Category:

Sauces & Seasonings

Love Italian food, but craving some spice? Literally translating to “Brother Devil” this rub will leave your tongue tingling with delight! This spice level here is relatively mild- just enough to leave a little tickle. If you’re craving a more serious heat double the crushed red pepper and enjoy the fire!

This rub can be used generously on anything and everything that needs some spice, and is especially delicious when seasoning your favorite tomato sauce. 

Fra Diavolo Rub

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 1 cups (approx)
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 ½ Tbsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 ½ Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 ½ Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 ½ Tbsp black pepper
Instructions:
  • Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container up to a year. Makes 1 ¼ cups.

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Store bought curry paste can be bland. You practically have to use the whole bottle to get any real flavor and get no control over ingredients or sodium levels. That’s lame! This curry paste is less of a paste and more a salsa texture, but nails the flavor of restaurant style curry and costs only a little more than the bottled stuff. You’ll be glad you did it! If you want a spicier curry leave the seeds in the peppers and bring on the heat!

Thai Green Curry Paste

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 3 Cups

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Ingredients:

 

  • 2 bunches green onion (trimmed of roots)
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 jalapenos (seeds removed)
  • 2 Serrano peppers (seeds removed)
  • 2 large shallots (roughly chopped)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (stems and leaves)
  • 4 limes (one zested and all juiced)
  • 4 inches ginger
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tamari
  • 1 Tbsp lemongrass (paste or fresh)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
Instructions:

  • In a blender combine all ingredients, and blend.
  • One and half cups of paste serves as a base for a curry for four people.
  • When making your curry be sure to saute the curry paste in the pan with a tablespoon of oil over high heat until fragrant the way you would store bought paste.
  • Freeze any remaining paste for your next curry night!

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This rub is ahhhhh-mazing on red meat and pork. Don’t worry when it turns black in the pan or on the grill that deep dark color is some badass flavor (coffee turns black)! If you don’t have coconut sugar you can totally substitute with light brown sugar. I use coconut sugar in all my rubs because it doesn’t clump or harden, you should try it sometime!

Coffee Rub

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 Cup (approx)
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1/4 cup ground coffee
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne
Instructions:
  • Mix all that stuff together yo!
  • Store in an air tight container for 3 months (the coffee can get stale).
  • If you’re using brown sugar instead of coconut sugar place a marshmallow in the container to help prevent the sugar from getting hard (lol).

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Have y’all ever been to the grocery store and seen the bottles of prepackaged “french dressing”? It’s a weird shade of red, gloppy, and FULL OF LIES! We don’t eat lies. We eat food. Especially when the real thing tastes like heaven, is actually great for you, and goes with basically everything. So buckle on up bitches because we’re taking the red pill today, and never looking back!

I usually let this sit for 10-15 minutes before serving just so all the flavors can bloom and develop nicely together, not necessary, but worth it.

French Dressing

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: French
Servings: 1 Cup
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 1 large shallot (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
Instructions:
  • In a container with a secure lid, add all ingredients and shake them up super well until combined. You just made dressing you salad warrior! GET. IT.
  • Alternatively you can toss all of these ingredients in a blender and make an emulsion that is arguably even tastier. This is what I do most often, and y’all can peep a pic of the blended version on my Instagram. Enjoy!

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6 months!?! I know I know, this vanilla takes a long time! But it’s all hands off- aside from the occasional monthly shaking. Vanilla is one of those ingredients I prefer to have complete control over. Ingredients and strength vary from brand to brand and month to month. I get tired of checking and hoping it’ll be the same. Instead I prefer to buy my vanilla beans from Beanilla.

I dump two cups of booze into a mason jar and let it sit for 6 months. The cost is about the same as 2 cups of name brand, and this vanilla seems to last FOREVER. After the 6 months you can use the spent bean caviar for ice cream, vanilla sugar, pastry creams etc., and they still put out hella flavor! So the value overall is better. It’s definitely worth it. See notes for my most used bean and booze pairings.

Vanilla Extract

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
6 Months (soaking): 180 days
Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 cups
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 pint mason jar w/ lid
  • 10 vanilla beans
  • 2 cups liquor of your choice (no beer or wine)
Instructions:
  • Slice vanilla beans in half length wise. Do not remove the caviar.
  • Place split beans in a mason jar and fill with liquor of your choice.
  • Date the jar and label it with the type of bean and alcohol you selected so if you really love it you can recreate it. I learned that the hard way the first time lol.
  • Tightly seal the mason jar and vigorously shake for 1 minute.
  • Place the jar somewhere cool and away from light for 6 months.
  • Give a good shake monthly. Vanilla will be the same as single strength (think the little red and white bottle) of store bought and can be used equally.

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Notes:

Madagascar beans: (Bourbon, vodka, and whiskey) These are the beans you’re most used to seeing and tasting. When you smell a vanilla candle this is the vanilla you smell! Think banana breads, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, and that little red and white bottle of vanilla.

