Monday, January 25, 2010

Siracha vs. Tabasco vs. Tiger Sauce

I love spicy food, however I like being in control of how much spice I get. Thank the food gods that someone invented these three sauces.
There is the Thai sauce, Siracha also known as "rooster sauce". It is great with any Thai food or just Asian food. It's spicy spicy spicy, but delicious, especially in Pho, a Vietnamese soup dish.
Then there is Tabasco sauce. I love Tabasco on eggs, but my favorite "flavor" is smoked Tabasco. It's has a BBQ taste to it. I love using it in my Mexican dishes, especially on my Chipotle burrito. I make spicy-veggie rice (recipe later) with the smoked Tabasco.
Last, but not least, Tiger sauce. I'm sure many of you haven't heard of it, but it is one of the greatest sauces ever. Go to the store, go in the sauce aisle, and it should be by specialty sauces, it has a tiger on it, obviously, buy it buy it. It can go on anything! Steak, fish, potatoes, breakfast, noodles, anything. My family is obsessed with it. It was the first sauce I really like when I was little.
All of these sauces are great go-to sauces from the fridge. Forget A1. Yuck!
Picking a favorite is hard. I like specific sauces on specific dishes. Try each if you haven't, your taste buds will thank you.

Ok this is my special Spicy Veggie Rice! I love having it with baked chicken.

Ingredients:
-3 cups of rice
-4 and a half cups of water
-2 Roma tomatoes, diced
-1 medium onion, diced
-1 red bell pepper, diced
-Smoked Tabasco

Directions:
Add water and rice together in a pot and bring to a boil uncovered. Once it comes to a boil, turn heat to low and cover. Wait 7 minutes and add veggies, don't stir. Cover. Check in 7 more minutes. When water is gone, test rice. If it is still crunchy, add a tablespoon of water and check in 5 minutes. Stir. When water is gone and rice is done, add Smoked Tabasco. Shake it a few times. Stir. No pepper, no salt. If you want it really spicy, go nuts! Serve and enjoy.

"In the orchestra of a great kitchen, the sauce chef is the soloist."
-Fernand Point

Chicken-Broccoli-Rice Casserole

This past weekend, I made my mom's chicken-broccoli-rice casserole, and it was to die for! Afterward, I made brownies from a box with Matthew! It was a wonderful dinner! This recipe is so good, I have to share it with everyone! I hope you don't mind, Mom.

Ingredients:
-2 to 3 Chicken Breasts, cubed
-4 tablespoons of butter
-1 whole small onion, or half a medium onion, diced
-1 cup or 4 stalks of celery, medium diced
-2 cans of cream of chicken soup
-2 cups of chicken broth
-2 cups of cheese, preferably cheddar
-3 cups of cooked rice
-Frozen bag of broccoli
-4 slices of bread, preferably whole wheat, cut into cubes (croutons)
-Pepper, no salt!

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add cubed chicken. In a large pot or deep skillet melt about 2 tablespoons of butter and add onions and celery. After both veggies have been sauteed, add in cream of chicken and only a cup of chicken broth to start out with. Add all the cheese, and cooked rice. To have less pots to clean, I just buy three packs of Uncle Ben's microwavable rice. When chicken is done cooking in boiled water add to mixture. Microwave broccoli for about a minute, just to thaw it out a little, then add to mixture. Add pepper for taste. If mixture is too thick, add more chicken broth. You want it thick and not soupy. Remember, it's a casserole, not soup. Transfer mixture to a 9x13 casserole dish. Melt remaining butter in a skillet and add bread cubes. Once those are lightly toasted, place on top of the casserole. They will toast more in the oven and give a great crunchy texture to this meal. Don't mix! Place the casserole in the oven for 30 minutes. That should be plenty of time for all of the flavors to ooze together. Serve in a bowl, and to add a kick, it is great with Tiger sauce, located in sauce/dressing aisle. Bon App├ętit!

"Food is not about impressing people. It's about making them feel comfortable."
-Ina Garten

Foodie

Last night, I had the hardest time falling asleep. I wasn't stressed or worried about anything. My mind kept thinking about food. Eating it, writing about it, cooking it, shopping for it, playing with it, being creative with it, on and on and on. I think now I am an official "Foodie". When the thought of food comes into my mind, which is almost every second, I obsess over it. So now since I am obsessing over it, I think I can now say I am an official "Foodie". Just in case you aren't sure what a "Foodie" is, let me explain. The dictionary say that a "Foodie" is "someone who has an ardent or refined interest in food". They can't just like food. They have to be interested in learning about it and knowing many aspects of it, such as the history, production, seasonal, science, how to prepare, varieties, and so on. I am interested in everything there is to know about food to kitchen appliances. There is so much to know. The world of food has endless knowledge. I am going to school for culinary arts and I've worked in some restaurants and I don't know everything, and I know one day that I won't know everything about it, but I am looking forward to learning about food as much as I possibly can. I love making people happy and smile. Cooking for someone is a way for me to express myself to whoever it may be. I love spending money on food, not in the sense of dining out, but in a market, like Sunflower Market across the street from me. The produce from there is incredible! I wish the truck would come stop by my little apartment and give me big giant heirloom tomatoes and basil and some California artichokes! Sigh, if only.
Being a "Foodie", you also write about food. So in this blog, I am TRYING to write about all these experiences I have. I feel like I am writing it more for me than anything because in ten years I want to look back and see what impact food had on me. However, is anyone out there reading this? Maybe?

"Food is our common ground, a universal experience."
-James Beard

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Eggs

I love eggs! Scrambled or over easy is the best. However, my favorite way to enjoy eggs is a country scramble. Never heard of it? Get ready to taste something exhilarating, egg style.
First, butter. Butter is your friend and is they to help with your eggs. Do about a tablespoon of butter in a skillet and coat the pan. Add whatever you want to it! Onions, tomatoes, peppers, ham, bacon, jalapenos, sausage, whatever you have on hand. I like just veggies in it. So saute your ingredients until they are just about done. Crack two eggs into a bowl. I learned that if you crack an egg on a flat surface it will crack easier and won't get egg shell into the bowl. Do not whisk your eggs! I repeat, do not whisk your eggs! Otherwise, it will not be a country scramble. Add the two eggs to the pan. Let the egg whites cook. When they are halfway cooked add whatever cheese you want, pepper jack and cheddar are usually best. Then poke, with your spatula, the eggs yolks, and scramble the eggs. Cook it til how runny or overdone you like your eggs. On top you can put avocados. The best way to enjoy this is to put smoked Tabasco on top. Serve and enjoy! It's simply delicious!
Last night, I went to my friend, Mackenzie's, house. We were watching Julie and Julia, and got a huge craving for eggs after the scene when she cooks eggs. So we paused the movie, and I made us this delicious country scramble. We didn't have much in it, but it was perfect. We added onions, pepper jack cheese, avocado on top, and smoked Tabasco. It was bliss! All this blogging about it is making me hungry.

"The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'."
-Author Unknown