The Simplest Recipe Ever: Sriracha Baked Potatoes

I love Sriracha. I love playing with it because it does really interesting things when it’s cooked. It’s complex and simple at the same time. Unlike a lot of hot sauces, it doesn’t just taste like vinegar and heat – there’s sweetness, smoke and a great chili flavor underneath the (considerable) heat. When you cook it, the heat mellows and the other flavors come out.

It’s the first day back to work after the holidays (I work from home) and the fridge is a little empty and the cupboard a little bare, and everyone else is still off from school, so they’re out shopping and having fun while I’m here in my pajama pants cranking out code.

I decided it was a good day for baked potatoes – but those are boring – and that’s where today’s recipe came from: boredom, scarcity and pajama pants.

Ingredients

  • Russet potatoes (these were pretty small, and I would have preferred Yukon Gold, but this is what I had)
  • Sriracha
  • Whatever you normally put on a baked potato. For me, that’s:
    • Butter
    • Sour cream
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • and today only, shredded cheddar cheese and some more Sriracha

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. Wash the potatoes
  3. Poke holes in them with a fork
  4. Squirt a quarter-sized dollop of Sriracha on each potato and rub it all over the potato with your hands.
  5. Put the potatoes in the oven.
  6. Now wash your hands!! You don’t want to get any of that Sriracha in your eyes. It sucks.
  7. Check the potatoes after about 45 minutes. Stick ’em with a fork. If the fork goes in and comes out easily, they’re done.
  8. Take the taters out of the oven, split them in two and adorn them however you see fit. Maybe even with some more Sriracha.

Now eat them! You should notice the skin is better than usual, a little crisper, a little richer in flavor, like the potato that all other potatoes look up to as a surrogate father figure.

This was a lot of words for such a simple recipe.

Accidental Greatness: Sriracha Chicken Quesadillas

I have accidentally created the greatest food ever: the Sriracha Chicken Quesadilla:

You need to:

  • Preheat the oven to 350
  • Slice two onions into quarter inch slices
  • Slice two bell peppers (or mini bells) into quarter inch slices
  • Four boneless chicken breasts

Assemble:

  • lay the onions out on a roasting pan or cookie sheet so there’s no overlap
  • put the peppers on top of the onions, again, no overlap.
  • drizzle olive oil over the onions and peppers, then salt and pepper.
  • put the chicken breasts on top of the peppers and onions.
  • salt and pepper the chicken then drizzle with olive oil.
  • squirt sriracha over the whole thing.
  • bake for an hour at 350.

Once it’s done, cut up the chicken, throw some into a tortilla with some of the onions and peppers and sharp cheddar cheese and then griddle that thing until the tortilla is crispy and the cheese is melted.\
And now eat it all up.

I should have taken a picture, but I didn’t because I couldn’t wait.

Merry Christmas, Now Make Fancy Butter!

\A picture of two fancy butters in ramekins. Garlic herb butter on the left, Honey-Sriracha on the right.[/caption]

We were invited to a big family Christmas Eve dinner and were supposed to bring an appetizer. We had an antipasto tray ready to go, but that wasn’t experimental enough, so we decided to make a “flight” of fancy butters to go along with the bread we knew would be there. They were a big hit, and really easy to make (it took longer to clean the mixing bowl and the whisk attachment than to make the butter). Here’s what we made:

Sweet Orange Butter – This is amazing. Sweet, very orange-rich, and would be amazing on biscuits, waffles or pancakes.

Garlic-Herb Butter

I think because we had lasagna, this one went the fastest.

  • 1/2 pound of softened butter
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 10-12 chive stalks
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

Instructions:

  1. Remove the rosemary and thyme leaves from their stalks
  2. Pulse all the herbs in the food process until they’re finely diced but before they turn into pesto.
  3. Throw everything in the mixer
  4. Whisk on low for a minute
  5. Whisk on high for a minute or two until everything is mixed in
  6. Refrigerate to firm it back up.

Sriracha Honey Butter

This one was an experiment, mostly because I love adding Sriracha to things. It turned out really well. I’m not sure what the food science is behind mixing fat and Sriracha together that turns things into deliciousness, but I love it. This ended up with just a tiny bit of heat (kids were eating it and not crying, that’s how little heat there is), but with a great smokey pepper flavor that worked really well with the honey.

  • 1/2 pound of softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons of Sriracha
  • 3 tablespoons of honey

Instructions:

  1. You don’t really need to measure things. I’m guessing as to how much I put in there, but it was basically those proportions – slightly more honey than Sriracha
  2. Throw it all the mixer
  3. Whisk on low for a minute
  4. Whisk on high until everything’s combined.
  5. Refrigerate to firm it back up.

We put them in creme brulee ramekins to serve (1/2 pound of butter ended up filling two ramekins, so you might want to halve the recipes for a smaller party).

I didn’t think making crazy butter would be so easy, or be so well-received. I’m going to have to try some more!