Metal Recipes: Papyrus Containing the Spell to Preserve Its Possessor Against Attacks From He Who Embodies Hunger

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Preserve me / From that which is lacking flavor.

Let’s face it; money is a pain in the ass. There’s rarely enough of it, and what we (read: Toileteers) do have to spare usually goes to albums, shows, and dope/beer/both. Sometimes we think we have to choose between eating well and listening well, but fortunately this doesn’t actually have to be a choice. And I’m not talking about hitting the dollar menu. All sorts of traditional cuisines get around the problem of cash by starting with simple ingredients and transforming them into something legendary, by means of spices. Seriously. That chana masala you’re paying $15 for at an Indian restaurant? Shit’s got, like, 5 ingredients totaling about $2, plus spices totaling less than a dollar. That’s an album you could have bought if you made said dish at home, and you don’t have to deal with other humans either.

Point is, keep a few spice mixes on hand and you can make any number of exotic dishes from around the world with almost no effort. I won’t waste your time with a rundown on techniques like toasting spices and all that. Generally speaking, if you take 20 minutes once every few months and put together some different mixes, you’ll be good for all manner of dishes. So here are some easy ones, which cover a fairly wide range of cuisines. A couple are herb mixes, technically not spice mixes, but whatever. Most dishes will only need one, plus salt and pepper. May they serve you as well as they have me.

Garam Masala (Indian)

Garam masala as a term is sort of like “cheeseburger” in that yeah, it denotes a family of products, but the products themselves vary hugely. Along with “curry powder” (which itself is borderline meaningless), this is all you need to make full on legit Indian cuisine. As far as garam masala goes, generally speaking you put it in at the end of the meal (heyo, lewd reference!). It’s from this that you get the aromatic parts of your curry, those that will follow you around when they come flying out your asshole. Tip: add garam masala to whatever you’re cooking in the last 5-10 minutes of cooking, and in small increments (about ½ teaspoon) until the aroma suits your nose.

  • 2 t coriander
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t cardamom
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t cloves
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 t salt

All-Purpose Curry Powder (Indian)

In strict Indian cooking, there is no such thing as “curry powder.” But many, many curries do start off with more or less the same blend of spices in varying proportions, and eventually the British figured they might as well come up with some sort of standardized product they could market back home. So here you are. Use this in whatever curry you like, once you’re done cooking the onion, in the proportion of about 1 T per pound of whatever the dish’s centerpiece is (lentils, chicken, blood of the innocent, whatever).

  • 4 T turmeric
  • 2 T cumin
  • 2 T cardamom
  • 2 T coriander
  • 1 T mustard
  • 1 t cayenne

Baharat (Middle Eastern)

Baharat is straight up bomb. Adjust the ratios to skew it however you like, whether towards spiciness, aroma (cardamom, cloves), warmth (cinnamon), brightness (coriander), or depth (cumin). Stir it into yogurt for an awesome marinade. Sprinkle it over pita with a drizzle of olive oil. Make saffron rice (using turmeric as a substitute, if you don’t want to buy something that by weight is pricier than gold, cocaine, etc) and sprinkle some in. From shawarma to sheesh taouk to falafel, baharat can do pretty much anything.

  • 2 T ground black pepper
  • 2 T paprika
  • 2 T cumin
  • 1 T coriander
  • 1 T cloves
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 t cardamom

Ras El Hanout (North African)

“Ras El Hanout” literally translates to “top of the shop.” What that means is that historically it referred to whichever spice blend a given Moroccan merchant would consider his best, and most expensive, product. Luckily for us it’s more of a unified recipe now, and is cheap as shit. But it’s still tops. The most common usage for this is in tagine, which is a Moroccan stew made with any sort of main ingredient- chickpeas, lamb, whatever- plus vegetables, dried fruit, and cooked in a pot called- duh- a tagine. Given that I’m betting almost no one around the bowl actually owns a tagine, and for that matter not many Moroccans do anymore either, you can just use a slow cooker or pressure cooker. Done and done.

  • 2 t nutmeg
  • 2 t coriander
  • 2 t cumin
  • 2 t ginger
  • 2 t turmeric
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t brown sugar
  • 1.5 t sweet paprika
  • 1.5 t black pepper
  • 1 t cayenne
  • 1 t cardamom
  • 1 t allspice
  • 1/2 t cloves

They’re a long way from Africa, but for some reason the drone-y main riff makes me think of something very much south of Finland.

