Stir-Fried Spuds

Sup peeps. Earlier this week, we looked at some szechuan-style peanuts from Brighton Hot Stuff that I highly recommended using in a stir-fry.

I stand by that recommendation but, today, I’m going to add a caveat. They went really well into both noodle and rice-based stir-fries and they’d be just as good in a veg-heavy one but there’s a lesser known type of traditional stir-fry that I don’t see them working in. Potato Stir-fry.

Yep, you read that right. There’s a real chinese dish where they slice potatoes into ultra-fine strips and cook them like noodles. Albeit a touch more al denté.

I’m not going to lie, it’s super weird the first time you try it. It’s completely unlike any western form of spud. Yet keep going, for a few mouthfuls, and you’ll soon come to love it.

I discovered this dish at Xi’an Impressions, in london, on route to Challock Chilli Fest. I picked up a taste for it there that turned into a craving, during my recent brighton trip, but, unfortunately, I never made it back.

Instead, I’ve had to learn to cook shredded potato stir-fry myself. And now I’m going to teach you.

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Heat on the Beach

Hey there everyone, it’s tuesday again and time for a little more in the way of hot stuff. Hot stuff that I picked up down at the Brighton Fiery Food Fest.

BHSBunch

So what more apt name could today’s company have than “Brighton Hot Stuff”?

Now, personally, I do view it as a little uncreative but anything that these guys lacked in inspired naming was more than made up for by the sheer personality and passion that they had on-stall. They were one of the most engaging groups that I’ve ever come across at a festival and, even after the official closing time, there were non-stop crowds around them.

So, do their products live up to the hype? I’m going to take a look at three of them and find out.

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Mexican Buffalo Corn

Howdy folks, today’s recipe is another one of my crazy fusion foods. It’s mexican and its american but it’s definitely not tex mex.

What it is is an invention all my own, cobbled together from random pub grub and then remade with slightly better ingredients back home.

It’s a quick, tasty, somewhat messy appetiser that I like to call “Mexican Buffalo Corn” and I really want to share it with you. But first, let’s clear up a few potential misconceptions:

First, it’s not mexican. It uses mexican hot sauce and mexican herbs for a mexican-style flavour but the closest actual mexican dish is a spicy, cheese-laden corn one known as “elotes”. This isn’t that.

Second, this dish is vegetarian. It doesn’t contain actual buffalo but rather a buffalo-style wing sauce, made from the above-mentioned mexican hot sauce. My own twist on a creamy and buttery, yet really rather tangy, american classic. Using corn on the cob where you’d normally find chicken.

And, finally, this is not my main recipe of the month. It’s a mini one that uses the black label Valentina sauce, even if small adjustments will allow you to use anything with a similar mexican flavour. So expect another recipe next week.

For now, though, let’s get started.

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White Wonder

So, as I mentioned in last week’s restaurant review, I went to Brighton’s Fiery Foods festival the weekend before last and got to see a whole bunch of new sauces. Some from newer companies and some from old favourites.

Today’s review is of the latter but I didn’t actually get it at the event. I picked it up a few days prior, on my stop over in london, because I didn’t want to risk its maker having run out. It is, after all, a very special limited edition:

Nuzu

And it’s the most exciting thing to come out of Burning Desire Foods since their chipotle syrup.

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High-Class Crisps

Hey folks! It’s been a long time since 💀my last restaurant review💀 but, today, I’m coming to you from all the way out in london’s trendy soho district to feature the craziest establishment that I’ve ever seen.

HipShop

HipChips – A sit down or take away restaurant dedicated to providing the most gourmet version imaginable of a dish that I call “chips and dips”. But no, there aren’t any wide fries here. Every slice of potato is a wafer-thin crisp with a tonne of crunch.

It’s not usually a complex or well-balanced meal but it’s a darn good snack and I’m ever so curious to see what they’ve done to improve it. To spice it up, if you will.

And alright, they’ve provided a free lunch to entice me in but, honestly, I doubt I could have stayed away anyway. It’s just such a wild idea for an eatery!

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Beardy Butter

Hello again, everyone, and welcome back to the last of my Gingerbeard reviews. At least for now, since I’ll probably be picking up something new when I go back for more of their fabulous piccalilli.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves too early, though. That product may have been a real winner but today’s was always the one that I was most looking forward to. And the one that sounded most representative of the company, themselves.

