Foodie Blogroll

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Green Seasoning

I picked up a bottle of Green Seasoning at my local natural foods store. I have never heard of it before, but the ingredients sounded good. Spanish thyme, French thyme, celery,chives, leeks, culantro, garlic, peppers etc...

When I got home I had to research it.
Green seasoning is a blend of fresh herbs used in West Indian cooking. The herb mixture varies slightly from island to island or by cook. It's like Dukkah, chai, za atar and other spice blend recipes, each family or area has tweaked it to their liking and has there own recipe.
The brand I got was Trinidad Country Style, and was bright green in color. I found some photos on line from http://www.chilliworld.com/ and http://www.trinigourmet.com/ . Then I had to search for some recipes on how to use it.


I found one from Sweet Hands: Island Cooking From Trinidad And Tobago (Hippocrene Cookbook Library), by Ramin Ganeshram, (2006, Hippocrene Boooks)

Dad's Curried Chicken
www.fabulousfoods.com/recipes/article/127/19733
East Indians account for nearly half the population of Trinidad and curry is a staple ingredient throughout the country. Religious food proscriptions against beef and pork among Trinidad East Indians of Hindu and Muslim descent make chicken the most widely consumed meat, so it's only natural that curried chicken is practically a national dish. This is my father's version.
Ingredients: 1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces, skin removed
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons green seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 Scotch bonnet pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup curry powder
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium-size onion, diced
1 cup chicken stock or water
Instructions: Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and mix with lemon juice. Drain, rinse the chicken with cold water, and rinse again. Remove the chicken from the bowl and pat dry with paper towels.
Place the chicken in another bowl with the green seasoning, salt, hot pepper, and garlic. Toss well to coat and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes but ideally overnight.

Combine the curry powder with just enough water to form a thick paste. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the curry paste and onion. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes over medium-low heat. Do not allow the curry to scorch. Add the chicken pieces and stir well to coat. Add the stock, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken is tender. Remove the lid and simmer for 5 minutes more over medium-high heat, until the sauce reduces by one-third. Serve with roti or white rice.

It was very good and I found I can use the green seasoning for several things, it's good on fish too. In Trinidad they marinate the meats hours or the day before. They will also make their own green seasoning in batches that will last them a week. I think I might try that next time. Here are a couple recipes I am going to work from.

Ingredients: all fresh
chives
oregano
fine leaf thyme (French Thyme)
broad leaf thyme (Spanish thyme or Cuban oregano)
sweet basil
parsley
celery
(and any other you may wish to add, but not garlic or onion, those can be added each time you season meat )
salt
vinegar

Method:

1) Wash herbs and cut up very small or blend in blender in vinegar ( don't add water)
2) Add salt and mix well, then place in a clean bottle and keep in the fridge
Ingredients:
1 bundle of Culantro (about 1-2 cups) you can use cilantro if you can't find culantro
1 stalk of celery (include leaves if you have it)
1 head or garlic (about 11 cloves)
4 green onions (or leeks)
1 bunch of fresh thyme (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup of water
pinch of salt (optional)
2-3 shallots (optional)
2 pimento peppers (1 banana pepper )