Tag Archives: Spicy

J-Dawg Hot Dog Sauce

J-Dawg's Sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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J-Dawg’s Gourmet Hot Dog Sauce
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This recipe was adapted from food blogger thefoodcharlatan. You all know how to make a hot dog so I will leave that part out. Admittedly, I didn’t know who Jdawg was so I had to look it up. It’s a joint in UT that supposedly serves up some serious polish dogs with a a sauce that people rave about.

Thought I would give it a try and pair it with cheddar as an homage to one of my favorite burgers, Houston’s Hickory Burger. The sauce has a BBQ taste to it but when you look at the ingredients you will see it is more sweet. I added some tabasco to bump up the heat.

Lastly these pictures are dreadful. I was making a quick lunch and wasn’t thinking about the blog as much as I was thinking of making lunch. Given that I deplore cleaning my food processor for shredded cheese and given that I was making only two dogs, I sliced up the cheese into larger strips. The dog isn’t pretty but was pretty delicious.

You absolutely could use this on anything BBQ related.. chicken, ribs, brisket, burgers, sandwiches etc… I could see kids really liking this sauce due to the lack of heat if you omit Tabasco.

Ingredients
1/2 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of honey
1 tbs of BBQ sauce (I used Stubb’s)
1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
2 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp of Onion Powder
1 tsp of Black Pepper
1 tbs of Tabasco (optional)


Directions

Add everything to a small saucepan and heat it on medium low until it slowly simmers. That’s it. Serve and enjoy.
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Thai Mango Peanut Chicken with Sesame Noodles

Mango Asian Chicken with Sesame Noodles

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Mango Asian Chicken with Sesame Noodles
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Tonight I was craving some Asian food and found a sticky orange peanut Thai chicken recipe (CarlsbadCravings.com) but wanted to take to the mango route because I have done several orange chicken recipes lately. I mashed this recipe up with a Sesame noodle dish I found on from the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.

If you like sweet but spicy this is a great recipe for you. The sauce turns into the this thick sticky mess with notes of peanuts, mango, sweet and spicy. Serving it up on top of the Sesame noodles even balanced it out even more because that dish is overall savory and the chicken overall sweet and tangy.

Ingredients
Chicken
Package of Chicken Thighs (boneless, skinless, trimmed of fat)
Rub
1 tbs of olive oil
1 tsp of ginger
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of onion powder
1 tsp of paprika
1/2 tsp of cumin
2 pinches of Salt and pepper

Sauce
1/3 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of Mango Chutney
2 tbs of ketchup
1/3 cup Natural peanut butter
1 tbs Rice wine vinegar
1 tbs Fish Sauce
3 tbs of Brown Sugar
1 tbs of Sriracha
2 tbs of corn starch
3 cut green onions
handful of chopped cilantro

Sesame noodles
12 oz Vermicelli noodles
1/4 cup of Soy sauce
1 tbs of sugar
2 tbs rice vinegar
2 tbs of Sesame oil
1 tbs of Hot Chili oil
1 tbs of olive oil
4 diced green onions

Directions:
1. Trim your chicken thighs and then coat with a rub and set aside in a plastic bag for up to 24hrs.

2. When ready to cook you will have a cast iron skillet on medium high heat and then a second pot for the noodles on high heat until boiling.

3. Sear your chicken when your cast iron skillet on both sides. About 3-4 minutes each side. Thighs are resilient and forgiving. Remove your chicken and set aside. Let’s make the sauce.IMG_0014

4. Mix all your sauce ingredients into a bowl and turn the skillet heat down to medium and add everything to the skillet. Stir until thickened and sticky. Add the chicken back along with the green onion and cilantro and stir and coat the chicken well with the sauce/glaze. Turn down to medium low and tend to your noodles.

