Tag Archives: food az

Matiz Gallego Sardines – Item of the Day

sardines

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Matiz Gallego Sardines and you can get them in  a 5 count pack.  Oh dear friends the reasons these items are being featured are many, let us take a look at a few.

First I try to feature items not just of good quality but stuff I use, and I eat these a few times a week.  Due to the fact that I like them and that they are a good source of Omega 3 fats, which the average person is largely deficient in.  I eat them strait from the can, wrapped in lettuce with yogurt cheese, on Flax Crackers or as part of a lunch time salad.

Secondly lets talk about those Omega 3s.  Sardines and herring are about the best source of them on the planet.  Because these small fish are very low in the food chain.  So while fish like mackerel, tuna and salmon are great for Omega 3, they also carry a fair load of mercury and other toxins.   Not enough to never eat, you body can deal with some exposure to toxins, it it couldn’t’ we would all be dead.  But you need to eat something like this about 3-4 times a week for a good omega 3 vs 6 balance and you should not rely on large ocean predator fish that often.

Third is quality.  I am a sardine connoisseur, I love the little guys!  So I scoured the net for others reviewing sardines and one name constantly was at the top of most lists, Matiz.  When I tried them I found out why.  These are not your cheapo sardines that would be better as cat food.  There are only 3 to a can, because they are beautiful plump little guys!  Yes gutted and deheaded but skin and bones on as good sardines have.  Mild smelling compared to other sardines, caught in the waters off northern Spain and Portugal, where the best of the best come from.

Fourth, no junk!  No extra preservatives, no garbage, Here is the entire list of ingredients, sardines, olive oil, sea salt.  Fantastic.  Never and I mean never buy sardines with mustard sauce, soy bean oil, etc.  Packed in their own oils and olive oil is best, just like these guys.

Fifth this is a perfect prepper storage product!  Think about where preppers struggle to keep a good storage up.  That would be high quality fats and meats, with nutrient dense caloric yield.  Well the ones that just came in have an expiration date of 2022!  You know I say eat what you store and store what you eat, well with this even if you only eat them a few times a month, that is no problem.  In each can you get 228 calories, 130 in high quality fats and 98 from one of the best sources of protein on the planet.

So why not give Matiz Gallego Sardines a shot and pick up a 5 count pack today.  Do let me caution, these are the best sardines I have ever eaten but they are still canned sardines.  They are not magical, they don’t taste like chicken, they taste like small ocean fish.  So if you in general do not like sardines, you likely will not like these either.  However if you “sort of like them”, this may change your entire sardine world.  Far less fishy tasting, more clean smelling, nice firm flesh and man they go good with a bit of avocado.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

 

 

Thai Whole Dried Chiles by Asia-Trendy – Item of the Day

chilipeps

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day one of my favorite cooking ingredients, Thai Whole Dried Chiles by Asia-Trendy.  First let me say I don’t even understand how they are able to provide these we free shipping at this price.  These things ship right from Thailand, it is on the fricken package when you get it.  This means you know you are getting the real thing.

Next they do bring some heat to the party but they are not a blow your brains out of your ears type of heat, just a nice warming heat that makes you know yea, that is a chile pepper in there!  Lost of people use them re-hydrated in stir fry and the like, that way if you actually eat them whole they pack a big punch but if you just use them to flavor the dish again we are back to a nice warming heat.

You can also take them for a spin in your coffee grinder to make a pretty impressive chili powder, or cut it with some dehydrated garlic for a bit more mellow heat and a nice addition in flavor from the garlic.

Yet my favorite use and the entire reason I tracked these down years ago is my famous chile, garlic, pepper oil.  My god this stuff makes the best chicken wings you will ever eat.  Here is what you need and how you make it.

Jack’s Famous Chile Garlic Pepper Oil

  • About 1-2 dozen dried chile peppers
  • About a half a hand full (about 3 TBS) black pepper corns (Tellicherry is best)
  • One whole garlic bulb or about 10 cloves
  • 2 cups of peanut oil

Crumble the peppers into a sauce pan, add in the black pepper corns, peal the garlic cloves and throw them in whole.  Add the 2 cups of oil and put on the stove, heat over low heat stirring often until you see the first signs of the peppers and garlic starting to fry.  DO NOT FRY THEM, what I mean is when  you see the first signs of bubbles forming, kill the heat.  It is best to use a thermometer and heat to at least 275 degrees. 

