We see a lot of food festivals here in L.A.—heck, we threw our own gluttonous extravaganza in Malibu just last weekend. But this Sunday marks the arrival of a particularly zesty event: the first annual L.A. Sriracha Festival. Food GPS is teaming with our own blog star Randy Clemens, author of The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook, for a day-long celebration of the locally made Thai-style hot sauce. Not sure how a sizzling condiment can carry a whole festival? Clemens argues that it’s incredibly versatile stuff. Take his recipe for maple-Sriracha Brussels sprouts, for example, which stars in his Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook. A few squeezes of the red bottle brings out a whole new side of this seasonal treat. “Seriously, I don’t make it at Thanksgiving, there are riots at the family table,” says Clemens. Hope to avoid your own holiday hubbub? Whip up a batch of these spicy babies yourself.
Maple-Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberry Wild Rice
While I wish I could take all the credit for the unique blend of flavors here, the inspiration for the Brussels sprouts came from a restaurant in NYC called the Vanderbilt. I was going to rework their recipe as a side dish, but after taking my first bite of this new version, I realized that serving the Brussels sprouts atop my favorite wild rice dish would create a stunning entrée.
(Makes 4 to 6 servings)
Cranberry Wild Rice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups wild rice
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts or pecans
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup or raw agave nectar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons Sriracha
1 1/2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)
To make the rice, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and bay leaves and sauté just until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice and stir until evenly coated. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is slightly toasted and has a nutty aroma, about 3 minutes. Pour in 1 cup of the stock to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up all the stubborn, tasty brown bits. Add the remaining 21/2 cups of stock and the cranberries. Bring to a boil, then immediately lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and some of the grains have popped, 50 to 60 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and drain off any excess liquid.
While the rice is cooking, prepare the Brussels sprouts. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine the maple syrup, oil, Sriracha, liquid aminos, and lime juice and whisk until well blended. Add the Brussels sprouts and toss until evenly coated. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the Brussels sprouts to a nonstick or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet or a large cast-iron skillet and spread them in a single layer. Reserve any liquid left in the bowl. Bake the Brussels sprouts for about 25 minutes, until tender and browned.
To finish the rice and serve, add the walnuts to the rice without stirring. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the rosemary and fluff with a fork to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the Brussels sprouts over the rice, garnished with a healthy drizzle of the reserved maple-Sriracha dressing and a sprinkling of parsley.
(You can use honey in place of the maple syrup if you wish. Raw orange blossom honey would be especially nice.)
Reprinted with permission from The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook by Randy Clemens. Copyright (c) 2013 by Randy Clemens. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.