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27 Dec 14:00

Homemade Sriracha

by carey@reclaimingprovincial.com (Carey Nershi)
Tomasamodio

Mahan, this one is for you

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: In this dark time, when the fate of Sriracha is up in the air and the world is up in arms, Carey Nershi of Reclaiming Provinicial is showing us how to make the spicy sauce at home. 

I began experimenting with homemade Sriracha two summers ago after discovering Joshua Bousel's recipe on Serious Eats. The first batch -- while tasty in its own right -- was bright and in-your-face hot, but missing the earthiness of the beloved Huy Fong version. I spent the rest of my summer on a quest for a more complex sauce. By fall, I’d found it. 


The keys to this much-improved homemade Sriracha were a longer fermentation and the addition of smoked sea salt and xanthan gum. The change that made the biggest difference, however, was mixing in some green jalapeños and serranos. The milder green peppers mellowed out the up-front heat present in earlier versions, bringing balance to the sauce. 

The result is a sauce that is a bit hotter than the Huy Fong version, but with all the earthy complexities that make it so darn tasty.

While this is a recipe, it should also be considered a framework. Feel free to experiment with different peppers, adjust the type and amount of sugar, and try other vinegars. Let it become your obsession too. 



Also, a few tips: wear food-safe gloves when working with the hot pepper mash (some sort of eye protection doesn’t hurt either) and cover your face when you’re washing the food processor bowl and the fermentation jar (otherwise you’ll be breathing in hot pepper vapor).

Homemade Sriracha

Makes about 2 cups

2/3 pound red jalapeños and serranos (even mix), stems removed
1/3 pound green jalapeños and serranos (even mix), stems removed
1/2 pound partially green/partially red jalapeños and serranos (even mix), stems removed
6 cloves garlic

8 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons smoked sea salt
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Place the peppers, garlic, sugar, and salts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

Transfer mixture to a clean jar, then cover and let sit at room temperature.

I use a mason jar with the lid screwed on very loosely. You want to give your mixture a little breathing room, so don’t screw the top on too tight. Alternatively, you could forgo the jar/lid combo and just use a bowl and plastic wrap. Store in a dark, dry place.

Check the jar every day for fermentation. This should begin after 2 to 3 days, but it might take a little longer in colder, drier weather. Once you begin to see some bubbly, liquid-y magic at the bottom of the jar, fermentation has begun. 

Stir the mash each day, until it is no longer rising in volume from the fermentation. This should take 5 to 7 days.

Transfer the mash to your food processor or blender, add the vinegar, and purée until very smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, stirring and mashing it through until all that remains are seeds and larger bits of peppers. Return the sauce to the clean bowl of your food processor or blender and sprinkle xanthan gum over top. Pulse until the gum is incorporated and the sauce has thickened. 

Transfer to food-safe squeeze bottles or an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to six months.

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Carey Nershi

02 Aug 10:28

Teacher forces student to do math to unlock phone

by Nathan Yau
Tomasamodio

great math question

The title caption reads: "A classmate was caught using his phone in maths. The teacher took his phone and set a passcode. He gave him this back with his phone and said good luck unlocking it."

Passcode problem

Hopefully the student was the guy who sits in the back and goofs off because the class is too easy. [via @FryRsquared]

03 Jun 14:30

The New Sriracha? 25 Condiments That Could Be the Next Must-Have Thing — Food News

by Cambria Bold
Tomasamodio

Manan, time to start testing

The New Sriracha? 25 Condiments That Could Be the Next Must-Have Thing

We all know it to be true: sriracha is amazing, and everyone should have a bottle in their fridge. But as with most cool kids on the block, there comes a time when young upstarts show up and vie for people's attention. So what's the next 'it' condiment? New York Magazine has 25 possibilities:

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05 Jun 11:30

In London, sewer fat will power world’s largest grease-powered electricity plant

by Springwise
Tomasamodio

Gross and amazing.

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Stay Green Oil has already offered those with waste oil the opportunity to re-use it, rather than throwing it away. In the UK, discarded oil and fat is causing problems in the capital’s sewer systems, and now 2OC aims to tackle the problem with the world’s largest fat-powered renewable electricity plant.

According to Thames Water, which has agreed a GBP 200 million, 20-year contract with the company, the ‘fatbergs’ caused by restaurants and kitchens putting oil and fat down the drain create 40,000 blockages in London’s sewers annually, at a cost of GBP 1 million a month. Now 2OC will collect the fat, as well as pick up waste oil and grease from local restaurants and manufacturers. The material will serve as fuel for a combined heat and power plant in Beckton, generating 130 Gigawatt hours per year of renewable electricity – some of which will power Thames Water’s sewage and desalination plant, while some will heat residents’ homes . The scheme aims to provide green energy, as well as a solution to London’s sewer problems.

