DIVING INTO HOT SAUCE
Every hot sauce has its own personality. Some add a nice flavorful zing, while others leave you crying and your mouth on fire, willing to trade your arm for a glass of milk or a sugar cube to kill the burn. Chili peppers, the main ingredient in hot sauce, are measured on the Scoville scale to assess their heat (designed by American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville in the early 1900s). To give you an idea of the range, the spiciest Carolina Reaper earns a frightening 2.2 million Scoville units, while the mild Banana pepper scores a mere 900 units. And the Bell pepper? A whopping 0 units.
In addition to having different heat levels, hot sauces made from various peppers have nuanced flavors— though if you decide to brave it and try a hot one, your taste buds might not be able to taste anything at all! The classic Tabasco Sauce is made from, you guessed it, tabasco peppers; Cholula’s main ingredients are pequin and arbol peppers; and Frank’s RedHot is made from cayenne peppers, just like the first commercially bottled sauce from Massachusetts in 1807. What do these three have in common? They’re all delicious with eggs! Want to add some heat to your Vietnamese Pho? Try Huy Fong Foods’ Sriracha made from red jalapeños. Love Mexican food? Make it come alive with Tapatío, rumored to be made from pequin and chile d’arbol peppers, though it’s sort of a secret.
Like with anything, some people may love one hot sauce and dislike another. The best way to test what hot sauce gives you that perfect spark? The Brooklyn Grange’s hot sauce making workshop tomorrow night, Tuesday October 27th! (Foodstanders get 50% off with promo code FOODSTAND). Now that’s the way to get fired up for a ghoulish Halloween!
EAT & DRINK
CHILI MUSHROOMS AND AVOCADO BAGEL by gingerandchorizo
For the chili sauce (with leftover sauce, keep in fridge)
1 tbsp. Gochujang – Korean chili paste
1 tbsp. Miso paste
2 tbsp. Toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp. Tamari or soy sauce
1 pinch of sugar
1/2 clove of garlic, minced
For the bagel
1 Ripe avocado
A dash of Lemon Juice
150 g Oyster mushroom, brush cleaned and roughly sliced
2 sesame seed bagels, sliced in half
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Combine all the ingredients for the chili sauce until smooth and set aside.
In a skillet, fry the oyster mushrooms with a splash of vegetable oil until golden brown. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of the prepared chili sauce to the mushrooms and remove the skillet from heat. Mix well until all the mushrooms are coated with the sauce. Set aside.
Halve and stone the avocado, then peel and slice it and add a dash of lemon juice on it to prevent it turning brown.
Toast the bagel halves, spread the avocado on the bagel and lay the cooked spicy mushrooms on top, garnished with the toasted sesame seeds, serve while it is still warm.
MEXICAN SWEET SPUDS by annefood
4-6 small sweet potatoes
5 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, divided- 3/4 roughly chopped, 1/4 finely diced
2 teaspoons ground cumin (or more if desired)
a few dashes Cayenne pepper (or more if desired)
2- 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2- 10 ounce bags of frozen sweet corn, defrosted (or fresh corn kernels off the cob if it’s in season!)
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped and divided
2 limes, halved
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces chèvre, crumbled into pieces, for serving
guacamole, for serving
hot sauce, for serving
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Rinse and dry your sweet potatoes, and chop the gnarly ends off. Wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil (either all in one bundle, or individually- it doesn’t matter) and place them on a sheet pan in the oven for about 60-75 minutes. They should be soft throughout, and starting to caramelize on the bottom when fully cooked.
Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and the 3/4 of your onion that is roughly chopped. Add the cumin and cayenne, a couple pinches of salt, and about 5 grinds of black pepper. Stir occasionally until the garlic and spices become fragrant, and the onion begins to soften. Add the black beans, and stir again. Continue to cook until the beans start to bubble slightly. Turn off the heat and set aside.
While the beans are cooking, combine the corn, the remaining 1/4 finely diced onion, and 1/4 cup of the chopped cilantro in a bowl. Add a good splash of olive oil, a pinch of salt and a couple grinds of black pepper. Squeeze 1/2 of a lime over the mixture, and stir to combine. Set aside.
To assemble, slice the sweet potatoes down the middle. Top with some of your bean mixture, and some crumbled chèvre right on top of the hot stuff so it gets nice and soft. Follow that with some corn mixture, and a good dollop of guacamole. Garnish with cilantro, and squeeze some lime juice on there too. And last but not least, finish it off with hot sauce!