Sriracha

Beef Jerky (and More) From the Carnivore Club

by Anne Maxfield on August 1, 2016

Accidental Locavore Carnivore Club Box of Beef JerkyWhat would you say if the Carnivore Club asked if they could send you one of their monthly boxes to sample and write about?

Yes, of course (as the Accidental Locavore is not a vegetarian)!

The Carnivore Club is pretty secretive about what’s in the boxes.

If you look at their past boxes, there’s a lot of wonderful charcuterie from some impressive places.

That’s what I was expecting.

That’s not what I got.

A very handsome box arrived in the mail the other day. Nothing perishable might have been my first hint.

It was full of…

Beef jerky.

Hmmm….

Maybe it’s a guy thing, or maybe my last (only) batch of homemade jerky wasn’t thrilling.

This was different.

It’s a perfect golf snack. Protein, lightweight, no need for refrigeration—I tossed a random bag in and went off to play a round.

It was amazing (the jerky, not the golf) and it wasn’t beef jerky, it was…

Bacon jerky, who knew? With maple and buffalo flavor. Yum!

The only reason it wasn’t totally consumed between holes 15-17 was the result of enormous willpower (and the possible need to take photos).

Accidental Locavore Carnivore Club Beef JerkyThe Carnivore Club is a pretty smart subscription service. You sign up for three months (minimum) and then you can customize whether you want the boxes monthly, every two or three months and the delivery date. It’s $50 a month, shipping included.

Everything (not just my jerky) is vacuum sealed and has a shelf life of 1-3 months.

There were five flavors from Savage Jerky in the box (in full size bags, ranked in order of my preference):

Maple Buffalo Bacon: I’d never heard of bacon jerky, but will probably make up for it in short order! Tender, a little sweet with a hint of spice, and easily finished in a matter of minutes. As their flyer says, ”Good luck not getting completely addicted.” Too late.

Sriracha Bacon: A close runner-up. Guess I just like bacon jerky.

Traditional Mojo Beef Jerky: My favorite of the beef jerky. Lime, cilantro, garlic and cumin are always a good combo. A little chewy but maybe it’s like apples, you burn off more calories chewing than you’re consuming (wishful thinking, right?).

Sweet Sriracha BBQ Beef Jerky: A close runner-up to the mojo. This has a little more spice, tempered by molasses and brown sugar.

Ghost Pepper Beef Jerky: If you’ve seen more than one episode of Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel, you’ve seen a restaurant where the challenge is to eat something loaded with ghost peppers. It’s very much a macho challenge. So I rose to it. It’s edible in small pieces, but I think this bag will last a long time. One of my house guests (always subject to random food tastings) suggested crumbling it into chili and I might also toss some into fried rice.

Sadly, I didn’t get my box until after Father’s Day and my brother’s birthday—it’s a perfect gift. Keep Carnivore Club in mind if you need a treat (always), something to send to someone at college (they’ll make friends fast) and the holidays (coming up faster than you think).

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Buffalo Cauliflower With Blue Cheese

by Anne Maxfield on November 12, 2015

Accidental Locavore Buffalo CauliflowerAs you know, cauliflower is poised to take over for kale as the next over-played vegetable. Being trendy enough, the Accidental Locavore found this recipe for roasted cauliflower with a “Buffalo” sauce. It’s easy and you can roast the cauliflower ahead of time. Serves 2-4, depending on the size of the cauliflower (and the hunger of your audience).

  • One 2-to-2½-pound head cauliflower, leaves trimmed and base trimmed so the cauliflower will stand up
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Sriracha
  • ¼ cup Frank’s RedHot sauce
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese

Accidental Locavore Roasted CauliflowerPreheat the oven to 450°. Place the cauliflower, stem-side down, onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the salt. Roast until tender and browned on top, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

When cool enough to handle, trim the florets into 3-inch-long pieces (about the size of chicken wings) and cut the stem into thin slices.

In a large saucepan, combine the Sriracha, Frank’s RedHot sauce and the cauliflower, and toss to coat. Place over medium-high heat, and when the sauce begins to sizzle, add the butter. Cook, tossing and stirring often, until the sauce is slightly creamy and the cauliflower is heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the blue cheese, serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Buffalo CauliflowerMy verdict: Provided you like Buffalo sauce, this could make a cauliflower lover out of the skeptics out there! It’s really easy, especially if you roast the cauliflower ahead of time, like I did, then you can just pull it out and finish it off. I thought it was maybe a little too spicy and will cut down the Sriracha to 2 tablespoons and add more 2 more tablespoons of Frank’s the next time I make it. Since I had some real Roquefort on hand, that was my blue cheese, which was great, but you certainly will get a fine result with any good blue cheese. Serve it as a snack or side dish.

