This is the last month of our spice club, but we’ve had quite a few patrons ask us about continuing the series. That’s not happening next year as we shift focus to a new theme, but that’s not to say we won’t potentially revisit it down the road. For those of you going through spice club withdrawals, maybe this DVD + book combination from Great Courses will do the trick.
This course doesn’t do a deep dive into individual spices like we did, but it does a wonderful job of exploring how spices are used in select cuisines, as well as discussing how the spices work in conjunction with other ingredients in the recipe.
The late Culinary Institute of America instructor Bill Briwa is your guide in both the book and the DVD, and I really liked his down-to-earth, no-frills approach to cooking.
The lessons cover recipes and spices from India, China, Mexico, the Mediterranean, and Europe before capping with a chapter on how to incorporate these flavor profiles into the very American dishes of fried chicken and coleslaw. Recipes include sambar masala, chai, five-spice oil, mole rojo, fattoush, lamb kebab, goulash, syllabub, and more.
The book and accompanying DVD align pretty closely to each other, so technically you can use one without the other. I particularly liked watching Briwa talk his way through the recipes. He doesn’t have any of the annoying shticks some televised chefs can have, and he’s clearly knowledgeable and good at explaining things. But the book is a handy resource for when you don’t have thirty minutes for an episode.
Recommended for home cooks of any experience level.
What have you been cooking lately? What’s your favorite spice to use? Are you having spice club withdrawal? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on this item or to place it on hold.