Magic Sriracha Sauce Recipe

by Anne Maxfield on January 15, 2018

Accidental Locavore Sriracha Sauce With SproutsThis magic sauce came about when I was looking at Tracey Medeiros’ The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook recently. Her Brussels Sprouts with a Creamy Sriracha Dipping Sauce was one of the recipes that jumped out at me!

Two things we really like—Brussels sprouts and Sriracha, seemed like it would be a great dish, but if you’re not a sprout fan, just skip down to the sauce. Serves 4:

Brussels Sprouts:

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 3 garlic cloves (medium sized), minced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • Salt and pepper

Creamy Sriracha Sauce:

  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon Sriracha
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne or chili powder
  • Salt and pepper

Accidental Locavore Sauce With SproutsPreheat the oven to 400°. Lightly grease or cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Put the sprouts on the baking sheet cut side down and bake for about 20 minutes until they’re golden brown.

While the Brussels sprouts are cooking, make the sauce. Stir all the ingredients together until well combined.

Serve the Brussels sprouts with the Sriracha sauce on the side and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Sriracha Magic SauceMy Verdict: It took a while to actually getting around to trying this, because one day we had a lot of sprouts, but no mayo. Then I made mayo, but we’d eaten all the sprouts. Finally, I got it all together we loved it!

I used olive oil on the sprouts, instead of coconut oil and they were fine. I might try coconut oil the next time, just to see what happens. For the garlic powder, I used my new fave from Rockerbox Spice Company. It’s pure dehydrated garlic and really makes a difference!

After tasting the sauce, I added more Sriracha and horseradish to give it more of a kick.

Little did I know that Frank made the sauce his go-to for every sandwich he’s made since then. We think it’s going to be great on burgers—just haven’t done that yet. And don’t tell anyone, but it’s terrific as a dip for potato chips. Try it and let me know what you think. Brussels sprouts optional.

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Thai Duck Curry with Pineapple

by Anne Maxfield on January 8, 2018

Accidental Locavore Thai Duck CurryDuck curry is one of the things we always order in a Thai restaurant, so it seemed like the perfect use for our leftover slow-roast duck. This feeds about 4-6 and comes together in the time it takes to make a pot of jasmine rice (hint, hint).

Thai Duck Curry with Pineapple:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red or massaman curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half, or zest of 1 lime (optional)
  • 8 ounces roast duck in bite-sized pieces
  • 1 Asian eggplant, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced crosswise into wedges
  • ¼ cup bamboo shoots (optional)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  • 8 small cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tablespoons fresh Thai or Italian basil leaves
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 tablespoons fresh mint leaves

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and chili and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium and add the curry paste, stirring to break it up, about 1 minute. Stir in the fish sauce, brown sugar, and kaffir lime leaves, if using, and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the duck, eggplant, coconut milk, and chicken stock and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the pineapple and cherry tomatoes, simmer for 2 more minutes.

Finish with the basil, fresh coriander leaves, and mint leaves; cook for 30 seconds or until basil is wilted. Serve with jasmine rice and enjoy! 

My verdict: Really good! I used a combination of red and massaman curries because I ran out of the massaman curry paste. Surprisingly, we couldn’t find any Japanese eggplants in the stores, so threw in the bamboo shoots (yes, I know, it’s hardly the same). Mushrooms are also a nice addition.

The great thing about curries like this is that they’re easy and forgiving. You can substitute any meat or fish for the duck and add whatever vegetables you have on hand. And with the leftover pineapple, you can make pineapple upside-down cake.

What’s your favorite curry combo?

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Food Trends 2017-How Did We Do?

by Anne Maxfield on January 1, 2018

Accidental Locavore Food TrendsHere’s my list of food trends from a year ago, let’s see how we ended up:

Food Trends to resolve to do:

  1. Use all food! Food waste is a huge issue and you’re going to hear a lot about it this year.
  2. Buy what you’re going to use. Use it.
  3. Shop your freezer, fridge, cupboards, pantry. You’ll be surprised how much you can make without ever leaving the house. I made 23 dinners with just the stuff in my freezer.

My verdict: Still an important and growing movement. Challenge yourself to see what you can use or repurpose (see #4 for some ideas and for my friend with leftover cheeses, mac & cheese is always a good way to use up those odds and ends).