Set a towel on the counter and put the pot on it, cover it with a lid.  Fold the towel around the pot to hold the heat in, let it sit for at least 2 hours until oil is cool.  Now put everything into a blender, VitaMix, Nutri Ninja, what ever you have.  Blend the crap out of it until everything is pulverized.

Now strain into a ball jar, it should make right about one pint of oil.  This is great oil for cooking anything you want garlic and heat added to and again the heat really is not that intense, it is mostly incredible flavor.  Trust me you can’t buy anything like this, most chile oil in stores and restaurants is crap, you have to make it yourself if you want something this good and fresh.

My favorite use is on chicken wings.  Put your wings in a bowl and add enough to coat them all, toss them well to evenly coat.  You can roast or gill them strait away or add on a dry rub of your choice, if you want my dry rub for this tune in to today’s episode of TSP which will be Episode 1908.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – This stuff is one of those things that makes a great gift for people who like to cook.  Put it in a nice bottle or jar, with nice label or what have you.

P.P.S. For best results while it can be left out for a time, store it in the fridge.  There is no real risk of botulism if not refrigerated because even though we use moist garlic, by heating to 275 degrees we are 25 degrees above the temps needed to kill all botulism spores. Additionally almost anything you cook with it will have a surface temp above 250.  But it will simply keep fresh longer in the fridge, so you know what to do!

Demitri’s Bacon RimShot for Bloody Mary’s – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Demitri’s Bacon RimShot for that perfect rimmed glass for that perfect Bloody Mary.  Right up front is there any way this is a preparedness item?  No, but it is a lifestyle item and much of what we focus on here is lifestyle.  Let me tell you the story of how this stuff came into my life.

I have this friend David, my partner in crime at Biltong for Breakfast.  One of his things is mixology and the guy makes some stellar drinks, like the artwork above, a Bloody Mary he recently made at our second filming.   Now I am not sure what a proper Bloody Mary Glass is, apparently it is simply a High Ball Glass but I was checking into some on Amazon and this stuff popped up as a related item.

I almost bought some but then I thought, hmm, bet I can get David to buy this.  So I shot a text over to him, “hey have you seen this” and less than ten minutes later a return text with, “you know I had to order that right” came back.

Hook, line and sinker!  And I knew it would get better, I knew that the next time he came over he’d bring it and make me a Bloody.  The only thing better than a perfect weekend morning with a Bloody you made, is a perfect weekend morning with a Bloody someone made for you.

Okay this stuff was the bomb, it took an already fantastic drink and made it better.  Yes that is actual bacon in those drinks, along with cilantro, an onion, a gerkin, colored carrot, celery, olives, peppers and I think part of the kitchen sink is in there too.  It is literally a breakfast you can drink.   We have also discovered celery bitters and using them in our drinks now as well, got to say they take the bloody to another level as well.

This is where the story gets better, David noticed you actually get two packs of the bacon salt with the tin.  So being the good friend he is, he gave me one to experiment with.  Then in packing up his drink kit he forgot to take his celery bitters and his bloody mix with him.  Did I say the best bloody is one someone makes for you?  May be, but one you make on a Sunday from the found spoils of a friend who forgot them, well that is a strong runner up.

So Sunday morning we had the family coming for the day, like the entire family.  Prior to their arrival I concocted the bloody you see below.  Not quite the art work that David did, but I didn’t have the time really.  See that mini pepper though, yea stuffed that thing with garlic and jalapeno yogurt cheese I made myself, then capped it with some of that bacon salt.  Holy crap I could eat 100 of those things.

