Micaceous Tagine

My favorite potter, who also happens to be my father, gifted me a couple of unusual wares made from southwestern clay high in mica, glittering of culinary hidden treasure.   The caveat to this gift was that I invent the treasure.    

The Tagine cook pot is designed to circulate moisture.  The micacious clay has the effect of concentrating flavor through desiccation.  I still don’t know how it works, but the effect is magnificent. The shape of this dish led me to dig out an old Middle Eastern cookbook by Claudia Roden.  For me, I use recipes more for inspiration than instruction.  I try to understand why an author does what he or she does.  Hopefully you will get a taste here of why I do what I do.

 I love the idea of onions early onions for flavor and late onions for texture though I think I will use a different allium for each stage. This evening I’m working with garlic and shallots.  I also bought some chicken livers, cider and guancale. Let’s see how I incorporate all of this while prepping things in my cast iron wok.


No need for oil as I grease things up by frying the guancale first.

My chicken has been rubbed with Fennesse Curry Powder before browning.  Ideally I would let that chicken marinate for 24hours, but I’m a little too hungry at the moment.  Once the chicken browns, I add in the shallots and cook till the chicken is barely done.  I do this as a preparation for putting these chicken legs in the oven composed inside the tagine.


The oven is on, warming the tagine, while I get all of the ingredients up to temperature to speed the tagine baking time.  I have cooked things solely in the micacious clay, though I usually pack the oven at a low heat and leave for a couple hours.









Guancale melts through my teeth with every sweet bite.  Chicken emenates with saffron so tender…it too, melts, but like a sweet powder


EAT oyster bar

Just ordered the Yaquina Bay Oyster Hash and a corpse reviver. I was hoping for some jambalaya, but the brunch menu keeps me waiting until a later date. Reggie Houston’s band “Box of Chocolates” just hit a break, but I look forward to some fresh live jazz soon.


I’m looking forward to trying this array of hot sauces

…and here it comes!


Smacking me awake all at once (and finally at 1:39 pm) suddenly revived by all three flavor sat once! First, the hash arrives, and I gingerly try to angle my iPad without looking too awkward. But, before I can take a bite, jazz and the reviver steal the scene. Corpse reviver lifts my whole body like a zombie’s first steps from the grave, but the jazz gets me walking….

The list reads: chilled gin with lemon absinthe and more. The corpse reviver is a perfect compliment to my groggy state. I’m even somewhat glad I forgot to order chicory coffee. A tiny fruit sits at the bottom, perhaps a black currant from house made cassis ( just my guess).

The hash is now mostly gone. Delicately fried oysters and soft poached eggs above roasted potatoes and whole garlic cloves. The sauces aren’t really hot enough so I forget about them.

I think the fruit was a small cherry by the flavor, though I’m not sure how one can steal the seed from such a small fruit.

Happy culinary adventures,


Curry Class – Pumpkin Chanterelle using Hello Yello

Contributing my flavor to Kitchen Share Southeast.  This was a tasty class for 14 people inside the Kitchen of St. David of Wales fusing Jamaican curry in a Northwest style.20131109_JamSpicePear_0375 Curry Class

Hello Yello Curried Chanterelle Pumpkin

1T Hello Yello Curry Powder from “The Noble Spice”

1 Large Onion
1 Small Pumpkin (or any medium size winter squash or equivalent summer squash)
1/2C Coconut Milk
1T Cooking oil (I like to use grapeseed oil)
1t Tapioca Powder
Salt to taste

Rice N’ Peas

2c White Rice (I use Japanese Hagia rice which has the germ intact, giving a richer flavor)
1c Coconut Milk
2.5c Water
1/2 – 1C Red Beans (I like to cook an extra few cups to have on hand throughout the week)
Sprig of Thyme (best pulled fresh from a perennial garden bed)
Salt to taste

2 Ways to cook the Pumpkin or Squash:

Steam the pumpkin or squash in halves…or…Peel your it and cut it into scrabble size pieces or smaller, because the smaller they are the faster they cook.

Get your water boiling for your rice

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium high and simmer the diced onion. When onion is translucent add curry.

Watch the rice pot for boiling and add coconut milk and beans when it does.

Add Coconut milk to the curry pan and stir it curry yellow!

Add Squash, and mushrooms and cook until tender.

When the rice water reaches boiling again add the rice, keeping an eye out for boiling once more. Add thyme and simmer after it boils.




Corn Cob Paella

Corn Cob Paella

Corn Cob Paella

Carved Paella Spoon
20131030CornCobPaella10This one is composed of corn and green beans from Gathering Together Farm, along with Fennesse curried chicken, red beans, capers, shrimp, zucchini, roasted tomatoes, and chorizo.  And, garnished with Lime wedges and garlic aioli.

Spice Trading (For Poetry)

I was walking through the farmers market and stumbled on a poet selling poems while you wait.  So, I traded him four bottles for five poems:

[gview file=”http://www.thenoblespice.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/IanForsythPoeticiezesTheSpice.pdf” save=”1″]

by Ian Drew Forsyth

I am always interested in how others experience my spices.  Food as in life, our experiences are colored by our own stories.  We can approach understanding those perspectives


Garlic is one of my favorite spices for culinary and medicinal use.  I use a special dried garlic in Fennesse and Hello Yello to add a sweet nutty bridge of flavor that brings these curry powders together.

Medicinally, garlic has been used for flu, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, warts and many other ailments.

Chesnok is my favorite variety of garlic.  I was introduced to it at Maplewood Gardens in Elderon, WI where I planted over 17,000 garlic seeds by hand.  This was a great lesson in what I could accomplish by putting my mind and body into something while having the lead of garlic expert Dave Peterson.



My favorite variety of garlic Chesnok Red was “discovered” in Shvelisi, Republic of Georgia in 1985.  Because of this it is also known as “Shvelisi”  


Sustainable Seed Company