This little item arrived in a parcel of foodstuffs I recently ordered from down south. I had completely forgotten ordering it but I ended up being very glad I did …
It is a Cock Brand™ product, and at first, I mistook their logo as being the same as that of the manufacturers who make one of my favorite Sriracha Sauces. They are a different company, however, but when I checked their website, I saw a number of other products I have bought before and which I found to be very good.
The ingredient list on the label specifies the main components being, in descending quantity order: Soybean Oil, Holy Basil leaves, Garlic, Red Chili, Sugar, Salt, and Oyster Sauce. The aroma, on opening the jar, is a little hard to describe in that no specific ingredient leaps out at one… It smells a little like a mild XO sauce, but with a very herbaceous quality … even a little ‘minty’.
The flavor, though, is terrific. It is somewhat fiery, although not blindingly so, and the oyster sauce and sugar lend it a marine sweetness. The Holy Basil, which can be quite pungent, even harsh, when used fresh in some dishes, is nicely mellow in here and really adds a very pleasant herbal note to the overall flavor.
Anyway, just before this product arrived, I was trying to think of a way to ‘round out’ a specific dish I had in mind… this suddenly seemed like the perfect addition and I will be posting the recipe very shortly…
The Pickled Cauliflower I made a little while ago turned out quite nicely and I was interested to see how it might be used as a cooking ingredient. The dish I came up with for today’s post is something of a fusion, incorporating a little of India, China, and the American Southwest. That being said though, I’m going to save you the trouble of scrolling all the way to the end-notes and tell you right away that the result was not quite as good as I hoped… Still, some of my readers might like to see what I did and suggest how it might be improved… Continue reading “Chili Beef with Pickled Cauliflower”
I accidentally came across this product while reaching for a jar of XO Sauce whilst shopping down south a while ago. The jar was on the shelf alongside several varieties of XO Sauce and it wasn’t until I picked it up and looked more closely that I saw I had chosen something rather different.
Salangids are, in the strictest use of the term, small fish belonging to the family Salangidae (sometimes called the ‘noodle-fish’ due to their shape and translucency) but I rather suspect that the term is used a bit like ‘anchovy’ and often applied to many sorts of similar fish. Suffice it to say though, the fish in his product, are very tiny, immature fish rather like the ‘Silverfish’ I highlighted in my post on ‘Silverfish Peanuts’. Anyway, biological quibbles aside, I was interested to see what this condiment might be like… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Chili Salangids”
This rather simple little preparation is a standard on most tapas menus and, as one might expect, there are many variations. Typically, it involves potatoes that are deep-fried, but pan-fried, roasted and even boiled versions occur. The sauce, while always spicy, can be quite copious, or else little more than a glaze, and recipes often incorporates tomato in the mix, with mayonnaise sometimes being added, both as a sauce ingredient proper, or else drizzled on top before service. Today, I am going to roast chunks of potatoes and then quickly fry them in a light but piquant sauce… Continue reading “Tapas: Patatas Bravas”
Today’s production is very Indian in character and features chicken roasted in a green spice blend, or masala, whose central ingredient is dried Fenugreek leaf (known in India as ‘Methi’). In my post on the fresh Fenugreek Leaf, I noted that, whereas the fresh article is useful as a vegetable, when dried, the flavor becomes very concentrated and, as a culinary herb, lends dishes a very warm, almost maple-like flavor that is quite unique… Continue reading “Methi Masala Chicken”
Today, I thought I would share with you a rather interesting item I picked up while in Ottawa just before Christmas. There is a very nice confectionary store called the ‘Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory’ down in Byward Market and on my last visit to the city in order to pick up some treats for the holiday season. I snagged some regular Peanut Brittle (which I love) and then my eyes fell on this Chili-Garlic variety and I couldn’t resist. It had all the hallmarks of something potentially awful but, as it happened, it was actually pretty darned good….
Aside from the red color, the appearance is little different from the usual sort (although nuts other than peanuts are included). At first bite, it didn’t really taste much different but then a slow warmth began to develop as the chili made its appearance. With successive pieces, the heat was a bit more noticeable but it never got stronger than a background taste and didn’t overwhelm the rest of the flavor by any means. As for the garlic, this brittle definitely did have a little’ something else’ but whether this was garlic or not was a little difficult to tell. In any event, the overall effect was surprisingly tasty and if you get a chance to drop into ‘Rocky Mountain’ it is well worth trying…
This dish, which is vaguely Chinese in spirit, combines, fried pork-belly slices with garlic, chili, and the last of the Bok Choy grown by my wife this past season… Continue reading “Spicy Garlic Pork-Belly with Bok-Choy”
Hardcore fans of Asian food will likely recognize this brand and product, but if you haven’t come across it yet it really (really) bears trying. I have made, and regularly make my own Sambal Oelek, but this beats mine hands down and I can unstintingly recommend it as the best, and most versatile, commercial chili paste on the market… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Sambal Oelek – Huy Fong™ Brand”
The pretty shreds of dried chili you see pictured above are commonly (and almost exclusively) used in Korean cuisine where they are often included in Kimchi preparations, both for their flavor and their attractive appearance. Indeed, beyond the basic spice function, this culinary item is handy to have on hand as a useful and versatile visual enhancer for all sorts of dishes… Continue reading “Spice: Korean Chili Threads”
Well, here it is … my entry for the International ‘Shanghai Chicken’ project proposed by fellow blogger Stefan.
Stefan’s ‘rules’ specified that the dish could be an existing traditional recipe, or one created for this project, but it ‘has to include chicken, chilies of some sort, vegetable greens, and nuts’. My creation conforms to the basic theme but with just a tiny bit of a twist…
Basically, I aimed for a dish that somewhat resembled the one giving rise to the project… I also used cubed chicken but I substituted cashews for pine-nuts and incorporated the chili component into a sweetened tomato base. For the greens, I also deep-fried this particular component but – and this was the major flight of fancy – I looked to the sea for my green vegetable and used a dried seaweed popular in Japanese cuisine known as ‘Wakame’.
Read on if you would like to see a few more details and my verdict on the final product… Continue reading “My ‘Shanghai Chicken’ Challenge Entry”