Thursday, June 20, 2013

Raw Fermented Sriracha - Thai Chili Sauce

Did you know that eating capsaicin-containing foods like chili sauce releases endorphins? That means it makes you happy! More specifically, chilli peppers have been implicated as possibly relieving pain, suppressing appetite (thus aiding weight loss), and aiding the prevention of prostate cancer.

I wrote before about making a quick cooked Sriracha-style sauce. It is tasty, but lacks the probiotic benefits and complex flavor of a naturally fermented chili sauce. Though this fermented condiment can ripen for over two weeks, the actual man-hours is less than or equal to that of the "quick" cooked sauce that can be prepared in a day or two.

Bottled sriracha (pickles in background)
I'm a little obsessed with this sauce. I open it up just to smell it and bask in it's beauty. My sriracha is intensely red. It has a deep warm flavor without the eye-watering sharpness of its raw ingredients. The taste is complex, arriving in waves of fruity heat with a sense of savory indulgence.

First I'll tell you how I make it, then I'll tell you how I use it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Rice paper wraps = Leftover Heaven

wraps with baby greens, roasted bell pepper, sprouted lentils, and fermented cauliflower

How did I not know about these before?? Now that I've become friendly with my local Asian grocer, I can finally ask, "What is this?" And boy have I learned a lot!  When I used to see rice paper wrappers, they looked like too much work for me. I assumed getting these plasticy looking sheets into an edible form must involve soaking, cooking, steaming, or some other processing. Not so!

1. Dip the rice paper sheet in water for about 5 seconds, then brush the sheet over a tea towel to remove excess water.
2. Lay the sheet, still rigid, on a plate or cutting board. The sheet will absorb the water and soften in the time it takes to fill it.
3. Pile your fillings  near one side and roll up like an egg roll, blintz, or burrito.

translucent wrap with wild mushrooms, wakame, and homemade kimchi-kraut

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Make Tri-colored Freezer Pops with Disposable Popsicle Sticks

Today I want to teach you how to do two things: 
A. Make striped posicles, which are just more fun for kids and adults.
B. Get craft sticks right in the middle if the homemade pops.

Why would you want to use craft sticks?
  • Maybe you lost the sticks that came with your ice pop molds.
  • Maybe you don't have ice pop molds.
  • Maybe you want to make a lot of popsicles.
  • Maybe you want to share your homemade pops without worrying about the sticks being returned.
You will need:
- Juice, or another liquid like flavored yogurt or chocolate milk -preferably 3 colors/flavors
- Ice pop molds or small cups
- Clean, un-died craft sticks or tongue depressors


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