5. Once the water is boiling cook your pasta accordingly. When done, strain them and add them back to the pot with all the other ingredients and stir until well coated. Remove from heat until ready to serve. IMG_0016

6. Bring it all together by plating the noodles and topping with the sticky peanut mango chicken. Serve and enjoy.
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Drunken Pork Sandwich (Tortas Ahogadas)

Drunken Pork Sandwich

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: medium
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Drunken Pork Sandwich
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One of my favorite shows is Diners, Drive-ins and Dives hosted by Guy Fieri on the FoodNetwork. Those are the places I like to try when I am traveling. What I like about it is that most of those places do a few dishes really well or they put a unique spin on their version. We go to Cabo yearly and like to try various places. We almost have a full slate of places we like, so it’s hard to fit in new ones.

On Guy’s Big Bite he and Jonathan Waxman made this sandwich called Tortas Ahogadas which I think translates to Drunken Sandwich. Guy got the idea from a little shack he went to while filming an episode of Triple D in Cabo San Lucas. Sad to say the little stand is now gone, but tried to keep it alive with his own spin on it. The way he talked about this sandwich made it a must try for me.

This thing is pretty awesome. It does take a while to make given several steps but it’s not too crazy. Soft and spicy pork butt shredded on a simple roll, smothered in this spicy tomato sauce topped with pickled onions and pico. You get smoky, tangy, sweet, spicy all in one bite. It’s fabulously messy with juices dripping off your hands. And I get to have it for lunch for the next two days.

Ingredients:
Sandwich:
Rolls
Butter for the rolls
Dukes Mayo
Cilantro
Pickled Onions (ingredients below)
Tomato Sauce (ingredients below)
Braised Pork Butt:
2 tbs chili powder
2 tbs ground cumin
2 tbs granulated garlic
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tbs kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 1/2 pounds boneless pork butt, fat trimmed, cut into 3 or 4 large pieces
1/4 cup canola oil
2 bottles of Mexican beer

Tomato Sauce:
6 to 8 dried chile de arbol (soaked in warm water)
2 tbs oil
1 white onion (diced)
1 jalapeno (seeded and diced)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
One 28-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup of Mexican Beer
Kosher salt and black pepper

Pickled Red Onions:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion (sliced into long strips)
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp of cayenne
2 tbs of honey
pinch of cinnamon
1/ cup of red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf

Directions
This has four parts… the pork butt, the tomato sauce, pickled onions and pico de gallo.

1. Start with the Pork butt. Trim a lot of the big fat parts off the butt. Then cut it into 3 or 4 big chunks because you want to maximize the sear but also allow it to be covered in the beer. Mix your rub and apply it to the pieces of pork butt until well coated. Preheat your oven to 375 or Crock pot. In large cast iron skilled on medium high heat, add some high heat oil like canola or grapeseed and sear the meat on each side. Takes about 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and de-glaze with the beer. If you use the oven make sure the meat is covered with beer and then wrap in foil and put it into the oven for 4 or 5 hours. Let it cool and shred with a fork.
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2. Pickled onions: Cut your onion into ribbons. In a medium heated pan add some oil and then the onions to soften.
Add the spices, honey, and vinegar and bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 1 minute and remove from the heat. Let it cool and then put it in the fridge until ready to use. IMG_9606
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3. Tomato sauce will take about 70 mins. Start by soaking your dried chilies in warm water for about 20 minutes. I microwaved some water for two and half minutes then added the chilies and put another measuring cup on top to ensure they are submerged. (see below)
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Take a large pot and put it on medium heat. Add some canola oil. Dice your onions and add them to the pot to sweat for 5 minutes. Next add your minced garlic, jalapenos and chilies. Let those also sweat for about 4 minutes.
Then add your spices and liquids and let this simmer for 50 minutes.
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Use an immersion blender or carefully pour your tomato sauce into a blender and blend until smooth.

4. Pico: I took four tomatoes, one onion, one jalapeno and a handful of cilantro and diced it all up. I then squeezed the juice of 1.5 limes and salted and peppered to taste.

5. Assembly. Butterfly your roll and butter each side. Place it in your oven on broil until brown and crispy.
Add you shredded pork. Top with your tomato sauce and then add your pickled onions and pico and cilantro. Lastly slather a little Dukes on the top side of the roll. Grab three or four napkins and a beer or cocktail and enjoy.

