The CookingBites Spice Challenge - Spice of the Month (February 2018): Sumac

Morning Glory

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Each month we showcase a different spice. Its over to you to come up with your tips, tricks or recipes using the spice. There is a prize for the most interesting idea or recipe (to be posted anywhere in the world, customs permitting). Just add your ideas to this thread or if you have a recipe, then post it as a new thread and tag it ’sumac' and 'spice challenge'. So, as you already realised, this month, the featured spice is Sumac! Deadline for entries midday 5th March Feb. 2018 (GMT).

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Sumac - the Info:
Cultivation
Sumac comes from the berries of a wild bush that grows wild in all Mediterranean areas, especially in Sicily and southern Italy, and parts of the Middle East, notably Iran. The berries are dried and crushed to form a coarse purple-red powder. The whole fruit appears in dense clusters. Individual berries are small, round and russet coloured.

Aroma and flavour

Sumac has a citrus lemony tang. The berries have little aroma, but a definite astringent quality with a delicious sour flavour.

Culinary use

Sumac is widely used in Lebanese, Syrian, Turkish and Iranian cuisines. The berries can be used whole or ground. The berries can also be soaked in warm water for 15 to 20 mins and squeezed to produce there astringent juice which can be added to dishes. Ground sumac can be used as a rub for fish or meat, sprinkled over salads or added to vegetables before roasting. Sumac is one of the main components in the spice mix Zaa'atar and is used as a topping on Fatoush salad, and makes a great topping on dips like hummus.

So its over to you. How do you use sumac? Tell us your ideas, tips and recipes for using this spice. And if you have never tried this exotic spice, then now is your opportunity! Deadline for entries is midday 5th March 2018 (GMT).
 

Morning Glory

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Interesting choice. I've only used sumac for zaatar.

That's fine! You could always submit a recipe using zaatar. One of the reasons I chose it was because I don't use it very much. I looked all through my spices and realised there were a few I rarely used. One of them was sumac. So I will be experimenting with sumac too, this month.
 
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Francesca

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Sumac .. I have toyed with the following or have eaten in Sicilia, Southern Italy and Greece the following:
1) Marinade for porc roast ..
2) Meat loaf Napoli Tradition ..
3) Bread dipping Evoo ..
4) Dust on Baba ganuoush or Hummus ..
5) Sautéed Prawns ..
6) Dusted baked potatoes ..
7) Citrus roast chicken ..
8) On salads instead of lemon juice ..
9) Goat cheese or sheep or cow cheese Feta with Evoo and a dusting of Sumac or Sumac Berries ..

I like the herb and berries however, when in Sicilia .. or southern Italia or Greece.
 

Francesca

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@morning glory

Truly like "citrusy" flavors like sumac, bergamot, lemon in almost any form and Israeli Oranges ( triple skin - I believe in English, they are called Navel Oranges because of its large " belly button navel " on the bottom of the fruit ) .. Ruby grapefruit is a fave for breakfast as well ..
Here they are called Naranjas con Piel Doble ( doublé skinned oranges ) and are imported from Tel Aviv ..
They are now cultivating them in the Valencia autonomous región ..

It is Sunday, and 16.00, and many people are out and about with Family / Friends ..

Have a nice day ..
 

Masticator

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I use sumac for a couple of things..
Palestinian musakhan (roasted chicken marinated with sumac, onions & spices) served on a bed of giant couscous
Iranian/Persian kubideh (BBQ burger kebab) served along with sangak/flatbread, saffron rice, yogurt w/shallots/salt, and salad shirazi
 

Morning Glory

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I use sumac for a couple of things..
Palestinian musakhan (roasted chicken marinated with sumac, onions & spices) served on a bed of giant couscous
Iranian/Persian kubideh (BBQ burger kebab) served along with sangak/flatbread, saffron rice, yogurt w/shallots/salt, and salad shirazi

Both of these sound fantastic! Would you be able to post the recipes as new threads in the relevant sections (and link back here)? I would love to try making and photographing at least one of them.
 

Frizz1974

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Lots of middle eastern influences on my cooking from where I grew up. I use sumac a fair bit and loads of za'atar.

One of our most common quick meals in summer is to mix za’atar with lemon juice or white wine & some olive oil, use it to marinate breast fillets of chicken & pan fry it.

Serve with a bowl of tomato, cucumber & onion dressed with sumac & olive oil + S&P.

Throw some Lebanese flatbread on the table & maybe some minted yogurt or labne & dinner is done.

In fact, I’m going to buy, marinate & freeze a heap of chicken to make this even faster now that I’m not getting home until 6pm.
 

Morning Glory

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Lots of middle eastern influences on my cooking from where I grew up. I use sumac a fair bit and loads of za'atar.

One of our most common quick meals in summer is to mix za’atar with lemon juice or white wine & some olive oil, use it to marinate breast fillets of chicken & pan fry it.

Serve with a bowl of tomato, cucumber & onion dressed with sumac & olive oil + S&P.

Throw some Lebanese flatbread on the table & maybe some minted yogurt or labne & dinner is done.

In fact, I’m going to buy, marinate & freeze a heap of chicken to make this even faster now that I’m not getting home until 6pm.

Yes - I reckon chicken and sumac work well together. :okay:
 

Morning Glory

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All - we are very short of entries for this spice challenge! There is still plenty of time left though. This is going to be the final Spice Challenge so it would be great to have more entries.

The winner of this Spice Challenge will receive one of the following prizes:
  • Salter big button kitchen timer.
  • KitchenCraft Home Made Swedish Rosette Iron Set with Three Interchangeable Heads.
  • Kabalo Electric Coffee Bean Grinder & Nut/Spice Grinder.
  • E-PRANCE Pepper and Salt Grinder, Manual Salt or Pepper Mill
  • The Palomar Cookbook (2016) (recipes from award-winning restaurant The Palomar)
  • Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour (2017) (Persian food)
  • Bowls of Goodness: Vibrant Vegetarian Recipes Full of Nourishment by Nina Olsson (2017)
 
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