Teeny Tiny Kitchen

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Sauces
Spicy Thai Basil Sauce PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Thursday, 26 September 2013 17:10

 

 

 

 

“I found Thai basil, I found Thai basil!” Jedd happily yelled when he walked through the door.

 

“Whut?” I asked looking up from the computer.

 

“I found it, I finally found it,” he said.

 

And, indeed, he finally had.

 

Thai basil doesn't seem that exotic an ingredient, but we've never seen it. We've checked grocery stores and health food co-ops, but we've just never been able to get our hands on it. So suddenly having a bunch of the slightly peppery basil to play with, felt a little daunting.

 

Then – of course – I fell prey to “Launie hoarding.” It had taken years and years of searching, so of course I wanted to make something spectacular with it. Which meant that I trimmed off the ends, and stuck it in a jar where it sat for two weeks.

 

Jedd was just as “hoard-ish.”

 

“We need to do something really special with it,” he said.

 

“I know, but what? Thai chicken? In a soup? What about a noodle dish?” I suggested.

 

“Any of those sound good,” he said.

 

Which should have given me direction, but instead made me more nervous about what to do with the precious bunch of herbs.

 

So, there it sat.

 

Finally, I decided to “seize the day” and combined it with some things in the fridge and the vegetable bowl to create a spicy sauce.

 

Which was a wise decision. Instead of blowing the whole batch on one dish, we've been eating the sauce on vegetable wraps, chicken, beef, rice and noodles. It's been the bedrock of our meals for the last few days because it's sweet, but salty, citrusy but hot.

 

If you only have sweet basil to play with, add some black pepper and a little fennel to mimic the taste.

 

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Green, Garlic-less, Sriracha-Type Sauce PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Friday, 31 May 2013 16:54

 

One of the few times Jedd and I have squawked at each other in the kitchen, was the first time I made pesto.

 

I refused to put in a certain ingredient, because I just really don’t like it.

 

“Launie, you can’t make pesto without garlic.”

 

“Well, I’m going to.”

 

“Pesto needs garlic.”

 

“No it doesn't.”

 

“Yes it does! It's one of the rules.”

 

“Forget that.”

 

“It’s going to taste wrong.”

 

“Well, if you don’t like it you don’t have to eat it. You can make your own batch. We have plenty of basil to play with. But this is what I’m having for dinner. Garlic-less pesto with linguine.”

 

And we both loved it. Without the garlic, the basil had a chance to really shine along with the parmesan and nuts.

 

Fast forward many years, and I tasted sriracha for the first time. I loved the heat – but I bet that you can guess what I didn’t love about it.

 

It was filled with garlic, which is the Newman to my Seinfeld.

 

So, I decided to make my own using shallots instead. A perfectly reasonable substitute in my mind because shallots, are garlic’s nicer cousin. I realize, however, that I’m one of the few people in the world who has this particular food phobia. So please feel free to substitute in garlic or even do a shallot/garlic combination.

 

This sauce is spicy, but it’s not a psycho killer heat. You don’t need to try it on a dare. Just try some alongside grilled chicken or steak. Jedd loves it on eggs and I’ve been known to try some on a sandwich. And it makes the best bloody mary you can imagine. So, give it a shot, even if you love garlic.

 

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Teriyaki Sauce: It's the Gift That Keeps on Giving PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Sunday, 24 March 2013 18:57

 

 

A few weeks ago Jedd and I went out to dinner, which is a rarity for us. I write about food for paychecks, so I cook several times a day. Although what we have in the fridge by the end of the day may not make sense as a full meal, it's generally what we stick with.

 

What's for dinner?”

 

Well, we have fish picatta, cranberry maple granola and fresh barbecue sauce.”

 

Sounds good.”

 

So, when we went out for dinner, I ordered my favorite restaurant meal - teriyaki chicken. As we sat at the bar nursing drinks waiting to be seated, Jedd said, “Have you ever made teriyaki sauce for Teeny?”

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Spicy and Lemony Blueberry Salsa PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Monday, 06 August 2012 10:09

 

Sometimes a recipe is so simple that it invents itself. In the case of this lemony and surprisingly spicy blueberry salsa, inspiration came with our CSA basket. We received a beautiful box of blueberries and because I had just made flour tortillas and was craving something with a little kick, it just made sense to use the berries in a salsa. I was a little hesitant at first though, because I didn't have lime juice. But then it dawned on me that blueberries and lemon go together like the entire cast of Grease.

 

And this salsa is like dip dadip dadip doowop da doobee doo or boogedy boogedy boogedy boogedy shooby doowop shebop. At any rate, though, it was so good that I made two batches in one day. And that's a wop baba lumop a wap bam boom.

 

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Flautas with Cilantro Lime Sauce and Homemade Tortillas PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Saturday, 14 April 2012 12:35

 

We're talking/daydreaming about going to DC in the fall to visit family, and as part of my daydreaming I hit the Menu Pages website to see what the area restaurants had to offer. I came across a Mexican restaurant that sounded appealing. As I read through their menu, I saw flautas listed and it occurred to me that I hadn't made those in years. That omission was quickly rectified later in the evening. But, I upped the ante by making homemade flour tortillas as a base.

 

I've posted a recipe for homemade tortillas here before, but it's been a long time and I decided to re-post the recipe because the difference between store-bought vs. homemade tortillas in this dish is pretty huge. It's really worth it to make them yourself because they are softer than store-bought. When their soft texture gets fried? It's practically a religious experience. I also made a cilantro lime sauce to serve with them, which is completely delicious. I made an extra batch just to snack on with the tortillas.

 

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