Category Archives: Sauce

Chinese Fried Red Chili Sauce

I visit the Asian markets probably about twice a month. I often pick up green papaya for making som tam, maybe some dumplings, or siapao, and a couple of condiments. One of my favorite condiments is this Chinese fried red chili sauce. It’s basically a lot of red chili flakes, garlic, ginger, and fermented black beans that is slow cooked in a bunch of oil. It’s flipping amazing. I put it on everything, and I mean everything. It’s almost as addicting as Sriracha, but more mellow. It stores great as well which makes it even better. As I ran out, my buddy sent me a recipe that I tweaked ever so slightly, and it was just as good, if not better.

Chinese Red Chili Sauce

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of Chinese black fermented beans
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated into a paste
  • 2 tbsp ginger, grated into a paste
  • 1 cup red chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 cups peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp salt

Start by adding the fermented black beans, and any remaining garlic ends into a food processor. Pulse until it is nice and fine.

How to make Chinese Fried Red Chili Sauce

Add the oil to a saucepan on medium-low heat. Add in the ginger, garlic, and fermented beans, along with the red chili flakes. Give a good stir, and cook for about 30 minutes, making sure the oil mixture stays at about 225 degrees. Once cooked at that temperature for 25 minutes, remove from the heat and let cool.

Once cooled, stored in a sealed tight container.

Chinese Fried Red Chili Sauce

Again, the sauce is awesome. It is perfect in every way. It’s not to spicy which is why it goes great with pretty much everything. I put it on my eggs in the morning, kebabs, rice, pasta, and well, you get the idea. Give this one a shot, I’m certain you will love it as much as I do.

Son-in-Law Eggs

I’ve told you before, but I will mention it again, I am a big fan of hard boiled eggs. They are so simple to make and provide a quick energy boost when you have a busy schedule. I have been hooked on the 8 minute eggs, but then again I am always thinking of other creative ideas such as these Son-in-Law eggs. If you have never heard of Son-in-Law eggs, don’t worry, that’s why I am here to tell you about them, and after you make them, you can thank me. Trust me, these are wickedly awesome.

I’m not too sure of the naming of this recipe, but it probably has something to do with having a man’s mother-in-law inflict a bit of fear into the man, that if you do not treat her daughter with respect and love, well, she will indeed inflect some fear into you and well, you probably get the point. But there is something beyond this, and something so amazing about the combination of flavor and texture that really makes this dish shine.

Son-in-Law Eggs Recipe

This is a perfect use of hard boiled eggs, and believe it or not, the eggs are deep fried. Yep, deep fried. Who would have thought?

The sauce has this great sourness and spice that when paired with the creamy deep fried egg and shallots, just blows ones mind. Again, trust me. You will probably want to use the sauce on things like fried chicken or fish. It’s awesome.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 whole eggs, cooked to your hard boil liking (I go with 8 minutes for a creamy, yet set yolk)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar (you could use light brown sugar as well)
  • 4 tbsp tamarind sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 Thai chili pepper, smashed
  • 1 pinch of chili flakes
  • 3 cups of cooking oil for deep frying
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Start by making your sauce.

Add the one tablespoon of cooking oil to a small pot. Bring to medium heat, then add in your garlic. Cook for about a minute, then toss in the fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind, and chili pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat and set it to the side.

Peel your hard boiled eggs.

How to make Son-in-Law Eggs

Heat another pot with the cooking oil on medium heat. After a few minutes, add in the thinly sliced shallots, and cook for about 5 minutes or so, until they are lightly browned and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set them on to some paper towel to drain.

Bring the oil back to about 350 degrees, then carefully add the peeled hard boiled eggs. Cook for about 8 minutes or so, until they are lightly browned. You can go longer if you want, but I always think they are going to explode. Once lightly browned, remove with the slotted spoon and let them drain on the paper towel, lightly patting.

Slice the eggs in half and add them to a serving plate. Shower the eggs with the fried shallots, then pour the sauce over the eggs. Shower with fresh cilantro and dig in. Feel free to serve with cooked jasmine rice if you desire.

Again, the flavor combination is out of this world. Thai food at it’s best in terms of texture, and flavor. Hope you enjoy!

