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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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Juniper Shrub and Tonic mocktail

If you love the herbaceous, piney flavor of a premium gin but want to avoid the alcohol, give this “virgin” version a try. Spiker’s Juniper Bay Shrub is made from many of the same ingredients used in gin — including grains of paradise, cubeb pepper, bay leaf, and citrus peel — so you will be able to enjoy the fragrance and taste of gin in each sip, with one important difference: No gin, no sin!

Be sure to use only premium tonic water in this recipe. Standard brands are too sweet and flavorless.

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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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Vodka Chihuahua

Grapefruit and vodka combine to make a cocktail known as the Greyhound. But with the addition of Spiker’s Chile Lime Shrub, you get a drink we call The Chihuahua. It’s fiery, tangy, and filled with Mexican energy and a bit of bite.

Grapefruit and vodka combine to make a cocktail known as the Greyhound. But with the addition of Spiker's Chile Lime Shrub, you get a drink we call The Chihuahua. It's fiery, tangy, and filled with Mexican energy and a bit of bite.