This Gingerbread Satay may be another of their many collaborations but it’s the only one to give their namesake spice and company logo a starring role.

GingerbreadSatay

Plus, are those almonds chasing down the gingerbread man? Could this perhaps be a little more indian and a tad less thai than its “satay” name implies?

Well, the label’s light-green, bamboo-patterned background does say asian but I’m intrigued, either way, and, as always, I intend to get my answers in the form of a taste test.

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Hot Ones Round Three

Happy thursday, folks. Today, we’re back for round three of my Hot Ones-style line-up.

Hot Ones

Because, given the popularity of the show, I feel like it’s worth making an annual tradition out of. Especially when importing some of their actual sauces can be quite the struggle.

So here I am, yet again, to provide you with a more brit-friendly alternative, comprised entirely of sauces that are available in the UK. Sauces that I have featured on this very site and know will make for the most enjoyable and entertaining of challenges.

You can read all about last year’s choices in my previous post but, this year, I’m going to be refreshing most of the line-up, oncemore. So, as with the last time, read on to see which old sauces have stayed, what new ones have made my list and why I’ve made the decisions that I have.

Or watch 📽️ my YouTube videos 📽️ to see me tackle a line-up of real Hot Ones sauces.

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Special Smoke

Hey folks, remember Sauce Shop?

I’ve had some truly delicious sauces from them in the past, in the form of a green sriracha, 📽️ a crazy ketchup and a heatless cherry bourbon barbecue 📽️ but today, we’ve got something extra special. As you can tell from the mock-confetti on its label:

SSChipot

But wait, does that say “Chipotle Hot Sauce”? Doesn’t every company make one of those?

Yes, this is a standard recipe of just three ingredients – Chipotle, vinegar and salt – but its heavier on the peppers than most smoky sauces and that vinegar is something special. Here’s what the bottle actually says:

Chipotle Pepper, Porter Vinegar (water, barley, hops, yeast, vanilla), Sea Salt.

This is a chipotle sauce of the sort that only Sauce Shop would make, with not only fermented chillies but a specially fermented vinegar, too. And, as I’ve said many a time before, the vinegar that you choose can really make or break a sauce.

Let’s see what vanilla porter does for their fifth anniversary release, shall we?

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The Eleventh Hour

Happy thursday again, spice lovers. Today we’re looking at a sauce, despite it being a bit of a departure from my regular upload schedule.

Why? Because, like with The Chilli Pepper Company’s second Dragon’s Breath, it’s not a new sauce. It’s a revision of an older item using a possible “reaper killer” pepper.

Of course, the situation isn’t quite the same here. Today’s isn’t a new “reaper killer”, or even one that wasn’t in the sauce before, but this latest version of Burning Desire’s Critical Mass uses significantly more FG jigsaw than the old. And it was already a ten out of ten last time.

CriticalMass2

You can see the increased chilli in its colour – Now much nearer red than its old, yellow-tinged orange – and I’m a tiny bit scared. If this sauce is even a smidge hotter than it used to be, it’s going to be the hottest non-extract one that I’ve written about and I’m going to have to change my entire numbering system to account for it.

But, much as I expect it to hurt, I’m still grateful to Jason for sending this to me. For including it with my birthday purchase.

Why? Because his Critical Mass isn’t just pure chilli. It’s also a delightfully tropical, passion-fruit and mango concoction that I’m happy to have on hand for my cooking, oncemore.

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More Black Salsa

Hey folks, how’s it going? Today, I want to take a look at a rather more mainstream company.

You’ve probably never heard of Salsa Tamaƶula but I’d be amazed if you’ve never heard of their signature product. After all, this “Valentina” hot sauce is the mexican staple, on almost every restaurant table across its home country.

ValentinaBlack

So it comes as absolutely no surprise that MexGrocer stock it, along with their more obscure sauces. Any importer worth their salt should.

No, today’s big surprise comes in the form of a second bottle. Another sauce from the same brand, bearing their company name in the same white-outlined, green lettering on red and black.

TamazulaBlack

A slightly smaller container of Salsa Picante Tamaƶula Muy Picante, colloquially known as “Tamaƶula Black”.

Why black? Because the Salsa Tamaƶula sauces are more commonly seen in yellow labels, with these darker ones denoting their extra hot variants – That “Muy Picante” on the packaging.

Extra hot might not actually mean “hot”, though, so let’s see what I make of them.

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