bringing eastern flavors to the west
I’ve been playing with all types of ingredients since moving to the UK. Frankly, I was playing with
all sorts since I had moved to St. Andrews. For a while I was sticking to a regimen that forced
me to eat some of the basics that I would back in the States and that probably wasn’t too great of
an idea. I wasn’t eating locally and wasn’t eating fresh. Despite the hassle of figuring out what
foods worked for me on a day-to-day basis, it was kind of like a treasure hunt.
The UK is a melting pot of flavors as its people come from all over the world. And so it only
seemed right to find exotic flavors. One spice mix I was introduced to whilst traveling through
the Middle East was ras-el-hanout. A North African spice blend that brings together the
earthiness of fennel, the spice of paprika, the sweetness from rose petals and the pungency of
other exotic spices. And so, we experimented…
taking the norm out of tradition
And it seems so natural to come up with a ragout that brings together sweet basil, aromatic rosemary
under the density of mince beef. So I started alternating the ingredients of the Italian ragout with
their North African-inspired equivalent. Keeping the tomato base the same, I replaced the herbs
and spices and the mince quite easily… The result was something quite different, quite
unique and quite tasty… in my humble opinion.
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