The Spiciest Trends of the Year



 
Your meals, enhanced with flavour
Recently, we were invited by the folks at McCormick to get to know the hottest trends in spices (stay with us) for this year. Intrigued, we partook in a delicious menu at the hands of Canadian chef Danny St-Pierre, and explored new ways to infuse spices into our food with the eight hottest flavour trends below.

 

1. Smoked Spices. Adding a smoky flavour to your herbs and spices, either in the smoker or over the stovetop, is a great way to deepen their flavour. We enjoyed some bourbon made with smoked tea, pepper and lemon.

2. Middle Eastern Mezze. Tasty bites with a Middle Eastern twist, we enjoyed a fresh rolled-up zucchini with labneh, as well as carrots marinated in orange juice and topped with sesame seeds.

3. Liquid Revolution. This is a unique way to add more fruits and veggies to your meal. Simply blending juices and purées with spices can take foods to a whole other level. On the menu? Fresh trout over a bed of puréed apples, topped with caraway seeds and julienned apples.

 

4. Global Blends on the Move. For a more worldly taste, we wolfed down roasted sweet potatoes with Japanese 7 Spice and aged cheddar, wrapped in a buckwheat crepe. Savoury, and utterly sublime.

5. Sour + Salt. You may have heard of sweet and salt, but replacing the former in favour of something tart and tangy is what’s “in” this year. Our meal consisted of beef over a cranberry sauce that was seasoned with sea salt.

 

6. Flavour Worth the Wait. All good things in life are worth a long wait, which is why comfort food slow-cooked to perfection is the go-to food for many during the cold winter months. And, oh, the aromas! We enjoyed a savoury, Indian-inspired chicken Vindaloo, with a spicy, aromatic blend of Garam Masala, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, ground mustard and crushed cayenne pepper.

7. Umami Veggies. Not many of us have heard of “umami”. We’re familiar with the four basic tastes—sour, sweet, salty, bitter—but this fifth taste falls into a more savoury category, the kind that simply makes your mouth water. On our plate? A mushroom “bomb” that certainly let out an explosion of flavours in our mouth. (See recipe below.)

8. Cookies Reimagined. Is a cookie just a cookie? Not here! Taking this simple treat to a whole other plane is possible with the right ingredients and a whole lot of imagination. Such as a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookie with a dollop of creamy white chocolate, raspberries, and rose-infused honey. Yum!
Umami Bomb
Ingredients
– 24 button mushrooms
– 2 tbsp. butter
– ½ tsp. Club House onion powder
– 1 tbsp. Club House paprika
– ¼ tsp. McCormick Gourmet coarse grind black pepper
– ¼ tsp. McCormick Gourmet caraway seeds
– ½ c. tomato paste
– 1 c. grated parmesan cheese, divided
– ¼ c. balsamic vinegar
– ¼ c. soy sauce
– 2 tsp Thai Kitchen premium fish sauce
– 1 c. panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Method
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place a nonstick skillet on stove over medium heat to preheat.Carefully remove the mushroom stems and finely chop them. Set aside the mushroom caps. Sauté the mushrooms in butter until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the spices, tomato paste, ½ cup of parmesan cheese, vinegar, soy sauce and fish sauce. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.Fill reserved mushroom caps with mushroom mixture. Sprinkle tops with panko and remaining ½ cup of parmesan cheese.Place on a baking sheet and cook in the preheated oven until the toppings are golden brown, 10-15 minutes.

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