Father's Day is coming up and we all know that the most important thing is getting dad a better gift than your siblings. Kidding! But, no, seriously. Ha! For the record, last year I nailed it by giving my dad a nationally published article and I'm still basking in the brownie points on that one.
The thing with dads is that they're awesome. When Father's Day rolls around you don't want to get him one of those lame shirts that says something mildly, not even dad-joke level, funny on it, let alone any other cookie cutter gift of major lameness. Plus it's a known scientific fact that dads love gifts you make them and despite logic and reason they will always think those gifts were easier on your budget. Never tell him his birthday cookies are a pricey ordeal. Never.
This year for Father's Day I teamed up with THE America's Test Kitchen to help you create the gift that no one (including you next year) will be able to top. Legit, delicious, homemade Sriracha from their new cookbook Foolproof Preserving. Not even kidding. You will forever go down as the best child of all time for this one. Nothing says love like Sriracha.
And to knock it out of the ballpark, I scored their Grilled Chicken Taco recipe from their other new cookbook Master of the Grill that will pair PERFECTLY with this Sriracha. Did I mention Sriracha?
Sriracha from Foolproof Preserving from America’s Test Kitchen
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Age: 1 day
Yield: 2 cups
Why This Recipe Works: Sriracha is a fiery-red Thai-American hot sauce fondly known by its loyal followers as rooster sauce. Traditionally, Sriracha is made from a fermented chile mash, which is a process that can take over a week. We wanted a simple, streamlined version of rooster sauce we could make at home without the wait.
Our first test consisted of processing chiles, vinegar, water, and garlic, along with a bit of sugar and salt. We cooked the mixture down to a ketchup-like consistency, which resulted in more of a chili-garlic paste than Sriracha. By adjusting the ratio of liquid to chiles and garlic, we were on track to a pourable hot sauce. We also swapped out white sugar in favor of brown; tasters preferred the richer, deeper notes of the dark brown sugar. We were getting closer to a more balanced hot sauce; however, we were missing the fermented flavor of the original.
To achieve the unique flavor, we whisked 2 tablespoons of fish sauce into the chile mixture along with the sugar and salt. A quick simmer on the stovetop thickened the Sriracha and allowed the flavors to meld. Passing the finished product through a fine-mesh strainer gave us a smooth sauce.
Finally, we found it crucial to let the sauce sit for a day to develop its flavor before serving. Although it’s tempting to store this sauce in plastic squeeze bottles, we found it better to store it in glass; the plastic can add off-flavors to the sauce as it sits. This Sriracha cannot be processed for long-term storage.
1 ½ pounds red jalapeño or Fresno chiles, stemmed
1 ¼ cups distilled white vinegar
¾ cup water
8 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
5 teaspoons salt
1. Working in 2 batches, process jalapeños, vinegar, water, and garlic in blender until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to medium saucepan and whisk in fish sauce, sugar, and salt.
2. Bring mixture to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, skimming any surface foam, until thickened, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
3. Process mixture in blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain Sriracha through fine-mesh strainer set over bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much sauce as possible.
4. Using funnel and ladle, portion Sriracha into 2-cup glass bottle. Let sauce cool to room temperature. Cover, refrigerate, and let flavors mature for at least 1 day before serving. (Sriracha can be refrigerated for up to 6 months; flavor will mature over time.)
Get more delicious, doable recipes like this one in the latest cookbooks from America's Test Kitchen! Maybe order a copy for dad too.
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