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cooking with middle eastern spice

Zaatar? Harissa? Heard of these?

So you've attended your co-workers celebration and the food was outstanding. The tastes may be new to you but it's not impossible to re-create. Time to get familiar with spices from around the world and many of them from the Middle East. The internet has made finding recipes and buying exotic ingredients easy so no excuses! Here FaithHaus showcases five favorites and ways to make them yours. 

ZAATAR

zaatar corn on the cob recipe

If you only stock your pantry with one spice make it Zaatar (or Za'atar or Zahatar). Nutty, zesty and herbacous, this blend brings EVERYTHING to life. It's Middle Eastern umami! From pizza to meats to grains (or maybe even on it's own!) this is a multi-tasking spice that lives up to the challenge. You will find it at Jewish and Muslim meals as the spice blend originates from the mid-East and is widely used. Huffington Post hooks us up with multiple recipes for zaatar. (Hint: it's summer time, try the corn!) $15, shop here

ALEPPO MARASH PEPPER BLEND

muhammara recipe epicurious

All the rage and not easy to find. Aleppo Marash Pepper blend is the perfect upgrade to your standard red pepper. Smoky and medium in heat, this Turkish red pepper gives the zing you need. This seductive spice works great in this recipe for Muhammara from Epicurious, a red pepper spread you serve with pita or crackers that's fresh and delicious! $15, shop here

HARISSA

harissa recipe with chicken meatballs

A North African and Middle Eastern spice, you frequently find it mixed into a paste or a condiment. A bit spicy and bold, we love it as an aioli (mixed into olive oil or mayo and garlic!) or as a seasoning on fish or chicken. This recipe from IFoodReal is for Spicy Chicken Meatballs with Balsamic Harissa Sauce- we could eat these daily! $13, shop here 

BAHARAT

roast baharat chicken

Frequently found in Lebanon, Syria, and Israel, Baharat is not as widely known to American foodies. But it should be! A bit of pepper in a sultry blend of cinnamon, coriander, cardomom, cloves and nutmeg. A really nutty and exotic blend that can work in everything from a latte (yes, sprinkle a bit on top for a nutty and spicy take!) to soups and ground meat. This House and Garden chicken recipe is easy and works great for summer dining. They call for you to roast it but we say marinate and grill! $15, shop here

TOGARASHI SPICE

salmon poke with creamy togarashi sauce

Crisp, clean and delicious is togarashi spice! Seaweed and citrus blend with chili pepper and more for a fresh Japanese spice that Paleo lovers should delight in. This fabulous recipe for Salmon Poke  from Cooking with Cocktail Rings has a creamy togarashi spice sauce and we say MAKE THIS for your next potluck and wow the crowd. $14, shop here

So while the roots aren't in faith, spices are used in many cultures and are familiar at celebratory meals. Give your table an international flair with spice blends that take you from basic to fantastic. Happy summer cooking! 

love and light faithhaus

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