This has me wondering what else we might do with this ingredient.  Yes rimming a Bloody Mary glass with it is fantastic, but the flavor is basically pepper, salt and bacon, I mean there has to be a multitude of uses for this stuff.  So give Demitri’s Bacon RimShot a try and add it to your personal favorite way to make a Bloody and see what other uses you can come up for with it.   I will tell you, as I sat on my new back porch with the dogs, milking that drink for a full 45 minutes of the pre crowd peace I had left, I realized that there is a strong possibility that Bloody Mary Sundays may become a ritual around here.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – I have not tried these yet but they intrigue me, the same company makes some pretty interesting mixer concentrates.  Keeps the shipping down as they are bases that you add your own tomato juice to.  And this may be over the top, if that is possible in the Bloody Mary World, but they even make pepperoni meat straws, yea really.  Ya, gotta love the innovation of the free market!

 

Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s item of the day is Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, I prefer the Hot and Spicy but you can also get it in Mild or in a Pack with One Each.  I like heat, but I don’t like mental crazy heat and to me anyway, the hot and spicy is fairly mild.

This is another one of my “cooking cheat codes” building on Friday’s review of Doenjang Paste.  I have always loved Jamaican food, especially the star of the show, jerk chicken.  So long ago I taught myself to make it from scratch.  When I met my former business partner and fellow foodie Neil Franklin, he told me about this stuff, and said, “just try it mate, you’ll never do it from scratch again“.

Neil was spot on, and a look at the ingredients shows you why, no junk and the core of solid jerk seasoning, scallions, scotch bonnet peppers, salt, black pepper, all spice, nutmeg, citric acid, cane sugar, thyme leaves.

Not far off what I used to make from scratch.  And a hell of a lot easier and faster!

It is so easy to use, rub it all over chicken, put chicken in a zip top bag and let it sit over night in the fridge.  You can then bake at 350 till done, kick the broiler on and crisp the skin.  Oh and save that juice, add that to a bit of rice and it is hard to not eat until you think you are going to explode.

My favorite way to use it though is grilled, low and slow over indirect heat.  If you want the juice put a drip pan under it, then give the drippings a quick simmer over direct heat to be safe.  And guess what I just found out, you can buy pimiento wood chips.  In Jamaica real jerk chicken is cooked over pimento wood.  So just make up a foil pouch of chips and poke some holes in it and bring that final bit of flavor to the party.

So that is main reason why this stuff exists, making jerk chicken and if that was all it did, it would be enough.  Remember though, this is a Spirko cheat code, so you know I have more to add.  Rub large shrimp with it, dust them with a bit of lime zest, bacon wrap and grill on skewers.  The shrimp, the bacon grease, the lime, the jerk, yes it is all very, very good.  Make a sauce from rum with pineapple for these and you may think you died and went food heaven.

Spirko Hack – When bacon wrapping shrimp it is hard to get bacon crisp without over cooking the shrimp.  Step one, par cook the bacon, to where it renders about 1/3rd of the fat but will still wrap easily.  Step two, put a cast iron skillet on the grill or a side burner, put each skewer on the cast iron for 15-20 seconds per side at finish.

How about jerked baby back ribs, really easy ones that are almost no work!  Rub your ribs well and marinate over night.  Sacrifice a beer into your pressure cooker, put in steaming rack, then add ribs, pressure cook for 40-50 minutes.  Take out ribs and make a base from the stuff in the bottom of the cooker 50-50 with your favorite BBQ sauce.  To do this simmer it to reduce by half and blend in about the same amount of BBQ sauce, after the reduction.  Baste top of ribs and finish on grill or under broiler.  Save some of the baste for dipping.  Just cook long enough to dry out the baste and firm up the ribs, about 10-15 minutes.

Jamaican meat balls, there is no such thing.  Oh but there can be!  Finely chop one 12-16 ounce pack of bacon (oh you thought I was just going to mix this and hamburger didn’t you?), now add one pound of ground beef and one pound of pork and the bacon to a bowl.  Chop up a bunch of green onions and a few cloves of garlic.  Use about 1-2 tablespoons of Walkerswood seasoning, I do this by eye.  Add one egg and half a cup of panko bread crumbs to bind.

Mix well and this is important, let it sit for an hour at least, over night is better.  Bake in a 400-425 degree oven until done.  I like to bake them on a rack so the drippings fall away and they crisp a bit with the convection roast setting, save those drippings though, use foil for easy cleaning.  Why does it have to sit before cooking, those wonderful panko crumbs suck up all that seasoning and hold onto it, that is why.