When launched in 2015, the plant will be the largest in the world to solely run off fat-based products. Are there other ways to simultaneously clean up waste products polluting the environment while also using them as a renewable energy source?

Website: www.2oc.co.uk
Contact: www.2oc.co.uk/greenutility/contact

Spotted by: Murray Orange

    


06 Jun 22:00

The Ultimate $49,000 Workstation: The Emperor 200

by Gregory Han

A real world, hand-built offspring of Senator Palpatinian aesthetics with Matrix-style utility, the MWE Lab Emperor 200 aims to be the ultimate all-in-one place to work from: electric actuators, an Android-powered touch screen control center, HEPA air filtering system, light therapy, electric powered leather seat, up to 3 x 27" LED screens and surround sound, Windows or OS X, with the option for a 360o programmable rotating podium.

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08 Jun 13:12

Video: How to Tie a Simple Gartside Gurgler

by Phil Monahan


Jack Gartside's Gurgler is sort of the Woolly Bugger of topwater flies: it will catch anything.
Photo via orvis.com
The Gurgler, invented by the late fly tier and iconoclast Jack Gartside, is one of those all-around useful patterns than will catch everything from panfish to tarpon. It's sort of the topwater version of a Woolly Bugger, and like the Bugger, it can be tied in many different sizes and colors, with a variety of materials and accoutrements. Gartside wrote about. . .

Read More  »

The post Video: How to Tie a Simple Gartside Gurgler appeared first on orvis.com/news.

14 May 20:00

Rich Families Hiring Tour Guides With Disabilities So They Can Skip Long Lines At Disney World

by Mary Beth Quirk
Tomasamodio

Manan, want to go to disney world now?

Do you know who deserves to skip lines at amusement parks? People with disabilities. Do you know who probably doesn’t deserve to skip lines at amusement parks? People who just can’t stand the thought of waiting with the rest of us peons but who don’t want to pay for VIP guides or fast passes. Unfortunately, one report says the latter has recruited the former so wealthy parents and their children can cut to the front of lines at Disney World.

The New York Post spoke to a social anthropologist who claims to have discovered a scheme that makes us feel icky inside: Wealthy Manhattan moms and dads who hire disabled people to act like family members, so they and their children can cut to the front of the line.

These so-called “black-market Disney guides” use the amusement park’s policy of allowing handicapped guests to bring up to six guests to a “more convenient entrance.” The price for such a service runs $130 an hour or $1,040 for an eight-hour day at the park. Compare that to Disney’s VIP guided tours, which go from $315 to $380 per hour.

It’s reportedly organized by a tour company out of Florida, and is apparently all the rage among the one percenters.

“My daughter waited one minute to get on ‘It’s a Small World’ — the other kids had to wait 2 1/2 hours,” one customer reportedly said.  “You can’t go to Disney without a tour concierge. This is how the 1 percent does Disney.”

That woman claims she, her husband and two young children hired a guide to escort her through the park, using the guide’s motorized scooter with a “handicapped” sign on it. They say they went straight to the front at each and every attraction.

Not just anyone can get this service, as the company reportedly asks for a referral when you call. So if your name isn’t on the upper echelon’s roll call, forget it, you’re back in the line with us common folk. Heaven forbid.

Disney didn’t respond to the Post‘s requests for comment, and the man who runs the tour company denies that his girlfriend, named by the woman in the report as her family’s guide, uses her disability to bypass lines. Instead, he says she has an auto-immune disorder and acknowledged that she uses a scooter on the job.

Rich Manhattan moms hire handicapped tour guides so kids can cut lines at Disney World [New York Post]


13 May 17:39

Video: Bald Eagle Steals Fish Right Off Fly Fisherman’s Hook

by Phil Monahan

Here's a pretty remarkable pair of videos from Youtube user Norman Dreger. In the first, above, a bald eagle attempts to steal the Dolly Varden that Dreger is fighting. When the eagle fails, there's a little bit of gloating on the angler's part, but that doesn't last long. Watch the video below for. . .



Read More  »

The post Video: Bald Eagle Steals Fish Right Off Fly Fisherman’s Hook appeared first on orvis.com/news.

03 May 16:24

Airline introduces world’s first ‘pay-by-weight’ customer charge

by Springwise
Tomasamodio

I love this idea, that is what they are flying

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Air travel is ripe for world firsts – take Virgin Atlantic‘s in-flight art gallery for example. In a slightly more controversial move, Samoa Air is now claiming to be the first airline in the world to charge passengers based on their own weight, as well as their luggage.

