RawSpiceBar is a monthly subscription that sends freshly ground, small batch spice blends and recipes that utilize them.
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The Cost: $6 per month
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The Products: 3 freshly ground spice blends from one country or region, enough to create 3 dishes serving 6-10 people.
Ships to: US (with free shipping) and Canada (for an additional fee).
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Each month, RawSpiceBar sends spices from one region or geographical area. This is the “Provence Spice Box.”
Herbes de Provence- 0.4 oz.
Herbes de Provence is a mix of thyme, tarragon, savory, orange zest, fennel seeds, celery seeds, lavender, white peppercorns, and bay leaf.
Quatre Epices- 0.4 oz.
This blend is a staple in French cooking, and is traditionally used to season terrines, pates, and ragouts. It’s a blend of white peppercorns, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.
Vanilla Lavender Sugar- 0.4 oz.
A Provence-inspired box wouldn’t be complete without lavender! For this blend, RawSpiceBar infused Madagascar vanilla beans and lavender buds into granulated white sugar.
A French Feast!
This month, RawSpiceBar included the following recipes: Herbes de Provence Garlic Bread, Quatre Epices Salmon, and Lavender Blueberry Creamsicles.
The garlic bread recipe sent by RawSpiceBar is pretty much exactly the one I use when I make garlic bread at home! (I even add herbes de Provence occasionally!) I think using a mix of good olive oil and butter gives the bread great flavor.
I combined all of the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl, and I heated them in the microwave until the butter was soft enough to mix into the other ingredients.
The recipe called for an entire baguette, but I used half because there were only two of us dining. I cut the bread in half and brushed each side with the garlic butter. Since I only made half as much bread, I had a lot of garlic butter left over, which I reserved for later use. (I’m thinking I might brush it on a chicken before roasting…)
I set the bread aside, and moved on to the salmon. (Note: When it was time to serve dinner, I popped the bread under the broiler to get it nice and crispy before serving.)
To make the salmon, I rubbed filets with the quatre epices, salt, and pepper before placing them in a sauté pan with some olive oil. The recipe called for skin-free salmon, but I left the skin on.
I sautéed the salmon skin side down for about 5 minutes, and then transferred it into the oven to finish cooking.
To accompany the fish and bread, I made some crispy roasted green beans and some steamed, buttered broccoli.
The salmon was delicious! I’ve never made salmon with quatre epices before, but I loved the way the flavors of nutmeg and allspice complemented the fish. The bread was tasty, too.
For dessert, RawSpiceBar sent a recipe for Lavender Blueberry Creamsicles. Unfortunately, I don’t have popsicle molds, so I wasn’t able to make them. I love the combination of blueberry and lavender, though, so I thought I’d try incorporating the same flavors into a different dessert: Lavender-Infused Egg Custard with Fresh Blueberries.
I love custard, and, since it’s both rich and light, I think it makes for a nice summertime dessert.
The lavender sugar added a nice, subtle lavender flavor to the creamy custard, and I thought it was great with fresh blueberries.
To maximize the lavender flavor, I topped each custard cup with a pinch of dried lavender flowers that I had in my cabinet.
In case anyone else out there without popsicle molds is looking for an alternate dessert recipe that incorporates this month’s lavender sugar, here’s my recipe:
Lavender-Infused Egg Custard with Fresh Blueberries
RawSpiceBar’s Vanilla Lavender Sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups milk (I used 1%)
Combine the packet of lavender sugar, an additional 1/2 cup of sugar, and 2 cups of milk in a small saucepan, and place the pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar starts to dissolve. Remove the pan from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 eggs and 3 yolks. Gradually temper the hot milk mixture into the eggs, stirring while you slowly but steadily add the milk. Whisk vigorously to make sure the eggs are fully incorporated. Arrange four small oven safe ramekins in a deep baking pan and divide the eggy mixture between them. Pour hot (but not boiling) water into the baking pan until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake at 300 degrees until the custard is just set, about 35-40 minutes. (Note: it’ll still be a little jiggly.) Allow the custard to cool in the water-filled pan for about an hour, and then carefully remove the ramekins and dry off the sides. Serve with fresh blueberries and garnish with dried culinary lavender flowers, if desired.
I forgot to take a photo of the custard before baking, but this one shows the ramekins and Pyrex dish I used for baking the custard.
Verdict: I really enjoyed RawSpiceBar’s salmon and garlic bread recipes! Both were delicious and really easy to make. I didn’t get to try the recipe for creamsicles, but I enjoyed using the lavender sugar in my own dessert. (If you made the popsicles this month, please let us know how they turned out in the comments section below!) I enjoyed this month’s theme, spices, and recipes, and I’m planning to make the salmon recipe again very soon.
I think RawSpiceBar is a really fun way to explore new spices and exotic cuisines, and they consistently send fresh and high quality spice blends. That said, it’s important to note that they have a history of sending flawed recipes, so I would recommend it only for experienced cooks who are confident enough to spot mistakes and go “off recipe” when required.
What do you think about RawSpiceBar’s Provence Spice Box?