Instead of ketchup. Better than barbecue sauce. To give a boost to marinara. For dipping French fries or tots. To dress up a fried egg sandwich. As a glaze for tofu or grilled portobello mushrooms. To dunk tortilla chips. To make the BEST tempeh sloppy joes. As you can see, this umami-loaded Bomb Sauce goes with everything. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, be sure to read the label on your Worcestershire sauce to make sure it doesn’t contain anchovies.
Every Mexican cook has his or her own cherished mole recipe. Usually it’s based on one of the familiar mole types, with their own special tweaks to the ingredients, quantities, or techniques. The idea of making mole can be daunting to many home cooks, but although a mole has a lot of ingredients, it is not particularly difficult. And it’s even better when made ahead of time, so the flavors can blend. Mole will keep at least a week in the refrigerator and freezes well.
For a more assertive, slightly spicy alternative to traditional basil pesto, we first processed almonds (toasted first to enhance their rich flavor) with lots of garlic, anchovies, and a serrano chile until the mixture was finely chopped. Then we processed the mixture in a food processor with peppery arugula, lemon juice, and olive oil until the sauce was smooth.
On our travels in Bali, Jeremy and I stayed at a little resort that offered great cooking classes. In addition to local curries and rice dishes, the chef taught us this citrusy, simple salad, which has since become a staple at home. The combination of poached shrimp, tart grapefruit, spicy chilies, and fresh mint is bright and clean. Crunchy bean sprouts add terrific texture.
From The Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen
This recipe is very dear to my heart, as it was my first attempt to use ingredients that didn’t normally go together, but made sense to me. In Asian cooking, vinegar is often used to cut saltiness from soy sauce or other ingredients. For me, balsamic vinegar has the perfect mix of sweetness, acidity, and body to combine with the brown sugar and soy sauce here.
I learned the essence of American barbecue when I worked as a cook in Atlanta, and I still crave that sticky, smoky, tender meat. We capture those memories when we cook with this sauce at our restaurants. With sweetness coming from the brown sugar, kiwi, and pear, plus the sharpness from the onion, soy sauce, and garlic, this sauce has everything you need for barbecue with a Korean touch. I always give credit to my mom for this recipe because she showed me how to make it. Over the years, I’ve made some modifications to take it to the next level, but don’t tell her! She believes that I am still using the same recipe she taught me all those years ago.
Once I married a Puerto Rican woman, my food became what we call a little Korican, and that’s what this sauce is all about. I learned this recipe from my mother-in-law, Dolores Alicea, aka Doe or Lola. Let me tell you, the best Puerto Rican restaurant in town is her house! When I tasted her turkey lechon at our first Thanksgiving together, it was all over for me. The bright flavors, the spiciness from the garlic, the tanginess from the vinegar—everything was new to me. From the moment I tasted her sauces, I knew I had to learn how to make them. I never put vinegar in my marinades until I met Lola, but I understood why cooks put alcohol in marinades, and this is similar: it tenderizes and accentuates the flavors. Now, her cooking is part of my DNA. I had to add it to my arsenal of kitchen techniques, but of course, I made a few changes to kung fu it.
There is a lot of room for experimentation and creativity with all the wild ingredients available—I’ve barely scratched the surface with the sauces I’ve made using my homemade or infused vinegars and the large number of wild ingredients available. Here is an example of a simple nasturtium and watercress hot sauce. This recipe makes two half-pint (250 ml) jars.
Be careful when roasting chiles de árbol, or the dried versions of other smaller spicier, because when you start roasting inside your house, the air gets spicy quick. Growing up in southern California, my mom would make chile de árbol by roasting them with a little bit of lard. We’d be such dramatic little kids; it’d be like pepper spray in the house, and we’d have to kneel down and go through the kitchen because it was too spicy. We’d be coughing up a storm and our eyes would be watering.