DIY Hoisin Sauce

by Anne Maxfield on July 2, 2018

Accidental Locavore DIY Hoisin SauceAre you a huge fan of hoisin sauce? If you’ve ever eaten Peking Duck or Moo Shu Pork, it’s that delicious dark sauce that gets painted onto the pancakes.

I’ve always been a big fan–Frank and I often make pork roasts smothered in some mix of hoisin and whatever looks Asian in the fridge. So when bon appétit ran this recipe for pork chops with hoisin sauce that you make yourself, I was skeptical at first—why make it when the stuff in the jar is just delicious? But then I saw how easy it was and became interested.

Accidental Locavore Ingredients for Hoisin SauceDIY Hoisin Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • Salt to taste

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring often, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, honey, vinegar, tahini, and Sriracha and whisk until smooth. Cook, whisking occasionally, until mixture is thick and smooth, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper and let it cool. The sauce will keep about 4 days, covered, in the refrigerator (if you don’t eat it all first).

I used half the hoisin to marinate the pork chops overnight, but if you’re impatient, you can do them for as little as an hour. The way I’ve been cooking pork chops recently is really simple, it just requires “standing over a hot stove” but you can catch up on email etc… Click here for the recipe.

Accidental Locavore Hoisin Marnated Pork Chops (2)My verdict: We were both really surprised at the addition of tahini which I’ve never thought of as Chinese, but hey, they travelled.

This was really good and the hardest part was coaxing the honey from the container. They just don’t make those bears like they used to!

I’m about to make another batch to coat a pork loin that will get roasted (unless the weather warms up and we can grill). I forgot to do a taste test with our old standby, but there will be other chances. What do you think the results will be?




3 Ingredient DIY Horseradish

by Anne Maxfield on December 10, 2015

Accidental Locavore Peeling HorseradishI’m not sure how holiday-related this is (until you have roast beef leftovers), but if you’re lucky enough to find fresh horseradish at the market, or even luckier, like the Accidental Locavore, to have a friend who grew some, it’s really simple to make your own (just like the stuff in a jar). Mine came with a warning to make it outside, which may or may not be possible, but in any case you want to make it in a well-ventilated place – it can be really strong.

  • 1 piece of horseradish
  • White vinegar
  • Salt

In a well-ventilated place, trim the ends of the horseradish and peel it until you get to the white part. Cut it into 1” chunks. Put the chunks into a blender and blend until it’s finely chopped. Put it in a container (like a Ball jar) and add enough vinegar to cover. Taste and add salt as needed. It will keep refrigerated for a while but loses pungency over time.

Accidental Locavore DIY HorseradishMy verdict: Great stuff! As you may or may not know, freshness is really the key to horseradish. When I did a taste test a few months ago, the clear winner was the most recent one I bought. After I made this batch I tasted the stuff that was in my fridge and it was so bland compared to this. Now I just have to find a bunch of uses for it, besides Bloody Marys and mashed potatoes. I started this outside with my food processor but it really wasn’t up to the job. If you have one, a blender is much better for this. Also, if you’re working with a particularly strong piece of horseradish, adding the vinegar when you’re blending it will stop whatever the enzyme is that makes it strong. Water will also tone it down, but I think the vinegar makes it more interesting. What’s your favorite use for horseradish?



Making vs. Buying: When is it Worth it?

by Anne Maxfield on February 23, 2015

Accidental Locavore Gin and VermouthThere are so many things you can make yourself these days (what a surprise—how did we get food before there were supermarkets?), but the Accidental Locavore was wondering when it was worth it to make something and when it was just easier to pop into a store. I’ve made my own granola, yogurt, and bacon for a long time now, mostly for taste, but in the case of granola, because it is very difficult to find nut-free granola. Yogurt is simple enough to find, but it’s one of the easiest things to make. Homemade bacon will just spoil you for anything else, and you can make a lot of it and freeze it.

I’ve made butter, both regular and cultured, and while it’s certainly easy, it can be messy and for me, it falls into the better bought category. It’s also one of the few items that isn’t less expensive to make. Cheese too—there are just so many people who make great cheese, that it would take me a long time (and a closer source of raw milk) to make it worthwhile.

Accidental Locavore SansaireThis all came up because I read an article about making your own gin sous-vide and sent it to my friend Ivan. After having a couple of laughs about buying a $300 sous-vide machine to use for 90 seconds (yes, 90 seconds) to infuse your gin, Ivan sent me the following…

For making one’s own gin:

Walk to car in driveway. Enter car, insert key and start engine. After fastening seat belt, drive 6 1/2 blocks to liquor store.

Exit vehicle (sans seatbelt) and enter store.

Proceed to aisle three on your right and walk approx 7 feet.

Select blue-tinted glass vessel labeled “Bombay Sapphire”.

Present vessel to store clerk with $20.00 bill. Receive a small amount of change.

Exit store and re-enter vehicle with vessel in tow.

Re-fasten seat belt, re-start ignition and follow reverse pattern of earlier route to home.

Release seat belt, kill ignition, exit vehicle and enter home.

Accidental Locavore MartiniLocate one glass, several ice cubes, glance at the vermouth bottle, place two olives in glass with ice cubes.

Pour reasonable amount of clear liquid into prepared glass.

Consume contents of glass slowly, while forgetting all of those details about plastic bags and 172 degrees.

Refill glass.

Now then. Isn’t that a whole lot easier?



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DIY Steak Sauce Recipe

by Anne Maxfield on May 30, 2013

Accidental Locavor Bacon Burger  With Steak Sauce The other night, the Accidental Locavore was getting ready for dinner, which was going to be burgers on the grill, when Tasting Table posted a recipe for grilled bacon with steak sauce. Hmm, I thought, why not bacon burgers with steak sauce, so I made a batch of the steak sauce in question, which seems to originate from Peter Luger’s (an extremely overpriced steak house in Brooklyn, if you by some chance haven’t heard of it). Try it now and make it for your Dad on Father’s Day. Here’s my version:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup onion, minced (about ½ a small onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish
  • ½ a chipotle (optional)

Accidental Locavore  DIY Steak SauceHeat the olive oil in a small saucepan or sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 15 minutes. Be careful not to brown the onion.

Stir in the brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and add the tomato sauce. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add the horseradish and chipotle. Taste and adjust seasonings. Pour into a blender or food processor and process until fairly smooth. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: This was really good and easy enough to whip up. I thought it was missing a little heat, so I added the chipotle. For some reason, we didn’t have any tomato sauce, so I used a half a can of diced tomatoes with the juice and that worked out fine. I’m sure it’s good over grilled bacon (that’s kind of a no-brainer), but it was also great with the bacon burgers. Later in the weekend we used it as a straight-up steak sauce, and it was a good if unnecessary addition to a beautiful porterhouse from Brykill Farm. We also thought it would be good on hot dogs, or as a marinade/glaze for pork chops (bacon, get it?).

I might be tempted to use apple cider vinegar the next time, but I’m not sure if that would make it too sweet (which was part of the reason for the chipotle – I wanted a little heat and some smokiness).




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