Frankly you can jerk up just about any meat and even some veggies with this stuff, so give Walkerswood Hot and Spicy, Mild or Variety Pack a try today.  It doesn’t just make great chicken, it makes great everything.

One last hack you say?  Okay, next time you are hungry for burgers, mix some into your meat.  Also coat one side of some bacon with it, grill your burgers and bacon, also slice an apple into about 1/4 inch slices, (trust me), grill the apple till just done and grill some chili peppers, seeded jalapeno is good.  Now assemble the burger with peppers and apple where say lettuce and tomato would normally go.  Of course cheese is optional but highly encouraged on this, pepper jack is my preference.  Toast your bun of course with a brushing of garlic butter.  So now you are hungry right?  So you know what to do, get some Walkerswood Today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – It seems that this seasoning and chicken thighs will be featured on a new episode of Biltong for Breakfast soon, something about a salad with jerk chicken or something like that!

P.S.S.  – The mild version is the exact same ingredients, just less scotch bonnet peppers.

Sempio Doenjang – Fermented Soybean Paste – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s item of the day is the Sempio Doenjang – Fermented Soybean Paste.  Doenjang along with some other stuff like Gochujang, Curry Pastes, etc. makes up a group of stuff I call my “cooking cheat codes”, hey that sounds like it should be a show some day.

In any event what I mean by cheat codes is sure you can use them in the classic dishes they are intended for, and I do.  However, where they come into a world all their own is in incorporating them into places you’d not expect to find them.

Here is an example, many times when making up a basting sauce to finish things on the grill with, especially chicken and pork, I will include this stuff.  A couple three teaspoons depending on how much I am making.  Make up a baste for instance with your favorite BBQ sauce, some soy, some beer, some copped chilopolte in adobo (another cheat code), a splash of really top shelf fish sauce (another cheat code) and enough Doenjang to thicken it.

Baste this onto any chicken or pork dish where you want a bit of “heat and sweet” and it will just blow your mind.  If no one told you what was in there unless you’d had it before you could never put your finger on it.  It adds depth and that funky umami flavor that is just awesome with a bit of heat and sweet along side it. When I made this to baste pork for Biltong for Breakfast, my buddy David kept eating it like fricken salsa on corn chips!  Okay I will admit it, I did too.

Here is another use, I have been told tilapia are bland fish, oh really?  Clean the tilapia head on and just gutted.  Get them very dried off, cut a few slits in the skin on both sides.   Now take Doenjang and Gochujang in about equal amounts and mix them together.  Chop up about one clove of garlic and an equal size piece of ginger very fine, or you can use garlic ginger paste (another cheat code) and mix it into the paste.

Now this is the critical part, if you slather this paste on as it, it will BURN and that in the words of Alton Brown, “is not good eats”.  Using a high temp cooking oil like peanut oil or similar, drizzle it onto the paste and mix until you end up with a “thick oil” something that is paste like but thin enough to just pour.

Rub the outside and inside of the fish with this oil/paste, really work it into the slits in the skin, into the flesh.  Slice up a few stems of green onion and ginger like big match stick size and put them in the fishes belly.  Add some kefir lime leaf or lime zest inside the belly too.  Keep the coating on the outer skin light, go heavy again in the slits and in the body cavity.

Grill these fish over high heat until just done and skin is crisp, translation don’t close your grill down, or you will over cook your fish.  Enjoy and DO NOT discard that skin, it is the best part.  And if you think this fish is “bland” you need a tongue transplant or something.

You can also pan fry these fish in enough oil to cover about 50% of their thickness, if you do that the tail is so crisp it is like a delicacy with all that flavor.

I have also used this alone and mixed with other pastes to rub down red meat (beef and venison) and let it sit in the fridge at least 24 hours.  Wipe off the excess and add some S&P and just grill.  It can be that simple, the fermented components help tenderize the meat and that unique flavor finds its way in.  Again wipe off the excess, if you apply heat to a layer of this paste it quickly burns, so does Gochujang.

So give this stuff a try, you will find yourself mixing it into marinades, bastes and doing all kinds of stuff with it, hmm, I wonder what it would do on a Sous Vide steak?  I am not sure, but I am gonna find out!