Berbere (Ethiopian)

This one’s for you, Dubs, since you mentioned Ethiopian a few weeks back. Ethiopian food is known (here in the West) for just a few things. One, it tends to be spicy AF. Two, it’s eaten while sitting on the floor. Three, it’s eaten using a giant pancake as a utensil, which is pretty great. Four, the term it uses for ‘stew’ is “wat.”

Back to the first point, a lot of the distinctive heat and aroma of Ethiopian food comes from the beloved spice blend of the region, berbere. Lots of variations exist, but common to all are cayenne, cardamom, and fenugreek (random fact: fenugreek is also used to flavor fake maple syrup like Aunt Jemima for the same reason). Use berbere in FUCKING EVERYTHING. Seriously. Chili, soup, stew, grains, you name it. Got a hangover? Put some in a Bloody Mary and it’ll wake you right up.

  • 4-6 T chili powder
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1 t cardamom
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t fenugreek
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t ginger
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t allspice
  • 1/2 t cloves
  • 1/2 t coriander
  • 1/4 t turmeric
  • 1/8 t cinnamon
  • 1/8 t nutmeg

Khmeli-Suneli (Georgian)

The names of these mixes are pretty cool, right? And khmeli-suneli tops them all. It’s just fun to say (KMAY-lee soo-NAY-lee). This has equal parts herbiness and depth; it can impart some of the savor that you find, say, in Italian dishes flavored with oregano and parsley, but it’s got much more complexity. Because of that, it works just as well as a rub. Try the following: a chop or steak with a rub made from salt, a pinch of sugar, and khmeli-suneli rub. Serve with hearty bread, some olive oil, red wine or dark beer, roasted vegetables, and a pickle. Go for it. Or if you’re a lazy bachelor, just put it on pasta. No judgment.

  • 1 T marjoram
  • 1 T dill
  • 1 T parsley
  • 1 T savory
  • 1 T mint
  • 1 T coriander
  • 1/2 T fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t fenugreek seeds
  • 2 bay leaves, crushed

I know that Ugasanie is Belorussian, not Georgian. Sorry.

Adobo (Mexican)

This is not the Filipino adobo, i.e. their national dish in which a meat, generally pork or chicken, is cooked in a vinegar-based sauce (you should try it sometime, it’s great). This particular mix will serve you well in all manner of situations, particularly in with beans, sauces, stirred into rice, or sprinkled over pico de gallo. It’s especially useful as an all-in-one flavoring for chili, to save yourself a bit of time.

  • 2 T salt
  • 1 T paprika
  • 2 t black pepper
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 1.5 t dried oregano
  • 1.5 t cumin
  • 1.5 t chili powder
  • 1 t turmeric

Dukkah (Egyptian)

Not to be confused with dukkha, which in Buddhism refers to the unrelenting suffering experienced by the unenlightened. I suppose that dukkah isn’t really a spice mix at all, more like a topping, since the most common usage is simply to dip a piece of flatbread in olive oil, dunk it in dukkah, and nom. But it’s good and you can use it in all manner of dishes too! Try it as a crust for chicken breasts, thighs, or lamb chops. Or, for a rather awesome dessert, take a biscuit or piece of sweet bread (not sweetbread- that’s a kidney), drizzle it with honey, sprinkle with dukkah and go to town.

  • 1/4 c hazelnuts or walnuts
  • 1/4 c pistachios or almonds
  • 2/3 c white sesame seed
  • 3 T coriander seed
  • 1 T cumin seed
  • 1 t fennel seed
  • 1/2 t aniseed
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper

Herbes de Provence

I know, I know. For Americans it’s popular to refer to the French as a bunch of wine-swilling perpetually surrendering communists. But they know their food, it’s pretty hard to argue with that. This is one of the most versatile mixes out there, as you can use it to enhance pretty much any dish hailing from within or remotely near Europe. Even just used on roast chicken, it works wonderfully. You can even make a side of simple steamed vegetables sound fancy- and taste fancy- with a healthy dose of this, plus a drizzle of walnut oil or fancy olive oil (think Spanish varieties for the latter; they tend to have a bit more bite).

  • 2 t oregano
  • 2 t thyme
  • 2 t savory
  • 2 t basil
  • 2 t marjoram
  • 2 t sage
  • 2 t rosemary
  • 2 t fennel


That’s all for now! Hope y’all enjoy a little bit. Want more mixes? Or recipes using said mixes? Or just questions or snarky comments? Hit me up in the comments.

