Welcome to Amore della Settimana!

 

In this blog I will be featuring my favorite culinary find of the week and lots of different ways to use it. I tend to get pretty excited when I find an ingredient that exponentially increases the flavor of food with just a little drizzle. And now I’m drizzling chili crisp on everything.

 

I discovered Chili Crisp in Bon Appétit magazine. At first it looked a little complicated to prepare for just a garnish of sorts, but I decided to give it a try. It involves simmering shallots and garlic with star anise pods in oil long enough for the alliums to crisp up. Side note: the recipe in the magazine called for vegetable oil, I used olive oil instead because, well, nothing can top a good olive oil. I buy mine in a local wine and cheese store where you self-serve from shiny silver urns.

Back to the chili crisp. During the simmering, mix up the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. When everything is good and crispy, strain the mixture into the bowl of the remaining ingredients. Leave the shallots and onions in the strainer for a few minutes as they will continue to crisp up. Remove the star anise pods and mix everything else together. (recipe below)

Chili Crisp

 

Here, I will be featuring my favorite culinary find of the week and lots of different ways to use it. I tend to get pretty excited when I find an ingredient that exponentially increases the flavor of food with just a little drizzle. And now I’m drizzling chili crisp on everything.

 

I discovered Chili Crisp in Bon Appétit magazine. At first it looked a little complicated to prepare for just a garnish of sorts, but I decided to give it a try. It involves simmering shallots and garlic with star anise pods in oil long enough for the alliums to crisp up. Side note: the recipe in the magazine called for vegetable oil, I used olive oil instead because, well, nothing can top a good olive oil. I buy mine in a local wine and cheese store where you self-serve from shiny silver urns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, what do you do with this deliciousness in front of you?

 

At Bon Appétit’s recommendation, I fried up some eggs and drizzled the chili crisp around it. Wow! If you want to punch up an egg, this is the way to do it. I love an egg over easy in the morning, and now I have something to look forward to in addition to the magic of coffee. I ate it with a little sprouted grain toast and let the morning begin. A little spice can always jump start your brain.

Next up, let’s elevate the baked potato. Pierce a russet potato, slather it with olive oil, and bake. Once it’s crunchy on the outside and easily pierced with a knife, slice it open, top with sour cream, and dribble the chili crisp over it. Salt and pepper to taste and maybe add some fresh chives. As my three-year-old grandson is known to say, Yummo!

 

Let’s wrap this up with a couple of appetizer ideas. First, toast up some baguette slices, spread a generous portion of ricotta cheese over them, and bring on the chili crisp. Sprinkle a few herbs and salt and pepper and it’s ready to go.

 

For a delicious dip and crudités, mix equal parts sour cream and mayo, stir in a spoonful or two of chili crisp, and artfully drizzle more crisp over the surface. Garnish with fresh sprigs of oregano and/or fresh chives.

Other ideas: anything egg — deviled, omelets, Benedict, scrambled — tacos, French fries or tater tots, mayo, stir fries, fish, chicken, pasta, the list is endless.

 

Enjoy! And happy crisping.

Chili Crisp

 

2 small shallots, thinly sliced

1 heads of garlic, separated into cloves, sliced

3/4 cups olive oil

2 3" cinnamon sticks (or a sprinkle of cinnamon)

2 star anise pods

1 2" piece ginger, peeled, very finely chopped

1/8 cup crushed red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. sugar

 

Bring shallots, garlic, oil, cinnamon, and star anise (I included cinnamon sticks) to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, reducing heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer and swirling pot occasionally, until garlic and shallots are browned and crisp, 20–25 minutes. (Take your time—you want to drive all the moisture out before they brown.)

 

Mix ginger, red pepper, soy sauce, and sugar in a medium bowl. Strain shallot mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over ginger mixture. Remove star anise pods. Let garlic and shallot cool in sieve (this will allow them to crisp further) before stirring back into chile oil.

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