On my brand of choice, I have tried many and Sempio Doenjang – Fermented Soybean Paste is simply the best I have found.  First it is supposed to be “fermented soy bean paste” and crazy as it sounds that pretty much means just soy and salt and some starter.  Well here is the full list of ingredients for Sempio Doenjang, (soybean, salt, distilled alcohol, water, koji starter).  Next notice the ingredient is “soybean” not “soybean powder”.

The big thing is there is no wheat, other grains, MSG, etc.  Every other version I have check out is full of wheat and other ingredients with no business being in this stuff.  In Korea this stuff is made by many still in their homes, they just add some koji, salt and water to soybeans and ferment it.  They don’t use soy powder, it is supposed to be chunky.  I feel Sempio is closest thing to Korean House Wife Made Doenjang you are going to find for sale in the US.

It is important to me that we are actually talking about FERMENTED soybeans here.  I am personally not a huge fan of soy from a health aspect, way to high in phyto estrogen, however all things in moderation.  A two pound tub of this stuff will last for months on end, it is used to flavor things not to be eaten on a spoon and a little goes a long way, so don’t worry it won’t turn you into a soy boy or anything like that.

Anyway give Sempio Doenjang – Fermented Soybean Paste and I think you will be adding it permanently to your list of cooking cheat codes.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Cholula Hot Sauce – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Cholula Hot Sauce.  Yesterday I was eating some left over wings and I grabbed my always handy bottle of Cholula and thought, huh, I guess I have never put this out as an item of the day.  I really should have done this long ago, this is a product I use over and over every week, in cooking and just on food.

I used to be a Tabasco man, and I still like it, but not as much as Cholula.  To me this is the perfect hot sauce.  And folks you can keep your Ass in the Tub style nuclear sauces.  The thing I love about Cholula is that it isn’t too damn hot.  Heat wise it is just a bit milder than Tabasco, and to me it has much more interesting flavors.

Flavor is important in a hot sauce to me, if I just want to burn my mouth I could just spray my food with my pepper spray!  Cholula has a range of flavors that make it a great addition to food and recipes.  I make wing sauce from this and it is simple, 1 part sauce to one part butter and melt.  Toss in a pinch of dehydrated garlic and a crank of black pepper and every other “Buffalo Sauce” can head the heck back to the north in my view.

My favorite is the plain old original.  Those who have been to a TSP workshop know there is always a big bottle of this stuff out for use on food at the serving table.   I first found this sauce at a Don Pablo’s restaurant, many years ago.  I was instantly hooked on it.  It has now been my go to for about 20 years.

If you want some variety or just to try a few different flavors and find your own personal favorite consider the Cholula Hot Sauce Variety Pack with 5 different flavors including

  • Original
  • Chili Garlic
  • Chili Lime
  • Chipolte and
  • Green Chili

Of those I am most found of of course the original and the chipolte and green chili.  I can add lime or garlic myself, but chipolte gives that smokey hotness and you just can’t turn a red sauce into a green one in any way I am aware of.  FWIW the chipolte is a little hotter than the original but not by much, it still isn’t one of those sauces that sets your face on fire and makes you feel like you have been sprayed with mace or anything like that.

The variety pack comes in 5 ounce bottles, the twin pack of originals comes with two 12 ounce bottles, I always order that because I consume this stuff in “mass quantities“.   The Five Pack would make a great gift for any hot sauce enthusiast and you can see everything the good people at Cholula Make Here.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

 

 

Premium Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Item of the day is Premium Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste.  I first discovered Gochujang (pronounced “go che jang”) when I found a TV show called Korean Food Made Simple by a chef named Judy Joo. While I didn’t become a massive fan of the chef or the show it did expose me to some unique ingredients and methods of cooking.  Likely the biggest win from this show was finding Gochujang, or simply fermented Korean chili paste.

I went with this brand because most commercial products have corn syrup in them.  Traditional Gochujang is made with rice, chilis and fermented soy beans and salt.  That is what is in this version, it costs a bit more but it is worth it.  Besides while not blow you brains out hot, this stuff is hot and brings a ton of flavor to the party, so a 1.1 pound tub lasts a long time.

