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!
Tapenade is a ground mixture of olives, capers, and garlic. The ingredients are mixed together with olive oil until they form a paste. I thought tapenade was an Italian food but it turns out it comes from southern France. Sometimes anchovy paste and herbs are added to it as well depending on the region. Usually it’s served on bread or eaten as a condiment but I thought it would be great on a sandwich. I really liked the flavors of the tapenade and it was even better on the Grilled Eggplant Panini.
There’s this great Mexican restaurant nearby that serves black bean salsa with corn chips before the main course. I have been wanting to recreate this salsa because it’s hard to stop eating it. The salsa is easy to throw together and has great flavor. It works nicely as a condiment for chips or in tacos, burritos, tostadas, etc. The spiciness can be dialed down by adding fewer jalapenos and cayenne or increased by adding serrano peppers which are quite a bit spicier. The corn provides an element of sweetness and the white and green onions a good amount of texture and crunch. I think the recreation of the restaurant’s salsa was a success because once again it was hard to put the bowl down and save room for dinner!
This Irish styled coleslaw is a simple vinaigrette based mixture of cabbage, apples, chives, and carrots. The vinaigrette is composed of rapeseed oil, cider vinegar, grainy Irish mustard and sugar. It’s an easy process of grating the ingredients and tossing them in the vinaigrette. The result is fresh with flavors of sweetness and tartness from the apples and vinegar. I’ve always wanted to try coleslaw without mayo and I really enjoyed it. It’s a lot less heavy than mayonnaise based coleslaw. It worked really nicely as an accompaniment for my Corned Beef on Rye sandwich.
Kimchi is a Korean dish made with fermented Napa Cabbage, Red Pepper, and Garlic. I have heard a lot of good things about Kimchi and I couldn’t wait to try it. The red pepper is a Korean crushed red pepper called gochugaru and can be found in Korean or asian markets. The fish sauce is easy to find and most grocery stores carry it. Kimchi is great as a condiment or a side dish for many different Korean foods. The cabbage needs about a week to ferment and once that’s done you can enjoy it! Kimchi is fairly spicy and has a really unique flavor. The great thing about Kimchi is that the more it ages the better it gets so you can make a large batch and keep it in the refrigerator for about a month.
It has been in my head for a few days to try some tex-mex/Korean fusion dishes. This salsa is a great start because it combines elements of Korean cooking in a standard tomato based salsa. This recipe is anything but standard as the flavors are really dynamic and tasty! It takes a little bit longer to prepare as the tomatoes, jalapenos, and tomatillos roast for about 15 minutes. Gochujang is used in this salsa, giving it a nice spicy/smoky flavor. The garlic, ginger, sesame oil and seeds also provide great flavors in this salsa. After roasting everything, the ingredients are strained and thrown in a food processor or blender to puree.