 

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Butternut Squash With a Pair of Sauces

by Anne Maxfield on October 22, 2015

Accidental Locavore Butternut Squash Rear EndAlthough the Accidental Locavore generally needs to be talked into the autumnal pumpkin/winter squash frenzy kicking and complaining (but not screaming), we were given a beautiful butternut squash from a friend’s garden, so I went cruising for something interesting to do with it and found this great recipe from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. It’s really simple and, depending on the size of your squash, feeds at least 4 as a side dish.

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup olive oil (divided use)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (or use the seeds from the squash)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, or labne
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Sriracha (more or less to taste)
  • Salt & pepper

Accidental Locavore Butternut Squash for RoastingPreheat the oven to 425°. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, peel and cut into 1/2” wedges about 3” long. If you’re going to use the squash seeds, rinse them well and set aside to dry. Put the squash in a large bowl with the cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, ¾ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Toss to coat the squash well. Put on two baking sheets and roast for 35-40 minutes until soft and starting to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°.

For the cilantro sauce, put the cilantro (save a few sprigs to garnish) and garlic in a small food processor or mini-chopper. Pulse until chopped and then gradually add the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil until it makes a fine paste. Taste and add salt as needed.

Put the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 6-8 minutes, until they’re light and crispy. Remove and cool.

Accidental Locavore Butternut Squash With SaucesMix the yogurt and Sriracha together. To serve, lay the roasted squash on a large plate or platter, drizzle the yogurt mix and then add the cilantro sauce. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top and garnish with the cilantro leaves. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: This might make a squash believer out of me! It was really good, with the creamy spiciness of the yogurt making a great contrast to the sweetness of the roasted squash. The cilantro sauce gave it a nice fresh taste, too – all together a great combination! If you’re a butternut squash fan, you’ll love it, and even if you’re a non-believer like me, you’ll still love it! The two sauces can be made while the squash is roasting and I just took the squash from the roasting pan, plated it and tossed the pumpkin seeds in the oven. They’re probably the one thing you could lose from the recipe, or replace with toasted pine nuts if you wanted the crunch. I like the dish warm, but it’s probably good at room temperature too.Accidental Locavore Butternut Squash With Pork Chop

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A New Take on an Old Classic – The Wedge Salad

by Anne Maxfield on July 16, 2015

Accidental Locavore Cabbage WedgeThe Accidental Locavore came across this new idea for the classic iceburg wedge. This wedge is cabbage and it’s sweet and delicious, roasted or grilled. Make the dressing ahead of time and refrigerate for up to a week, if you like. Serves 4:

Accidental Locavore Blue Cheese Dressing MakingsFor the dressing:

  • ½ cup (about 3.5 oz) crumbled blue cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha
  • Salt and pepper

Accidental Locavore Cabbage Wedge PrepFor the salad:

  • 6 to 8 thin slices pastrami (2 to 3 oz.)
  • 1 small head (2 to 3 lb.) green cabbage, outer leaves removed
  • 1/4 cup canola or other neutral oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 to 10 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced chives

Make the dressing: In a small bowl, mash the blue cheese with a fork. Add the mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, buttermilk, lemon juice, Sriracha, and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Stir to combine.

Make the salad: Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Lay the pastrami flat on a small foil-lined baking sheet and roast until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel, cool, then crumble into about 1” pieces.

Accidental Locavore Pastrami ShredsCut the cabbage into 4 wedges through the root end, leaving some of the core intact on each piece so the wedges don’t fall apart. On a large foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, coat the cabbage wedges with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the wedges on a flat side and roast until browned on the bottom, about 20 minutes. (Don’t worry if the outer leaves begin to burn.) Flip each wedge and continue roasting until the second side is browned as well, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Accidental Locavore Grilled CabbageSpread about a tablespoon of the blue cheese dressing on each of four serving plates. Place a cabbage wedge on top and drizzle with more of the remaining dressing. Scatter the pastrami, tomatoes and chives over the wedges and garnish with the tomatoes. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: I probably came late to the table on roasting/grilling leafy greens, and am trying to make up for lost time. I did roast the cabbage in the oven, and then stuck it on the grill to give it a little more flavor. It was delicious – the cabbage was a little warm and sweet from the roasting. It’s a good blue cheese dressing and if you want to spice it up more, just add some more Sriracha. The pastrami was good mixed with the dressing because of the spices coating it, but bacon would be a fine substitute. If you were short on buttermilk, some plain yogurt or sour cream would work, just taste it before adding too much. Give it a try and let me know what you think, ok?

 

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