The deep, sweet and woody aroma of nutmeg it is appreciated in sweet and savory preparations.
Native to the Banda Islands, in the Moluccas archipelago, in Indonesia, nutmeg contains, according to legend, a treasure of aromas with aphrodisiac properties and medicamentous. In the XNUMXth century, in Europe, its demand was so high that it was worth more than gold. And, in hindsight, he is still a star of our cuisine.
Not only that, they attribute it to nutmeg too analgesic characteristics: in some parts of the world, it is still used to treat toothache and joint pain.
To strengthen its penetrating scent, combine it with cardamom, cloves or cassia. To increase the fruity spiciness they are ideal garlic and juniper. To add depth to the sweetness combine it with pimento. It also goes well with warming spices such as ginger, black pepper and anise.
Nutmeg, the winning combinations
- Spinaci. Grate it over the buttered or creamy spinach and add it to the ravioli filling.
- Lamb. Pour a generous amount of grated over meatballs or Greek moussaka.
- Sauces and drinks. Use it in bechamel sauce, soufflés, Indian golden milk and nutmeg ice cream.
- Bakery sweets. Perfect in panforte and to give that extra touch in cream cakes.
Thus enhances the aroma
Add the nutmeg towards the end of cooking to give a stronger aroma as the oils evaporate quickly.
A recipe with nutmeg to try
7-Spice Chicken and Eggplant Byriami
Ingredients for 4/6 people
for the 7 spices: 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns and allspice berries, 1 teaspoon of cloves, coriander seeds, grated cinnamon, grated nutmeg, grated ginger
for the byriami: 75 g of butter, 4 boneless and skinless chicken legs, 4 cloves, 1 star anise, 8 black peppercorns, 250 g basmati rice, seed oil, 6-8 sliced garlic cloves finely, coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, fresh grated ginger root, 1 teaspoon of "7 spices" (see opposite), red pepper flakes, 2 aubergines cut into 1 cm cubes, 100 g frozen peas
Prepare the 7 spices by chopping the whole ones and mixing them with the others. Melt 25 g of butter in a baking dish and fry the chicken legs with cloves, star anise and peppercorns, then cover with boiling water and bring to a boil. Bake in the oven (preheated to 160 ° C) with a lid. Then remove the meat and spices, leave the cooking liquid and fill the pan with boiling water. Add the rice and a pinch of salt, boil for 7/8 minutes, then drain. Heat some oil in a pan, fry the garlic, then add the ginger, the red pepper flakes, a tablespoon of the 7 spices and a little salt.
Add the boneless chicken and diced eggplant. Fry and season with salt and pepper. In a pan lined with parchment paper, pour a little oil and melted butter, then layer the rice, chicken and eggplant. Cook with the lid on over low heat for 35-45 minutes, adding the peas 15 minutes before the end of cooking.
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