Carne Asada

Ample Bites uses Hawaiian hot sauces made by Adoboloco in a Carne Asada marinade. The combination of the hot sauces, the acidic vegetable and lime juice do a tremendous job of flavoring and tenderizing the flank steak. The result is a juicy and flavorful ingredient for tacos, burritos or tortas.

Carne Asada
(Mark Kelly)

Serves 8

1 ½ pound flank steak
3 large limes, halved and juiced
4 Tbsp Adoboloco Jalapeno Hot Sauce
2 Tbsp Adoboloco Bankok Thai Hot Sauce
2 large jalapeno peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes including juice
1 large red onion coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the steak in a large bowl and top it with the lime juice, hot sauces, peppers, tomatoes, onion, garlic and cilantro. Mix the marinade and distribute it evenly under and over the steak. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.

Heat grill to high.

Remove the steak from the bowl and discard the marinade. Pat the steak dry. Brush the steak with a light coating of oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper.

Grill the steak for 5 to 7 minutes before turning once. Continue to grill for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the steak from the grill and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice the steak thinly and on a bias.

Serve the steak on a tortilla with refried beans, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, queso fresco and pickled red onions.

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Great Sources for Gourmet Products and Ingredients

Over the past few weeks Ample Bites has learned about some great web-based sources of gourmet products and ingredients. Even though Ample Bites is an advocate for buying food locally, the Internet is a fantastic global food market where the home cook can find high-quality ingredients that may not be available to them locally. This is especially true and most applicable to oils, vinegars, sauces, spices and specialty ingredients.

Among the favorites that Ample Bites has found to date are:

Adoboloco is a Hawaiian company that makes small batch hot sauces including a jalapeno, habenero, and thai chile sauces.

Ashman Manufacturing Company makes spice blends, marinades, and sauces including KimKim Korean Hot Sauce, a 2012 NASFT Sofi Gold Award winning sauce.

Back to the Roots makes an interesting, but somewhat expensive, mushroom kit that generates about a pound and a half of high-quality fresh mushrooms. Ample Bites has tried the oyster mushroom kit and enjoyed the harvest.

DeMedici Imports sells oils, vinegars, spices and sauces that are imported primarily from Italy.

Fruit of the Land carries a variety of vegetable and fruit products including an outstanding line of gourmet tapenades.

Sullivan Harbor Farm is an East Coast purveyor of smoked salmon and other seafood products.

Vermont Creamery produces and distributes gourmet butters and cheeses.

All of these companies have on-line stores and several of them publish newsletters that can be subscribed to via email or through Facebook and Twitter. The newsletters offer recipes and information about production processes and health facts.

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An Orange-infused Simply Asian Dinner

I adapted both of these orange-infused recipes from Simple Asian Meals cookbook by Nina Simonds using products from two of my favorite sources, Adoboloco, a Hawaiian hot sauce maker, and The Olive Mill, a local purveyor of quality olive oils and vinegars.

The prep time for both of these dishes combined is less than 30 minutes making this healthy Asian dinner combination perfect for a busy week night or a quick but elegant meal on a weekend.

Orange-Maple Salmon

Serves 4

1 ½ Tbsp orange zest
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 ½ Tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 ½ Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp Adoboloco jalapeno sauce (or other mild hot sauce)
1 Tbsp Olive Mill Blackberry Ginger balsamic vinegar
1 4 salmon steaks about 6 oz each
3 Tbsp olive oil, for oiling the grill

To make the Orange-Maple sauce: mix all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer for about 5 minutes. Pour half into a bowl and cool slightly. Keep the other half warm.

Arrange the salmon in one layer in a shallow pan, add the cooled sauce and turn the fish so all sides are coated. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for not longer than 15 minutes.

Preheat the grill to medium-high temperature. Brush the grill with oil and arrange the salmon on the rack. Grill until the flesh is just opaque, about 6-7 minutes per side, brushing with the sauce from the pan. Carefully slide the fish off the grill and serve with the remaining warmed sauce spooned over the top.

Spicy Orange Fennel Slaw

Serves 4

2 fennel bulbs (about 1 ½ pounds)
3 large seedless oranges
¼ cup chopped cilantro

2 tsp chopped or grated orange zest
½ cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp Olive Mill Lemon Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Japanese rice vinegar
1 tsp Adoboloco Jalapeno Sauce (or other mild hot sauce)
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 ½ tsp sugar
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 ¼ tsp Kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Trim the root end of the fennel bulbs and cut away the stalks and discard, reserving the fronds. Cut the fennel bulbs in half. Cut out the core and discard; cut the bulbs into very thin slices. Coarsely chop the fronds and set them aside.

Grate the zest and squeeze the juice of 1 orange, set aside. Peel the remaining 2 oranges cut away the white pith. Separate the orange sections and cut each section crosswise in half. Mix the fennel and orange sections with the chopped fennel fronds and the cilantro in a serving bowl.

Combine the zest, juice, ginger, oil, vinegar, garlic and seasoning in a bowl and mix thoroughly to create the dressing. Pour the dressing over the fennel and orange sections and toss lightly to coat. Cover and let sit or refrigerate to chill slightly before serving.

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