The Kitchen Think: This Week’s Most Interesting Food News


The week isn’t nearly over, but there’s a lot of interesting food news out there!

Sriracha hot sauce is one of my passions, as you know from a post I wrote  earlier this year. Now, for all of you who share my passion, there’s A Sriracha documentary available online. Here’s a preview:



When my kids were little I used to swaddle them tightly so they looked like burritos. I’d call them my little burrito babies. Well, now there’s an official burrito baby blanket that looks exactly like a tortilla. Want one for Christmas? Order it here.


Interesting food news: Baby Burrito Blanket


Fast food workers nationwide protested a few days ago over low wages. They’re asking for $15 an hour. Fast food owners say that’s too much, and it would force them to use robots and automation. That reminded me of this video:

Are you following “TipsforJesus” on Instagram? Apparently there’s a mystery good Samaritan going around the country (and Mexico!) leaving outrageous tips for the wait staff. Who are the mysterious tippers? Valley Wag says former PayPal VP Jack Selby is one of them.

Interesting food news: TipsforJesus

I’d love to have enough money to be that generous… wouldn’t you?

Finally, if you are a visual learner, here’s the perfect cookbook for you, Picture Cook: See. Make. Eat. Fully illustrated with step-by-step instructions on how to make your favorite comfort food recipes. Have a peek:


Plated + Served: Steak Salad Sandwiches


I’m not a big sandwich eater any more (trying to cut out the bread you know), but sometimes I want something big and hearty, especially as the weather gets cooler.

Steak and salad pair beautifully, so why not marry them in a delicious sandwich slathered with spicy Sriracha mayonnaise?

I used my vinaigrette dressing on the salad, but you can use your favorite. The same goes for the Sriracha mayo: if you don’t have any Sriracha or don’t like it, a simple Dijon mustard also tastes magical.

This sandwich is also a great way to use leftovers. But flank steak cooks so fast on top of the stove or on the grill, it’s a quickie dinner option.

Hmmm… I might have to re-consider my self-imposed bread-ban.

Do you eat sandwiches for dinner?



What is Sriracha?


Sometimes our assumptions leave others confused… like last week when I used Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce in a recipe and thought everyone was familiar with the spicy condiment.20110111_zaf_m42_031.jpg

Wrong… and Mama apologies for being so foodie presumptuous. How snobby.

Here’s the download on the question: What is Sriracha (and why you really should try i).

Though it’s been around since the early ‘80s, Sriracha sauce has only recently become the darling of chefs (Bon Appétit named it ingredient of the year in 2010). Sriracha is turning up everywhere: in popcorn, salt, potato chips… even in cocktails!

Sriracha is made with chili, sugar, salt, garlic and distilled vinegar. It also contains potassium sorbate (preservative), sodium sulfite (to preserve the bright red color) and xanthan gum (thickener).

The chilies and garlic give it a fuller, more balanced flavor than say, Tabasco or other similar hot sauces. On the Scoville Scale (used to measure the heat of a chili pepper), Sriracha ranks between 1,000 and 2,500. That’s above a banana pepper, but below a jalapeño pepper. The hottest chili, a ghost pepper, ranks 855,000.

You’ll find Sriracha in the ethnic section of many supermarkets or in Asian or Latino markets. You can also order it online here.

Oh, and one other thing… contrary to popular belief, Sriracha sauce doesn’t come from Asia. It was invented in Los Angeles and is made in the United States. The distinctive plastic squeeze bottle with bright green cap is labeled in five languages (English, Vietnamese, Chinese, French and Spanish), which is probably where the confusion originated.

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Crispy Fried Fish with Sriracha Tartar Sauce


Yes, that’s right, I used the “F” word.


But we’re in the waning days of Lent, there’s some good basketball on TV tonight and, well, Mama thinks just about anything that’s fried tastes good.

And you do, too (even if you don’t want to admit it)!Fish1



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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: