 2 minutes” on the package as well. Well, that just sounds crazy to me.

What is it microwaving going to do?

Let me tell you people – it was magic. Here is a video of what happened.

So…as you can see – I couldn’t quite “wrap a spring roll” with it, but it did turn into a beautiful crisp cracker like thing (that I will also be serving at the party tonight). This is what it looked like cooked:

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What

the

what?

Please don’t hesitate to give in the final hours of our journey through Kickstarter – you can read about our Stretch Goal to find out what we will do with the the money that extends us past our goal.

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30 Days of Ingredients is part of a Kickstarter Campaign for our upcoming book, Shop Like A Chef. The culinary guide book to St. Louis promises to get you out of the mega-store and into the small local shops full of exciting ingredients and inspiring products.

If you would like to learn more about Shop Like A Chef, please check us our here and here – and don’t hesitate to contribute to our Kickstarter. And, as always, Keep Cooking!

Day Twenty Nine – Calamarata Pasta

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Just one more day in our journey of Kickstarter fun!

Today’s ingredient is dried pasta from DiGregorio’s on The Hill. It’s called Calamarata in reference to its shape (which is like rings of calamari).

Both DiGregorio’s and Viviano’s on The Hill have tons of fun shaped dry pasta.

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30 Days of Ingredients is part of a Kickstarter Campaign for our upcoming book, Shop Like A Chef. The culinary guide book to St. Louis promises to get you out of the mega-store and into the small local shops full of exciting ingredients and inspiring products.

If you would like to learn more about Shop Like A Chef, please check us our here and here – and don’t hesitate to contribute to our Kickstarter. And, as always, Keep Cooking!

Day Twenty Eight – Dried Limes (Black Limes)

A few days ago my uncle introduced me to these interesting little things:

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They are completely dried limes, also called black limes – I have seen them in potpourri before, but as a cooking ingredient……WHAT? So I did a little research. Here is what I found:

They are called black limes because inside they are black, and sometimes the outside is black as well. Like this:

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They originate from the Middle East where they are boiled in salt water and then sun dried – which renders them practically indestructible and ageless. They are sold whole or powdered (I have seen them powdered, labeled as loomi) and have a sour, citrusy, bitter, and slightly smoky flavor. They are used in soups and stews, simply pierce the hard fruit and drop it in the cooking liquid – it will imbue the dish with   wonderful tang. Or crush them (cut them in half, remove the seeds, and grind in a spice grinder or if you want a work out – a mortar and pestle) or buy the powder and add it to rice as it cooks, sprinkle it on chicken or fish, or mix it into your favorite spice rub.

I have seen these at Jay’s on South Grand – but I am sure if you keep your eyes open, you will find them easily. Be sure to rinse them before you use them.

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30 Days of Ingredients is part of a Kickstarter Campaign for our upcoming book, Shop Like A Chef. The culinary guide book to St. Louis promises to get you out of the mega-store and into the small local shops full of exciting ingredients and inspiring products.

If you would like to learn more about Shop Like A Chef, please check us our here and here – and don’t hesitate to contribute to our Kickstarter. And, as always, Keep Cooking!

Day Twenty Seven – Yellow Mustard Seeds

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A few years ago I discovered the wonder of mustard seeds, that incredible little spicy pop in your mouth when you add them to a dish – or grind them up to make your own mustard. Mustard seed is another “ancient food,” used in a metaphor by Jesus and known to humans many hundreds of years before that. These tiny yellow (or sometime black) seeds grow into a gigantic bush with beautiful yellow flowers.

You can find mustard seeds at the base of many Indian and Pakistani dishes, or in the pickles and mustards of Eastern Europe. You can sprout these seeds for spicy little sprouts or add them to chili for a great flavor and texture.

I got this bottle at Penzeys Spices in Maplewood on the Manchester strip. That place is a spice wonderland! Find just about anything you need – and you can even smell (or taste) everything before purchasing.

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30 Days of Ingredients is part of a Kickstarter Campaign for our upcoming book, Shop Like A Chef. The culinary guide book to St. Louis promises to get you out of the mega-store and into the small local shops full of exciting ingredients and inspiring products.

If you would like to learn more about Shop Like A Chef, please check us our here and here – and don’t hesitate to contribute to our Kickstarter. And, as always, Keep Cooking!

Day Twenty Six – Tindora

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This cute cucumber-like vegetable is ubiquitous in Indiam Cuisine. It has a crisp texture and mild flavor, and is also known as an ivy gourd. Tindora is often found pickled, or in curries and chutneys. I think mine heavily spiced with cumin seeds and sauteed with ghee!

I got these little devils at Seema on Page – this is a wonderful Indian grocery with a huge selection and a super helpful gentleman behind the counter. You can find all kinds of spices, flours, snacks, and frozen treats.

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30 Days of Ingredients is part of a Kickstarter Campaign for our upcoming book, Shop Like A Chef. The culinary guide book to St. Louis promises to get you out of the mega-store and into the small local shops full of exciting ingredients and inspiring products.

If you would like to learn more about Shop Like A Chef, please check us our here and here – and don’t hesitate to contribute to our Kickstarter. And, as always, Keep Cooking!

Day Twenty Five – Lemon Squeezer

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I know this isn’t exactly an ingredient, but this citrus squeezer is an essential tool in any kitchen. Think fresh lime for your margaritas, fresh lemon on your fish, and get rid of that overly bitter store bought lemon and lime juice. Fresh citrus has a sweetness that can’t be replicated. Oh, and did I mention that there is no better and easier way of getting all the juice out of the fresh fruit.

I got this lovely yellow juicer at Kitchen Conservatory on Clayton – where they have just about every piece of equipment and gadget you could possibly, as well as over 600 cooking classes a year.

Get a chance to win this, and other great goodies, at our Kick-Down Party on May 24th at Salt on Lindell Blvd from 7pm to 11pm – where we are going to count down the last hours of our Kickstarter. We will have food from various St. Louis Foodie Neighborhoods (think Cherokee Street and Olive Chinatown).

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30 Days of Ingredients is part of a Kickstarter Campaign for our upcoming book, Shop Like A Chef. This culinary guide book to St. Louis promises to get you out of the mega-store and into the small local shops full of exciting ingredients and inspiring products.

If you would like to learn more about Shop Like A Chef, please check us our here and here – and don’t hesitate to contribute to our Kickstarter. And, as always, Keep Cooking!

Day Twenty Four – Mung Beans

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These almost perfectly round little green jewels were first domesticated in Mongolia over 6 thousand years ago. This slightly sweet bean is high in vitamin C, protein, and niacin and sprouts into those ubiquitous crunchy bean sprouts in your St. Paul sandwich (and many other asian dishes).

I got this bag at New Dawn on Arsenal near Grand, a small health food store in South City. New Dawn has a small, but diverse, selection of organic and all-natural foods. From fruit and nut bars to dairy-free milk and non-gmo grains.

Use these little beauties for hummus, add to your next curry, or make a lovely mung salad with crisp celery, toasted walnuts, green onion, and creamy avocado.

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30 Days of Ingredients is part of a Kickstarter Campaign for our upcoming book, Shop Like A Chef. This culinary guide book to St. Louis promises to get you out of the mega-store and into the small local shops full of exciting ingredients and inspiring products.

If you would like to learn more about Shop Like A Chef, please check us our here and here – and don’t hesitate to contribute to our Kickstarter. And, as always, Keep Cooking!