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J Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Enchiladas

J Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Enchiladas

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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J Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Enchiladas
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Chuy’s is one of the TexMex favorites that started in Austin and now has exploded throughout the south. They do everything fresh daily from the beans to the sauces and even the tortillas. They have great salsa that’s tart, tangy and spicy. Jalapeno Ranch (which I have a recipe for) is to die for. Lastly, their chicka chicka boom boom enchiladas.

They used to serve these on Wednesday’s before the became a permanent feature on their menu. When I was in Austin for work I always made sure I scheduled my trip around Wednesday so I could get my Chicka Chicka itch scratched. Thankfully they expanded their locations and as I said they made it a permanent fixture on their menu.

The Boom Boom sauce is made from hatch peppers, tomatillos, onions and of course melting cheese like American. One tweak I made is that they just use chicken on the inside of their enchiladas but I like a little more “stuff” in the middle of my enchiladas so I combined a little sour cream and Monterrey Jack cheese with the roasted chicken breasts. IMG_9452

Ingredients:
1 Roasted Chicken (shredded)
Flour tortillas
Fresh shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
1 lbs of American cheese (big chunk cut from deli)
2 tbs of sour cream
1 bunch of cilantro
1 bunch of green onions
5-6 Tomatillos
2 yellow peppers
1 jalapeno (for more heat you can add a serrano pepper or two)
2 Poblano peppers (use Hatch if you can)
1/2 cup of vegetable stock
1/4 beer or water

Directions:
1. Fire up a cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Put your peppers, tomatillos and green onions in the pan to char them. Remove the tomatillos, yellow peppers and onions and set aside. Finish the jalapeno and poblano directly over the fire like below. Put those peppers in a covered bowl to let them sweat.
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2. Take your peppers and slough off the skins and remove the spines and seeds. Cut the roots off the onions. Put the peppers, tomatillos, cilantro, vegetable stock in the blender and blend until smooth. If using beer add and blend slowly. If using water you can put it in at the start with the stock.

3. Pour that sauce into a non stick pan and cook on medium heat. Let it reduce a little. While that mixture is cooking down turn on your oven to 375 degrees. Also take your roasted chicken and shred it in a bowl. Add the sour cream and some mont jack cheese to the chicken. Combine well with your hands. Pinch of salt and pepper.
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4. Back to your Boom Boom sauce. Add american cheese in small chunks and mix it in until it melts with the peppers. Taste and continue to add cheese to your liking. I used about 1 pound.

5. Assemble your enchiladas by spooning in the chicken mixture and rolling them up. Put them seam side down into a glass baking dish. Once you have them all snuggled into the pan top with a little boom boom sauce and mont jack cheese. Put this into the oven uncovered to let everything heat up and the cheese to melt properly. Going into the oven remember everything is already cooked so you are just heating it up. You could put it covered for longer if you needed to. IMG_9446

6. In classic form serve with mexican rice and barracho or refried beans. Top with jalapenos and or cilantro.
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Ultimate Korean Fried Chicken with grilled asparagus and pickled radishes

Ultimate Korean Fried Chicken with grilled asparagus and pickled radishes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ultimate Korean Fried Chicken
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Saw Judy Joo on a recent episode of FoodNetwork’s “The Kitchen”. Judy has a show that features Korean foods which are very popular in the US these days. It’s the new asian food craze over here and for good reason. Many of the dishes are clean and include a lot of fun vegetables with unique sauces.

This turned out amazing. The chicken was so crispy but bursting with moisture inside. The coating has Korean Chili flakes and other seasoning that give it a great flavor beyond other fried chicken batters.

But the sauce….”oh the sauce”so amazing. If you have trouble finding the Gochujang paste in your stores order it from Amazon (and the flakes too for that matter). It kind of tastes like fermented Sriracha. Just deeper in flavor.

Sauce Judy used grams in her measurements, I converted the largest amount to cups and then just winged it for the rest. I like soy and vinegar so I used more than she did but also backed off on the Sesame oil given it’s strength of flavor.

Grilling the asparagus gives the smokey / char flavor and the soy marinade compliments the entire dish. Finally the pickled radishes are perfect for this. The chicken and sauce are crunchy and deep in flavor and the radish comes in and cuts those flavors with a sweet acidic refreshing palate reset. So nice after two bites of the chicken and asparagus to drop in a radish to shake it up.

