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Sticky Peanuts with Ginger Bite, Sriracha, and Thai Basil

You know those bar nuts they put out when you order a beer or another pop? Forget them. They are about to become the swishy suburbanites you’ll visit occasionally, once you get acquainted with these street-wise peanuts spiked with Spiker’s Ginger Bite Shrub, Sriracha, and Thai basil.

Peanuts in their plain form are dull. But give them a chance: they soak up spices and marinades like a mop. Stew them for a few minutes with spices, aromatics, and something sweet, then spread on a Silpat or parchment paper and let them cool. The result is something sticky and crunchy and tangy and so good you will want to grind them up in your next PB&J. Even better, scatter them on your next Thai spring roll, or bibimbap, or any stir fry. And don’t forget to plop them on vanilla or green tea ice cream before you go to bed. The angels will turn down the sheets for you.

 

Sticky Peanuts with Ginger Bite, Sriracha, and Thai Basil

You know those bar nuts they put out when you order a beer or another pop? Forget them. They are about to become the swishy suburbanites you’ll visit occasionally, once you get acquainted with these street-wise peanuts spiked with Spiker’s Ginger Bite Shrub, Sriracha, and Thai basil. Peanuts in their plain form are dull. But give them a chance: they soak up spices and marinades like a mop. Stew them for a few minutes with spices, aromatics, and something sweet, then spread on a Silpat or parchment paper and let them cool. The result is something sticky and crunchy and tangy and so good you will want to grind them up in your next PB&J. Even better, scatter them on your next Thai spring roll, or bibimbap, or any stir fry. And don’t forget to plop them on vanilla or green tea ice cream before you go to bed. The angels will turn down the sheets for you.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shelled and roasted peanuts preferably the plump Virginia brand
  • 2 Tablespoons Spiker's Ginger Bite Shrub
  • 1 Tablespoon Spiker's Chile Lime Shrub optional
  • 2 Tablespoons Sriracha or other hot sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thai Basil or 1/2 teaspoon crushed anise seed -- not powder -- and 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon olive oil or peanut oil

Instructions

  • In a small high-heat saucepan (such as Le Creuset or Lodge), heat the skillet on medium high for 1-2 minutes until it is lightly smoking. Add the olive oil or peanut oil and stir.
  • Add the peanuts and toss constantly for 2-3 minutes.
  • Turn the heat to low. Wait 1 minute. Then add the Sriracha. Stand back because it might hiss and fizz and splash you in the eye. Stir constantly for 1-2 minutes, then add Spiker's Ginger Bite Shrub. Turn the heat back up to medium.
  • Add the Thai Basil or anise seed and stir constantly while the Ginger Bite and Sriracha reduce. Keep stirring until there is no liquid left, and the peanuts look sticky but not wet.
  • Scoop onto a Silpat or parchment or cold cookie sheet and allow to cool. The peanuts will remain sticky after they cool.
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Georgian Adjika with Sour Cherry Plum Shrub

If you like the kick of a good salsa but your tastebuds are looking for a more complex flavor profile, we have a suggestion: consider Adjika, the classic condiment from Georgia-Azerbaijan. Also known as Adzhika and Ajika, Russians often refer to this as “Red Salt” and others sometimes call it “Russian Pesto.” But this savory, spicy dish isn’t anywhere close to the texture, fragrance, or mild-mannered flavor profile of pesto. Most of the recipes include hot and sweet red peppers along with a host of savory herbs including fenugreek, mint, savory, and cilantro along with coriander seed. Although we have seen a number of variations which toss shredded apples, carrots, and even tomatoes into the mix, in its purist form, it’s all about the peppers. Woohoo! Continue reading Georgian Adjika with Sour Cherry Plum Shrub

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Quick way to remove ribs from kale, collards, and other greens

The only things which used to discourage me from consuming a healthy quantity of greens was (a) lack of a good recipe, and (b) the tedious preparation involved in stripping out the thick ribs from the centers of the leaves. But one day while fumbling in the knife drawer for a cutting tool, my friendly pizza cutter shined up from the throng of blades and said, “Try me!”

And the rest is history. The pizza cutter was so efficient at stripping out the ribs that the prep was done in no time. All you have to do is fold a leaf vertically, trim off the base of the them, and then use the pizza cutter to closely shave away the rib. Voila! What remains is a beautiful leaf ready to be chopped, or steamed whole for use in stuffed and rolled recipes. And when cooked or served with a finishing splash of Spiker’s Shrubs (especially Roasted Cinnamon Apple, Ginger Bite, or Sour Cherry Plum), the bitterness of the greens is balanced with a wonderful undertone of sweet-tart flavor.