So how do you use this stuff, man there are a ton of ways but let me give you one example of how we use it.  We make fried Japanese sweet potatoes.  They have purple skin and snow white flesh.  They are about half way between a typical potato and a orange sweet potato in taste.  We twice fry them, into a wok with peanut oil, fry until almost done, remove and drain, let cool 10 minutes and return to the oil for another few minutes to puff and crisp up.

Next mix the gochujang at a ratio of 1 part gochujang to 3 parts mayo, (commercial is fine home made is better), let it sit for about 10 minutes to bind and blend, then serve the potatoes with this on the side.  It is sort of like a suracha may many are familiar with but on a whole new level.

I also made some burgers with this stuff, just a table spoon of this into a pound of venison and feral hog mixed ground, a bit of salt and pepper, bit of dehydrated garlic, table spoon of black bean paste and let sit for about 15 minutes to bind and blend, grill as normal.  Of course a bit of that gouchang mayo on it is sublime.  We also process fish skin and head on, slit the skin and rub this stuff on the outside and inside of the fish and grill whole on the grill, it is amazing.

So check this stuff out, add it to your pantry and start experimenting.  Oh and since it is a fermented paste product it stores very well long term, so it is an awesome pantry staple for preppers.  One way or another give Premium Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste a shot and I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Lastly I do want to say I do consider this product fine for people on any sort of low carb diet.  Yes it includes rice syrup and some soy paste, but the amount used is so low relative to the entire meal that I can’t see it effecting blood sugar in any meaningful way.   I am also opposed to large amount of soy in the diet, least you become a soy boy, but again the amount used here is tiny and all the ingredients are fermented as well.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Do you want to see me cook some of the dishes in this post and a lot of other really cool stuff.  Well my buddy David and I have started up a new site called Biltong For Breakfast.  It will be a cooking show online with four episodes a month.  We will focus on meat centric cooking, lots of fresh veggies and occasional starches as a treat (like the fries above).  Basically we want to make a cooking show that doesn’t suck!  And one with a heavy focus on home food production, fish and game, bartered good, homestead livestock and all that sort of thing.  To learn more and subscribe visit Biltong For Breakfast today.

Mae Ploy Curry Paste – Item of the Day

UPDATE – Since I first posted this review I have removed the small cans and sampler from it along with any recommendation that you buy the cans.  I specifically selected Mae Ploy curry paste because it was made with nothing but herbs and peppers, NO MSG!  Apparently the small cans have MSG. I can’t think of any reason a manufacturer would change the ingredients with package size but apparently they do.  Curry doesn’t require MSG, I recommend only the larger tubs now.  If you are okay with MSG fine, then you can buy the cans but I don’t formally recommend them at this time.

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Mae Ploy Curry Paste and there are quite a few different options.  They include

I have had a lot of people tell me “I don’t like curry” and it usually means they have had at one time a heavy Indian curry and have decided that is curry.  I will say one thing most curries have in common is spice, so if you don’t like spice you may not find one you like or may have to use less than most people would in a recipe.

The thing is though, in Asia, the term “curry” is sorta kinda like saying BBQ Sauce in America.  Odds are you have had BBQ sauce you like, are okay with and frankly hate with bloody vengeance on who ever made it.  Why?  There are many versions of this, some are regional, some are family secrets, some are nothing but souped up Heinz ketchup, etc.

Curry is the same way, there are some common components and there are some regional adaptations but in say Thailand, every Thai mom thinks her curry is the best and likely has a secret thing or two she will never tell you about her version.  Translation is if you don’t like curry perhaps you have not tried enough variety yet.

I love cooking with curry paste, huge flavors and super easy and Mae Ploy Curry Paste is by far my absolute favorite brand.   Here is a dish I made last night.  As is typical there was no hard recipe it was just something I did on the fly.

Green Thai Curry Fish Soup.
(you can honestly use any fish or seafood you want in this)

What Went in it?

