Compound Butter

Lisa at Photosynthesis in Ames turned us on to compound butter on Thanksgiving. She served it with Parker House rolls…seriously, I thought it was the best part of the meal. It turns out all salts AND sugars make great compound butters! Use them on baked goods, steak, veggies, toast, you name it!

These aren’t ours, but don’t they look lovely?

These aren’t ours, but don’t they look lovely?

INGREDIENTS
1 stick of butter
2 tsp of Saltlickers
Parchment or waxed paper if you’re want a log shape
Fresh herbs if you wish

Let the butter soften at room temp then stir in the spice (and herbs). Place the butter on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper, roll into a log, and chill for at least two hours.

Spiced Nilla Wafer Cookies

This recipe works with Das Bigfoot, Bangla-dash or Roxy Taco. Bangla-dash wafers call for one more tsp of spice than Das Bigfoot or Roxy wafers. You can use regular-sized Nilla wafers, but we like the minis. Reduced fat Nilla wafers work great too—they’re harder and they absorb the oil and spice well. I first butter tried on these, but oil’s better!

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INGREDIENTS
1 11 oz box Nilla Wafers
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp Roxy Taco OR
2 tsp Roxy Taco OR
3 tsp Bangla-dash

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 300.

Spread the wafers on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Pour the oil over them and toss with spice, 1/2 tsp at a time. Use your hands to make sure everything’s evenly distributed. Bake for 5 minutes. They will crisp when they cool.

Roxy Taco Chili-ful Chili: Pork or Veg

Last weekend, we chili-ed our faces off, starting at the Stanhope Locker's first chili cook-off with pulled pork chili (left), then at Wheatsfield's Member Appreciation Day with roasted butternut sguash black bean chili (right, it's vegan!), served with Cy Salt Oyster crackers. Both batches had the same base, starting with 4 oz of dried chilis—leave the seeds in if you like heat—covered in 4 cups of boiling water and soaked for 1/2 hour. You can find dried chilis in the Mexican aisle of your grocery store. We used New Mexico chiles, but poblano, ancho or hatch would also work great and be fairly mild for heat. Both styles were delicious. Serves 12, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.

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INGREDIENTS
4 oz dried chilies: New Mexico, poblano, ancho or hatch
stemmed, seeded and torn to pieces
4 cups boiling water
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp white vinegar
5 peeled garlic cloves
1 tbsp Roxy Taco*
1/2 tbsp Cy Salt or to taste*
1 tbsp olive oil
28 oz whole peeled tomatoes
2 15 oz cans of your fave chili beans:
    For the squash we used black beans,
    pintos for the pork

For pork chili: 5 lbs boneless pork shoulder

For squash chili: 5 lbs butternut squash
(about 3 medium or 2 large) peeled, seeded and cubed

For both: Crop Duster spice, Grilla Gorilla, or GGX

INSTRUCTIONS
For pork chili:
 Sprinkle your pork shoulder with Crop Duster spice, Grilla Gorilla, or GGX, wrap in plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, up to 24. Preheat the oven to 300. Brown the shoulder in olive oil in a big Dutch oven or oven-safe pot. Cook in the oven for about 4 hours--till it’s falling apart. Remove, let it cool, and chop it short. This was my mistake for the Stanhope chili: I left the strands of pork too long and ropey, like a pulled pork sandwich.

For squash chili: Preheat the oven to 425. Toss your squash with a splash of olive oil and sprinkle with Crop Duster spice, Grilla Gorilla, or GGX. Roast for about 45 minutes, tossing after about 30 minutes.

For the chili: Pour the boiling water over the chilies and soak for 30 minutes. Drain off half the soaking liquid and save. Place the chilies, honey, vinegar, garlic, Roxy and Cy in a food processor and blend till you have a smooth paste. 

Heat the oil on medium high in a big Dutch oven or heavy pot. Pour in the chile paste and stir for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice. Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the pot. If your chili’s looking dry, add some of the bean liquid, chile soaking liquid, or some dark Mexican beer.

Stir the meat or squash into the chili and cook on low for 1 hour, or in a crockpot on low for 4 hours. Taste for seasoning.

*My squash chili took twice as much spice as the meat version.

Serve with Cy Salt oyster crackers: 1 tbsp Cy Salt + 1/4 cup olive oil. Bake at 250 for 5 minutes.

