Spicy Thai Dipping Sauce – Nam Jim Jaew

I am a huge fan of Thai dipping sauces. Not only Thai but also Vietnamese. There is something about the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and spice that when served with sticky rice or grilled meat, well, let’s just say it is a game changer. I’ve made some pretty darn good sauces in the past such as the Thai shallot sauce, the Thai Three Sauce, or the classic Thai dipping sauce, but this sauce in particular really stands out. It’s known as nam jim jaew and what separates it is the additions of toasted rice and spring onions.

Nam Jim Jaew with Grilled Beef

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp fish sauce (I use Red Boat)
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate syrup, or preferably tamarind pulp
  • 1 tbsp ground red chili
  • 1/2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 tsp toasted rice
  • 2 tbsp spring onion, thinly sliced

Now typically you would use tamarind pulp for this recipe, however I was out and decided to use pomegranate syrup as it yields the same texture and sourness to the dish. Did I mention it was just as awesome? Regardless, add everything to a small mixing bowl, and with the back of a fork, mix everything together, ensuring that the palm sugar thins out.

How to make Nam Jim Jaew

Add the sauce into a small serving dish and serve alongside any grilled meat. This stuff is addicting. I was actually eating it by the spoon, and I’m not kidding about that. I probably used about 5 different spoons as it was hard to hold back. When paired with the grilled beef, well, you are just going to fall in love. Hope you enjoy!

Cilantro and Basil Pesto with Gnocchi

I just wrapped up my garden not too long ago as we have been hit with cold weather in Wisconsin. It’s sad in a way because all of us that live here know what that means. Winter is on its way. We had a really successful harvest this year, which was awesome. In the last few years I found myself heading to the farmers market every Saturday morning, but not this year. We had an abundance of tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, broccoli, beans, watermelon, strawberries, and fresh herbs. It was excellent to say the least.  This year I had a huge plant of basil, and as I was looking at breaking it down, I immediately knew what I was going to make; pesto. With that said I also realized I had a bunch of cilantro, which I normally do, and decided to make a combination of cilantro and basil pesto, only to be used with gnocchi, one of my wife’s favorite dumplings.

Cilantro and Basil Gnocchi

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of cilantro, rinsed and cleaned
  • 1 cup of fresh basil leaves, cleaned
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Homemade or frozen gnocchi, cooked

To a blender, or food processor add the cilantro, basil, olive oil, salt, pepper, almonds, and parmesan cheese. Blend until you have a smooth sauce. If you want a thinner sauce, drizzle in more olive as you are blending the ingredients.

To the warm gnocchi, take a tablespoon or so and begin mixing it into the gnocchi until you have a nice, well incorporated blend.

The end result is everything you love about a basil pesto with a great vibrance of the cilantro. The cilantro really adds a great pop to the pesto. Give this one a shot and let me know what you think.

 

Sweet Potato Fruit Juice

Fall in Wisconsin could probably be one of my favorite seasons. It’s a time where comfort food shines, you can get into warmer clothes on gloomy days, the colors on all of the trees is remarkable, and a variety of fruits and vegetables are finally in harvest. So recently I picked up an assortment of fruits and vegetables as I wanted to come up with some sort of juice with a reminder of that great fall weather. Pomegranates, carrots, apples, and a variety of citrus was in order for my juice plan, with a focus on the pomegranates, and then I looked over and saw this great sweet potato looking at me. That’s when I decided to make an attempt at juicing it, and am I ever glad I did! This juice could have possibly bee on of the best ones I have must thus far with my Dash juicer.

Sweet Potato Fruit Juice Recipe

I was a bit skeptical when running the hard sweet potatoes through my juicer as it can fumble on really hard items at times. It is also one of the reasons I have been looking at some of the great juicers from Williams-Sonoma. I would really love to have the Vitamix Professional Series blender as it is multipurpose, but the Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer also has my attention. Maybe one day when I come into a lot of extra money that dream will come true, but in the meantime, I will continue to chop my fruits and vegetables before putting them into my Dash juicer, oh well.