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  • Lacertilian

    Excellent! Still yet to try that berbere recipe you sent a couple of weeks back.
    If I was a self-centered piece of shit, I would assume that with these particular track selections that this post was a direct reminder aimed squarely at me. But I’m not, so I’m going to pretend you didn’t JUST FUCKING EMBED HASHSHASHIN, GOROD, MELECHESH, BHAVACHAKRA, AND EMPEROR ALL IN THE SAME POST YOU BLOODY MONGREL!

    Side-Note: We just made some Kofta using Kangaroo mince and a hefty amount of garam and cumin. Finding roo to be as versatile as beef these days, all with a significantly reduced environmental impact. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a9fadd5959e2a604525e8584f409a737563fec315e8bbf4a4ce60a828c2d49ae.jpg
    Promise I won’t post this pic again

    this week.

    • I offer no apologies for the embed. Also: KOFTA! Last time I made that I did it with lamb and khmeli-suneli. Amazing.

    • The Mighty Thorange

      I had Kangaroo when I was over in Australia a few years back. It’s fucking good stuff. I thought it was like a hybrid between beef and venison.

      • Sid Vicious Promos

        Really? I had no idea that the Outback Steakhouses there served kangaroo.

        • The Mighty Thorange

          What’s Outback Steakhouse?

          • Óðinn

            It’s an American “Australian” chain restaurant.

          • The Mighty Thorange

            Thanks. I am not familiar with those. I have never seen one so I don’t think they exist here.

          • Óðinn

            They’re all too real. I’m not even sure what makes it “Australian” TBH, other than marketing.

          • Rain Poncho W.

            IT’S THE BLOOMIN’ ONION YOU DIGGY WANKA.

          • Óðinn

            Okay. Yes. W is right. It’s the Bloomin Onion. Silly me.

          • Waynecro

            My ex and I used to go to Outback Steakhouse occasionally. Despite being Australian in marketing only, Outback isn’t bad for a low-budget steak place. The steaks I got at Outback were better than the ones I got at Chili’s, for example.

          • Rain Poncho W.

            Ah, so you’re the kinda weirdo who buys a steak at Chili’s.

          • Waynecro

            I was back when I had a girlfriend who wanted to eat at restaurants from time to time. At Chili’s, my ex could get fancy drinks and festive fried dishes, and I could eat meat and broccoli. It worked out for everyone.

          • Rain Poncho W.

            Bruh, getting anything other than the fajitas is a beta play.

          • Waynecro

            There’s nothing beta about skipping carby-ass fajitas when you’re on a cut, bro.

          • Rain Poncho W.

            LOL

          • Sounds familiar.

          • Vault Dweller

            Yup. Fajitas or bust. I was going to type that regardless of whether I noticed you note the fajitas as the only trve Chili’s meal, which I see you did downthread bae.

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            It’s a US chain themed off being Australian.

          • The Mighty Thorange

            I’m going to be honest, going by all of the replies here, it sounds fucking disgusting.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Always wanted to try a kangaroo dish.

  • Señor Jefe El Rossover

    This is very, very, very handy! It will surely be a useful resource for myself and Mrs. Rossover. Thank you very much, Vladimir!!

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    I actually own a tajine. Cool stuff. Of course, not so many Moroccan youngsters nowadays know how to cook up a dish with the thing, but the majority of Moroccan households I know of still own at least a few tajines.
    Ras El Hanout is good stuff by the way; so is Khmeli-Suneli. I have a couple of bags of Ras El Hanout at home – the Moroccan community is damn huge in Belgium so you can find it everywhere. Khmer-Suneli is a bit harder to find, but you can still buy it off a few Georgian shopkeepers in Antwerp.

    • That fuck Anthony Bourdain lied to me about the commonality of tagines! I will have vengeance.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        Haha literally every Moroccan home I have ever entered had a tagine. Even at the Moroccan wedding I went to the food was served in tagines. Though it must be said that most Moroccans over here in Belgium are Riffians from Northern Morocco. They might be a bit more “traditional” than the average Moroccan from the central and coastal cities in Morocco itself.

        • Good point! And by “traditional” you mean “better.” I love my pressure cooker, but I’d never choose it over a tagine unless I was in a hurry.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Yeah, some tradition needs to be preserved. Some Northern Moroccans over here can be a bunch of crazy geezers though.

        • HessianHunter

          It’s super common for immigrants to want to uphold their traditions even more than the people still living in the home country – a combination of pride and desire to prove how “true” you are to your homeland. Even my damn Texan friend started wearing bolo ties ONLY when they started living in Minnesota.