Rachel's Third Place State Fair Banana Chocolate Chunk Bread and Spread*

For the Bread*
3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup (75 grams) melted salted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
½ cup semisweet chocolate chunks
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons Iowa Nice Spice
1 1/2 cups (190 grams) flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed
bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the Iowa Nice Spice, egg, vanilla and
bourbon, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture
and mix in. Add the flour, mix. Fold in chocolate chunks. Pour mixture into a
buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester
comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.
*Adapted from Deb Perelman

For the Spread
Makes 1 pint
½ cup butter
½ cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons cocoa
¼ cup honey
¼ teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter; add cocoa, vanilla, peanut butter, and honey. Stir until smooth.

Saltlickers note: Roxy Taco or Bangla-dash would be delicious in that spread.

Not Rachel's actual banana bread.

Not Rachel's actual banana bread.

Susan's Second Place State Fair Bacon Candy

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Ingredients:
Thick sliced meaty* double smoked bacon, cut in half**
Chopped pecans
Saltlickers Grilla Gorilla
Saltlickers Roxy Taco
Baker’s dipping chocolate - dark
*meatier bacon makes it less flimsy
**If bacon is long, cut in thirds for easier handling 

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Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Line a lipped baking pan with foil or parchment paper, and either place bacon on a rack or direction paper/foil to bake. 

Bake for approximately 20 minutes until a beautiful amber brown color. Remove from oven and place on paper towels to remove any excess bacon grease.  Allow to cool.

In a shallow sauté pan, use approximately 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease to toast the chopped pecans until golden brown. Remove pecans to a bowl and add equal parts of Roxy Taco and Grilla Gorilla (heck - be bold and use GGX!) to taste and set aside.

Now it’s almost time to assemble the bacon candy! Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper.

Heat the Baker’s dipping chocolate according to the directions. Do it SLOWLY so you don’t break the chocolate. 

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Dip each piece of bacon in the melted chocolate, leaving about a half inch uncovered where you can grab it. Use a spoon to make sure both sides are covered. Some people don’t like a lot of chocolate on theirs (weirdos) and others do - a matter of opinion. 

Place the coated bacon slice on the lined cookie sheet and while the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle it with the pecan mixture. Repeat until you run out.

Place cookie sheet in fridge or freezer to allow chocolate to set. Remove from cookie sheet and store in covered container in refrigerator.

Roxy-cado Hot Browns

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Hot browns are Kentucky staples: turkey and cheese sauce atop toast. Ada the Lexingtonite suggested topping them Roxy Taco and avocado, and I was like [ten million high fives]. Adapted from the Brown Hotel's recipe.

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
14 oz. sliced roasted turkey breast, slice thick
4 slices of Texas toast (crusts trimmed)
4 slices of bacon
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
1 rip avocado sliced
Parsley
Roxy taco

Melt butter and slowly whisk in flour to form a thick paste or roux. Cook roux for 2 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk heavy cream and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino-Romano cheese until the sauce is smooth. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

For each Hot Brown, place one slice of toast in an oven safe dish and cover with 7 oz. turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato, two toast points, and 1/4 of the avocado slices and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Pour half of the sauce over the dish, completely covering it. Sprinkle with additional cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove and cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top. Sprinkle with Roxy Taco and parsley and serve.

Orange caramel bacon popcorn

I invented this for a tasting at Wheatsfield. I used Roxy Taco, but you could try Das Bigfoot, Alliyum, Smoke Licker, Grilla Gorilla or GGX, Cha-cha Lima, or Coco Corazon. The orange juice brings out the zing in the spice, but you can do without it. You can also cook it in a smoker for an hour instead of the oven if you're cray-cray like me.

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20 cups unsalted corn
1 lb bacon, fried to just about crispy, drained and chopped
      (I cooked mine between paper towels in the microwave for 6 minutes)
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1⁄2 cup light corn syrup or 1⁄2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp Saltlickers seasoning: Roxy Taco, Das Bigfoot, Alliyum, Grilla Gorilla or GGX, Cha-cha Lima, or Coco Corazon
1⁄2 tsp baking soda

Preheat your oven or smoker to 250º. Melt butter over medium heat. Mix in brown sugar, corn syrup, orange juice and salt. Stir until boiling at the edges. Lower the heat slightly and let boil until the caramel is 250º. Remove from heat and add the baking soda. Stir in the bacon.