There are so many benefits of juicing, and I knew that the sweet potato would add an extra punch to the benefits of gulping this delicious juice down. Trust me, you are going to love this, and the pineapple really brings it together.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole pomegranate, seeds only
  • 1 whole apple, quartered
  • 1 large carrot, washed
  • 1 orange, skin removed
  • 1 grapefruit, skin removed
  • 1/2 lemon, skin removed
  • 1 whole sweet potato, skin removed, chopped
  • 1 cup of fresh pineapple, chopped

This juice yields about 3 cups so there is plenty to go around, or just take it all in yourself.

Start by slicing your pomegranate in half. Over a large bowl, seeds facing the bowl, use a large wooden spoon and begin whacking the skin side of the pomegranate. Do this and continue to spin the pomegranate until all seeds are removed. Do this with the other half as well. Reserve some of the seeds for garnishing your juice, which will add some nice texture as well.

I layer fruit, vegetables, fruit into my juicer. That combination assists the vegetables in breaking down a bit better. If you have a higher quality juicer like the ones from Williams-Sonoma, then you can probably do whatever you want.

How to make Sweet Potato Juice

Once you have juiced all of your ingredients, add some ice to your glass, and slowly pour into the glass. Garnish the top with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and you are now in business. Did I mention how awesome the color of this sweet potato juice was?

With every gulp of this juice, I knew I was injecting all of the great nutrients from all of the ingredients, and in the future, whatever the season, I will always start use a sweet potato. Hope you enjoy!

Sweet Potato Fruit Juice
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole pomegranate, seeds only
  • 1 whole apple, quartered
  • 1 large carrot, washed
  • 1 orange, skin removed
  • 1 grapefruit, skin removed
  • ½ lemon, skin removed
  • 1 whole sweet potato, skin removed, chopped
  • 1 cup of fresh pineapple, chopped
Instructions
  1. This juice yields about 3 cups so there is plenty to go around, or just take it all in yourself.
  2. Start by slicing your pomegranate in half. Over a large bowl, seeds facing the bowl, use a large wooden spoon and begin whacking the skin side of the pomegranate. Do this and continue to spin the pomegranate until all seeds are removed. Do this with the other half as well. Reserve some of the seeds for garnishing your juice, which will add some nice texture as well.
  3. Add everything to the juicer. Once you have juiced all of your ingredients, add some ice to your glass, and slowly pour into the glass. Garnish the top with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and you are now in business. Did I mention how awesome the color of this sweet potato juice was?
  4. With every gulp of this juice, I knew I was injecting all of the great nutrients from all of the ingredients, and in the future, whatever the season, I will always start use a sweet potato. Hope you enjoy!

 

Smoked Pulled Chicken Sliders

I must have been on a slider kick recently as I posted on my cheeseburger sliders. Maybe it was the awesome, sweet Hawaiian buns I had purchased, or maybe it was the killer whole smoked chicken that my kids devoured. It was probably both of those reasons, and hence why I decided to use the remaining smoked chicken and turn it into a slider. I think my oldest son has really got me in the mood for making sliders. His new thing is searing up thinly sliced ham and using small dinner rolls, or the sweet King’s Hawaiian rolls, searing those up as well, and devouring those for his brunch. He’s the one who doesn’t wake up and eat right away. It takes some persuading to get him moving in the morning. Go figure, he’s a teenager. These smoked pulled chicken sliders are something to be reckoned with. They have the perfect smoke, along with some sweetness from the barbecue sauce and rolls, and then a pickle to cut through it all. These are a real winner.

Smoked Pulled Chicken Sliders

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole King’s Hawaiian rolls, sliced
  • 1 cup of cooked, smoked chicken, shredded
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Pickle slices, optional

This serves one, so make as many as you would like with however much chicken you have.

These are extremely easy to make once you have the smoked chicken.

Shred your chicken and add it to a small pot. Add in the barbecue sauce, and the water, and give it a good stir. Cook on low heat until heated through.

Smoked Whole Chicken

Take the warmed chicken and add it to the two sweet Hawaiian rolls. Take a toothpick and skewer pickles through the top of the bun.

Dig in.

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