There are so many ways to tinker with the traditional cranberry sauce for the holidays, the options feel practically endless! This time for Thanksgiving I decided to take it up a notch by adding bourbon and vanilla extract to the cranberries. You can’t really go wrong with bourbon, right? Something about the flavor came through the nose more than the taste buds. You could smell the bourbon and vanilla, but you tasted the flavor of the cranberries. Similar to wine, you could say that these cranberries had a “nose.” I loved the way these cranberries came out and they will definitely become a holiday staple!
This salsa is a great last minute recipe and can be a go-to for anything tex-mex. One week day I didn’t have much in the pantry and this salsa was born. If you have diced tomatoes and a can of Chipotle peppers in adobo you are already on your way! Add spices and chopped cilantro and you have a fresh salsa without a lot of chopping and prep work. The spicy and smoky flavor goes great with beef tacos, quesadillas and eggs.
Continue Reading →
Although Summer is pretty much over you can still enjoy the Summer’s bounty by making your own jam for the coming winter months. It’s been a while since I have made my own jam and I was excited to try a new flavor. While raspberry, strawberry and blackberry are staples in my pantry I decided to go with something a little different like this cherry jam. Making jam is really easy and at it’s most basic it’s boiling fruit and sugar together. I like to use a little pectin and lemon juice to make sure my jams are nice and thick. To get rid of the foam on top, add a pat of butter into the mix but that is optional as well. I just skim the foam after my jam reaches a full boil. The combination of the vanilla and cherry flavors were delicious and I have been enjoying it on toast with black tea every morning!
Continue Reading →
To go with the batch of Veggie Dumplings, I wanted to make the perfect sauce to go with them. I read about Momos and how they are frequently paired with a tomato based sauce so I settled on a sweet and savory chutney. I loved the flavor of this sauce. The combination of spices and herbs with the acid from the lime and apple cider vinegar was so delicious. The best part was that it didn’t take long to make this and most of the ingredients I already had on hand. It made me want to double the recipe and just have it as a snack by itself!
This salsa is a wonderful way to play on the flavors in both Moroccan and Tex-mex food. The salsa is moderately spicy with flavors that come from the sweet preserved lemons and chopped mint leaves. It’s so simple to put together if you already have a batch of preserved lemons pre-made in the fridge. The mint is wonderful in this recipe and creates a nice counterpoint to the heat that comes from the peppers. Since the preserved lemons are quite salty I wouldn’t recommend adding any more salt to the recipe. I used this salsa to go along with the Moroccan Chicken Tacos and it turned out really well!
Cranberry sauce is my favorite condiment/side dish on Thanksgiving. I really like the more creative tricks to the traditional recipe. My favorite so far has been a Gingered Cranberry Sauce, but I have tried a variation with Pinot Noir which was also very tasty. This cranberry sauce is infused with pure pomegranate juice (no cocktails please) and the combination is pretty much perfect. The pomegranate juice has a slightly sweeter flavor than the cranberries so it’s a great way to make the sauce sweeter without adding additional sugar.
When I came across the recipe for corn esquites salad I took one look at it and knew I had to give it a try. This salad is basically Mexican elote which is roasted corn on the cob seasoned with cayenne, butter, mayonnaise, and cotija cheese. The corn in this recipe is cut off the cob and pan roasted until the kernels char and caramelize. Then the corn is mixed with the elote ingredients, garlic, lime, jalapeno, and cilantro. I decided to kick it up a notch and add sliced tomatoes and avocado to the salad. It was so tasty! The combination of ingredients was sweet and spicy from the corn and jalapenos yet creamy and tangy from the lime juice and cotija cheese. It ended up being the perfect topping for tacos!
Chili pastes are probably my favorite condiment so I knew once I read about Sambal Oelek I had to try it. I really enjoyed the Thai Red Curry Paste I made a while back as well as my usual go tos, Moroccan Harissa and Korean Gochujang. I was looking forward to trying out a new chili paste and thankfully this new one did not disappoint in the least! Sambal Oelek is a Southeast Asian chili paste that varies from country to country but generally consists of red chilies, shallots, ginger, garlic, lime and lemongrass. The mixture is then ground up and can be added to soups, noodle dishes, meat marinades, etc. The paste was very spicy but had wonderful flavor. I loved the combination of the sweet, spicy and citrusy flavors. I have a feeling this will go well with a lot of different dishes!
Before making this recipe, I questioned using fish sauce in a way that didn’t involve heating it up before eating. I had never eaten fish sauce “raw” but I thought I would give this recipe a shot. Nuoc Cham is a simple dipping sauce made with chilis, garlic, lime juice and of course fish sauce. When all of those ingredients combine it results in a surprisingly mild sauce (and no food poisoning!). It was perfect for the grilled lemongrass chicken and I bet it would be great with spring rolls too.
I came across a recipe for this Vietnamese-style cashew dipping sauce over at Steamy Kitchen. It looked awesome so I knew I had to give it a try. I ended up doing a few things differently from the original recipe but it turned out really well! You could easily change the sauce’s flavor by using peanut butter to use with other recipes. I used chili oil and sriracha to change things up a bit and I thought it tasted great! My favorite part was the combination of the garlic and hoisin sauce with the cashew butter. It was a match made in heaven!