Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rica Rica

While on the road this week I have been trying to think of food topics I can write about without my kitchen or being able to actually make something. I have come up with several things, the first being my earlier post on dark chocolate pudding (it’s the little things in life), the second is the topic of today’s post. And the third will have to wait for tomorrow (is the suspense killing you????)

I’m sure most people who work in downtown Cleveland have waited in line at least once for lunch at Teahouse Noodles. Trust me when I say this, there are VERY few places/things you need to wait in line for in Cleveland. One of the perks of this great city is that it sometimes seems like it is all here just for you. You don’t have to worry much about reservations at restaurants (unless you are going to the Flying Fig), tickets to sports games are fairly easy to come by, lots of stuff is free. Which leads me to Cleveland Rule #1: if there is a line for something, you can assume it is out of this world awesome. Ok, just as I finished writing that I thought about the line into Bar Flyy on most Saturday nights and realized this rule does not always hold true. Appendix to Rule #1: Except in the case of Bar Flyy.

That was a very long winded way to say that Teahouse Noodles is awesome! And healthy! And they sell jars of their very own sauce – Rica Rica. It is a Balinese style sauce -“sweet and hot peppers with ginger and sesame oil”. I love this stuff and gave it to people for Christmas last year in my “Taste of Cleveland” Christmas baskets. So if you are in the area, be sure to pick up a bottle. Here are some yummy ways to enjoy this fab sauce :

Marinate chicken breast in the Rica Rica sauce, preferably overnight or while you are at work. If you don’t have Rica Rica you can definitely substitute your favorite teriyaki sauce. In the bottom of a casserole dish, layer chopped red onions, peppers, whatever you like. I usually just use red onions. Place the chicken on top and cover with sliced pineapple rings (fresh or canned). Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes (flip chicken halfway through). Serve on brown rice with a little extra sauce. Easy, fast, cheap, healthy and delicious! Makes great leftovers too (for those of us cooking for one).

This is CC’s favorite way to eat Rica Rica. Either marinate a flank steak or brush flank steak with Rica Rica sauce and grill (medium or medium rare). Thin slice and serve on top of iceberg lettuce with chopped onions, peppadew, and your favorite salad ingredients. I prefer to make my own homemade dressing, which really can’t be easier. I use extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar (the one with the skins in it “the Motherload”), ½ lemon juice, and this great seasoning I bought at a Greek restaurant in Findlay, OH. Shake and serve.

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