Three Recipes from Savory Spice Shop's Cookbook

Grilled chicken lettuce wraps.

SEVERAL RESTAURANTS in Charlotte are using custom blends from Amy and Scott MacCabe, owners of Savory Spice Shop on South Boulevard, to season dishes. These three recipes from the store’s cookbook, Spice to Plate, use seasonings available at the shop.


Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Serves 4 to 6
Recipe from Savory Spice Shop

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice cooking wine)
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Barrier Reef Caribbean Style Seasoning
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
4 ounces very thin rice sticks (also called Maifun rice noodles)
1 head Bibb (or Boston) lettuce, whole leaves plucked, rinsed, and dried
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
½ cucumber, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
4 scallions, white and green parts sliced
½ cup chopped peanuts (optional)

For the sauce: Whisk together soy sauce, fish sauce, mirin, honey, and Barrier Reef seasoning until honey is incorporated. Place chicken in a Ziploc bag. Pour half of the sauce over chicken, seal bag, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Reserve remaining sauce.

For the chicken: Preheat grill to medium-high, making sure it is well oiled. Remove chicken from refrigerator and shake off any excess marinade. Grill until cooked through, 10 to 20 minutes depending on grill heat and size of chicken. Flip chicken halfway through to get an even char. (The chicken can also be pan-seared on the stovetop over medium-high heat with a little canola oil.) Remove chicken from grill and mince into small pieces. Transfer to a serving bowl and toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved sauce.

For the garnishes and to serve: Place noodles in a medium saucepan or heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes or until noodles are soft. Drain, rinse with cold water, transfer to a serving bowl, and toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved sauce. Stack lettuce leaves on a serving plate. Place remaining reserved sauce, mango, cucumber, scallions, and peanuts in separate serving bowls. Serve family-style. Build a wrap starting with 1 lettuce leaf topped with a small pile of noodles. Add a scoop of chicken and scatter remaining garnishes on top to taste. Serve with extra sauce. 


Lamb Meatball Orzo Soup
Serves 4 to 6
Recipe from Savory Spice Shop

1 large leek, white and light green parts rinsed and diced (about 2 cups)
1 small fennel bulb, diced (about 2 cups), fronds reserved for garnish
1 large shallot, diced (about ½ cup)
1 pound ground lamb
1 egg
½ cup dried bread crumbs
2 ½ tablespoons Hidden Cove Lemon Garlic Blend
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium carrots, sliced into thin rounds (about 1 cup)
¼ teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
8 cups chicken broth
¾ cup uncooked orzo pasta
3 ounces spinach leaves (about 2 cups)
1 lemon, sliced

For the meatballs: Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set half of each the diced leek, fennel, and shallot aside in a small bowl. Place remaining half in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer the pulsed veggies to a large bowl and add ground lamb, egg, bread crumbs, 1½ tablespoons of the Hidden Cove seasoning, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Mix with hands until thoroughly combined. Form into tablespoonsized meatballs and place on prepared baking sheets. (You should end up with about 40 meatballs.) Bake for 25 minutes, turning meatballs over halfway through. Transfer meatballs to a paper towel-lined platter. 

For the soup: Heat oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or soup pot. Add reserved diced veggies along with carrots, pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until softened, stirring frequently, 8 to 10 minutes. Add broth and remaining 1 tablespoon Hidden Cove and bring to a boil. Add meatballs and orzo and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in spinach just before serving; spinach will wilt slightly. Serve warm garnished with chopped fennel fronds and a slice of lemon.

Chicken Biryani
Serves 4 to 6
Recipe from Savory Spice Shop

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
2 tablespoons Zanzibar Curry Powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed
1 to 2 small tomatoes, chopped (about ½ to 1 cup)
2 cups chicken broth
½ cup chopped dried fruit (such as dates, apricots, raisins, or currants)
¼ cup raw, shelled pumpkin seeds
¼ cup chopped or sliced almonds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon, juiced

Cut chicken into bite-sized cubes and toss with 1 tablespoon of the Zanzibar Curry Powder and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Heat oil over medium heat in Dutch oven or large sauté pan. Add chicken and sauté until lightly browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl and cover with foil.

In the same pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until softened and browned, 7 to 8 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from the chicken. Stir in rice and remaining 1 tablespoon Zanzibar and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, broth, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes before removing lid.

Fluff the rice with a fork; then fold in cooked chicken, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and parsley until combined. Season with lemon juice to taste. Serve warm.

Categories: Food & Entertaining