Searching for Spices

I really believe that spices make a dish go from good to great.  I am always looking for spices to add to my drawer… anything unique or just different from what I already have.  So, during my recent travels, I was on the hunt.   In Napa Valley, I found some rich and unique spices at the St. Helena Olive Oil Company.  In a place where fruit comes directly from the land, I knew this store was going to be a winner.

I bought four spices… fresh herbs de provence (which my mother swears by, and I do now, too), poultry spice rub, beef spice rub, and truffle sea salt.  The truffle sea salt is something I have never seen before, and the rubs were intriguing to me because everyone puts something different in their own meat rub.

(there is also another salt/spice packet from Australia under there)

This week, I couldn’t wait to try out the new spices.  I cooked chicken breast simply… I put the chicken rub on the top of each chicken breast along with a slice of lemon, and baked for about a half hour at 375 degrees.  The spices were so flavorful, I didn’t need to do anything else to the chicken.  The ingredients are sea salt, garlic, onion, sugar, paprika, mustard, rosemary, sage, thyme, basil, cayenne pepper.  So, even if you can’t make it to Napa Valley, you could make your own spice rub with these basics.

As for the veggies… I cut up a summer squash and an orange pepper.  I baked the slices on a baking sheet, with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of the truffle sea salt (also at 375 degrees).  I then toasted some pine nuts and celery seed in a pan over low heat for just a couple of minutes.  Pour the nuts over the veggies, add a squeeze of lemon juice, and serve.  Delicious!  It was a unique combination, and very tasty!

Happy Allergy Free Eating!


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