If your harvest is so abundant that you need to freeze the kale, chard, etc., save the ribs to use in veggie stock.

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Asian-inspired Shrub Dipping Sauce No. 1

Although the use of vinegar in cooking is extensive throughout most Asian cultures, westerners tend to think of it only as something for pickles or salad dressing. In this recipe, we’re going to show how Spiker’s Shrubs can be used as a key ingredient in three different types of Asian-inspired dipping sauces, and perhaps you’ll be inspired to attempt some variations of your own.

For this recipe, we’ve created a twist on the classic Ponzu sauce. Ponzu is distinguished by its bright citrus notes, balanced by the salty umame earthiness of the soy. In place of the traditional orange juice, mirin, rice vinegar and sugar, we’re using Spiker’s Sour Cherry Plum Shrub. (You could also use any other flavor and get interesting and savory results. It’s especially great with a combination of a fruity base shrub, plus our Chile Lime Shrub for heat and a citrus punch.)

Use this dipping sauce for egg rolls, spring rolls, or dumplings. Or brush over shrimp, salmon, or chicken prior to broiling or pan-searing to create a gorgeous and fragrant glaze.

PS – For another interesting recipe which works with all sorts of Fusion cuisine, try our Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (a.k.a. Nuoc Cham).

Asian-inspired Shrub Dipping Sauce No. 1

Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp Spiker's Sour Cherry Plum Shrub or try Crangerine
  • 1 fresh lime, squeezed please don't use bottled juice
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2-3 tbsp vegetable or chicken broth or water

Instructions

  • Place soy sauce in a 2-cup bowl or container.
  • Add the lime juice, Sour Cherry Plum Shrub, sesame oil, and fresh lime juice. Swirl together vigorously to incorporate the oil.
  • Taste the sauce, and add vegetable or chicken broth one teaspoon at a time until the flavor suits your taste. (The goal is to soften the intensity of the soy and lime without silencing them altogether.)

Notes

NOTE: The use of vegetable or chicken stock isn't traditional, but we think it helps to cut back on some of the intense saltiness imparted by the soy sauce.
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Sour Cherry Shrub Moppin’ Sauce for Smoked Pork

There are so many recipes for mopping sauce (or “mop” sauce) for ribs and smoked meats. Some are super-thin and tart, others are thicker and more clingy. This recipe splits the difference, with plenty of bite and enough cling to keep the meat moist during a slow, low smoking.

If you don’t have Sour Cherry Plum shrub on hand, try using Roasted Cinnamon Apple or even Ginger Bite. Or get creative and try equal parts Juniper Bay and Black Currant.

 

Sour Cherry Shrub Moppin' Sauce for Ribs

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Spiker's Sour Cherry Plum Shrub
  • 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar if needed to achieve desired consistency

Instructions

  • Mix all the ingredients together except for the apple cider vinegar. Slowly add just enough extra apple cider vinegar to create a thin glaze-like consistency. (You don't want this to be as thick as regular barbecue sauce.) Refrigerate overnight (preferable) or at least several hours to let the flavors blend.
  • During the last two hours of smoking a pork butt or shoulder for pulled pork, begin to mop the meat with the glaze. Be sure the temperature of the grill is low. Otherwise, the sugars in the glaze might caramelize too much.
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Warm Apple Shrub Vinaigrette

We love this recipe because it works on salads, chilled or room temperature vegetables and/or grains (farro, barley, etc), and even roasted vegetables (try it on sweet potatoes!).

Our favorite way to use this dressing is with mixed greens, diced tart apples, thinly sliced raw fennel, crumbled chevre, and toasted pecans.

Warm Apple Shrub Vinaigrette

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Spiker's Roasted Cinnamon Apple Shrub
  • 1 tbsp honey mustard
  • 3 small shallots minced
  • 8 slices bacon cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper freshly ground

Instructions

  • Saute the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels and discard all but 3 tbsp. of the remaining fat. Add the shallots and saute over medium heat until soft, about 3 minutes.
  • Whisk in the mustard and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and add the Roasted Cinnamon Apple shrub and olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir with a whisk until the mixture is well blended. Serve warm.
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Fish Tacos with Chile Lime Hummus Slaw

Looking for a new way to dress up a classic fish taco? Try this zippy slaw which marries Spiker’s Chile Lime shrub with a creamy hummus-mayo dressing. The colors are bright and beautiful, the textures are creamy and crunchy. The perfect combination!