This is an easy dish but there are some steps and if you want the chicken crunchy and the entire plate to come together at the same time you will be multi-tasking. I suppose you could make your asparagus and put it in the oven at 150 or 200 to keep warm while you fry your chicken.
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Ingredients
Chicken tenderloins and thighs (I used skinless and boneless)
Oil for frying

Pre-Coating
1/4 cup (32 grams) cornstarch or corn flour
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
10 grinds black pepper
2 chicken drumsticks, 2 thighs and 4 wings with tips (bone in, skin on)

Batter
Oil, for frying
1/2 cup cornstarch or corn flour
1/4 cup fine matzo meal
1/4 cup AP flour (you could use GF here)
2 tablespoons Korean chile flakes (gochugaru)
1 tablespoon kosher salt or sea salt
2 1/2 teaspoons garlic granules
2 1/2 teaspoons onion granules
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (237 grams) water
1/3 cup (75 grams) vodka
2 tablespoons Korean chile paste (gochujang)

Batter
1/2 cup cornstarch or corn flour
1/4 cup fine matzo meal
1/4 cup AP flour
2 tbs Korean chile flakes (gochugaru)
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs onion powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 pinches of Kosher Salt

1 cup water
1/3 cup vodka
2 tbs Korean chile paste (gochujang)

Pickled Radish
Sliced Radishes
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
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Gochujang Dipping Sauce
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup Korean chile paste (gochujang)
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbs rice vinegar
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp grated ginger
3 cloves garlic


Soy Grilled Asparagus

1 bunch of Asparagus
2 tbs of Soy Sauce
2 tsp of Ginger diced
1 tbs of Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
Green onions diced
Toasted Sesame Seeds
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Directions

1. Make your radishes by washing and cutting them into chips or discs. Mix your water, sugar and vinegar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add radishes and refrigerate.

2. Prep your chicken by trimming, washing and drying them well. Mix your pre-coating and take your dried chicken and coat so that everything is dusted white. Set your chicken on a wire wrack and let it is rest for an hour. The batter is thin so you want this dry so that it will stick to it. IMG_9369

3. While chicken is drying, make your Gochujang Dipping Sauce by mixing everything into a small pot and bring to a simmer and turn it down a little and let it continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool.
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4. Prep your Asparagus by cutting the thick woody area off and the then use a peeler and remove some of the bottom. (optional). Mix your soy mixture and coat asparagus and let them marinate for a few minutes.

5. Okay now go ahead and pour your oil in a smaller pot so that the oil is deeper than it would be as if you poured a thin layer in a cast iron skillet. Given the batter is thin you need depth in your oil because this will stick to the bottom. Also take a grill pan on another burner and heat it up to medium. You are about to multi-task.
Go ahead and get your radishes out and pour your sauce into a dipping bowl and get your plates ready.

6. Frying the chicken. When your oil hits 350 degrees. May your batter by mixing your dry ingredients into a large bowl. No in a separate bowl mix your water, vodka and paste until blended. Pour it into the dry ingredients and stir well. Take your dry coated chicken and dip it into the batter until well covered. Pull the chicken out of the batter and shake off excess batter. Dangle your chicken in the oil (be careful) and cook half of the chicken piece for about thirty seconds before releasing it into the grease. Down over crowd and fry your chicken in batched until browned an crunchy. Remove and let it rest on a wire wrack. IMG_9377

7. While your chicken is frying add your asparagus to your grill pan and char it for about 8 minutes. Just work on your chicken and while frying move the asparagus around. Once done I dipped it back into the marinade and then plated it by cutting some green onions and topping it with toasted sesame seeds.

8. Add you radishes and a few crispy chicken strips to the plate and eat. So good.

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Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ultimate-korean-fried-chicken.html?oc=linkback

PF Chang-ish Chicken Lettuce Wraps

PF Chang-ish Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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PF Chang-ish Chicken Lettuce Wraps
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I mentioned this in an earlier post but growing up, Chinese food wasn’t a staple in my mom’s kitchen. In fact I can’t recall ever having it outside the occasional mall egg roll or going to a place my best friend’s mother liked. PF Chang’s was a place that opened up my aperture on Chinese food. When I had their General Tso Spicy Chicken and the Lettuce wraps I couldn’t believe it. It was fresh and balanced with sweet and heat.

