Want to be more bold with spices? But maybe you’re a little intimidated. Or you don’t want to drop $7 on a 5 ounce container of an exotic spice you only need a pinch of for that recipe you want to try. Now’s your chance. Enter Fire Spice Company.
Another one of my favorites in the Cleveland food scene, and celebrated chef, Douglas Katz (of Fire Food & Drink, Provenance, and The Katz Club) has been developing his line of spice blends for about a year now. And he’s only a little more than a month away from a scheduled March launch.
Katz wants to make it easier for home cooks to be more adventurous with spices (with both your taste buds and your cooking skills), eliminate the anxiety that can come with experimenting with more exotic varieties, and take some of the expense out of working with a certain spices.
He and his team have developed 12 blends, which they toast and grind in house. The blends have been tested and are intended for specific recipes. The packaging is clever and makes it easy to execute. Printed on the box is a list of the ingredients you’ll need for the associated recipe, and the detailed directions.
During my visit with Katz, we gave his Jerk Spice mix a go, marinating chicken leg quarters in a combination of the spice packet, and fresh ingredients. After they sat for about 30 minutes, it was time to roast.
The finished product was spectacular, succulent, savory. And I was doubly surprised, as I have NEVER liked jerk seasoning on anything. But man, was this good.
For dessert Chef Katz presented a French Spice Cake that he’d prepared using his Quatre Epices blend. To prepare the frosting for top, he also used the same blend. If the speed in which my two girls gobbled up that cake was any indication, consider that recipe “tried and true.”
I love the idea of dabbling in cuisines and flavors that I’ve traditionally not been equipped to handle. His Masala variety, and accompanying Ground Lamb and Tomato Masala, Pho blend and accompanying Vietnamese Beef Noodle Pho recipe, and Massaman spice pack for the Thai Shrimp, Potato Peanut Curry recipe are on my short list of “must try” recipes.
The Fire Spice Company blends are available now at Fire. (1322o Shaker Square, Cleveland, Ohio 44120) Katz aims to have them available online nationally soon, and has plans for availability at local farmers markets and demo classes. There’s also a “Spice Blend of the Month” membership in the works. Sign me up!
Now, let’s expand our horizons and our palate.