  • Pacific Rockfish (about 6 ounces)
  • Shrimp (4 split lengthwise)
  • Scallops (4 cut into fourths)
  • Peppers (sweet and jalapeño from my aquaponics system)
  • Sweet Potato Greens (from my aquaponics system)
  • Thai Water Spinach Stem and Leaf (from the timber frame pond system)
  • Swiss Chard Stem and Leave (from my aquaponics system)
  • Green Onion
  • Garlic
  • Coconut Milk
  • Lemon Grass
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Green Curry Paste
  • Better Than Bouillon Fish Base
  • Saki.
  • Garnished with Basil, Watercress and more Green Onion (all from my aquaponics system)

Long list of ingredients but dead simple technique.  I cut the fish into bite size chucks and cut the scallops and shrimp as described.  Sliced up the peppers and set them aside with sliced water spinach stems.  Cut up all the greens and set them aside separately.  Also thin sliced up a full bunch of green onion and set it aside separately.

Added about 1/4 can of coconut milk to a pot and cooked it down by about 50% which is getting down to being more coconut oil than milk.  Added three heaping tablespoons of Green Curry Paste (next time it will be one) and cooked the curry paste down into the milk.  Then added a bunch of green onion, some ginger, garlic and lemon grass.  Cooked it down a bit more and added a bit of Saki.

Dumped in the rest of the coconut milk and a few cans of water bring up to hot and stir in a few teaspoons fish base to taste.  Add peppers and water spinach stems and simmer until tender.  Add all sea food and poach it till almost done, now throw in all the greens and more of the green onion.  Stir till greens wilt but are still bright green and kill heat.

Garnish each bowl with some thin sliced basil, green onion, red chili and water cress.  Man oh man this was good and it is just one way to use curry paste.  So consider trying one or several of these options and expanding your culinary horizon a bit. Again here are some of the options…

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Unopened this stuff stores really well and even when open it has a very long life in the fridge, so as  prepper, I’m just sayin…..

However a 14oz tub of this stuff is a LOT of curry paste, it will make a LOT of food.  Most times you only need a spoon or two to make a whole meal.  Oh and if I had to pick my personal favorite curry paste, it would be the green.

Mushroom House Dried Oyster Mushrooms – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Mushroom House Dried Oyster Mushrooms.  In my view oyster mushrooms are one of the more underrated mushrooms out there.  To me they are also one of the mushrooms that I feel actually benefits and becomes better when dehydrated.

Fresh oyster mushrooms are pretty good but they lack intense flavor, the also lack any real “body” instead they are very soft and easily over cooked.  However when we dry them and re-hydrate them they come up a lot more firm and their taste intensifies.

The other big thing is of course how storable these guys are.  How well do they store you ask?  Well the package I recently bought had a best by date over 2 and a half years beyond the date I received them and we all know that manufactures practice more than just a little CYA on expiration dates.

So what is the best way to use these guys.  First soak them in water until they re-hydrate and that takes about 20-30 minutes.  Save that water for cooking or making stock.  Then slice and prepare them in what ever way you see fit.  I like sauting them in butter and garlic, then toss in some sweet and hot peppers, saute a bit longer, then add some greens like baby arugula and baby spinach just to wilt, then add in two duck eggs and gently scramble.  Top with your cheese of choice, Gruyere is really nice with this and you have a gormet breakfast in a matter of 15 minutes.  Yes you can use chicken or other eggs for this, I just happen to have a lot of duck eggs always around.

There are tons of recipes I could give you for these but I thought I might give you a recipe using 100% long term storables that would really blow you away, and make it very fast too.  Here is what you need.

Procedure –  Put water in large cooking pot and add mushrooms, turn on to medium heat and heat until steaming hot.  By then mushrooms should be soft enough to work with.  Use a strainer and remove mushrooms, this is simple because they float.

Now add dehydrated veggies and a big pinch of each of rosemary and thyme, add about two big pinches of parsley.  Bring to a full boil, while you wait for that, run some cool water on the mushrooms so you don’t burn your fingers, shake them dry and cut them on a cutting board into thin strips, sort of like “mushroom noodles” (moodles?).  Then add them back to the pot.  When it comes to a boil add bouillon or Better Than Bouillon stir to dissolve.  Also now add the can of crushed tomatoes.  (Costco has some awesome organic ones).

Simmer until the mushrooms and vegetables are to your liking, stir in canned beef including the broth (don’t use a variety with “gravy”) bring back to a full simmer to heat beef through.