Put the popcorn into a giant bowl and pour the caramel over it. Mix well. It's hard. You may feel like your arm is going to fall off. Divide the popcorn between two slightly oiled cookie sheets and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, mixing every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Break the slabs into an air-tight container and refrigerate.

Chicken in Green Molé

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INGREDIENTS
1 whole (both sides) chicken breast
1 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
2 onions chopped
3 cloves of garlic
2 jalapeños
6 lettuce leaves
10 sprigs of cilantro
1.5 tbsp Iowa Nice Spice
1.5 tbsp Coco Corazón
1 tbsp Roxy Taco
Salt to taste
Lime wedges

INSTRUCTIONS
Cover the chicken breast in water in a pot. Add 1/2 the onion. Bring to a boil and simmer 12 minutes. Let cool. Roast the pumpkin seeds in a pan on the stove until they start to pop. Let cool and move into a food processor bowl, along with the rest of the onion, garlic, cilantro, lettuce, jalapeños, and spices. Pulse. Add 1 cup of the cooled chicken stock, blend, taste for salt, then pour into a pot. Shred the chicken and add it to the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh lime before serving over rice or roasted sweet potatoes, or in tacos or enchiladas.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches with Two Sauces

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1 lb pork tenderloin
Grated zest of 1/2 lime
Grated zest of 1/2 orange
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup honey
1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce chopped (optional)
1 tbsp Big Bangkok or Herky Perky or Grilla Gorilla/GGX
Rolls

Combine everything from the lime zest to the Big Bangkok in a ziplock baggie, drop in the pork, and marinate for 6-24 hrs. Let come to room temp 1 hr before grilling. Oil the grill grates and grill turning frequently until the meat thermometer reads 140. Let the tenderloin sit for 10 minutes, slice and serve on rolls with the sauces below.
Adapted from Alton Brown.

Hellfire Rhubarb Salsa
12 ounces blanched rhubarb (frozen and thawed is OK)
1/3 cup toasted pecans
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar, or more to taste
3 scallions, both white and green parts, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
2 jalapeño peppers seeded and chopped
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup fresh lime juice, or more to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
Roxy Taco

Place the pecans and brown sugar in a food processor and coarsely chop. Add the rhubarb, scallions, garlic, jalapeños, and cilantro to the food processor and pulse to coarsely chop the rhubarb. Pour in a bowl. Add the lime juice and olive oil. Mix well. Taste and add Roxy Taco (about 1 tsp). Refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days, but tastes best served within 3 hours of being made. Bring to room temperature before using. Adapted from Steve Raichlen.

White Lightning
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 tbsp chopped sushi ginger
1/2 tsp Big Bangkok

Happy Buckaroo Salsa

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This recipe came in third place at the Ames Farmer's Market salsa contest. "'Happy Buckaroo'?!" Collin said, reading the name card. "Can we vote on the names for these things?" "No," I replied.

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOKING TIME: 1 minute
TOTAL TIME: 6 minutes

INGREDIENTS
1.5 lbs fresh tomatoes
.5 lb fresh tomatillos
2 fresh onions
6 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
5 pickled tabasco peppers
Juice from 1/2 an orange
2 tsp Roxy Taco
1 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS
Pulse it in a food processor and ta-da!

Sunrise Salsa

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From the Ames Farmer's Market salsa contest.

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOKING TIME: 1 minute
TOTAL TIME: 6 minutes

INGREDIENTS
1.5 lbs fresh tomatillos
.5 lb yellow tomatoes
.5 lbs red tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
2 hot red chilies
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
Juice from 1/2 a lime
2 tsp Roxy Taco
1 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS
Pulse it in a food processor and ta-da!

Christiana's Watermelon Beet Salsa

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"Who'da thunk the beet/watermelon combo would be so delicious?" Christiana asked in our email exchange.

"I would think it would be great! The family veggie stand next to us at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Marke gave us FOUR bunches of beets on Saturday. It was like that joke where someone breaks your back windshield and throws in an accordion," I replied.

