Showing posts from August, 2020

Make Pad Thai from Jarritos Tamarind Soda!

  Two conundrums we've all come across at some point: missing essential ingredient for a dish that you love but don't make often enough, & trouble finishing a 2-liter soda before it goes flat. Here's to killing two birds with one stone! There is no real substitute for tamarind. Trying to make Pad Thai without tamarind is sorta like trying to make lemon tart without lemon. It's a fruit with a signature tang and its own special flavor. Tamarind pods are both tricky to find and tricky to handle. My local Whole Foods and Wegmans carry them - often sold in boxes much bigger than needed. They also can't be used straight out of the box. You'll need to soak the pods in hot water, dig your hand in and squeeze everything into a pulp, strain that through a mesh sieve, and cook it down into a paste. Worth the trouble if you make Thai food weekly, but not the easiest fix for sudden cravings.  Tamarind Soda, unlike the fruit that it's made from, is ubiquitous and inex

Fried Olives!

    Fried. Olives. This dish requires no further selling than its name. I used to squander so much of my work-study paycheck at this snooty campus restaurant just for their fried olives. Zero regret to this day. And they didn't even use the good stuff! You can take a small jar of plain store brand pimento stuffed manzanilla olives, strain, coat in bread crumb and fry for half a minute. It'll cost you ~$2 in ingredients and maybe 5 minutes of time. Think of it, I really should regret those spending a little.  For an upgrade, I'm stuffing my favorite olive bar ingredients together: castelvetrano olives & peppadew peppers! Castelvetrano are my 'gateway' olives. As someone who took a long time to 'acquire' a taste for olives, castelvetrano was love at first try. They're mild, subtle, yet buttery & olive-y at the same time. The bright green color are just so pleasant to look at. In contrast with the green olives, in more than just the colors, peppadew