  • Rain Poncho W.

    Wooooooooo, Ethiopian food.

    • I’ve had it once, and had to inquire about the tingling in my mouth…It was the fermentation from the injera!

  • Joaquin Stick

    Well what a coincidence, I am making a Moroccan stew tonight. I have a pretty decent spice cabinet but I am always missing at least one thing I need. Gotta pick up some cardamom and turmeric.

    Actually, I still have one Sixpoint 5Bean left, and they put cardamom in that, so I can just pour some beer in, right? Awesome stuff Vlad!

    • Absolutely, haha! And likewise for beers flavored with coriander, lemongrass, whatever.

  • Óðinn

    Nice work, Mr. Poutine. How do you come up with your recipes? I wish I had your skills in the kitchen. I’ll have to give some of these a try.

    • Hmm … basically just getting familiar with spices and basic ingredients, how they interact, and a bit of research on the fundamentals, then improvising. It’s kind of fun, you wind up with some interesting stuff! I was trying to clean out the cabinets and freezer the other day and wound up with a Malaysian shrimp curry (it only sounds exotic), which I hadn’t planned on. That sort of stuff.

      • Óðinn

        Interesting. Some trial and error can be a good thing then? I think I’ll give the Adobo a try first.

  • Primordial Chaos
  • Old Man Doom

    The Dukkah and Adobo sound fuckin’ great. Thanks, Mr. Poutine!

  • Sid Vicious Promos

    Have any of you tried my recipe for Macho Man Pizza? It’s Hawaiian pizza with jalapenos, mushrooms and broken pieces of Slim Jim’s on it.

    • Joaquin Stick
    • Waynecro

      Pepperoni, mushrooms, and jalapenos is my favorite pizza-topping combination. The next time I have a pizza, I may throw some Slim Jims on it. When I was an alcoholic, I ate a lot of instant ramen and often threw meat sticks into it.

      • Señor Jefe El Rossover

        That is a damn fine pizza, sir.

    • The Mighty Thorange

      You should all try the Scottish pizza variant. You get a plain pizza, deep fry it and add salt and vinegar. It also comes with chips.

      • The Mighty Thorange
      • Count_Breznak

        *Pizza optional

        • The Mighty Thorange

          *replace pizza with deep fried Mars bar.

          • Count_Breznak

            WOAD didn’t actually involve facpaint. It was a side effect of the cuisine.

          • The Mighty Thorange

            Actually. we never wore woad. The blue is our natural skin colour and the white parts only appear that colour but are actually yellow from jaundice due to centuries of rampant alcoholism.

      • I’m in!

        • The Mighty Thorange

          We have one victim..er.. I mean volunteer! It does taste surprisingly great but you can virtually feel your arteries clogging with every bite. The damn thing is essentially a heart attack in a box.

    • tigeraid

      That all sounded delicious, until I recalled that it must have pineapple on it. Therefore you are history’s greatest monster.

      • Sid Vicious Promos

        Who ever said I wasnt?

  • HessianHunter

    This is fucking dope

  • JWG79

    I totally read that as “Abobo”, and just kept thinking that until I saw it repeated in the comments.

    http://www.i-mockery.com/blabber/pics/abobo-teaser1.gif

  • JWG79

    Also, my father cooks a lot with herbes de provence. Has for decades.

    I never fail to remind him that it’s one ingredient short of a Simon & Garfunkel reference.

  • Doom Scientist

    Just twiddling my thumbs waiting for my KIVA chocolate delivery to show up. ^_^

  • tigeraid

    This is quality content. As a fan of cooking myself I’m just angry I didn’t think of putting it together first.

    Baharat is my go-to for most random chicken dishes and wraps. I even mix it up with hummus occasionally, though I’m not a huge fan of it.

  • I just realized how awesome Bavachattanuga is and how much of a twerp I am for not realizing this back when some reptile wrote about them.

  • tigeraid

    Also: damn, I kinda dig that Plague Throat. Never heard before.

  • J.R.™

    From the middle east.
    Bomb.

    Of course

  • CyberneticOrganism

    I like to eat.

    Also, fuck yeah Ugasanie.

  • Vault Dweller

    Vlad, my man, this is dope as hell. The GF and I have been on a little bit of an African/Middle Eastern kick of late since we live near a number of Arabic import stores and restaurants- the food is amazing, but we didn’t really know the right blends of spices to make it with.

    Guarantee we’re going to try making some of this stuff, thanks for the recipes my dude.