Urban Herbs

Mind Your Pantry!

Urban Herbs is a spices company created by chefs, for chefs. We are here for those looking for a large selection of high quality cooking spices, dried beans, gourmet rices and grains--all your kitchen pantry staples.

FORBIDDEN RICE FEAST

2 Tbsp    Ghee
1 Lg    Shallot, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp    Ginger, peeled & minced
2 C    Forbidden black rice, rinsed & drained
1 Tbsp    Green cardamom pods, cracked
Sea Salt
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish

In a medium saucepan, heat the ghee. Add the shallot and ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and cardamom and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 3 cups of water and a generous pinch of sea salt, bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steam for 15 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and season with salt. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with sliced scallions and serve.

 

QUINOA & BLACK BEAN STUFFED PEPPERS

1 ½ C  Water
1 C       Quinoa, rinsed
4 Lg    Green peppers
16 Oz  Chunky Salsa, divided
1 Lb    Cooked black beans,
½ C    Ricotta cheese
½ C    Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, divided

Preheat oven to 400˚F. In a saucepan, bring water to boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, cut and discard pepper tops; remove seeds. Place in a greased 8” baking dish, cut side down. Microwave, uncovered on high 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Turn peppers cup side up. Save 1/3 cup salsa; add remaining salsa to quinoa. Stir in beans, ricotta cheese and 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese. Spoon into peppers; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered 10-15 minutes or until filling is heated through. Top with reserved salsa.

CINNAMON SPICED APPLES (Slow Cooker)

⅓ C    Sugar
¼ C    Brown sugar
1 Tbsp    Corn starch
3 tsp    Ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp    Ground nutmeg
6     Large granny smith apples, peeled and cut into eighths
¼ C    Butter, cubed

In a small bowl, mix the first five ingredients.  Place apples in a greased 5 qt slow cooker; add sugar mixture and toss to coat. Top with butter. Cook, covered, on low 3-4 hours or until apples are tender,  stirring once half way.

 

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

Yields: 1 Cheesecake

Crust:
8 oz     Gingersnap cookies, broken into pieces
½ C     Pecans, finely chopped
4 T     Unsalted butter, melted
2 T     Sugar
1 t     Cinnamon
Filling:
3 T     Flour, all-purpose
1 T     Pumpkin Pie seasoning
48 oz     Cream cheese, room temp
1.5 C     Sugar
1    (15 oz) Can unsweetened pumpkin
3 T     Bourbon
2 t     Vanilla extract
4     Lg Eggs

Crust:
   Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place gingersnaps in the bowl of a food processor with a steel blade and process until finely ground. Add pecans, butter, sugar and cinnamon. Process until the mixture just comes together.
   Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch spring form pan. Pat into the bottom of the pan evenly and about 1 inch up the sides. Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool completely before adding the filling.

Filling:
   In a small bowl whisk together the flour and pumpkin seasoning, set aside. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and airy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla and flour mixture. Combine thoroughly. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each egg thoroughly before adding the next.
   Pour the batter into the prepared piecrust. Wrap the outside of the pan with adouble layer of foil. Place in a roasting pan lined with paper towels. Add enough waterto come half way up the sides of the pan. Bake for about 1 ½ hours or until cheese-cake is set. Remove from water and cool on wire rack. Remove foil and chill for at least4 hours or overnight.
 Open the spring form and place on a serving platter. Serve with cinnamon whipped cream.

CURRIED LENTIL SOUP

Serves: 6
 

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped, divided
2 tablespoons (or more) curry powder
1 cup Puy (French Green) lentils
4 1/4 cups (or more) water, divided
1/2 lb dried chickpeas (garbanzo), soaked/rinsed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
2 green onions, thinly sliced 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add half of chopped garlic; stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add 2 tablespoons curry powder; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add lentils and 4 cups water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, puree chickpeas, lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining garlic in processor. Add chickpea puree and butter to lentil soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional curry powder, if desired. Add water by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency. 

Divide soup among bowls, garnish with thin sliced green onion, serve with lemon wedges.

MIXED BEAN SOUP

Serves: 6 (approx: 2.5 quarts)

12 oz Fall Blend Beans
8 cups water
1/2 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
Pepper to taste

Rinse and sort beans. Place beans in a Dutch oven or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 to 4 hours or until beans are softened.

