sriracha-cheddar biscuits with black bean veggie burgers and mango tomato salsa

Sriracha-Cheddar Biscuits (adapted from Savory Simple)
Sriracha is the name of a town in Thailand that is famous for its reddish-orange hot sauce. This recipe takes me back to the days I lived in Thailand, and the spicy flavors of the food. I served it with homemade black bean veggie burgers and a mango tomato salsa on a bed of arugula. Aroy.Delicious!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10 biscuits

Ingredients
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce
2 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup butter, cut into cubes, chill in fridge until ready to use
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (can substitute other cheeses)

for brushing the biscuits:
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon Sriracha

Preparation
Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat liner or parchment paper. Set aside.

Mix the milk and Sriracha sauce until well blended. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Add the cold butter and cut with a pastry blender until the butter resembles small peas. Pour in the milk-Sriracha mixture all at once and stir until the milk is absorbed. Mix in the cheese, this time using your hands and being careful not to over mix. You’ll know the dough is ready to roll out when your hands and the sides of the bowl are clean.

Turn out half the dough onto a floured surface and roll into a round about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out the biscuits using a 3 inch round biscuit cutter. Place each round on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Brush the tops of each biscuit with the reserved milk-Sriracha mixture.

Bake in the preheated oven 14-15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burgers (adapted from allrecipes.com)
While the biscuits are in the oven, make these black bean veggie burgers. These “burgers” are quick and easy to make, and have a mild flavor despite the Sriracha sauce, chili powder, and cumin.

Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 35 Minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 egg
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

Preparation
1. If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and lightly oil a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty.
3. In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Then stir into mashed beans.
4. In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and chili sauce.
5. Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into four patties. I scoop up 1/2 cupful, turn it out onto the prepared pan, and flatten and shape it with a spatula.
6. If grilling, place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on greased baking sheet and bake about 5 minutes on each side.

Mango-Tomato Salsa (adapted from allrecipes.com)
This is a mild salsa; to spice it up add a Thai chile pepper or tone it down with a jalapeño pepper instead!

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: none

Ingredients
1 large mango diced
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 cup sweet onion
1 chile pepper, optional
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime

Preparation
Combine chopped mangoes, tomatoes, onion, chile pepper, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Squeeze two halves of a small lime over the bowl. Toss and allow to stand until ready to serve.

deviled eggs with sharp cheddar cheese

Let’s face it; it’s summer and it’s hot and you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen! Deviled eggs are another easy breakfast meal. Deviled eggs also make a great snack or appetizer. They really do not need additional salt or seasoning because I put in sharp cheddar cheese, a bit of mayonnaise, and Sriracha hot sauce.

Deviled Eggs
5 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced in half
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Sriracha sauce to taste
Cilantro or scallion, minced, for garnish if desired

Put the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cool water. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10 more minutes. Drain the eggs in the saucepan. Move the pan back and forth so that the motion cracks the egg shells. Hold the pan under the faucet and run cool water over the cracked eggs in the pan. Let the eggs rest in cool water until they are cool enough to handle. Change the water once or twice. Peel the cooled hard boiled eggs and slice in half vertically.

Carefully scoop the cooked yolks into a small bowl without tearing the egg whites. Using a pastry blender, cut the yolks fine. Add the mayonnaise and the cheese and continue blending. Add Sriracha to taste. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If the yolk mixture is dry add a teaspoon more of mayonnaise.  The yolk mixture should be the consistency of a thick paste. Using a rubber/silicone spatula, scoop the yolk mixture out of the bowl and into a plastic bag. Snip off one corner. Squeeze the yolk mixture out of the snipped end into the bowl of each egg white. Garnish with scallion or cilantro, if you wish. Enjoy!

Jamaican Easter bun and cheese

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What you don’t eat, you miss. I never really liked bun and cheese when I lived in Jamaica but now that I’m no longer living there, I miss it. I miss the sticky sweetness of the raisins and cherries contrasting with the salty tang of cheddar cheese. So I decided to try my hand at a stout bun; a quick bread, really. It seemed the easiest one to make, requiring no yeast. However, I did face a couple of challenges. First of all, I had to hunt around liquor stores on the Upper West Side for stout, a dark beer. To be truly patriotic, I should have looked for Dragon Stout but I settled for Guinness. After the fourth liquor store I was glad to find any stout. The second problem was that I couldn’t find mixed peel, the sugared citrus rind that is used in making fruitcakes. Well, this is the wrong holiday for that, so I did without.

How did the Jamaican Easter Bun come about? Some writers say it is a variation on the hot cross bun that is traditionally eaten at Easter in Europe. If so, that hot cross bun has undergone quite a transformation. No longer decorated with a cross, the Easter Bun in Jamaica is a spice bread redolent of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. In the case of the stout bun, it has a cup of dark beer added to it. It also gets its distinctive dark color from molasses.

I adapted this recipe for Jamaican Easter Bun from one I found on keepitjiggy.com.

Jamaican Easter Bun

Ingredients

6 oz or 3/4 cup stout (It must be fresh not flat stout)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
2 tablespoons softened butter + 2 tablespoons butter for melting
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour + 1 tablespoon flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon allspice or mixed spice (e.g. apple pie)
2 eggs beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup raisins, softened in enough water or rum to cover, drained
1/2 cup mixed peel, chopped (increase raisins to 1 cup if mixed peel is unavailable)
1/3 cup maraschino cherries, drained and stems removed, coarsely chopped

Preparation

Preheat oven to 300˚F. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and mix it with 1 tablespoon flour.  Brush butter-flour mixture onto the bottom and sides of the loaf pan(s). Use one 9×5 inch (8 cup capacity) loaf pan or two 8.5×4.5 inch (4 cup capacity each) loaf pans. If using non-stick pans with a dark finish, reduce the oven temperature to 275˚F and test for doneness five minutes sooner than the recommended baking time.

Warm the stout on a low flame. Add brown sugar, molasses and softened butter. Stir until dissolved. Cool.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and spices. Mix in the fruit. In a medium bowl, mix together the beaten eggs and milk.  Add to the flour-fruit mixture. The mixture will be the texture of coarse crumbs. Add the cooled stout mixture. Blend until all dry ingredients are just moistened.

Scrape batter into prepared pan(s). Tap pan(s) lightly on the kitchen counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake for 1 to 1 ¼ hours. I used two 8.5 inch loaf pans, so mine were done in 55 minutes. Remove from oven when a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Invert the bun(s) onto the wire rack. Re-invert and cool thoroughly. When cooled, cut the loaf in ½ inch thick slices. Serve with cheddar cheese slices sandwiched between two slices of bun. Mm-m! It takes me home again!