I don't write about movies very often on this space simply because it's a food blog, and also since I don't watch very many films. Oh, don't get me wrong, I love movies, but let's just say the the opportunity doesn't present itself very often. On the rare occasion that I find myself with a few hours to myself, I'd much rather spend it in a book store (AHH, the silence!) or perusing the shelves of my favorite gourmet food shops. If a film is released that I think I want to see -i.e. not a summer blockbuster or holiday fluff- I tell myself that I'll just rent it. Famous last words, for Danny and I seldom rent films either! There's always something better to do with our time in the evenings, like play Agricola or...[glancing out the window]...shovel snow. Not More Snow?!
However, I couldn't wait to see Slumdog Millionaire after all that I had heard about it and so when my sister agreed to come hang out with the boys on a lazy Sunday afternoon, Danny and I were out the door as fast as you can say 'popcorn'.
The film does not disappoint and pins you to your seat for an emotional and exhilarating journey to a colorful, yet often brutal India. I loved it, but it certainly tugged on a mother's heart! Upon my return home I hugged my boys a little tighter than usual and cooked a simple dinner in honour of the movie. That's where the spice blend comes in.
From Montréal's spice expert, Philippe de Vienne, comes a special new blend: Route de la Soie or Silk Road Blend. Inspired from his travels to Kashgar and containing only the very best of spices, Silk Road Blend is to the palate what Slumdog Millionaire is to the eyes.
This blend marries the flavors of traditional Chinese, Persian, and Indian cooking. It contains over fourteen spices including Iraninan rose petals, green and white cardamom, casse, fennel, ginger, long pepper, saffron, anise, black pepper, white pepper, cloves, cumin, and rose buds. I used it in perhaps the simplest way possible: a rub for a Cornish game hen that I finished with a drizzle of honey. It was excellent! This dish perfumed the house with its extraordinary bouquet and transported us back to Central Asia.
Since you absolutely must try this blend, I am giving away one can to a lucky winner! Leave a comment before February 1 and your name will be entered to win. To get a second entry, blog about this giveaway and let me know where you have done so. Winners will be announced sometime on Sunday, February 1.
Good luck to everyone!
Silk Road Blend and more of M. de Vienne's spices can be purchased online or at
Olives et Épices
Marché Jean Talon
7070 Henri-Julien etal C-11,
Roasted Cornish Hens with Silk Road Blend
(You can find Philippe's original recipe here, which I only just discovered! It's in French, but likely far better than mine below! I'll give it a try next time.)
Two Cornish Game hens, rinced and patted dry
1 tablespoon Silk Road Spice Blend
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup honey
Grind spice blend until fine and place in a small mixing bowl. Add garlic, salt and melted butter and mix well. Using your hands, rub spice mixture generously all over the hens. Marinade for an hour or two.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Place hens in a roasting pan and then in the oven. Roast for about 45 minutes or until tender and the leg easily pulls away from the carcass. Remove hens from oven and pour honey all over them. Allow to rest for at least five minutes.
To serve: use a sharp carving knife to remove the leg. Slice down the breastbone and remove the breast and wing. Serve a leg and a breast per person.