Editors Note: Yesterday you got to see how a pack of 12 spices inspired bobby to create an intricate lamb and couscous dish. Today, you’ll find out how JoeHoya reinterpreted those same Tunisian spices. And tomorrow – we’ll leave it up to ES readers to pick the Who Cooked It Better: Spice Master.
Spice Master Contender: JoeHoya
When the Who Cooked It Better gauntlet was thrown down, I couldn’t help but smile. As anyone who knows me can tell you, most of my kitchen improvisations involve cumin, paprika, chili powder, or a combination of the three. Working three of the spices from the Tunisian fun-pack wouldn’t be the problem – editing would. I needed to find a dish that highlighted the spices without going overboard.
And I wanted to do my best to incorporate that elusive Tunisian flare, so I did some reading and found out that Tunisian cuisine involves a fair amount of seafood (I also found a recipe for a pine nut pudding and a garlicky chickpea soup, but I figured both would be dismissed as obvious pandering to BS and Gansie).
In the end, I turned to John Ash’s “From the Earth to the Table,” a cookbook my wife and I picked up after we saw it in a winery in Temecula, California. We’ve found some real winners in this book before, and Elizabeth reminded me that one of them is a delicious tomato-curry soup served with riso (a rice-like pasta, similar to orzo only smaller and easier to overcook.)
Full disclosure – I’m not really a recipe person. I like to use them more as inspirations than blueprints, adding ingredients that make sense (or that I happen to have on hand.) In this case, however, I tried to stay relatively close to the original recipe and then supplement or replace with the Tunisian spices we had to work with.
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