Homemade Sriracha Sauce

I’ll be the first to admit, like others, that I am a huge fan of hot sauces. My wife would attest to that as well as she often sees sweat piling up on my cheeks while I douse my food with various hot sauces. She will also be the first to tell you that she would like to see me have another refrigerator just for condiments and hot sauces. Yes, I love them, and everything they have to offer. Sriracha is no exception to that and it could be one of my favorite condiments as it yields, to me, the best in terms of vinegar, garlic, and overall heat.  I have been tinkering with hot sauces for years now, and I truly love some of my outcomes. I love the fermentation process and Sriracha is no exception when making this awesome, garlic and vinegar based chili sauce.

Homemade Sriracha Sauce

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of red jalapeno chili peppers, sliced in half, stems removed
  • 6 Thai bird chili peppers, red ones if you can, stems removed
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar

Yep, that’s it. Pretty simple ingredients that yields an amazing hot sauce.

Start by adding the chilies, garlic, salt, garlic powder, and honey to a food processor.  Pulse until everything has been processed and you have a nice paste. Be careful when you remove the top of the food processor as the heat from the chilies really pack a punch. 

Remove the paste and place in a glass container, and cover.

How to make Sriracha Sauce

You will store this container, covered, at room temperature for 7 days which will allow the mixture to ferment.

Every day, around the same time, remove the cover, and give it a good stir. You should see bubbles appearing near the top after a couple of days. Stir for seven days.

After a week, pour the mixture into a sauce pan. Add the vinegar, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or so. You will probably want to put the kitchen hood vent on as well. It’s spicy smelling, and along with the vinegar, well your spouse or kids might give you a dirty look.

After 10 minutes of simmering, remove it from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.

Next you will pour the mixture through a strainer, over a bowl, to extract the liquid, and remove the solids. Press on the chili mixture, fully, until all of the liquid has been extracted. Put some effort into this process

Next, pour the Sriracha into a serving vessel, and enjoy. This homemade sriracha sauce is freaking amazing. It’s not the texture you would expect in your typical bottle of sriracha, but I am definitely fine with that. This sauce is a bit thinner, much like a Tabasco would be, but it has that great spicy, garlic, and vinegar punch that I love.

There you have it. Give this one a shot if you love sweating from your cheeks and have room for another hot sauce in your refrigerator! Hope you enjoy!

Turmeric Fried Rice

My kids are huge fans of fried rice, and I make a batch about once a week as I make rice probably twice a week as a side dish. Fried rice is one of those dishes where my pickiest of eaters will consume the eggs, peas, and carrots, only to get a bit or two of great pieces of chopped bacon. It is probably one of the reasons I continue to make fried rice during the week as well. Now I have came up with things such as kimchi fried rice, chorizo fried rice, and one of my kids favorites of all of my fried rice dishes, the bacon fried rice, so this time around I wanted to try something different and come up with a turmeric fried rice.

Turmeric Fried Rice

If you have never had turmeric, well, let’s just say it is really good for you. It’s a common spice in Indian cooking and has a ton of health benefits to say the least, plus it adds some really vibrant color to any dish. Did I mention that fried rice is a perfect way to use up any leftovers as well? In this case, I had some leftover grilled chicken that gave the fried rice some additional texture.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked Jasmine rice (Best if this is leftover cooked rice from the following day)
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 tbsp reserved bacon grease
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup of cooked chicken, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, optional
  • salt to taste, optional

Start by cooking your rice. Rinse the rice until the rice is no longer cloudy. We use a rice cooker, using a 1-to-1 cooking method; 3 cups of rice to 3 cups of water. Add the turmeric and the garlic to the rice cooker and give a good stir. Cook, and serve if you would like. That’s what I did, served alongside grilled chicken. I then used the remaining leftover chicken and cooked rice the following day for this recipe.

When you are ready to make your fried rice, start by cooking the bacon. Once cooked, remove and set aside on a plated lined with paper towel. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease, then add the butter and let that cook on medium heat until it is nice and bubbly.

How to make turmeric fried rice

Add the chicken and get a bit of color onto it, cooking for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and start breaking it up with your wooden spoon.

After a few minutes of cooking the rice, add the beaten egg, and start mixing up the rice.

Next add the bacon pieces, soy sauce, and continue to cook.

Turn up the heat to medium-high. Add the peas, and stir.

Continue cooking on medium-high heat until you get a bit of some crispy fried rice going on. Once you are satisfied, taste, and season with any salt, or other remaining things you might like in a fried rice such as chili flakes, or chopped chilies.

This turmeric fried rice was great, and as much as my kids questioned the color, the began to dig in, and realize that it was their standard fried rice, but with an added benefit of turmeric.

What’s your favorite way to make fried rice? I’d be curious to know… Hope you enjoy!

