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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. Continue reading Sticky Peanuts with Ginger Bite, Sriracha, and Thai Basil

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Spiker’s homemade maraschino cherries

Once you experience the taste and texture of true maraschino cherries — tart red cherries simmered and aged in a slightly sweet cherry liqueur — you’ll never go back to those day-glow jarred red marbles sold in supermarkets and liquor stores.

Trouble is, it’s hard to find the top-shelf Luxardo-brand cherries. And if you want to make your own, you might even have a tough time locating Luxardo or Marasca liqueur. A better bet is to look for Kirschwasser — roughly half the price of the other liqueurs — and give it some added sweetness and depth by using Spiker’s Sour Cherry Plum shrub. (Sour Cherry Plum shrub is made from Michigan sour cherries, dried plums, and aged for a month to develop a rich, deep flavor.)

Prep time is less than 10 minutes. But let the cherries sit at least a week to develop the flavor. Due to the alcohol content, you should be able to store the cherries in a cool, dark space (or a fridge) for months.

 

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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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Fresh Tomato Lime Vinaigrette

When you’re starting to get bored with basic vinaigrettes, this garden-fresh variation will wake you up and give your salads and veggies something to sing about. The secret ingredient is Spiker’s Chile Lime Shrub. The beautiful balance of fresh lime juice and zest, plus a blend of preservative-free chiles, imbues the dressing with warmth without searing heat.

1/4 tsp. salt
tsp. pepper
small tomato
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard with seeds
small garlic clove
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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).

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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.

 

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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!

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!