I’ve seen a new trend popping up over the last summer or two: summer roll parties! I have to admit, I kind of love it. Summer rolls are pretty much the perfect food when it’s insufferably hot out – they’re cool, crisp, and filled with watery vegetables and fresh herbs. Since they’re eaten at room temperature the fillings can all be made ahead, which mean you can actually spend time with your guests instead of in the kitchen.
Albany is so far behind the times when it comes to food trends. I think the FroYo trend finally hit its peak here this summer – what, five years late? Food trucks are just starting to gain popularity, but there are still no Korean tacos in sight. At the going rate, I figure we still have two years or so before they start making an appearance. (Korean in general is tricky to find, although there is a decent place to get bi bim bap.)
Luckily I’m pretty good at reverse engineering the flavors that I’ve had when I’ve visited other, more on-the-ball places. Sometimes I even get paid to do it. (Yup, this is another one of the recipes I put together for Old El Paso.)
I might have a problem: I might be a little sriracha-obsessed. That bottle up there? I bought it last week and it’s already almond have gone. I’ve been finding ways to sneak it into things left and right. When I originally came up with the idea for this salad, I envisioned a creamy avocado-lime dressing. You see how that turned out, right? No avocado in sight; instead, I dressed it with a spicy mixture of yogurt, sriracha, and lime juice. And I don’t regret it for a second, because the dressing kind of made the salad.
This Kimchi fried rice is comfort food at it’s best. It’s the perfect combination of starchy rice, spicy chili paste, and sour kimchi. Throw in a little kale for good measure and top it off with a runny, sunny-side up egg – what more can you ask for?
If you think ahead and cook your rice the night before (or make extra to go along with another meal earlier in the week), this meals comes together in no time. 15-20 minutes, tops. It’s also pretty hard to mess up… fried rice tends to be pretty forgiving! I like mine extra spicy and with tons of kimchi – a 1:1 ratio with the rice – but you can tweak it to our own liking.
It took me a few tries to get this recipe for honey and sriracha chicken just right. I’ll be honest – the first time I tried it, it was downright bad. We each took about two bites of the chicken before tossing it and ordering take-out. I loved the flavor of the sauce though, and I was determined to make it work. In the end, I’m glad that I persevered because this chicken is delicious and easy enough for even the most hectic weeknight.