Sunday, May 01, 2011

Spice Rack Challenge May: Coriander

Most people don't know about coriander, which is the seed of cilantro.  I've got a jar of ground coriander kicking around in my spice cabinet that I bought to make Orangette's slow roasted tomatoes, which is a great use of the spice.   But I was wondering what else I can do with it....can I substitute it for cilantro in guacamole or salsa?  I don't know but I want to learn!

Reading online, I've learned that the commonest use of coriander seed is in curry powders.  In fact, in Indian cooking, the term "coriander" is used instead of cilantro, which confused me for a while.  The seeds can be used in stews and soups. They blend well with smoked meats and game and like Italian mortadella sausage, which is what we call "bologna" here in the USA.    Coriander is an ingredient of garam masala, pickling spices and pudding spices and is used in cakes, breads and other baked foods. Sugared comfits made from the seeds are a traditional sweetmeat and breath sweetener.  Coriander is a characteristic of  Middle Eastern cookery, used in lamb and meat stuffings. Coriander with cumin is a common combination and features in falafel Coriander goes well with ham and pork, especially when orange is included. It enhances fish dishes and, with other spices, may form a delicious coating for spiced fish or chicken, rubbed  Coriander complements chili and is included in many chili recipes, such as harissa, the hot North African red pepper sauce. It may be added to cream or cottage cheese.

Post your recipes from May 14 - May 20 to be included in this month's roundup, which will happen on May 25.   Maybe spring will have sprung for us by then!  It's been chilly and rainy this week in Michigan.  The river is running really, I watched the fire department rescue a guy who got caught up in the hydraulics near the Mast Rd. bridge in Dexter with his kayak.   The water's still too cold to be in it for very long.   Hopefully he is having a nice hot toddy somewhere tonight by a warm fire, whoever he is.  And maybe spring will get here soon in earnest.   

1 comment:

Tricia said...

I just found a recipe that I plan to make for dinner and thought it would be perfect for this challenge, because it's got cardamom. Oops, that was a few months ago - this month is coriander. Different C spice.

fwiw, I once read that "coriander" was used for the seeds (whole or powdered) and "cilantro" for the leaf. No idea if that was ever true or just an educated guess by that particular author!