One-Spice Magic

Photograph by Liza Schoenfein

Spices have the incredible potential to transform a simple dish, and you don’t need a mélange of them to create tremendous flavor. Add cumin to hummus; paprika to fish; or cinnamon to brisket and these foods take on a life of their own as a single spice works its magic.

I am passionate about one-spice dishes because of an experience I had this summer, cooking in a makeshift kitchen with a very limited pantry. My husband worked as the drama director at a Jewish sleep-away camp, where we lived for eight weeks in a cabin. After eating two disappointing meals in the camp’s commissary, I went to Walmart and outfitted our small space with an electric burner and a few basic pots. I bought a slab of wood to function as a countertop and used our bathroom sink to wash the dishes.

In this rustic set-up, I made the most glorious, tasty, healthful meals. Best of all, my limited pantry led me to discover the power of letting one spice do its job.

Of the dishes I created this summer, one of our favorites was stewed chicken with paprika, summer squash and chickpeas, which we enjoyed at many outdoor Shabbat dinners amidst the beautiful backdrop of the Catskill Mountains. This one-pot main course lets the stove — and the paprika — do all the work.

Now that it’s fall, I can’t stop making it.

One-Spice Magic

Tagged as:

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

One-Spice Magic

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close
Close