Travelers booking a space on one of the company’s air taxi or chartered flights fill out the details of their journey, how much luggage they will be taking and also their weight – give or take a few kilograms. The airline then adds up the total weight the customer will be adding to the flight and uses the figure to calculate the airfare. While the scheme means that larger fliers will be charged more than their skinnier counterparts, the company’s fleet consists of small planes that need careful loading, and the scheme helps the company better balance the aircraft for safety. It also allows the airline to offer customers more spacious seating if they need it, and could well benefit families flying with children, who will be able to fly for cheaper than usual. Samoa Air says that once it has gained enough information about the weight of its customers, it will be able to increase efficiency and eventually bring down the cost per kilo.

Although the system could be construed as discriminative against heavier passengers, Samoa Air believe it is fairer for everyone as more weight means increased fuel usage and costs. But could the scheme potentially leave a sour taste, which could impact the popularity of the brand as a whole?

Website: www.samoaair.ws
Contact: www.samoaair.ws/index.php/contactmain/samoa-hq

Spotted by: Murtaza Patel

    


22 Apr 01:08

My Favorite Entrepreneur Story in a Long Time

by Mark Suster
Tomasamodio

Manan- this one is for you

This article originally appeared on TechCrunch.

If you don’t like it hot, use less,” he said. “We don’t make mayonnaise here.” 

This morning I was reading my social media and came across an article that Christine Tsai had posted on Facebook.

Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 8.07.30 AMIt was about the founder of Sriracha sauce, David Tran, displaced from Vietnam when the North’s communists took power.

As the son of an immigrant myself, I am a sucker for an immigrant story. Moving to the US with nothing but hard work and ambition. Having a strong sense of values. And wanting to build for the next generation.

It is of course why immigrants power so many successful businesses in the US and why we need to embrace them. They have nothing to lose. They bring new ideas, new cultures, new business practices. But they mostly want to be – AMERICAN. That’s all my dad ever wanted for us. Even while he clung to his native traditions and culture himself.

If you ever want to read the great American generational immigrant business story read American Pastoral by Philip Roth, which won the Pulitzer Prize and was voted by Time Magazine as one of the best 100 books of all time.

It also chronicles the forces behind the decline of the American city (which has been revived in the past 10-15 years) and the rise of global manufacturing.

My own fascination with hot sauces began a few years ago. I was never into spicy foods growing up but after living in the UK for nearly a decade and having so much great Indian food around me all of the time I developed more of a taste for it.

I moved back to the US and after a stint in Palo Alto moved to LA where I started to notice Cholula sauce at some of the best Mexican restaurants I visited.  I absolutely love the stuff.

So I started noticing hot sauces more and the more I looked the more I noticed this funny rooster bottle with a strange sounding name I couldn’t pronounce and that familiar green cap. Sriracha.

Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 8.31.08 AM

Where was it from? What did it mean? What nationality was it? It seemed to be in every kind of ethnic restaurant.

The company name sounded Chinese – Huy Fong Foods. Was this the latest Chinese product to take off in the US?

Turns out it is a family-owned business started by a refugee from Vietnam and named after a small village in Thailand Si Racha. So grateful was David Tran for the people who provided safe passage from Vietnam for him that he named his company after the Taiwanese ship that carried him away.

Tran moved to Los Angeles and started his business in Chinatown with a need he personally had. He noticed that Americans didn’t have good hot sauce. So he made hand-made batches in a bucket and drove it to customers in his van.

But his goal wasn’t to make a billion dollars. He wasn’t driven by quick riches. He was driven by wanting to provide a great product. How much could the new generation of entrepreneurs learn from that?

I know it’s what I look for when I want to back companies.

“My American dream was never to become a billionaire,” Tran said. “We started this because we like fresh, spicy chili sauce.”

And build a great business he did. While still owning the business he now does $60 million in annual sales built from nothing.

Could he have grown faster with outside money? Or by selling to a big company and taking in International? Sure.

But it wasn’t his ambition.

You’ll absolutely love this quote

“This company, she is like a loved one to me, like family. Why would I share my loved one with someone else?”

How many of you could say that?

He didn’t want to compromise on product as he knew he would be forced to if he had to expand too quickly. He wanted to keep his prices low (apparently he has never raised his wholesale price in 30 years).

What I learned from the article? What touched me? What lessons could you learn from a Vietnam refugee who makes chili sauce? Quite a bit it turns out …

1. Extreme product passion. When his packaging suppliers tried to get him to change his product to make it less hot or more sweet for American customers he refused, ““Hot sauce must be hot. If you don’t like it hot, use less,” he said. “We don’t make mayonnaise here.”