1.5 cups of watermelon, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 shucked corncob’s worth of kernels
½ a small zucchini, cut into ½" cubes
1 green onion
1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
1/4 cup leftover cold chopped beets, optional
Juice of half a lime
Coarse ground black pepper
1 tsp. Alliyum, Cha-cha Lima or Roxy Taco

Combine all into a bowl and enjoy with Luke's Organic multigrain chips, or, as a side dish/salad.

Deviled Eggs 2.0

The Deviled Eggs 2.0 class at Wheatsfield Cooperative was a blast! Thanks, egg lovers, for coming out—though my demo eggs (13 minutes steamed versus 13 minutes boiled) did not cut the mustard (HA!), And thank you infinity, Susan Jasper, for making it happen! You're the hostess with the mostess! Here are my notes and recipes from class, plus a few bonus recipes thrown in.

Basic Hard-boiled Eggs
The Best Hard Boiled Eggs are Steamed!

Get a pot of water boiling in a double boiler. 
Steam eggs for 13 minutes. 
Plunge in an ice bath for at least 15 minutes but no more than 45. 
Peel and use.

Deviled Egg Basics
Egg yolks are a neutral fat, and they suck up flavor like a black hole sucks up light. Salt alone won't cut it. Tangy flavors—like mustard, vinegar and pickles—climb over the fat and give the egg taste. Onions, herbs, and spices are good, too, but they don't make the taste pop. The more fat you add, the more tang you need.
The basic rules are:

2 tbsp+ different fat (mayo, sour cream, yogurt, cream cheese, oil, avocados, etc.)
1/2 tsp Tang (mustard, vinegar, pickles, capers, miso, etc.)
Optional: salt, crunch (onions, nuts, bread crumbs), chopped fresh herbs
Whip the fillings in food processor for maximum creaminess

Alliyum Roasted Mushroom Eggs
Sprinkle with Alliyum and fresh chopped parsley.
Alliyum creates almost a sweet/salty taste atop these very rich, umami eggs. The leftover filling makes a great spread on toast, a filling for ravioli, or a layer on a veggie lasagna, etc.

Filling: 6 eggs yolks
1/2 lb lb fresh (preferably wild) mushrooms tossed in olive oil, spinkled with salt and pepper and roasted at 300 for 1 hr.
3 oz cream cheese
2 tsp red vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp horseradish if you want heat

Roxy Eggs (healthy fats)
Yogurt is a fat with built-in tang. 
Together with the avocado, this egg is deceptively rich, but actually light on bad fat
Sprinkle with Roxy Taco and chopped cilantro

Filling: 6 eggs yolks
2 tbsp plain yogurt
1 avocado
1 tsp Roxy Taco
1 scallion, the white part chopped fine
Squeeze of 1/2 lime

Cy Eggs (Hearty and hummusy)
These hearty Mediterranean style eggs could double as a main picnic dish. 
The leftover filling makes a great side salad. 
Sprinkle with Cy Salt and chopped red onion

Filling: 6 eggs yolks
4 tbsp hummus
1/2 cup tabouli
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp curry powder
Squeeze of 1 lemon

Spicy GGX Pimento Eggs
4 TBS of mayo or sour cream would substitute nicely here, but the cream cheese gives it heft. The pimentos are sweet and turn the filling bright orange. Sprinkle with GGX and chopped chives.

Filling: 6 eggs yolks
3 oz cream cheese
1.5 tsp mustard
2 tbsp pimentos
1 tsp pickle juice if you've got it for maximum wow
1 tsp GGX

Bean Burgers

  • 1/4 sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups (about 1 can) any kind of beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 c minced onion
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp wheat germ or rolled oats
  • 1 Tsp Roxy Taco (goes great with black beans or black eyed peas) or Cy Salt (goes great with pink or white beans) or Alliyum (goes great with white beans)
  • I also like to throw a chopped chipotle in adobo sauce into the black bean burgers.
  • Chopped roasted mushrooms (roasted without oil) are great in all of them, too.  

Mush everything up—in a food processor or by hand. Form six 1.5" high patties and place on a lightly spray-oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, let cool, reform the patties and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve in a whole wheat pita.

Adapted from Eat to Live.

Roxy Holiday Nuts = Snack Crack

Full disclosure: these are snack-crack...but they aren't that bad, fat-wise. There's no butter. Just the delicious nuts.

1lb pecans + 1/4 c Iowa Nice Spice + 2 tbsp Roxy Taco + a splash of maple syrup. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes. OMGee.