Indian Butter Chicken

Lately I have become a huge fan of Indian cuisine. Everything from the simple, yet complex flavors of dishes like chana masala, curried lentils, or chicken tikka, and don’t even get me started on their breads such as garlic naan, chapati, or roti. Now when it comes to Indian food, I am no expert, however I have had many dishes from local establishments in Milwaukee, as well as looked at pretty much every item in a great Indian grocery store called Best Food Store. With that said, I do know my way around a bit, and I am pretty familiar with spices such as cardamon, chilies, peppercorns, cumin, tumeric, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, and garam masala to name a few. Unlike Thai cooking, for the most part, the thing I love about Indian curries is the earthiness of spices and the balance of spice and creaminess. So as I was looking at my last bowl of tomatoes from my early Fall harvest, I knew that I was going to use those in a dish known as Indian Butter Chicken, or Chicken Makhani. I knew my wife would love this one, and did she ever.

Indian Butter Chicken

Let me start by saying there are probably many different ways to make this Indian butter chicken recipe, but this is my take on it, and it probably does not stem too far from an original recipe, with the exception that I do not have a tandoor oven (but I really wish I did). If you have a great recipe or addition, I would love to hear about it.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 medium sized onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 cup of diced tomatoes
  • 2 whole Indian chilies, or 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups of cream
  • 1/4 cup of chopped almond
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Cooked rice
  • Naan or Khichiya Papad, optional

I know, seems like a lot of ingredients, and granted it is more than usual, but every one counts to make this outstanding dish.

Start by mixing the yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala, turmeric, and cumin in a mixing bowl. Once the spices are nicely incorporated, add the cut up chicken pieces. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.

The following day when you are ready to make the Indian butter chicken, remove the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter to take some of the chill off of it while you prepare the remainder of the dish.

On medium heat, add a large skillet, or pot to the stove, then add the stick of butter. Let the butter melt until it gets nice and bubbly. Then add in your onions. Sweat the onions for about 7 minutes on medium heat, then add in the garlic, and ginger. Give that a nice stir and continue cooking and stirring until the onions begin to caramelize a bit, about another 10 minutes.

How to make Indian Butter Chicken

During this time, heat a smaller skillet on medium-low heat, and then add the cumin seeds and cinnamon stick. Cook until you get a nice fragrance, only a few minutes or so, then place this into the skillet with the onions.

Give another good stir, then toss in the chilies, tomatoes,  and salt. Stir once more and cook for another 3 minutes or so.

Add the chicken and marinade, and stir to incorporate all of those ingredients. Take in the smell, it’s divine.

After a few minutes of cooking, add the chicken stock, and bring to boil, then cover and simmer for about 25 minutes.

Once the chicken is cooked through, add the cream, and almonds. Taste and season with any additional salt.

When you are ready to serve, add a bit of cooked rice to a bowl, and ladle in the Indian Butter Chicken. Garnish with some fresh cilantro and serve with a side of naan or khichiya papad (my family loves this stuff).

I think this was my wife’s first attempt at trying Indian butter chicken, and as she loves many of the Thai curries I whip up for her, she definitely fell in love (as did I) with this dish. It’s so warming and delicious that you will be wanting more and more of it. TRUST ME. Anyway, I hope you enjoy, and give this one a shot as it is a great entrance into Indian cuisine.

Creamy Crab Dip

Believe it or not but most everything I make (excluding the hot and spicy stuff) is made for my wonderful wife (of 15 years to this day), and often times my kids. Granted, my wife could possibly live off of pork chops and rice every day (this is what her default response is (and I love) when I ask her what she would like for dinner), but I know of a few other things that she simply loves. Sorry for all of the parenthesis by the way, I don’t know what got into me. As I was thinking of something that she would love a couple of weekends ago, I decided that I would come up with a warm, and creamy crab dip that I knew would grab her attention. It’s been a while since we’ve last eaten crab so I knew that she would love a combination of crab, vegetables, and cheese that she could dip in and watch a Packers game. This one was a real winner and should be served more often.

Creamy Crab Dip Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp roasted red peppers, diced
  • 1 whole jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp old bay seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tbsp green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup crab meat, drained
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
  • Crackers, pretzels, or bread

 

To start, add the shallots, jalapeno, and red bell pepper into a non-stick skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, just until they are lightly softened. Then place everything but the bread crumbs into a mixing bowl, and do just that, mix. Make sure everything is incorporated, then with rubber spatula, scrape everything into a baking dish.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

How to make creamy crab dip

Cook in the oven for about 25 minutes or until everything is nice and bubbly.

Remove from the oven, top with the breadcrumbs, then place under your broiler until the breadcrumbs are nice and toasted, about 4-6 minutes.

The end result is nothing short of amazing. I love to say it, but my wife, and I knew it, totally fell in love with this dip. The balance of cheeses, along with the peppers and crunch topping really made for a great, and easy dip. Hope you enjoy!