Jill and I are still trying to control our carbs so a lettuce wrap seemed like a good choice tonight. I love how easy and fast this dish comes together. You can whip these up in no time and totally impress your palate, family, friends etc..
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Ingredients
1 lbs of ground chicken (pork works too)
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 tbs of grated fresh ginger
¼ cup of diced water chestnuts
½ cup of fresh cilantro
1 diced jalapeno (seeded)
1 bunch of green onions diced (cook the whites and save green for topping)
3 tbs of Hoisin sauce
2 tbs Soy Sauce
1 tbs of Rice wine Vinegar
1 tbs of Sriracha
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1 head of Bibb/Butter lettuce

Sauce
2 tbs of Chili oil
2 tbs of Soy Sauce
1 tbs Sriracha
1 tbs of sugar
1 tsp grated ginger
Red Pepper Flakes
Shake of garlic powder
Shake of onion powder
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Directions:
1. Make the sauces by adding everything and mixing is well until combined. Set both aside.

2. Prep your lettuce by washing and drying each piece. Also chop all your veggies because this goes fast.

3. On to the meat. Heat up a tbs of olive oil or chili oil in a medium heated pan. Brown your ground chicken and break it down into small bits. Drain liquid/fat

4. Add the white and light green parts of the green onion and jalapeno and stir for about 3mins with the meat. Now add the garlic and ginger and stir for a few minutes.

5. Next add your liquids and stir for about 8mins stirring often. Turn off the heat and add the water chestnuts, green parts of the onion and the cilantro.

6. Serve the meat, lettuce leafs and sauce.. Enjoy!
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Chicken Tikka Masala #2

Chicken Tikka Masala #2

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Tikka Masala #2
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I am still on the search for the best recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala. There is a joint here in town that has a magical sauce. I have been chasing it. I just love this stuff.

To those who are heavy into Indian food I know this is the equivalent to something like a California Roll in sushi terms but I still like it. On the other hand, those of you who think you don’t like Indian food you should dip your toes into these waters. Chicken Tikka Masala is a distant cousin to Italian’s creamy tomato vodka sauce or France’s tomato soup. There isn’t any curry in it for those who are curry concerned. All that said it is spicy but in the best of ways…. slow creamy heat that just builds into a perfect eye and lip sweat.
Serve over steamed rice with warm naan bread. It’s spicy, creamy, “tomatoy”, smokey goodness.

Adapted the sauce from the lovely Aarti Sequeira, FoodNetwork.

Ingredients:
2-3 Boneless Skinless Organic Chicken breasts and thighs
Marinade
1 cup of fresh yogurt
1 tbs of lemon juice
1 tbs of fresh minced ginger
1 tbs of minced garlic
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of fresh cinnamon
1 tsp of Kosher Salt

Sauce
6-8 cloves of minced garlic
2 inch knuckle of fresh ginger
3 dried serrano peppers (remove the seeds to decrease spice)
8 oz of fire roasted tomatoes
8oz of water
1 heaping tsp of Garam Masala
2 heaping tsp of Paprika
pinch of cumin
2 tsp of Kosher Salt
Black Pepper

1 tbs of butter
1 cup of heavy cream
cilantro to top

Directions
1. Cube your chicken into bite sized chunks and add to a Ziplock with the marinade ingredients. 24 hrs.

2. Heat up a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium heat and cook your chicken. (discard marinade). Set aside
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3. Add everything in the second section into a food processor and blend for 6-7 minutes…
Pour this mixture into a pot with the butter and simmer for 15mins. Then add your grilled chicken and let it meld with the sauce for about 10-15mins. Watch and add water as necessary. Finally add your cream and cook for 10mins.
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With Cream
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Serve hot over steamed rice topped with fresh cilantro and accompanied with oven warmed naan bread.
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