Thursday, October 2, 2008

Refrigerator Staples

For the last few months I have kept two different items in the frig and used them for several applications.

The first is Chiptotle paste. Based on a hint in one of my cook books I put a can of chipotle pepper in adobo in the blender and zap until smooth. It gives a fluid paste that you can mete out by the spoonful. Once I get an idea of how spicy it is I know how much to add it to various things

The second is Nuoc Cham. This is the Vietnamese dipping sauce based on fish sauce. Although I use the fish sauce in some applications straight, I find the mixture better for others. Very simple recipe

1 part Nuoc Am (fish sauce)
1 part white sugar
1 part lime juice
1 part water
Chili Paste with Garlic to taste

I usually make a cup at a time. So that is 1/4 cup of the four ingredients and usually a overflowing teaspoon of chili paste.

One thing I made with these two items recently was a flavored Salad Dressing. I took a pint of Miracle Whip added three tablespoons of Chipotle paste and 1 tablespoon of Nuoc Cham. This delivery a level of smoky spiciness and backnote of salty taste I found appealing. Using the fish sauce is like using anchovies. When use right it does not taste fishy but enhances the product.

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