And here we go.
A couple readers and friends from far away have suggested that I start talking more about some of the stuff I cook and Tweet about. I found it quite flattering that a people have commented that they even are making some of the stuff that I make.
Now, I do have to tell you.. I’m not a very good recipe guy. I use recipes as guides and inspiration, but rarely follow them 100%. Thanksgiving, special meal, need perfect results.. I follow them exact. The rest of the time, not so much. I have some sources that like, at the moment I’m big on America’s Test Kitchen.. I bought a subscription to Cooks Illustrated.. much love for that mag. Great ideas and good recipes.
This is a little weird. Never saw myself blogging about this stuff.
My cooking “style” if I have one-
I like strong flavors and am partial to heat. Some staples in my rack-
Szeged Hot Paprika.. Any paprika HAS to be Szeged.. and throw it away every year and replace. The HOT is really good, but a little goes a long way.
Chipolte Pepper powder- I happen to be partial to the Archer Farms version of this, available at Target. This stuff is smokey and hot, adds a nice flavor with heat that’s very tolerable for heat wimps. This is THE secret ingredient in my spicy tomato based pasta sauces.
Chili Garlic Sauce- Huy Fong Lots of Asian cooking around here and this stuff is hot and flavorful. Go easy when the kids are eating.
Soy Sauce- by the gallon. Have switched to less sodium.. seems ok.
Canned tomato sauce/puree/paste/Italian/etc. I keep a ton of canned tomato products around. Pasta sauce, roasts, chicken, lasagna.. lots of uses. I spend the extra money on the Muir Glen tomato products. I’m not a big organic guy.. but in this case, the flavor trumps price.
Paula Dean’s House Seasoning. You can’t buy it you have to make it. I tweaked it a bit for my taste but it’s easy. 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup pepper and 1/4 cup garlic powder. This is my key ingredient to any roasts I make. I always rub my roasts down with this stuff and let them rest at room temperature for an hour before doing ANYTHING with them.
While you can’t beat fresh herbs.. they’re a pain in the ass sometimes, and dried just doesn’t cut it. I’m liking the freeze dried herbs in your grocers produce section. I mixed my own version– 2 parts basil, 2 parts oregano, 1 part parsley and 1/2 a part sage. You can store in a plastic bag in the cupboard. Pepper is the other Italian seasoning.
Some short cuts.. blasphemy I’m sure, unless I”m eating a salad, I just haven’t been able to tell the difference between fresh ground pepper and good old pepper out of the red’n white can. Since I use cases of the stuff, on the food and under my arms and around the house.. I just buy the biggest can I can and pry the top off. Then I can just reach in for a pinch or a handful as needed. Drives Mrs S crazy as it tops over with some regularity.
Garlic- I love fresh pressed garlic, but when I’m in a hurry, I’ve found the pressed stuff in a jar is decent, you just have to use more than you would expect. A teaspoon is about 2 cloves. Mezzeta makes a good one. Some of the local house brands I would avoid they don’t seem to have the right flavor.
Brown Sugar- Cooking anything with beef in an Asian style? You need light brown sugar for the marinade.
Ginger. Fresh ginger is awesome but a pain in the ass. Again, Asian cooking is all about ginger. Who likes eating woody plants. You have to peel it, chop it super fine.. Brainstorm.. I bought the biggest most sturdy garlic press I could find, Now I cube the ginger and press it. You might have use a knife to get the remains out.. but this method really works well, getting the flavor in the juice. BTW, always cut side down, not the skin. Works better. I don’t really like grating ginger.. I seem to wind up grating my knuckles in the process.
I buy olive oil in 55 gallon drums around here. I go through it like water. Extra Virgin BTW.. Bertolli’s or house brand seems to work fine. No one’s complained.
So there you have it. A few basics from the Sank Kitchen.
Another big win for me.. quick stuff.
So, since is the first edition.. here’s a quick recipe that just made.