Category Archives: Tips

Sriracha Salt

I am still a big fan of Sriracha. I think a lot of us are, especially ones that enjoy that bit of spice with their food. I put it on pretty much anything when I am in the mood. I think there was a big scare not too long ago as well with the idea that the Sriracha plant, Huy Fong, was going to shutdown. I was a bit skeptical as Huy Fong is a hot sauce giant, but I decided I would stock up on a couple of bottles, just in case. With that said, I was nearing the end of one of my bottles, one of many hot sauces I keep on my kitchen table’s lazy susan, and decided to use that and create Sriracha salt. Yes, Sriracha salt.

Sriracha Salt

This salt is so good, and really easy to make. It is not spicy as is the salt, but it adds just this slight heat and vinegar to the salt, that makes it almost as addicting to the condiment itself.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • Parchment paper

That’s it. I said it was simple.

Add the salt to a container with a lid. Squirt in the Sriracha sauce. Tighten the lid, then shake, vigorously.

Pour the salt onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

How to make Sriracha salt

Make an even layer with the salt, then set on the counter for 24 hours. When ready, pour the salt into a container, and use as you would with regular kosher salt.

I’ve used this on ribs prior to smoking, omelets,  and well pretty much everything. Give this one a shot, especially if you are getting ready to enter a fresh bottle of Sriracha sauce.

Thai Toasted Rice Powder

If you have ever had any good Thai dish such as larb, or nam tok, you will notice, well if you are looking closely enough at the, that it uses a rice powder. Believe it or not but the Thai toasted rice powder is an essential ingredient in a handful of Thai recipes, and it adds not only a great texture, but also a nutty flavor to the recipe.  You can find the toasted rice, most likely, at your local Asian supermarket, but needless to say, you always make this at home, and I’m going to tell you how.

Thai Toasted Rice Powder

Let’s get started:

  • 1/2 cup of  Thai sticky rice, dry, uncooked
  • skillet
  • grinder

How simple is that, right?

You might be asking, why Thai sticky rice? In my opinion, it brings out a nuttier flavor, and is a bit more traditional, but you could use Jasmine rice as well. That should not be a problem.

Add the rice to a skillet, and bring to a medium heat. Shake the skillet from time to time, getting the rice evenly toasted. Cook the rice, until you have a light, golden brown color, being careful not to burn it. Once golden, pour into a bowl to let cool.

Thai Toasted Rice Powder Recipe

Once the rice has cooled, add to a clean spice grinder, or to mortar and pestle. Pulse, or grind until you have a textured powder.

Place in a sealable container, and store in your spice cabinet until you are ready to use. Feel free to add to your chicken, or beef larb, salads, or sauces, and enjoy!

Aji Sauce

I’m a big fan when it comes to sauces. As a matter of fact my wife said to me the other day that we need another refrigerator for all of our sauces. I’m game for that. She’s right though. I do have a lot of sauces. I have a whole side door full of Asian sauces, more for Caribbean style sauces, then sauces scattered throughout, whether they be different types of mustard, ketchup, or bbq sauce. I make a lot of sauces as well. I prefer my salsas over any store bought, and love exploring with different hot sauces.

Recently, there is one sauce that came to mind when I wanted something bright in flavor, and a sauce that I could utilize some ingredients from my garden. That’s where aji comes in. Scroll down for more photos.

Aji Sauce on top of eggs

Ingredients:

  • 3 roma tomatoes, seeded, diced
  • 4 whole green onions, trimmed, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 habanero pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar

Begin by adding the green onions, sugar, garlic, half of the cilantro, half of the parsley, half of the tomatoes, salt, pepper, vinegar, and habanero to a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely blended.

How to make Aji Sauce

To a mixing bowl, add the tomatoes, the remaining parsley and cilantro, and juice of the lime. Pour in the mixture from the food processor, and stir well to combine everything.

Aji Sauce Recipe

What you end up with is what is called aji. It is much like a sofrito and can be used in so many dishes. Smell it, then taste it, and you will see. The possibilities are endless. Soups, rice, stews, heck, even a salad. It’s fresh, it’s bright, and it is nothing short of being amazing. Give this one shot. It will store for a few weeks in the fridge, but I am not guessing it will last that long. Hope you enjoy.

Frozen Grapes

The weather has been hotter than hell in Wisconsin these past couple of weeks. After a nice long stay in San Diego, we came back to record breaking temperatures in Milwaukee. People supposedly even died from the heat. Yes, when I said hotter than hell, I meant it. When it comes to this type of heat, no one is really wanting to do much, even eat for that matter. It seemed as though our energy was drained, as well as our appetites. My kids wanted nothing but popsicles and frozen gogurt. As I watched and listened to their repetitive state of slurping their popsicles, I decided that as great as popsicles are and all, that I needed to entice them with something very cold, refreshing, and good for you.

That’s when frozen grapes came into play.

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Frozen Seedless Grapes
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My kids used to love grapes, and I think they still do for that matter, however lately they have grown accustomed to having an apple a day. They seem to be in that routine, and I am perfectly fine with that. As long as they are getting their fruit in on a daily basis, well, then I think we are doing ok.

I don’t know about you, but I have the kids of various types. I have one who likes one or two fruits, the other who is about the same but will explore and eat a banana, and finally one who will pretty much eat any type of fruit all day long.

So my goal was to reacquaint them with grapes and provide a very refreshing frozen experience.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Seedless grapes, washed, and patted dry
  • Ziplock bags
  • Freezer

Recipe for making frozen seedless grapes

After you wash and dry the grapes simply place them in a resealable plastic bag and place them in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Once they freeze, simply pop them in a bowl and dig in. Suck on them, chew them, heck, place them in some wine. Whatever the case I am sure you will find yourself repeating that process.

I think the kids really liked them. I know they really liked them. The frozen grapes were everything I was seeking to accomplish, and provided a texture that I really enjoyed. So if you are looking for a nutritious and fun thing to eat on a hotter than hell type of day, give these a shot. I’m certain you will enjoy.