Homemade Spicy Garlic Buffalo Sauce

**Slight Recipe Edit 8/13/12, changes noted in italics and below the recipe**

Over the past several years Buffalo Sauce has become quite the fad ingredient. I’ve seen it used in pasta, on pizza, in casseroles, and in dip known to some as “Crack Dip”… For most people I think it’s a love it or hate it type of situation. For me, I love it.

I’ve always been a pretty big fan of dip like sauces, and when I discovered Buffalo Sauce – I fell in love. Buffalo Wild Wings (B-dubs) was the place to hangout in high school. 10 cent wing Mondays and 15 cent boneless wing Tuesdays. Of course, the price slowly increased and I think a few years later they dropped the deal nights entirely, but the flavor of Buffalo sauce still brings me right back to those days of cruising around all day with my friends and then heading to B-dubs for a cheap (and delicious!) dinner.

My favorite sauce was always the Spicy Garlic and last week I really had a craving for it. I knew if I wanted to satisfy my craving I would need to make my own sauce. I found a copycat recipe that looked pretty good, but it still used a lot of Franks Red Hot. I have a bottle of Red Hot but it was pretty pricy so I wasn’t that excited about having to use almost the whole thing to make my own sauce. Also, one thing I have always liked about B-dubs sauce is that it is thick and emulsified, so it doesn’t separate when used in recipes or on wings. So I kept that recipe in mind and continued searching and until I found another recipe that looked good. I took the best of both recipes and combined it to make, what I think, was an awesome sauce.

It’s not exactly like B-dubs sauce, but Jesse and I both really liked it! Spicy, garlicky, smooth, and thick.

Homemade Spicy Garlic Buffalo Sauce

Ingredients
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar*
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ***
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp course ground black pepper
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp canola oil
1 egg yolk***
2 Tbsp water, plus more if needed
2 tsp corn starch

*The recipe originally called for Rice Wine Vinegar, which I thought I had but turns out I did not. I used Apple Cider Vinegar instead and I think it really worked. 
**Feel free to add more or less of each spice, to suit your own taste. 

*** 8/13/12 – After some experimentation I have decided that egg yolk is not necessary, reducing the vinegar and adding the little bit of corn starch is plenty sufficient for thickening the sauce. I also decided that 1 tsp of smoked paprika could be a little overpowering, and 1/2 tsp is just right.

Directions
To a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, add the vinegar, dry spices, salt, sugar, black pepper, and canola oil. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture starts to thicken.

While the vinegar and spices are simmering, whisk together the egg yolk, water, and cornstarch. Temper the yolk mixture by adding a few teaspoons of the hot vinegar mixture to the liquid and whisk. Repeat two times, then stream the now warm yolk mixture into the sauce pan, whisking constantly. Simmer for 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool before pouring into a container for storing. Add additional water, as needed, if the sauce becomes too thick.

Optionally, pour the sauce into a heat proof measuring cup and use an immersion blender to make it extra smooth.

Use on wings, as a dipping sauce for fries, in your favorite Buffalo sauce recipe, or on Buffalo Chicken Sliders (recipe coming this week!).

Adapted from Domestic Fits and wlkr.org

In case you’re wondering where I got the bottle –  It’s just a “reused” juice bottle 🙂

How can I use this sauce??
Buffalo Chicken Salad
Buffalo Chicken Bites
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells
Easy One-Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta

Foil Baked Fish with Black Beans and Corn

I’ve been so inconsistent about posting food lately that I’m almost lost about how to even write this post! I really need to get myself back into the swing of things…

In the weeks leading up to “the big move” I pretty much gave up on trying to make and photograph food at dinner time. I was usually too tired after work to put the proper amount of effort into it, the lighting was terrible, and I just couldn’t get into it. It’s also kind of hard to get motivated to make a whole meal when it’s just you you’re cooking for.

On my own, I could happily eat noddles with a little olive oil, garlic, squeeze of lemon and boat load of cheese almost every night for dinner. But during the day (I had a break while the girls were in school) I had much more energy and of course was always looking for an excuse to do anything other than pack my apartment. So I found myself making a lot of my big meals for lunch.

This fish was one of those mid-day meals. I’ve got to tell you, it was one of the best lunches I’ve had in ages. It’s been over a month since I made it and I can still taste it when I think about it.

The chipotle adds a deep smokey flavor that balances out perfectly with the lightness from the citrus in the orange juice. Then there is the punch of cilantro and the little bit of butter makes everything melt together. It’s also great because it’s basically a one dish meal with easy preparation and clean up. Definitely something you should try. I used Tilapia because it was on sale at the grocery store, but pretty much any mild white fish will work. If you’re worried about it being too fishy, try using a fish like mahi mahi since it’s flavor is even milder.

Also, I found this recipe on Pink Parlsey and this week Josie shared a spin-off recipe using chick peas instead of black beans. Sounds interesting!

Foil Baked Fish with Black Beans and Corn
Ingredients
4 skinless white fish fillets (6 to 8 oz each), 1-inch thick
salt and pepper
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce or 1 tsp dry Chipotle chili powder
1 tsp grated orange zest
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups corn kernels, I used half frozen sweet corn and half frozen roasted corn (from Trader Joes)
1/2 red onion, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Directions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and adjust rack to lower middle position.

