Skip to main content

The Best of 2010, Part Two

And the list continues:

9) Colatura, Nettuno Brand- This is an amazing fermented fish based sauce and somewhat similar to Thai fish sauce but softer and richer. It adds a wonderful depth to sauces, and pastas and risottos. As it says on the Gustiamo website, take a few Tbsp of EVO, a clove of crushed garlic and one teaspoon of Colatura and toss over spaghetti. No cheese will be needed. Experiment and enjoy it, but use sparingly as it is quite salty. You can find this at

10) Nunez de Prado EVO - This is just stunning. It has the fruitiness and grassy flavors of the Tuscan oils without the peppery bite. While that Tuscan flavor is wonderful in some dishes, I find that the subtleness of this Spanish oil is perfect when you want finesse. You can find this online at

11) Aleppo Chile Pepper - From southern Syria and the ancient city of Aleppo, this chili pepper is subtle and with a savory after taste and medium heat. I find that it adds an interesting nuance to eggplant, hummus and frankly any dish where you want some mild heat but unique flavor. You can find this and many other wonderful spices at

12) Vanilla Bean Sugar- This is one of those simple things you can do to vastly improve you baking. Take a bag of pure cane sugar and fill a glass container half way. Now add two whole vanilla beans and then fill with the other half of the sugar. In two days, you will have the most wonderfully flavored vanilla sugar and when you need a bean, you can just reach into your sugar and use one. You can find a vast selection of high quality vanilla beans at

13) King Arthur Flour - I have always been particular about my flour, but I have to say that since switching exclusively to King Arthur Flour I have more predictable results and find that the quality is always top notch. In addition they have a really comprehensive website which gives many recipes and they are a great source of the more difficult to find French style medium protein bread flours.

14) Mae Ploy, Sweet Chili Sauce - This is a really tasty sauce which is perfect on any grilled meat and also great for dipping spring rolls and any dumpling. Preservative free and all natural, it's the top brand in Thailand and you can find it at

15) Chicken Salt, MasterFoods Brand - I agree that this sounds pretty dodgy and you would think it's packed with artificial ingredients, but it isn't! It's a very flavorful salt which is versatile, and great on french fries, and anything baked or roasted. I like to sprinkle a bit on chicken and add some vegetables, cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour, then remove the foil and broil it for 10 minutes to brown up the skin and then remove from the oven, put back the foil and let it rest for 10 minutes and you have perfect chicken and vegetables. As this is a product from Australia, I've yet to find a way to order it outright, but I'm sure there is someone bringing it into the US. In the meantime, make some Australian friends and they can hand carry it! Thanks Troy!

16) Mast Brothers Chocolate - As mentioned in a previous post, this is some of the best chocolate I have ever tasted. Maybe, THE best I have ever tasted. I think it is important to support the smaller manufacturers, so order away, you wont be disappointed.


Popular posts from this blog

Marlow and Son’s Butterbeans, Garlic Confit and Preserved Tomatoes

I first saw this recipe in Bon Appetit and was fascinated. It used interesting ingredients combined in a unique way and I had to try it. The recipe was given in response to an email from BA writer to Marlow chef Patch Troffer, but the recipe had no measurements and timing.  After making it, I adjusted a few things and added quantities and timing and was very happy with the results. I ordered my dried beans from Rancho Gordo in Napa and they were excellent.   To make it spectacular, you really do need to make the garlic confit and preserved tomatoes. They aren’t hard to make, but set aside a bit of time. Make a full recipe and then use the rest for other dishes.   Garlic Confit 3 heads of Garlic, peeled and left whole.  3/4-1 cup Olive Oil  4 springs fresh Thyme  2 Bay Leaves 2 dried Chili Peppers Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and cook on barest simmer for 1-2 hours. (This broad cooking time is due to the fact that some garlic has more moisture

Norfolk Style Seafood

This is such a good recipe and so simple to make. The story behind this recipe is interesting. When I was a young boy, we used to go to a seafood restaurant in Washington DC called O'Donnell's. They had wonderful food, and most importantly, they had Buck. Buck was a gentle giant at 6' 2" and was always talking to me about his recipe. He had invented this style of cooking seafood and had even developed special pans which could be used over open flame and then it could be delivered to the tables still sizzling.  He was rightfully very proud of this.  After being there quite a few times, Buck shared his recipe with me and told me to keep it a secret. Since this was over 40 years ago, I guess I can reveal it now.  Ingredients 1/2 lb Shrimp, Jumbo Lump Crab or Langoustines, raw and shelled 2 Tbsp Butter 2 cloves Garlic, chopped Dash of Old Bay Seasoning Juice of 1/2 Lemon Few dashes of Tabasco Splash of White Wine Salt and Black Pepper Heat your pan u

Golden Mountain Sauce

I love making Thai food at home, and I've always prided myself on getting that authentic Thai flavor, but if I’m completely honest, I have to admit it always seemed to be missing a little something. Well, I have found out what that little something was. It's called Golden Mountain Sauce and it has been called the "secret of Thai cooking" and has been used in Thailand for over 50 years. Use it as you would soy sauce, but mix it equal parts with fish sauce to get the real Thai flavor. Here is the perfect dish to try it out.   Gai Pad Prik Grapao/Chicken with Hot Chilies and Basil Thais’ love fresh basil, and use many different types. Most of us are familiar with Sweet Basil, and this is easy to find in any market. However, it’s the “Holy Basil”, known as Bai Grapao, which is the most flavorful and authentic. This basil has an anise type of flavor and gives this dish an amazing flavor and dimension that just doesn’t taste the same with sweet basil.