2. Uncompromising product quality (he processes his chillies the same day they are harvested)

3. He had a guiding principle for the company

4. Focus on the customer and provide value - ”We just do our own thing and try to keep the price low. If our product is still welcomed by the customer, then we will keep growing.” He said this in response to the fact that several other companies are now stealing the Sriracha brand name. He can’t trademark it since it’s the name of a city. By the way, he has never spent a dollar on advertising

5. Provide something distinctive. What will you be known for? Given the brand dilution going on with the name Sriracha how can he still grow his business? The distinctive design of his packaging. That crazy rooster. All those freaking languages on the bottle – the mystery of it all! And the green caps.

But I have to say, despite it all, and it’s impossible to take away from the success of David Tran, I kept wondering if modern business practices couldn’t solidify this into a global product. Branding matters. Organic word-of-mouth worked until this point but I wonder as this becomes an international product line. I wonder how agressive they are with digital distribution. I wonder if they could trademark a broader name that Sriracha so that they can get some defensibility.

I hope the next generation Tran’s have some thoughts on these topics and more. I would love to see this company continue to succeed.

Here is the article from the LA Times.

16 Apr 19:00

How to: Make Your Own DIY Smoked Cocktails

Tomasamodio

yup, might have to sip on one of these soon

Some anthropologists argue that just one dominant feature separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom: we use fire and heat to cook our food. Like salt, smoking has long been a means of preserving food, and over time, we've learned that it also tastes pretty awesome as well. Those flavors are why we're still willing to use the grill and light fires when we have access to electric heating elements: the taste just can't be matched.

created at: 04/16/2013

Many drinks and spirits come with smoky qualities - lots of teas, coffee, beer, and whiskeys. But you can also smoke entire cocktails or mixed drinks to add a whole other level of flavor and complexity. As my friend Mike remarked after trying one of my smoked Old Fashioneds, "I don't know if I can ever drink a regular one … read more

17 Apr 20:00

How to: Make an Egg Sandwich Like a Culinary Genius

Tomasamodio

this looks wonderful, time to make it

created at: 04/17/2013

The awesomeness of the grilled cheese sandwich is not only confirmed internationally, as nearly every culture that eats bread and cheese has a version in their tradition, but also scientifically. University of Wisconsin food science professor Scott Rankin … read more

28 Apr 01:03

Budweiser cup makes toasting drinkers instant friends on Facebook

by Sam Byford
Tomasamodio

social drinking

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As if alcohol weren't enough of a social lubricant already, Budweiser has figured out a way to help it add to your Facebook friends list. The Buddy Cup, unveiled by the company's Brazilian arm, contains "high-tech chip technology integrated with Facebook" that makes two people friends on Facebook when they clink their glasses together in a toast. The cup is paired with a Facebook account by using a QR code printed on the bottom, and a red LED serves as confirmation that you have a new friend.

According to The Drum, the cups will be used at sponsored Budweiser events such as festivals, and are designed to "enhance brand activation and increase the interaction between Budweiser consumers." Hopefully those consumers are comfortable...

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29 Apr 17:20

Drugs, porn, and counterfeits: the market for illegal goods is booming online

by Adrianne Jeffries
Tomasamodio

Now that I know about this I imagine it is not so secert

Silk_road_nov_21_large

In the beginning of February a remorseful Paul Leslie Howard, 32, stood in front of a judge in Melbourne and pleaded guilty to charges of selling meth, LSD, amphetamines, and pot, as well as importing distribution-level quantities of MDMA and cocaine.

Howard, a heavyset man who worked the door at night clubs, seemed genuinely remorseful. He was not a career drug dealer. He and his wife were having money problems when he read an article about Silk Road, a secret online black market where thousands of drugs are for sale. He registered for an account a year ago. Thanks to the site, he’d been living like a kingpin for about six months.

"He wanted to be the big man around town and for awhile he got that, because he supplied the best party...

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29 Apr 17:42

House chair wants congressional guidelines to replace peer review for federal science research

by Tim Carmody
Tomasamodio

Scary

Agency_logos_large

Texas congressman Lamar Smith, SOPA author and new chair of the US House of Representatives' Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, wants to overhaul how the National Science Foundation funds research projects. According to Science, Smith's draft bill (called the "High Quality Research Act") would require that the director of the NSF certify prior to any funding award that the proposed project is "groundbreaking," of "the finest quality," does not duplicate any other federally-funded research, and will "advance the national health, prosperity, or welfare, and ... secure the national defense." It also requires that the National Science Board (including the president's council of science advisors) issue a report making...

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