Pat the fish fillets dry and season lightly with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, use a fork to combine the softened butter, 1/2 of the chipotle pepper (or chili powder), orange zest, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and half of the garlic. Spread the butter mixture over the fish.

In a medium bowl, combine the black beans, corn, red onion, 2 tablespoons of cilantro, orange juice, remaining chipotle pepper (or chili powder), remaining garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.

Lay out 4 squares of aluminum foil and divide the bean mixture evenly between them. Place one fish fillet on top of the bean mixture on each sheet of foil. Fold the foil in half over the fish and then seal all of the open edges by folding the foil edges up and in.

Carefully move the foil packets to a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through. Carefully open the packets, sprinkle with remaining cilantro and serve.

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, The Best Simple Recipes as seen on Pink Parsley

Quinoa Mexican Soup

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I’ve been known in the past to have what my friends and family call “Shiny Things Syndrome.” I can be in the middle of a conversation or on my way to another room to do something and all of the sudden something “shiny” will catch my eye and the next you know I’m lost in the conversation or have completely forgotten what I was trying to do. What can I say, I can be easily distracted.

That’s exactly what happened a few weeks ago after I read a post on Branny Boils Over. She’s hosting a blogging event called the “Souper Bowl” and for every entry she will be donating $1.00 to the ASPCA. All you have to do is dedicate a post to a pet and share a recipe for soup. Sounds perfect for me! I love soup. I love my cats. I had a minestrone recipe just begging to be made. Then I posted my soup…. and realized about a day later that I just shared my entry for the Souper Bowl without actually making it an entry. DOH!

Then I found this recipe on Nicole’s blog and fell in love. Soup for me. Dedication to my cats. Post for the Souper Bowl. Win, win, win!


I love everything about this soup. Nicole said she wasn’t sure if she would like it but tried it anyway and liked it a lot. I, on the other hand, knew I would love this soup at first glance. The only thing that surprised me was the fact that I didn’t have to de-veganize it by adding sour cream and cheese. Of course I added a little cheese to one bowl. But I quickly found that it just wasn’t needed. There is flavor jam packed into every square inch of this soup and I love it. Did I say that already?

So in honor of both of my beautiful cats (who have to fly home to Ohio for the next couple of months while I’m in China, SO SAD!!!!!!!) I bring you Quinoa Mexican Soup.

Bigun
Tiffany 

Quinoa Mexican Soup

Ingredients
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 poblano pepper, cut in half, seeds removed
1 red bell pepper, cut in half, seeds removed
1 jalapeno, cut in half and seeds removed
1 cup dry quinoa
1 Tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
pinch ground cinnamon
1 avocado, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 lime, cut into wedges (I forgot the lime!)

Directions
Turn your oven to broil, the high temperature if you have the option. Lay the poblano, red pepper and jalapeno skin side up on a baking sheet. Broil for 4-5 minutes, keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn, but just the skin chars. When the outsides are charred carefully remove from oven and place in a ziploc bag and let steam. Peel and dice the peppers.

In a stock pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and let cook for 4-5 minutes or until they just start to stick to the bottom of the pot. Deglaze the pan with 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth. Cook again for another 3-4 minutes and deglaze again with more vegetable broth. Repeat this process 3 or 4 more times until the onions have caramelized and are dark golden brown with a slightly sweet taste.

While the onions are caramelizing, cook the quinoa according to the package.

When the onions are caramelized, add the rest of the broth, fire roasted tomatoes, poblano pepper, jalapeno, bell pepper, and seasonings. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, add the quinoa and stir.

Serve with fresh cut avocado and lime wedges (if you don’t forget them like me).

Source: As seen on Prevention, RD originally from Virtually Vegan Mama

Spicy Slaw

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Today is a follow up on yesterdays Asian Braised Short Ribs. I have no story to share but I definitely wanted you know about this awesome slaw. It was spicy. It was savory. It was nutty. It was awesome. I used to be pretty precise when it came to eating, I would work from one area of the plate to the other, being careful not mix. But lately I’ve found myself doing a lot more mixing. And this was perfect for that. I channeled my inner BBQ tastes and put the slaw right on top of the ribs and rice. It was the perfect matchup.

Spicy Slaw
(Adapted from Oishii originally from the Sriracha Cookbook)

Ingredients

Dressing
1/3 cup chunky natural peanut butter
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup fresh pineapple juice
1/4 cup Sriracha
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBS. fish sauce
1 TBS. grated ginger
2 TBS. sugar

Slaw
1 1/2 lbs. napa cabbage, shredded
1/2 lb. red cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
or 1 bag of slaw with green cabbage, red cabbage, and carrots
2 red bell peppers, seeded and julienned
6 green onions, white part only, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (I omitted)
salt & freshly ground black pepper

In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Cover and chill until ready to use.

In a large serving bowl combine the cabbage through mint. Toss together to evenly distribute.

Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and serve.