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This past weekend I went to see the Katy Perry movie and while my alibi is that I was there because the kids I babysit wanted to see it, the real truth is I went eagerly and of my own free will (twice actually… in two days). And as I left the theater, stowing my pink Katy Perry-themed 3D glasses safely in my pursue, humming “Teenage Dream,” and trying to work the cramp out of my jaw resulting from the wide smile that had been plastered across my face for the past 90 minutes, I realized two things. One, I immediately needed to get my hands on the CD, and two, I had seriously misjudged Katy Perry, casting her off as another pop star who just got lucky with a few one hit wonders. It got me thinking that maybe there were other great things out there that I just assumed I wouldn’t like because of whatever preconceived notions I had. What other treasures are out there waiting to be delighted in?
Well, these musings followed me to the grocery store and more specifically the produce section where I was hoping to pick up fresh raspberries (my summer favorite!). To my dismay the shelves were completely bare aside from a stray cauliflower that had meandered its way away from its proper location alongside the other vegetables—which, in general, I tend to avoid because I’m more a fruit girl. And as the conveniently timed mist of water came drifting down over the cauliflower (complete with the sounds of thunder, apparently my local grocer has a sense of humor or got a discount on piped in sound effects) I found myself in a moment of pathetic fallacy… I had misjudged the cauliflower! So I scooped up that prophetic white shrubbery and to the kitchen I went!
I decided to try out a recipe I’d come across awhile back, but had written off due to the use of cauliflower as the main ingredient. Drum roll please (or should I say grocery store roll of thunder)…cauliflower pizza bites!
Head to the Asian foods aisle and hunt down the red bottle with the green cap. Then, go ahead and throw away any other hot sauce you might have. Geez, you might as well include all the condiments you own. This is all you need, on everything.
Sriracha (sir-acha), commonly known as “rooster sauce”, is a hot sauce named after a small town in Thailand. It’s available almost everywhere and is extremely versatile, which makes it a must-have for any respectable college cupboard. I was first introduced to this stuff when my sister added it to a Bloody Mary. It was a whole new flavor. Since then, I’ve learned to squirt some on my pizza, dip my frozen egg rolls in it and mix it into a bowl of rice for a super cheap and easy snack. You can even add to steaks and wings.
My favorite way to harness its magic is to add it to Ramen Noodles along with one scrambled egg. I can’t even begin to describe the perfect harmony of flavors. Another great idea (trust me, I’m full of ‘em), is to mix a spoonful into half a cup of soy sauce and marinate your hamburgers with the concoction before cooking them.
Not ready to make the commitment? Look for it on the table the next time you eat at any Asian restaurant and try a sample with your food, then go jazz up your grocery list.
For more recipes check out The Sriracha Cookbook.