Cloves are unopened tropical flower buds. They originated in Indonesia and are one of the most pungent spices. This highly aromatic spice has an intense flavour and should be used sparingly. Cloves should be used to impart flavour during the cooking process, but removed from dishes prior to serving as they retain their hard woody texture. They are key ingredient in (Indian) garam masala and (Chinese) five spice. Are added to curries, casseroles and béchamel (a white sauce simmered with a clove studded bay leaf and onion). Cloves go well with apples (apple pie), pickles and baked goods. Whole Cloves are traditionally used to stud baked ham and ground cloves are associated with festive baking.
Uses and Ideas! ©
- Braised Red Cabbage - Braise 1 finely sliced red cabbage in olive oil with 2 finely sliced Spanish onion, 2 grated apples, 1 t ground cloves, 1 pinch of nutmeg ground, 1 tbsp of red currant jelly and 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar. Add 1 tbsp of butter and slow braise for 80 minutes (stir occasionally). Season to taste and serve with roast duck, pork, game or quail. Omit the butter and serve chilled with pastrami on rye bread.
- Make a spiced shortbread adding 1/2 t each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to your favourite sweet shortbread recipe