 

Ramp and Basil Pistou

Last weekend was a blast. My wife and I (more so my wife) planted the vegetable and herb garden, and got all of our planting done. Not only that, but I was able to venture off and go on my first foraging adventure. I had signed up to go foraging for morel mushrooms with Braise restaurant some time ago, and I was really stoked to learn about mushrooms, and foraging in general. I was lucky enough to find three morels that weekend morning, along with a bunch of ramps, and violets. I donated the morels to the chef as he prepared a lunch after the hunt, but I did keep the ramps to be used in in pistou.

Ramp and Basil Pistou

Pistou is much like a pesto, however pine nuts are not used, and well, I’m a big fan of that. I actually prefer a pistou over a pesto as I like it’s texture much better. Pistou’s can be used in salads, sandwiches, or pastas to name a few, and they can also be made with a variety of herbs, not just basil.

Let’s get started.

  • 1 cup ramp leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 cup of fresh Italian basil, leaves only
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ~ 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt

Add the garlic, herbs, cheese, and salt to a food processor. Turn on and slowly start drizzling in the olive oil. Store in a sealed container until you are ready to use.

How to make pistou

I used mine in a simple pasta dish by adding about 1/2 cup to one pound of cooked penne pasta. It was super awesome, and simple. Who doesn’t love that right?

Ramps and Morel Mushrooms

The result is a sauce that had that subtle hint of onion and garlic, along with that great basil.

Grilled New York Strip with Blue Cheese Butter

Finally. Yes, finally we are back to a few good months of weather in Wisconsin. Let’s face it, this past winter was brutally long, and finally everything is blooming. The smell of late spring and summer is here, and well, it’s just plain awesome. It’s funny how something so simple that mother nature provides makes us all cheer up a bit.  With that said, it is also that time of year where grilling becomes part of the everyday ritual. Whether it is lunch during the weekend, or by default the dinner cooking method during the work week, my little grill is getting it’s workout week, especially during this long holiday weekend.

As I got the ‘house’ ready for the long weekend, meaning, cut the grass, plant the vegetable garden, etc, I was really hungry and I knew I was going to want to fill up on a good meal. So with that said, about 80% through my cutting of the grass, I lit some coals in my charcoal chimney starter, and took a small break to season a New York strip, generously with salt on both sides, and cracked black pepper on the other. Then I thought, after having a recent conversation with a friend regarding morel mushrooms, that I would throw together a bit of blue cheese butter. Yes, blue cheese, and butter are amazing with steak if you have never had it, now then, please try.

New York Strip with Blue Cheese Butter

After I cut the grass, the coals were finally heated, and so I placed the grate onto the grill, cleaned it, heated it, and got pretty darn excited for lunch. Steak for lunch? Hell yes. It wasn’t that I was so excited as the steak, as it was for the blue cheese butter. Trust me.

Let’s get started.

  • 1 New York Strip, to your liking
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp softened, unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 tsp chopped chives

That’s it. And TRUST me, the combination is out of this world.

Start by seasoning both sides of your steak with salt. Pat it into the steak. Season one side with the cracked black pepper. Let this sit on the counter, at room temperature for about 30 minutes. During this time, heat you grill. I always prefer charcoal, but do what you want on this step.

Take the butter and add it to a small bowl. Add the blue cheese, and chives. Mix well and set inside the refrigerator to cool.

How to make New York Strip with Blue Cheese Butter

Once the grill is preheated, clean your grates, then take the steak, and place onto direct heat, cracked pepper side down. Sear the steak for about 4 minutes.

Turn, and cook until your desired tenderness. I go medium, to medium-rare nowadays.

Remove from the grill, and place onto your serving dish. Top with the blue cheese butter, and gently spread onto the top before slicing into it.

Yes, this is what I had for  lunch, and after 3 hours of working outdoors, it was well deserved.

The result is a perfect flavor combination. My brother-n-law turned me onto the blue cheese and steak combination years ago, and to this day, it’s one of my favorites. As much as I love cooked mushrooms with my steak, this one tops it. The grilled New York Strip with blue cheese butter has this creaminess, along with that great kick from the blue cheese that will just blow your mind. Trust me, it’s a good one. Hope you enjoy!