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Gourmet on the Go!

Gourmet on the Go!
When not slaving away with only Twitter and mad dog for company, I occasionally have a 'life.' This usually entails cooking for friends, trying far too many wines, and the occasional entire day out. I will post my ramblings, recipes and recommendations here on the 'Gourmet on the Go' blog. Hope you find something of interest!


September 28, 2011

Spiced Blackberry Vodka Recipe

Filed under: Food & Drink Recipes — Tags: , , , , , , , — gourmet-on-the-go @ 2:18 pm

what to do with blackberriesNice recipe photo below huh?  Yes… if you know how to tart up a pic of a plastic bottle holding dark blackberry grog, do let me know!  Anyway, get out into the fields; there are still blackberries to be had, much to my shock and surprise.  I managed to pick just over ½ a kilo last Saturday whilst walking the dog, so wanted to put these prime juicy specimens to good use.

I started to think of the game season which is now almost fully upon us.  Blackberries, spice and game make for very good plate partners.  So, as a shortcut, I thought some spiced blackberry vodka would make a great drink to slurp alongside my game dishes, or even better, to add a burst of flavour to sauces.

Even after just a few days, this spiced vodka tastes delicious, with all the individual flavours coming through.  I shall leave it to brew for a couple of months yet and then try adding to a sauce, or slow cooked dish of either venison or duck.  Oh yes…

Spiced Blackberry Vodka Recipe

Spiced Blackberry Vodka Recipe
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Beautiful sweet, plump blackberries with star anise, cinnamon and just an edge of lemon make for a winning combination in this home made liqueur. You don't need to over spend on the vodka, a supermarkets own label will be fine.
  • 75cl bottle of vodka
  • 300g blackberries
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 medium cinnamon stick
  • 2 slices of lemon rind (about ¼ of a large lemon, rind removed with a veg peeler)
  • 1 litre empty bottle - plastic or glass
  1. Make sure your litre bottle is clean and sterile – either clean with boiling water or use a campden tablet
  2. Give your blackberries a good wash in a colander and pick out any stalks etc
  3. Use a large necked funnel to put into your bottle and pour in the blackberries, then the sugar, vodka, spices and lemon peel.
  4. Screw the lid on the bottle, give it a good shake and place in the fridge.
  5. Shake every day for the first week and then now and again for up to 3 months.
  6. After a maximum of 3 months, sieve off the vodka from the ingredients and bottle. You can use the fruit for a fabulously fruity drunken blackberry fool, or a potent crumble.


April 21, 2011

Ras el Hanout Recipe – Make your barbeque sing with this spice blend king.

Filed under: Food & Drink Recipes — Tags: , , , , , , — gourmet-on-the-go @ 4:10 pm

ras-el-hanout-recipeThe sun is shining, so, what more reason do you need to bring out the barbeques?  Forget about piling your plate high with burnt offerings, add some spice and flavour to your life with a fabulous Ras-al Hanout spice mix.

Ras el hanout or Rass el hanout, is a North African spice blend, also known as ‘top of the shop, as the blend is usually made from the best spices available’.  Now there are a multitude of ras al hanout recipes out there, some featuring up to 100 ingredients!  However, the main base ingredients are usually coriander, cumin, black peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli and turmeric.

My recipe below uses the main popular ingredients, with just a few extra spices to make the mix magical.  This can be used as a marinade, in sauces and stews, or added to couscous for a flavour punch.

Yes, you can buy Ras el hanout mixes in the shops, although for the sake of a few minutes effort you can make your own spice blend and really taste the difference.  Try it – you won’t regret it…

Ras El Hanout Reciperas-el-hanout-spices

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 3-inch piece of cinnamon stick (cassia bark)
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1?2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1?2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1?2 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1?2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1?4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Generous pinch saffron threads
1 teaspoon sea salt

Place the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, allspice berries, fennel seeds, black peppercoms, cloves, and cardamom seeds in a small frying pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, for one minute or until spices become fragrant. Be careful not to burn. Allow to cool. Place all the ingredients into a food processor or spice mill and process until quite fine.

Store in an airtight container and keep in dark, cool cupboard for up to a month.

Marinade Tip: Mix one tablespoon of Ras el hanout with a tablespoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of olive oil and 2 cloves of crushed garlic.  Rub the marinade into chicken or lamb.  Marinade for 4 to 6 hours (or overnight) and then barbeque.  Leave your meat to rest and then sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander – beautiful!

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