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Old 03-19-2009, 08:36 PM   #1
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ISO Information on ingredients/recipes

My youngest daughter asked me three questions that I didn't have an answer for. And so, I'm turning to my greatest resource, my friends at DC.

Question 1: Is Fleur De Sil especially different from other sea salts, and is it worth the extra price?

Question 2: Anyone have a great recipe for Harissa, or Rose Harissa? I first heard of the stuff tonight, and looked it up online. But I noticed that it has regional variations. I'm looking for a great version to go with couscous, and/or as a condiment.

Question 3: Anyone ever hear of Alepo Pepper? What is it, and how is it used?

Thanks.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

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Old 03-19-2009, 08:48 PM   #2
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Oh, GW, there is a huge salt discussion going on about how salt is salt is salt. See here ~ Substituting Salts in bread recipe - need help

Here's the pepper answer ~ Aleppo pepper - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And the last one ~ Harissa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

But I'm guessing that your daughter can't use Wiki if it's for homework. But you might be able to guild some answers from those links.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Callisto in NC View Post
Oh, GW, there is a huge salt discussion going on about how salt is salt is salt. See here ~ Substituting Salts in bread recipe - need help

Here's the pepper answer ~ Aleppo pepper - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And the last one ~ Harissa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

But I'm guessing that your daughter can't use Wiki if it's for homework. But you might be able to guild some answers from those links.
She's not in school, but is now married and trying to create good food for her and her DH of almost a year now. She's an adveturous cook who loves to try new things (gets that from me). And she has an unquenchable thirst from knowledge (gets that from me too). But thanks for the info.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North View Post
She's not in school, but is now married and trying to create good food for her and her DH of almost a year now. She's an adveturous cook who loves to try new things (gets that from me). And she has an unquenchable thirst from knowledge (gets that from me too). But thanks for the info.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
If you aren't in school, Wiki is a fine source. I just know at my DD's school the site is blocked and cannot be used for homework and what not.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:17 AM   #5
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Here's some info.

1. Fleur De Sel is a type of hand-harvested french sea salt. Sea salts taste different depending on where they come from. Whether you can detect those subtle tastes and whther you like them or not is a matter of personal preference. Fleur De Sel is very expensive. I have a very small container that I use as a finishing salt, mostly on very lightly dressed salads.

I'd suggest she try purchasing very small quantities of different "gourmet" sea salts to see if she enjoys thsm and finds them worth the $$.

Studies have shown that many people, perhaps a majority, cannot tell the difference between expensive sea salt and kosher salt.

2. I have only purchased prepared harissa, but it should be very easy to make, as it's basically just a pepper paste. The only thing is that you'll probably have to use different peppers than they use in tradtional Morroccan or African harissa.

3. Aleppo pepper is a middle eastern spice. You usually buy it ground. It's not that hot and has a deep, toasty taste. I have some at home that I got at Dean and Deluca (distinctive metal can) but I'm gussing that Penzey's or Spice House probably carry it.

You can use it to season many, mostly middle eastern dishes, but can basically be sued like paprika -- though it's pretty $$.

I paint a flatbread with a little olive oil, then sprinkle it with Zaatar and Aleppo peper and bake them into crackers.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North View Post
My youngest daughter asked me three questions that I didn't have an answer for. And so, I'm turning to my greatest resource, my friends at DC.

Question 1: Is Fleur De Sil especially different from other sea salts, and is it worth the extra price?

Question 2: Anyone have a great recipe for Harissa, or Rose Harissa? I first heard of the stuff tonight, and looked it up online. But I noticed that it has regional variations. I'm looking for a great version to go with couscous, and/or as a condiment.
Hi, Goodweed. I made this recipe once, as a topping for Moroccan veggie cakes: Harissa Sauce Recipe at Epicurious.com. It was pretty good, as I recall. That was before I ate much spicy food - it had quite a kick to it I should make it again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North View Post
Question 3: Anyone ever hear of Alepo Pepper? What is it, and how is it used?
I got some for free with a Penzey's order once - it's a bit spicy - jennyema described it pretty well.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:40 AM   #7
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Well, pretty much everyone has answered, but we all have opinions.

Everyone is different, but my taste buds aren't refined enough to pay a lot extra for the salt (regular salt for some purposes because it dissolves well, and kosher salt for others because I find it easy to handle and feel like I use less of it because I like the texture). I've bought it before and didn't taste any difference.

Pretty much the same for aleppo pepper. I already have three kinds of red pepper in my kitchen and this was just one more spice jar.

That said, Penzey's is great for this type of thing because they sell that tiny jar size and it makes it reasonable for sampling spices and blends when you might not want more. Great for gifts, too.

Harissa -- this became a joke when we first moved to Small Town Midwest USA ... we couldn't get it. A Chicago friend who usually does not DO grocery shopping hit every possible store he and his wife could look up, and I think he even got a parking ticket, to find us harissa. My husband now makes it from scratch ... I think he uses the Joy of Cooking recipe. If you still need it, email and I'll copy it for you. We use it quite a bit, and I freeze it in small batches.
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