Tag Archives: cooking

Worried about a Sriracha shortage? Fear not!

Sriracha Rooster Sauce Worried about an impending Sriracha shortage? Fear not! Even if the Huy Fong factory in Irwindale winds up getting shut down after all (which it may very well not be), you’ll still have Sriracha to choose from.

As you might know, Sriracha sauce is not a brand name but in fact a particular type of Thai chili sauce, named after a city in Thailand. And although the Huy Fong Rooster Sriracha (aka Tương Ớt Sriracha) is the most famous in the United States, it is not your only option.

Head down to your local “Asian” market or international food store (such as, if you’re in the LA area, my current favorite grocery, Super King Markets). You’ll likely find a number of different brands.

A couple of articles on Serious Eats will also help you:

Homemade Horchata

Horchata as made in Mexico and Southern California (and elsewhere) is a super-refreshing rice-based drink with cinnamon and sugar. It is my favorite thing to have with street tacos or, indeed, any spicy Mexican food.

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Like most good things nowadays, there is a real version and a fake version. I ran across an example of the latter at a local convenience store recently, embedded in the soft drink dispensers, which prompted the idea of learning how to make it myself.

After doing a bit of googling, I narrowed onto a 5 Ways to Make Horchata page which I decided to start with. The simplest version (#1 there) is where I began today — well, last night, which is when I put:

  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 2 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks*

into my blender pitcher and left it to sit overnight.

* The recipe calls for one stick of 3″ length, but since mine weren’t quite that long, I eyeballed the picture to get approximately the same amount of cinnamon.

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This morning, I simply added:

  • 1/3 cup sugar

and blended the contents until they were nicely smooth and aerated.

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There will be quite a bit of gritty residue in the liquid, which is why you’ll strain it through a sieve or cheesecloth — or a combo like I did:

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Once that was done, I stirred in:

  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

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Then poured it into a quart jar to put in the fridge for chilling and flavor-melding.

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There was a cup or so left over, so I went ahead and made up a glass with ice and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top. As usual, the bendy straw — one of the highest pinnacles of Western Civilization — adds nothing but greatness to the lowliest of beverages.

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The test drink was quite tasty for a first go. And the second drink later, after it had had a chance to meld, was noticeably better — deliciously refreshing on a hot day.

Next time with this version, I’ll likely want to up the sugar a smidgen and do a better job of straining — however, a little grit is a part of the horchata mouthfeel and charm. And since it is so very easy to make, it would be a cinch to serve alongside your homemade tacos as well.

¡Buen apetito!

Cooking with Phasers domain

As part of the economic austerity measures put in place by the Alien Hive Mind that runs the planet, the cookingwithphasers.com domain has now expired, replaced by phasers.celsius1414.com. Never read the essays? Now’s your chance!

Perhaps the only characteristic common to absolutely every geek is an indignant denial that every geek shares anything in common with every other geek. There is no such thing, the idea goes, as a Typical Geek. Witnessing one of the many geek flame wars — Mac vs. Windows, Linux vs. Windows, vi vs. emacs, distro vs. distro — might just bear this out.

It’s safe to say, however, that there are particular movies that virtually every geek has seen, if not dissected minutely a la the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons. It is also safe to say that every geek in existence has, at one point or another in his or her life, eaten food. Without getting too far into the existential “What Is A Geek?” questions, let us reflect on this seemingly strange paring.