Carmen Blend, One of Three Opera Blends

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Look below for the recipes for this blend by Damon Lee Fowler

 

The Carmen Blend is one of three bends developed especially for the Savannah VOICE Festival! We call it the “Opera Collection”. At least one dollar is donated to the Savannah Voice Festival for every bottle purchased in our shops or online at The Salt Table web site.

The Carmen Blend is the perfect spice blend with a touch of Spanish Sass!  Great on vegetables, meats, and starches.

Comes in a bottle with grinder top, 1.9 oz. (53g)

All natural Ingredients:  Himalayan pink salt, white peppercorns, pink peppercorns, shallot, lavender, rosemary, basil, chive, turmeric, lemon, vegetable colorants

For more information about The Savannah Voice Festival and the other two other blends of the “Opera Collection”: Click HERE

 

 

 

 

Recipes

Carmen’s Mountain Hideout Stuffed Mushroom Tapas

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Carmen Blend 

Stuffed vegetables are a popular tapas in modern Spain, but Carmen’s compatriots in her mountain hideout would love them because they can be eaten right out of the hand. The Salt Table’s Carmen Blend is the perfect seasoning for mushrooms and ham.

Serves 8-12 as an appetizer

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 24 medium cremini (brown) mushrooms
  • About 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, crushed, peeled, and minced
  • 2 ounces (½ cup) minced Serrano, prosciutto, or country ham
  • 1 cup fine stale (not dry) bread crumbs
  • Salt Table Carmen Blend
  • Dry sherry

How to make it:

  1. Brush away any dirt that may be clinging to the mushrooms with a clean, dry cloth or soft brush. Remove the stems and chop them fine. Set both stems and whole caps aside.
  2. Put 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the garlic in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté, tossing often, until fragrant and golden. Add the chopped mushroom stems and sauté until opaque and glossy, about 3 minutes. Add the ham, toss until it loses its raw red color, and turn off the heat.
  3. Add the crumbs, toss until well mixed, and season well with Carmen Blend. Moisten well with a sprinkling of sherry and a little more olive oil. Toss well, taste, and adjust the sherry and Carmen Blend.
  4. Lightly rub a large baking dish with olive oil. Sprinkle the inside of each mushroom cap lightly with Carmen Blend, and divide the stuffing among them, mounding it up in the center. Put mushrooms into the prepared dish. They can be made several hours ahead to this point. Cover with damp paper towels.
  5. About 45 minutes before serving, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375° F. Drizzle the mushrooms with more olive oil, and bake until the lightly browned and the caps are tender, about 20 minutes. Serve at once; stuffed mushrooms don’t reheat very well.

Carmen Blend, One of Three Opera Blends

Spicy Meatballs Carmen & Romesco Sauce Carmen (two recipes)

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Carmen Blend 

A terrific tapas (the Spanish “small bites” served in bars and sidewalk cafés), these are also a fine main dish and so easy to season using The Salt Table’s Carmen Blend. Serve in individual dishes or in a chafing dish, letting guests help themselves. As Carmen would say, “Prends garde à toi!”—they’re addictive!

(See Romesco Sauce Recipe below)

Serves 8-10

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound ground beef, preferably chuck, or ½ pound ground beef and ½ pound lean ground pork
  • ½ medium yellow onion, trimmed, split lengthwise, peeled, and finely chopped
  • 1 cup soft breadcrumbs
  • 1 rounded tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • About 2 teaspoons The Salt Table Carmen Blend
  • Olive or vegetable oil, for frying
  • About 1 cup beef broth
  • Romesco Sauce Carmen (recipe follows)

 

