Do you remember in my post on Friday I promised you my secret to using up acorn squash seeds?  Here’s the secret…roast them and then toss with Tiki Spice!  I first discovered Tiki Spice when I was searching for some Hawaiian salts online.  My supply is running low and I wanted some more before I ran out.  I use Hawaiian salts on everything!  Steak, chicken, salmon, vegetable shish kebabs, mushrooms, edamame.  But then I stumbled across Chef Michael’s site where he sells guava wood smoked Hawaiian Sea Salt.

Here’s what he says on his blog about his process to create this product…“During a trip to Boston a few years ago, I bought a small jar of Chardonnay smoked fleur de sel and was seduced by it’s subtle smokiness. Using the few remaining crumbs and fading aroma left in my prize jar… I set out to make my own version. I live on an island surrounded by salt water, I have all kinds of exotic tropical wood at my disposal…I have gobs of knowledge, skills and experience…how hard could it be?

Well, after two years of trial and error…I have perfected my process! Using a blend of three hand harvested, solar dried Hawaiian sea salts smoked slowly over local guava wood, I have produced a product that I would proudly hold up to any fine smoked sea salt available.”

I immediately sent Chef Michael an e-mail and he was kind enough to send me a GENEROUS sample of his salt to play with and come up with some recipes.  I know this is going to be amazing in rubs and meat dishes, but first I wanted to try a couple vegetarian dishes.  I love the smokey flavor of the salt, it’s almost like bacon!  I thought it’d be so great for vegetarian dishes by adding a layer of flavor you don’t usually get without meat.  So I experimented with both a mozzarella salad, and roasting acorn squash seeds.  I actually think I prefer acorn squash seeds over pumpkin seeds because the outer shell is a little softer or smaller or something that keeps it from getting stuck in your throat.  I’m so excited about this salt that I want to share it with you, so read carefully after the recipes so you can buy some or WIN SOME!

Roasted Acorn Squash Seeds with Tiki Spice

makes 1/4-1/2 cup seeds

Ingredients

Seeds of one acorn squash
1/2 TBS butter
1/4 tsp Tiki Spice Smoked Sea Salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the butter and mix with acorn squash seeds.  Spread onto a foil lined cookie sheet in a single layer(I like to fold up the sides of the foil to make sure no butter overflows).

Roast for about 10 minutes or until the seeds just start to turn golden brown.  Sprinkle with Tiki Spice and toss well.  Serve hot or cooled.

Approximate cost/serving: It may seem expensive at first for the salts, but an 8 oz package is bigger than my hand (though I do have small hands) and a tiny bit goes a LOOOONG way, plus if you keep it sealed it will last ages.  Even if you use a tsp at a time, that’s still a good 44-48 uses in that 8 oz bag (depending on which google result you use to do your math!).  Because I only used 1/4 tsp, it’s around 9 cents for the Tiki Spice.   If you pay $1.50 for your acorn squash, let’s call the seeds 1/6 of the squash.  That’s 25 cents for the seeds, so with a little butter, it’s around 38 cents for a tasty snack.

Vegetarian/gluten free: Yes, and to make vegan, sub olive oil for the butter.

Mozzarella Salad with Tiki Spice

serves 6 as side

Ingredients

1 cucumber chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
2 roma tomatoes chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup cubed fresh mozzarella
1/2 tsp Tiki Spice

Instructions

Mix chopped cucumber, tomato and mozzarella with half of the Tiki Spice.  Dish up individual servings and sprinkle rest of Tiki Spice over the top.

Approximate cost/serving: We get our mozzarella really affordably at Sam’s Club and tomatoes and cucumbers from our CSA, but they’re still cheap in the store.  The whole thing costs around $1.80 to make, so 30 cents a serving.

Vegetarian/gluten free: Good to go on both counts.

Now for the giveaway!  I’m going to share my bounty and give one lucky reader a jar of Tiki Spice.  There are several ways to be entered to win.

1.  Leave a comment on the post about what you would use Tiki Spice for.
2.  Visit http://tikispice.com and then leave a comment here finishing the setence (from photo gallery) “Lucas at the source, ____________”
3.  Tweet, Facebook, Digg, Stumble, etc with a link to this post and then leave a comment letting me know.

This is actually my first giveaway, and I’m excited!  I’ll be using a random number generator to pick the winner on Friday, so you must leave your comments by Thursday, September 24.  Good luck!  If you don’t win, head back to http://TikiSpice.com and buy some for yourself!


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