Sunday, August 26, 2012

Puerto Rico

by M

No rant on Puerto Rico; instead, we have a special guest.  Please allow me to introduce JJ, an authentic Puerto Rican who will be making an authentic Puerto Rican spicy garlic sauce with authentic Puerto Rican fried plantains.  

For those who don’t know, a plantain looks like a banana but kind of tastes more like a potato and is starchy like a potato, too.  Kinda like a banana and potato fell in love and mated and out came the plantain... of course, I guess they didn’t have to fall in love first. Maybe the potato had a bit too much to drink and just got over its previous relationship and was a bit vulnerable to banana’s unyielding charisma.  We’ve all been there, just ask Kirk Cameron and his friend.  

It is best to use green plantains because as plantains ripen they will turn yellow, sweeter but mushier too.  Removing the skin can be difficult.  A simple trick is to perforate the skin with a knife then microwave the whole thing for 4 minutes.  We used an authentic Puerto Rican to operate our microwave. 

Let the plantain cool, and then it should peel nice and easy.

Cut the plantain into 2-inch sections.

Then flatten each section into a cylinder.  Try to make them the same thickness so they cook evenly.

In the meantime heat up an inch of canola oil or vegetable oil in a pan.  When the oil starts to make cool psychedelic patterns, it is hot enough.  Drop in each cylinder of plantain and fry for a minute or two on each side or until golden brown.  Remove and allow to cool on a paper towel.  Salt to taste.

Now the garlic sauce.  Take a couple cloves of garlic and throw it in your food processor or magic bullet or whatever you have, or just chop the shit out of it until it is a pasty goo.   Mix it well with a quarter cup of olive oil.

That is authentic Puerto Rican Garlic Sauce!  I recommend some chili oil in that too though; make it a hot sauce!  Drizzle over your plantains and enjoy.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bizzaro Siracha

by M

We have reached a new level here at THSDs.  While I have been overwhelmed with life in general... up to my neck in work, not enough time in the day, and too many freaking weddings to go to! … the THSDs has become self aware.  It’s alive, I tell you, it’s alive.  Without any work, petitioning, or Hot Sauce networking, we are getting new hot sauces left and right.  We can’t keep up, I’m getting ulcers, heartburn, flatulence, high blood pressure, I’m sweating habanero, crying cayenne, and man is it awesome.  

Unbeknownst to us, there is a cousin of the infamous Sriracha.  It’s bizarro sriracha from Hong Kong.  At first taste, I described it as earthy, then musky... yes, a muskier Sriracha.  When you start to describe something with terms like musky, you start walking a thin line.  You know the line when you smell someone cooking soup, and you’re like, “Wow, that soup smells good; at least, I hope that is soup and not BO.”  Yeah, sometimes a good lentil soup or a minestrone can smell a bit like BO.  Or, when I take blue cheese out of the refrigerator and my wife will be like, “Oh man, we need to take out the garbage”... no, that is blue cheese (we both really like blue cheese).  One time I had a salad at a Thai restaurant with a “chili” dressing.  It kind of tasted like an anchovy ate nothing but onions for days and then went jogging.  That salad was not my kind of thing, though I am sure there are many that might enjoy it.  So after sensing this muskiness, I read the ingredients.  Sure enough, fish sauce is on the list.  What the heck is fish sauce?  I mean, I know what it is, but why do they get away with just calling it fish sauce?  There are different kinds of Fish Sauce.  What kind of fish?  What parts of the fish?  How is it turned into a sauce?  I am going to invent Cow Sauce.  Who knows what is in it, but it will be cow made into sauce, Cow Sauce.  Then on the ingredients of Hot Dog packages, it will only have one ingredient: Cow Sauce.

Sauce: Sriracha Chili Sauce
Manufacturer: Lee Kum Kee
Chili pepper: Red chili (Capsicum frutescens)
Country of Origin: Hong Kong/China
Score: 6/10

This Hong Kong Sriracha walks the line with success because it is pretty good.  It gives a much funkier taste then our normal Sriracha and is different enough that if you are a die-hard Sriracha fan, you will want both bottles in your refrigerator.  Not as much heat as the normal Sriracha, which is too bad, because with the stronger, funkier taste, you may not want to apply as liberally or it will overtake your meal.

I give it 6/10.  A little more heat would yield a higher score, but I still prefer the original Rooster!