How to make Spicy Meatballs with Carmen Blend

  1. Combine the meat, onion, crumbs, and parsley and season with Carmen Blend. To taste for seasoning, pinch off a small bit, shape it into a flat cake and cook it through in a small pan with a few drops of olive oil, about 2 minutes per side. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Wet your hands and lightly roll into 24 even balls, laying them on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Film the bottom of a large, seasoned iron skillet or nonstick pan with olive oil and turn on the heat to medium. When the oil is hot, add enough meatballs to fill the pan without crowding and brown them well on all sides. Transfer them to a platter and repeat with the remaining meatballs. Alternatively, you may brown them in the oven on a large, rimmed, non-stick baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 425° F., rub the baking sheet with oil, and space the meatballs on it about an inch apart. Bake 10 minutes, then carefully turn the meatballs and bake 6-8 minute longer.
  3. Spoon off any excess fat and return the meatballs to the pan (if you’ve browned them in the oven, transfer them to large pan that will hold them in 1 layer. Add enough broth to almost half-cover them. Bring to a boil, adjust the heat to a slow simmer, loosely cover, and simmer until cooked through, about 30 minutes, turning occasionally. The liquid should reduce and mostly evaporated, but don’t let it dry up completely. Add water (not broth) by spoonfuls as needed.
  4. Remove the lid and if the liquid isn’t mostly evaporated, raise the heat and let it evaporate. Stir in the Romesco and let it warm through. Serve in small tapas dishes or bowls. They can be made ahead: transfer to a storage container, cover, and refrigerate. When ready to serve them, gently reheat in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
  5. (See how to make Romesco Blend below)

Romesco Sauce with Carmen Blend:

There are many variations of Romesco sauce. This one is based on one of the Catalan versions. This can be a separate recipe and is a good dip for vegetables or sturdy corn chips.

Makes about 2½ cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • 1 medium red bell pepper or the equivalent of roasted red bell peppers from a jar, rinsed
  • 3 large cloves garlic, lightly crushed, peeled, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • The Salt Table Carmen Blend
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

How to Make Spicy Meatballs with Carmen Blend:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350° F. Spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven until lightly colored at the center. Meanwhile, if using a fresh pepper, roast it over an open flame or in the oven at 400° F. until the skin blisters and blackens. Peel, seed, and cut it into uniform chunks.
  2. Process the almonds in a food processor fitted with the steel blade until finely ground. Add the roasted pepper, garlic, and tomato paste, and process until puréed. Add the vinegar and a generous teaspoon of Carmen Blend. Process until smooth. With the motor running, gradually add the oil in a thin, steady stream. Taste and adjust the Carmen Blend and pulse to blend. The sauce can be made ahead. It will keep, covered

Carmen Blend, One of Three Opera Blends

Carmen’s Cool Crab-Stuffed Tomato Tapas

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Carmen Blend Marinated Crab Salad

Carmen Blend marries well with just about any fish, seafood and fresh produce. You can substitute or add to the crab if you like: flaked cooked fish such as snapper, or cooked small shrimp, bay scallops, squid, and/or octopus cut into very small pieces.

Serves 4-16

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound (2 tightly-packed cups) picked crabmeat, preferably both lump and claw meat
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced small scallions (about 3-4), both white and green parts or minced red onion
  • 1 large or 2 medium cloves garlic, lightly crushed, peeled, and finely minced
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1-to-1-1/2 lemons
  • The Salt Table Carmen Blend
  • 4 medium ripe tomatoes, 8 small Roma tomatoes, or a 24-36 mini San Marzano or cherry tomatoes
  • The Salt Table Fine Sea Salt
  • Smoked paprika and/or basil leaves, optional, for garnish

How to Make It:

  1. Pick over the crabmeat for bits of shell and put it in mixing bowl. Add the scallion and garlic and gently toss to mix.
  2. Lightly drizzle it with olive oil and toss until lightly but evenly coated. Sprinkle with the juice from 1 lemon, gently toss, then season lightly with Carmen Blend. Gently toss again and let it stand 15-20 minutes. Taste, adjust the Carmen Blend and lemon juice, and toss again. Cover and refrigerated at least 1 hour or until needed; can be made up to a day ahead.
  3. About half an hour before serving, cut off about 1/4-inch of top (stem end) of the medium tomatoes, halve the Roma or mini San Marzano tomatoes lengthwise, or cap the cherry tomatoes. Carefully scoop out their seeds and inner pulp, leaving only outer flesh to form shell. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and invert over wire rack set in sink. Drain at least 20 minutes.
  4. To serve, gently pat tomato shells dry. Spoon crabmeat into tomato shells. If liked, garnish with paprika and/or basil leaves and serve. The larger tomatoes can be served as an appetizer course at the table, on a lettuce leaf with crackers or toast on the side.

Carmen Blend, One of Three Opera Blends

Additional information

Opera Blends

Carmen Blend in Grinder Bottle, Opera Collection Gift Set

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