Drain and rinse, discarding liquid. Add water to the beans; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until beans are tender. Discard bay leaves. 

 

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES WITH CINNAMON SWIRL

Makes: 48 cookies
Total Time: 1 hr, 15 mins

3  1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 sticks + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter (separated)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup + 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (separated)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350˚F

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder.

Cream 2 sticks butter, granulated sugar and 1 cup brown sugar with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add eggs and vanilla; beat until incorporated. Add flour mixture and beat just to combine; stir in chocolate chops and pecans. 

Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 Tbsp butter and cinnamon. Drop cinnamon mixture by spoonfuls over dough; gently swirl through.

Scoop dough with a #40 scoop (about 1  1/2 Tbsp) onto prepared baking sheets, spaced 2-inches apart; chill just until firm. 

Bake cookies until edges begin to brown, 12-14 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheets 5 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely.
 

CHICKEN CHILI

2    Skinless, boneless chicken breast, ½” pieces
2 ea     14oz can white beans, drained
3 C     chicken stock
1     onion minced
1     jalapeno, seeded minced
3T     olive oil
1T     garlic, minced
2t     cumin, ground
2t     Mexican oregano
1t     thyme & basil dried
2t     fresh ground black pepper
1     lime cut into 6 wedges
1t     crushed red pepper
3T      masa harina
1t     kosher salt

1. In a small bowl stir together the dry chili seasoning: the cumin, oregano, thyme, basil, black pepper, crushed red pepper and kosher salt. 
2. Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart heavy pot or casserole over medium high heat. Add the chicken and sauté until the meat is slightly browned, about 3 minutes. 3. Into the pot add the onion, jalapeno, garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. 
4. Add dry seasonings, blend well and sauté for 2 minutes. This will release the flavors of the spices. 
5. Add 1 cup of the stock. Using a wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the pan to incorporate all of the flavors from the bottom of the pan. 
6. Stir in the masa harina, the rest of the stock, the white beans and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. 
7.To serve take chili off burner, season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into serving bowls. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime wedge onto the chili, top with grated Monterey jack cheese and sliced scallions.

CHAI TEA

Serves 4-6

2-inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into thin rounds
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp black peppercorn
10 whole cloves
6 cardamom pods
6 cups cold water
6 bags black tea (preferably Darjeeling)
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
Milk to taste & preference* 

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a sturdy bowl or mortar/pestle. Lightly crush spices. (The more they are crushed the spicier the flavor). Transfer spices to medium saucepan and add 6 cups of water.  Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and partially cover saucepan.  Simmer gently 10 minutes. Remove from heat.  Add tea bags and steep 5 minutes. Discard tea bags. Add sugar, stir to dissolve. Strain chai into teapot or serving vessel. Add milk to personal preference. 
*Recipe was tested with Vanilla Almond Milk with great results.

 

QUINOA & BLACK BEAN SALAD

Serves: 4-6

1 2/3 C    water
1 C    red quinoa
1/4 C    red onion
1 Tbsp    extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp    kosher salt
1 lb    cooked black beans
2    plum tomatoes, diced

Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 12 minutes or untill quinoa is tender. Fluff gently with a fork to seperate the grains. Add remainder of ingredients and combine well. 

BASMATI RICE WITH GREEN ONION & DILL

Serves: 4-6

1  1/2 cups basmati rice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup green onion, trimmed/sliced incl. tops
2 tsp dried dill weed
1/4 tsp garam masala
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or water)

In a bowl or shallow dish, wash the rice in several changes of cold water until it runs clear. Cover with water and soak for 30 minutes. Using a sieve, drain the rice throroughly and set aside.
Heat the oil in a thick sided pot over med-high heat. When very hot, add cumin seeds and toat for 30 seconds. Add the green onion and stir for another 15 seconds. Stir in the rice, dill, garam masala, and salt. Stir to mix and fry the rice mixture for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock or water. Turn the heat up to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Immediatly turn the heat to very low, cover and simmer until the rice is tender but not mushy, or about 20 minutes. Gently fluff with a fork and serve.