Serve with a topping of fresh chives or green onion, if you don’t have any on hand use dehydrated chives.  Add salt and pepper to taste, best to do that at the end as the canned beef and bouillon both have a significant amount of salt.

This all takes less time to do that it does to type it all out.  The soup comes out amazing and it is a great use for canned beef, allowing you to keep it for long term storage but still rotate it by eating what  you store and storing what you eat.  You can adjust quantities to your liking and it absolutely can be made with fresh meat, bone stocks, etc.  One really nice over the top addition is some green snow peas right at the end!

Just a few ways you can use this awesome ingredient and remember they are dehydrated so they weight about 1/4 of their weight when fresh, hence a one pound bag that sells for just under 17 bucks is equivalent to about 4 pounds of raw oyster mushrooms.

I have tried many different brands of oyster mushrooms but so far, Mushroom House Dried Oyster Mushrooms are my favorite, so check them out to day and add this great and versatile storable to your pantry.

To store them after opening I just put them in ball jars with a big pinch of rice in the bottom to act as a desiccant, there is no need for dry canning/vac sealing them.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – You will notice that the dehydrated veggies all are linked to one gallon sizes on Amazon, the brand is Harmony House.  I have always loved their quality and when I buy this stuff I buy it in bulk but you can use any dried carrots, celery and onion in this recipe.  I recently did a bulk order on stuff like this with North Bay Trading Company and was impressed with their quality, service and pricing so you might try them as well.

Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base.  Specifically the link I provide today goes to a 3 pack of 8 ounce jars.  Now you can get a single 8 ounce jar to try it out, or you can get a 16 ounce jar.  However, if you do the math you will find the three pack almost amounts to getting 8 ounces for free compared to the other options.   And I like saving money!

So there is a lot to love about this stuff.  First and foremost it tastes great as do many other versions of the product, they even make a Fish Base, a Clam Base and a Lobster Base.  I mean if a food product doesn’t taste good you can’t really say much good about it after that right.  I am featuring chicken today because it is the most versatile, people use chicken stock in everything but all of them are wonderful.

One thing I love about the Chicken Base is the organic option.  I know organic isn’t perfect but it means a lot of things that are great like no GMO feed and no added artificial crap.  And there is almost no real extra cost for the organic version especially if you buy the three pack.

The other is the raw storage factor (RSF).  To me RSF is how much space does something concentrated take up compared to what it represented when reconstituted.  Each 8 ouch jar makes 9.5 quarts of broth.  So 3 jars at just under 20 bucks will make you 28.5 quarts of chicken stock.   That is 114 cups, but it only takes up the space of 1.5 cups in your pantry!  That is a 76-1 return on space!

Not to mention if you value organic chicken broth at say 2.50 a quart you have a 3.5 to one return on your money to go along with a 76-1 return on your space.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love home made stock, right now I have some amazing deep brown venison bone stock simmering on the stove, but there is a place for saving space, money and time and products like this do that in spades.

By keeping a few jars of a few varieties in your pantry you can literally store say 100 quarts worth of stock with no real effort for not much money.   Again with the chicken stock it is something you can use often so rotation is pretty simple.

Stated shelf life by the company is 2 years from date of manufacturer but I personally feel that it would last longer than that.  You do need to refrigerate them after opening though, so consider that with your planning.

Here is one way we use this stuff all the time.  About the only “grains” we eat with any regularity are quinoa and amaranth and alone they quite bland.  Basic directions for both are, put once cup of grain to two cups of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, simmer covered for 12-15 minutes stirring occasionally, remove from heat and let stand for about 5 more minutes covered.

Our slight modification is put two cups of water into the pot and heat until hot enough to dissolve one heaping teaspoon of Better Than Bullion.  Once dissolved add grain and cook as above.  The difference is night and day with flavor.

Lastly read the ingredients one of them is turmeric, now that is surely to give a great golden flavor, but more organic turmeric in your diet is never a bad thing.  So give Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base a shot today.   Your pantry, your wallet, you family and your taste buds will all thank you for it.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. If you worry about salt, there are low sodium versions of most of their products available.