Fish Tacos with Chile Lime Hummus Slaw

Looking for a new way to dress up a classic fish taco? Try this zippy slaw which marries Spiker's Chile Lime shrub with a creamy hummus-mayo dressing. The colors are bright and beautiful, the textures are creamy and crunchy. The perfect combination!
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Slaw

  • 2 tbsp Spiker's Chile Lime shrub
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

Fish

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 pound cod, haddock, or tilapia filets cut into 1-inch strips
  • 2 tsp chile powder
  • 4 to 6 flour tortillas taco size
  • 1/4 cup queso fresco for garnish
  • 1 avocado (optional) for garnish
  • 1 radish (optional) thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Mix all of the slaw ingredients together and set aside. (Tastes best if you give it at least an hour for flavors to develop.)
  • Sprinkle the fish pieces with the chile powder.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet and turn the temperature to medium-high. Add the fish pieces and pan-sear until golden on all sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes total.
  • Spoon the slaw into a warm taco and top with fish. Add a sprinkling of crumbled queso fresco.
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Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham)

Spiker’s Chile Lime shrub adds depth and zing to this classic dipping sauce which goes great with spring rolls, grilled shrimp, on a salad, or over cold noodles! For subtle variations, include a splash of Spiker’s Ginger Bite or Pineapple Basil shrub to the mix.

Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Spiker's Chile Lime shrub
  • 6 tbsp warm water
  • 1 clove garlic thinly sliced and chopped
  • 2 tbsp Asian fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp finely shredded carrots
  • 1 green onion thinly sliced, green parts only
  • 2 tbsp chopped peanuts optional

Instructions

  • Combine water and Chile Lime shrub in a bowl. Add fish sauce in increments until you like how it tastes. Top with shredded carrot and minced garlic bits. 

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Shrubby Shrimp on the Bar-B

A spicy, rich marinade of coconut milk, Ginger Bite shrub, Asian fish sauce and fresh herbs creates a tasty batch for fresh shrimp. Great as an appetizer or entree. Serve with jasmine rice and steamed or stir-fried broccoli. (Note: This recipe was inspired by a recipe from The New York Times, but we modified some of the steps to streamline the process and incorporate more shrub flavor into the shrimp.)

Shrubby Shrimp on the Bar-B

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves unpeeled and cut in half
  • 2 large shallots, unpeeled cut into wedges
  • 1 tsp dry red chili flakes
  • 6 tbsp coconut milk unsweetened
  • 4-5 tbsp Spiker's Ginger Bite Shrub or other flavors
  • 1 tbsp Asian fish sauce
  • 2 tsp Lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh shrimp medium or large, peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped basil, mint, or cilantro or a combination of 2 or more
  • 1 fresh limes for garnish

Instructions

  • Combine oil, garlic and shallots in a small, heavy skillet and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until shallots have browned and are beginning to soften (about 8 minutes). Stir in dried peppers, and cook about 2 minutes more, stirring frequently, to toast them lightly. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • When the garlic and shallots are cool, peel the skins and trim off the nubby ends. Place in a food processor or blender along with pepper flakes, coconut milk, fish sauce and 3 tablespoons Spiker's Ginger Bite shrub. Puree into a smooth sauce, add lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
  • Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels, and place in a bowl. Add about half the sauce, and toss until coated. Cover and refrigerate 45 to 60 minutes. While the shrimp is marinating, soak Meanwhile, soak 8 bamboo skewers in water to cover, and prepare a medium-hot grill.
  • Drain the skewers. Thread 3-4 shrimp on each, without letting the shrimp touch each other. Lightly brush the hot grill rack with oil, and grill the shrimp, turning skewers once, until they are browned, firm and just cooked through, about 5 minutes total.
  • Slide the shrimp off skewers onto warm plates. Drizzle each serving with 1 teaspoon of the remaining shrub, sprinkle with herbs, and spoon remaining coconut sauce alongside. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Notes

This recipe can easily be changed from an Asian influence to one with other flavor profiles, simply by using a different shrub. Pineapple Basil, Apple Crisp, and Crangerine are all oustanding substitutions.

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Crangerine-Lime Vinaigrette

The snappy zest of fresh lime juice and peel blends beautifully with Spiker’s Crangerine Shrub. We love this dressing on mixed greens tossed with fresh pears, manchego cheese, dried cranberries, and toasted walnuts.

NOTE: If Crangerine Shrub isn’t in season, feel free to substitute Sour Cherry Plum or Black Currant.

Crangerine-Lime Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Spiker's Crangerine Shrub or try Sour Cherry Plum or Black Currant
  • 1 lime finely grated or zested
  • 2 tsp Lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt sea salt preferred
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a mason jar fitted with a lid. Shake vigorously to blend until slightly thick. (Or place the ingredients in a food processor or blender and whirl until slightly thick.)