The King of Spices, Part Two (and Wolf Cakes!)

Black Pepper

Last week I wrote about the origins of this wonderful spice. This week let’s look at some good uses for it!

But first, here is my new collection of peppers!

Black Malabar Pepper

Tasmanian Pepper

Rosa Berry Pepper

Tellicherry Pepper

The Tasmanian was the most expensive, and yet does not smell very intense until ground. It has got a kick to it!

The Tellicherry smells wonderful – warm and spicy. And it tastes just like its aroma. My favourite!

The Malabar is a more earthy rich flavour. Mellow yet quite strong. Apparently THE black pepper!

The rosa pepper – not really pepper at all, but Schinus terebinthifolius, is light and “peppery”! Looks lovely mixed into dishes at the last minute, or used as a decorative “sprinkle”.

Some of my favourite dishes using lots of black pepper:

Spaghetti “carbonara” – the veggie version with peas instead of ham!

Scrambled or poached eggs on toast

Creamy potato gratin

Cheese scones

Peppery breadsticks (recipe soon!)

Wolf cakes

What are wolf cakes, you may ask? Well, I made them for the first time last week, and they will definitely become a staple dish in our house. They are so simple and are rich in protein and iron… always high on my priority list as a vegetarian. And they are warming and filling – perfect for winter.

Here’s the recipe, very loosely based on Heidi’s Quinoa Patties from 101 Cookbooks.

Wolf Cakes (named after the wolf’s month of January)

2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
2 eggs
85g parmesan
65g breadcrumbs
2 or 3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (I used Tellicherry)

Note: this is more pepper than you think, so measure it!

Mix all the ingredients together. Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Form small rounds of the mixture in your hands and put in the pan, squashing down a bit with a spatula. Put a lid on the pan and leave to cook for about 5-8 mins until nicely browned. Turn and repeat. Keep warm while doing the rest of the patties.

I served ours with broccoli and garlicky halloumi cheese, and there were enough for 3 or even 4 people. But they taste good cold the next day too!