Mexican Beans: (Vodka, spiced rum, brandy, gold tequila) These beans are warmer in flavor and a bit sweeter than Madagascar beans. They carry a bit more spice notes to them like cinnamon and clove, and pair well with dairy based desserts, chocolate, and spices. Think tres leches, rice puddings, chocoflans, spice cakes.

Ugandan Beans: (vodka, brandy, congac, spiced rum) These beans are extremely fragrant and rich smelling. They stand up well to chocolate and bring a unique flavor to anything they touch. Think chocolate truffles, puddings, ganache, rich chocolate cakes, baked fruits.

Tongan Beans: (vodka, brandy, white rum, spiced rum) These beans are a true rarity. They’re almost always sold out and very hard to get your hands on. They’re warm, deep, fragrant, and very pronounced in flavor. It’s nearly impossible to describe. Think baked bread puddings, wine poached fruits, fall based desserts.

Tahitian Beans: (vodka, white rum) These beans are bright, fruity, and sweet! Right off the nose they remind of cotton candy and sugar. These beans you’ve likely tasted if you’ve had anything with pastry cream from a bakery like an eclair. Nothing mimics their flavor. This bean is meant to be used in lighter tasting desserts where the vanilla is the focus. Think creme brulee, pastry creams, whipped creams, fresh fruit desserts like berry shortcakes and angel food cakes.

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This quick and easy rib rub seasoning makes barbecuing or smoking ribs a real treat. It’s sweet, savory, and gives off just enough heat to leave your family saying more please! If you don’t have coconut sugar you can substitute light brown sugar and put a marshmallow in the jar you store it in to absorb moisture. I use coconut sugar here because it doesn’t clump over time, and will keep for a year tightly sealed (if it last that long). Pair with your favorite BBQ sauce!

Rib Rub

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 cup
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp paprika
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
Instructions:
  • In a bowl combine all ingredients, and store in air tight container of your choice.
  • Rub generously all over your favorite cut of ribs and combine with your favorite BBQ sauce for a perfect and easy meal!

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With just two store bought ingredients and a little time you can make perfectly rich bouillon to enhance any recipe you want. This keeps in the fridge covered tightly for two weeks, or frozen in 1 Tbsp portions in a silicon ice cube tray up to a year. No crazy ingredients, easy to batch cook, and completely gluten-free!

This recipe will work for any animal based broth you want to work with as long as there’s a bone broth equivalent.If you wish to use a seafood stock and can find fish bone broth definitely use that, but if you can’t find it you can use either chicken bone broth in place of fish bone or 1 tsp gelatin to the finished reduction while still hot to make a seafood bouillon. Do not boil gelatin. If you want to make a vegetable bouillon you’ll need to add 1 tsp gelatin to the hot finished product. Do not boil gelatin.

Homemade Boullion

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: French
Servings: 1 cup
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Ingredients:
 
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken or beef stock
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken or beef bone broth
Instructions:
  • In a tall sauce pan add stock and bone broth and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce at full boil until sauce coats the back of a spoon. This should leave a dark brown sauce and produce anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4th of a cup of bouillon. It will vary depending upon brands, how rich you want it etc.
  • You should be able to draw a line down the back of your spoon and have it stay put. This indicates your bouillon is ready. It will be a syrup/gravy consistency. The thicker you allow your bouillon to get the richer it will be.
  • Be careful not to burn it as it thickens.
  • You can place the bouillon in an airtight container and store in the fridge for two weeks. It should gel over and become firm.
  • You can also freeze your bouillon in 1 Tbsp portions in silicone ice cube trays and freeze for up to a year.

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Here are a couple pictures of what the coating on your spoon should look like when the bouillon is ready. This is chicken bouillon. Take notice of the little flecks on the spoon. That’s flavor!

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These quesos are delicious and will satisfy your craving for your favorite bowl of hot cheese no matter where you’re from. Feel free to play with the seasonings and make it your own! With no Velveeta in sight you’ll taste the difference right away, and since it comes together so quickly you may never go back to the yellow brick of mystery product again.

For a queso blanco version of the Tex-Mex version use white American cheese, and Monterrey jack.

For a queso blanco version of the California style use a blend of Monterrey and pepper jack.

Feel free to thin the queso to your desired consistency with more milk.

