Ginger Scallion Sauce

Eat this on everything. Tastes great on salmon, steak, and noodles of just about every kind.

Finely slice 2 large bunches of green onions (white and green parts). Mince approximately 1/4 cup ginger. I’m going to level with you, I hate mincing things and use the food processor to chop all that ginger. It helps to use a spoon to scrape the skin off of the ginger instead of using a veggie peeler.

In a bowl, stir together the green onion slices and minced ginger. Add 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon neutral oil (I use sunflower oil and grapeseed oil is a good option as well), 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Keeps well in the fridge if you don’t use it all at first!


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Goodness Gracious, Sweet Jam of Fire

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“Fire” is a bit dramatic. There’s some heat in this chili jam, but it’s nothing wild. Once upon a time, Trader Joe’s had a Hot and Sweet Chili Jam. It was delicious. I purchased it in triplicate when I ran out.

And then.

Trader Joe’s stopped making it.

At first, I was in denial. Perhaps they hadn’t restocked at my store in a while. Then, I thought they’d start making it again if enough people asked about it.

They did not. I waited two years. Then I found the ingredient list on a photo on Amazon for the discontinued jam. Though I had never made jam, I experimented with the ingredients to get something passably close to the original.

Bring 2 cups of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup crushed red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup dried minced garlic to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring often. To this mixture, add 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2 tablespoons pectin, and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. When the mixture coats the back of the spoon, remove from heat. Ladle into jars. Heat seal if you’re kooky like that, otherwise store in the fridge for up to a month.

Eat with every cheese plate you ever make, with bagels, straight out of the jar, on ice cream. Bring it to all the picnics and game nights.

 

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Faux Pho Empanadas

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I’d been toying with the idea of pho and empanadas for a while before finally getting around to finding the star anise and testing them out. I’d predicted correctly that they’d be delicious!

For the dough:

Mix together 2 1/4 cups flour, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 stick cold unsalted butter cut into cubes, 1 egg, 1/3 cup ice water and 1 tablespoon white vinegar. It should form a shaggy dough. Knead a couple of times with your hands, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

For the filling:

Brown 1 pound ground beef, then add 1/2 diced white onion, 4 cloves of minced garlic, 3 thinly sliced green onions, 1 teaspoon crushed anise seeds, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, the zest of two limes, 1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon fish sauce. Bring to a light simmer and continue simmering approximately 20 minutes. Let cool completely.

For the sauce:

Blend together 1 bunch lemon basil leaves (approximately 1 cup), about 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, 4 jalapenos, seeds and tops removed,  green onions, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil.

When everything is thoroughly chilled and cooled, break off 1/4 cup sized pieces of dough, shape into a ball, and roll out into a flat circle. Fill with a couple tablespoons of filling. Roll over the edges and crimp using a fork or your fingers. You can get pretty fancy with how you secure your empanada edges. I have not gotten that fancy. Brush with egg wash (1 egg whisked together with 1 tablespoon of water) and cook at 400 degrees until golden brown, approximately 15 minutes. You can use an air fryer at this step if you have one. Serve hot with generous helpings of the dipping sauce.

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Roasted Garlic and Chipotle Sauce

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Roast four heads of garlic (instructions available here). When cooled, remove roasted cloves. In a food processor, combine roasted garlic, 1 can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, zest of two limes, juice of one lime, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme. Pulse to combine.

This recipe is incredibly easy but the flavor payoff is equally incredible. Because the canned chipotles are pretty mild, this isn’t spicy- just flavorful! I like to use it on the roast chicken, but it tastes amazing on eggs and most savory foods. I’m drizzling the leftover sauce over nachos tonight!

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Spicy Sauce and Fish

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We were fortunate enough to catch Sprouts in an amazing sale where the wild caught salmon was a dollar per pound less than the farm raised and I snapped up two pounds because you can always make something delicious with salmon. I like this chimichurri with it because the lime juice brings the flavors to life and the jalapeno keeps things interesting. If you’re averse to spicy food, it’s worth noting that once you’ve removed those seeds most of the bite is taken out of the jalapeno. If you’re really averse to spicy food, I’d suggest starting with just one jalapeno with seeds and stem removed and give it a taste test to see if you can handle more. You can always blend the second jalapeno in piece by piece. I also like this sauce because, on days when Graham and I can’t agree on a protein, it tastes just as delicious on his steak as it does on my salmon.

In a blender or food processor, combine 1 bunch of parsley leaves, large stems removed, 2 jalapenos with stem and seeds removed, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 4 cloves garlic, 1-2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons salt, 3 green onions, the juice of two limes and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Blend until a nice sauce forms. Give it a taste before you remove it to a serving container. Sometimes it needs a bit more salt, though it does depend on how heavily you salt your fish or other protein. It tastes good on a lot of things.

In a cast iron skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Place two fillets of salted and peppered salmon skin side down into the hot oil and cook approximately 5 minutes. Avoid the temptation to fiddle with the fish as it cooks. Flip and cook approximately 5 minutes more. Remove to plates and top with chimichurri sauce.

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