If this was the year of the dragon in the Chinese lunar year cycle, the two short tips for hot sauces that follow could appropriately be named “Dragon Fire.”
Both recipes, if you want to call them that because they are simple two- and three-ingredient marvels, are spicy and could claim a five-alarm status if you choose to go there.
The Super Bowl is near and you may be searching for the right game-day presentation to bring your crowd to its knees.
The first sauce, one I recently had the pleasure of tasting, is a quickly assembled invention from David Whittington of South Charleston. It seems he’s been a huge, lifelong fan of hot and spicy food, a trait his son, Adam, also shares.
Over the years he has built up something of a talented home-cook reputation at his place of employment, cooking for and with the fellows in his department.
Whittington came up with a wing sauce this past Christmas that differs slightly in makeup from the standard bottled buffalo sauce.
He whisks together equal parts melted butter, Sriracha, and ketchup to chase away any hint of a chill.
He strongly recommends the Tuong Ot Sriracha brand of hot chili sauce by Huy Fong Foods as the best.
You may know it as “rooster sauce” because of the rooster on the bottle front.
It’s easily located in most grocery stores today in the sauces, ketchup or international foods aisle.
Whittington’s sauce can be brushed on cooked wings or used as a dip, especially for flavorful but unsauced meatballs.
For the second hot tip, I melted a 12-ounce jar of grape jelly with a nine-ounce bottle of Sriracha, tossed in frozen turkey meatballs and let them make friends with each other in a low-heat crockpot.
The Summers Street Samplers (the law office, so named by son Mark because of their now-official taste-testing designation) felt they weren’t as hot as we at home thought.
You could turn the heat down a few degrees in the recipes by using a milder sauce. And don’t let me stop you if you want to go hotter, either with the sauce choice or by tossing into the mix a jar of drained, sliced jalapenos to simmer along to tongue-numbing nirvana.
Up front in this column I mentioned the Chinese lunar year. This year is the Year of the Monkey for those born in 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1992 and 2004. It’s considered an auspicious year for each of you.
To soothe any inflamed taste buds from sampling the Sriracha-loaded mixtures, my version of a different-flavor potato salad, served quite cool, may prove an antidote.
There aren’t any strange ingredients that will have you scratching your head as to where to find them. The Asian influence is slight, contained in the dressing.
On Feb.8, wish everyone “gung hay fat choy” (Happy New Year!). I hope I got that right. Otherwise, I innocently may be directing you into a verbal danger zone, not knowing the true meaning of the words.
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Attention Charleston chefs and restaurant owners: This is a suggestion for the participating restaurants that were active in the just-completed Charleston Restaurant Week, and those considering joining the next.
Since it’s so difficult to get to every restaurant that diners would love to try, please consider offering your RW menu after the special week is over, having it appear at different times during the course of the year and advertising it as such. It gives a second chance for everyone to enjoy your food.
If the items you served weren’t made especially for RW, but are already on your menu, it would also be great to have it pointed out that the particular dish was a part of RW.
Reminders are always good for those who may not have noted or remembered each restaurant’s menu or didn’t get to your place to have a meal.
We restaurant goers (translate that as “foodies”) are positive we are missing something fabulous in not being able to sample everyone’s wonderful, mouthwatering plates.
Many Restaurant Week thanks and appreciation is owed to several folks, but most especially to Kayla Young, Dickinson Gould and Chef Paul Smith of Buzz Food Service for their efforts and organization and all the restaurants for the pleasant memories of some of the city’s finest dining.
Let’s hope to see it repeated.
Reach Judy Grigoraci at email@example.com.
Chinese-Style Potato Salad
Makes 8 servings
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard (prepared Chinese mustard if available)
½ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ pounds small red-skinned potatoes, cooked, (peeled optional)
¼ cup diced red bell pepper
¼ cup diced celery
¼ cup diced onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Rice noodles or chow mein noodles
WHISK dressing ingredients in medium mixing bowl. Cut potatoes into bite-size pieces and add to dressing bowl with bell pepper, celery, onion and parsley; toss gently to coat well. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours for flavors to mellow.
STIR once before serving; sprinkle top with noodles and serve.