Things trending that you might ACTUALLY make:Accidental Locavore Food Trends Poke

  1. Bowls-grain, rice, porridge, poke. Put a bunch of vegetables, a carb and a protein in a bowl and you’re trendy. Extra points for poké (pronounced po-kay). A good way to use up small bits of things in your fridge.
  2. Hey if you haven’t given up kale yet, you could be a newbie to cauliflower. Or if you really want to be cutting edge, skip down to jackfruit below.

My verdict: Bowls are a great way to use up leftovers, especially small bits. Some version of fried rice is often my lunch go-to. I think poké and porridge have had their day, or maybe in porridge’s case, just needs to be rebranded. Would the marketing genius who made kale happen, like to give it a try? And speaking of kale, let’s not.

Or cook with:Accidental Locavore Insta-Pot

  1. Sous-vide. I’ve had mine for a few years and love it. It’s the crockpot of the 21st
  2. Or maybe it’s the Instapot.

My verdict: Definitely the Instapot! And now there’s even one that has a sous-vide function. I still haven’t used mine as a pressure cooker, but it’s out almost weekly as a (terrific) yogurt maker and occasionally as my slow-cooker replacement.

Foods you might think about and eat but come on, you’re never actually going to DIY:

  1. Fermented foods (from any number of sources). Imagine if everyone in your building started fermenting stuff.
  2. Whey (to get this you have to make something else, like Greek yogurt) and then figure out what to do with it. I’ve marinated chicken in it—ho hum.
  3. Vegetable chips (your own, not out of a bag)
  4. Empanadas, dumplings etc. All good but labor intensive and someone in a restaurant near you does it better.

My verdict: Pretty much true. I’ve fermented more things successfully due to my discovery of Kraut Source. As for the whey, my dog is a big fan. Have not made a single vegetable chip (kale people are you listening?) or any form of dumpling all year.

Interesting, never-happening options:

  1. Octopus – got a rock to pound it on? Didn’t think so.
  2. Naan pizza. Why?
  3. Fry bread. Ditto. Have you ever actually eaten the stuff? Think flattened, fried zeppole and you’re pretty much there. Going to go out on a politically incorrect limb here, but the Native Americans have not given us much to work with food-wise. Indian Pudding and frybread are two prime examples.
  4. Jackfruit. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to show up at your local supermarket. And when it does…

My verdict: 100% correct. Never happened.

A couple of my predictions:

  1. Coffeecake – oh, excuse me, breakfast cake. I’ve had my friend Alan’s mother’s coffeecake recipe on my mind lately. Time for breakfast comfort food?
  2. The resurgence of junk food – look for the new White House Chef to be Colonel Saunders…

My verdict: Made the coffeecake and it was wonderful, but also a lot of trendy avocado toast thanks to an influx of great bread.

As for the junk food, the big eater of that is the same guy who gave you that great tax cut for Christmas.

What do you think? Where will 2018 take us?

 

 

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Holiday Cheer and Humor With Christmas Dinner Bingo

by Anne Maxfield on December 25, 2017

Christmas RifThe Accidental Locavore wants to relieve some of the stress of the holidays and put a smile on everyone’s face. How? Try Holiday Bingo! When we used to go to Rancho La Puerta, the highlight of the week for everyone was bingo night (probably because there was unlimited popcorn). I still have the set of 5 papiermâché napkin rings I won one night (is five a significant number at Mexican dinner tables?). You may have heard about Meeting Bingo, where you track all the tired business clichés…”at the end of the day, teambuilding, thinking outside the box, metrics, etc” (and thanks to About.com, someone’s already figured out how to use this to teach you how to be a better manager), but if you haven’t tried Christmas Dinner Bingo, you’re missing a big opportunity!

A couple of years ago, the Cleveland Plains Dealer had a way to bring entertainment hilarity to Christmas dinner, or any family gathering: Holiday Bingo. You mark down on a card every time you hear someone saying something really dumb, annoying, or just plain typical. On their site you  can download game boards, but why not create your own? The prizes can be whatever you were looking to re-gift, or just another helping of dessert.

Accidental Locavore Christmas BingoFor my family I created my own Christmas Dinner Bingo cards, little realizing what the reaction would be. My mother was laughing so hard, the Yorkshire pudding almost didn’t happen and my father could barely stop wheezing (his highest form of laughter) long enough to fulfill his wine-pouring duties.  Since then, I’ve had them laminated (for easy clean-up) and they’ve become part of our Christmas tradition. If you’re curious about my family’s clichés, or just want a good laugh, click here to access the game cards.

What would be on your Holiday Bingo cards?

Happy Holidays to all!

 

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