American Cheese (Tex-Mex Style)

Restaurant Style Queso – Tex-Mex

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dip
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Servings: 8 Cups
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 lb ground beef or chorizo
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 16 oz American cheese (Kraft deli slices NOT Velveeta)
  • 8 oz shredded Mexican 4 cheese blend or cheese of your choice
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 15 oz can Rotel
  • 2 Tbsp diced green chile
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt (omit if using chorizo)
  • 1 tsp pepper
Instructions:
  • Mix cornstarch into 1 cup milk until dissolved and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat brown ground beef or chorizo with 1 tsp oil, and garlic. When browned add salt (if using), pepper, chili powder, cayenne, and cumin. Stir well.
  • If you want a chunky queso dip, dump the Rotel or salsa, and green chile directly into the pan with the browned meat. If you want a smooth queso you’ll need to combine the Rotel or salsa and green chile in a blender and blend until smooth before adding to the meat.
  • Turn heat to medium-low. Roughly tear all of the American cheese and toss it into the skillet stirring frequently until melted.
  • Add the cornstarch mixture and stir to combine.
  • When the cornstarch mixture and American cheese have blended together add all of the Mexican shredded cheese and stir until well incorporated.
  • Add the remaining milk, and stir until creamy and smooth. Taste for salt and seasonings with a chip (the chips are salty you want to taste them together), and adjust as desired.
  • Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, on tacos, fajitas, or whatever floats your boat. Enjoy!

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No American Cheese (California style)

Restaurant Style Queso – Cali

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dip
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8 Cups
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 lb ground beef or chorizo
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 5 cups shredded Mexican 4 cheese blend or cheese of your choice
  • 2 Tbsp GF cup for cup flour blend
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 15 oz can Rotel OR 1 cup salsa
  • 2 Tbsp diced green chile
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro (minced)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt (omit if using chorizo)
  • 1 tsp pepper
Instructions:
  • In a small skillet over medium-high heat add ground beef or chorizo, 1 tsp oil, garlic, cilantro, 1 tsp salt (if using), and pepper. Brown the meat.
  • If you want a chunky queso dip, dump the Rotel or salsa, and green chile directly into the pan with the browned meat and warm through. If you want a smooth queso you’ll need to combine the Rotel or salsa and green chile in a blender and blend until smooth before adding to the ground meat.
  • Heat through and set aside.
  • In a separate large skillet over medium heat add butter and allow to melt. Whisk in flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup milk, and whisk together. Mixture should thicken slightly (this is called a bechamel).
  • Reduce heat to low and add cheese 1 cup at a time to the bechamel- stirring to melt completely each time before adding the next cup. Add the meat, and stir well.
  • When all the cheese and meat have been combined add the remaining milk and all remaining seasonings, taste for salt with a chip (the chips are salty you want to taste them together) and adjust seasonings as desired.
  • Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, on tacos, fajitas etc. Enjoy!

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Don’t be discouraged by the length of the ingredient list. It’s full of basic pantry staples you likely already have laying around, and makes a rich full-bodied sauce in no time!

If you don’t have Montreal steak seasoning at home substitute:

1 tsp dried dill, 1/4 tsp cayenne, 1 Tbsp yellow mustard, 1 tsp fennel seeds, and 1 tsp paprika.

30 Minute meat Sauce

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 16 Cups
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 lb ground beef (optional)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 18 oz tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1.5 cups of white wine
  • 1 large onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 large carrot (roughly chopped)
  • 1 rib celery (roughly chopped)
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • salt to taste
Instructions:
  • In a blender combine onion, carrot, celery, garlic cloves and white wine. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  • In a large pot over medium-high heat add olive oil, Italian sausage, and beef if using. Brown meat in the oil and if using beef add 1 tsp salt.
  • Reduce heat to medium and add onion and wine puree to meat, stir to combine, and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low simmer for 20 minutes or until warmed through, and serve over your favorite pasta. This sauce is also the perfect sauce for lasagna!

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I’ve had a few questions regarding the brand of bouillon I use. The answer is- it varies! As of right now I use Knorr granules which currently have no gluten containing ingredients but are not gluten free certified. I know some people react to certain brands while other do not. Since levels of sensitivity vary I recommend that you read the ingredients EVERY time you purchase a container of bouillon that is not certified gluten free as companies do change their formulas every so often. Please use a brand you know is safe for you and your family.

If you’re uncomfortable using a brand of bouillon that isn’t certified gluten free try adding 1 tsp double concentrated tomato paste instead!

Salsa Verde

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Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dip
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Servings: 3 Cups
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Ingredients:
 
  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 5 jalapeno peppers
  • 5 Serrano peppers
  • 1 bunch cilantro with stems
  • 3 bunches green onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp Knorr tomato bouillon
  • salt to taste
Instructions:
  • In a dry pan over high heat char your whole peppers. You want the skin to be black and blistered. When skin is blistered remove from pan and set aside.
  • If you want a mild heat heat remove the stems from your peppers, slice them length wise and reserve the seeds and membranes. This way if you want it spicier at the end you can add seeds back in and have complete control of your spice level.
  • If you want a spicy salsa leave the peppers whole only removing the stems from the top. If you can handle all the seeds and membranes- damn son. Much respect!
  • Chop the green onions and cilantro into large chunks.
  • In a blender add all ingredients except salt and pulse your ingredients to achieve your desired consistency.
  • Taste for salt and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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