This has been an incredible week at the Steamy Kitchen Compound/Resort/Farm/Retreat. Home. Diane and I red-eyed a flight across the country on Sunday night, arriving with the sunrise on Monday. Jaden is in the process of her next fantabulous cookbook and we came in for the week to help her power through a section of the photography. We rounded out the team with Jenna from Eat, Live, Run to complete our shooting posse.
This week flew by. Jenna and I prepped, seared, and sliced away in the kitchen while Diane and Jaden sistered up in Jaden’s studio to finish styling and shoot the recipes. The rhythm and efficiency of the team was astounding, if I do say so with pure humility. The first full day we cranked out 16 beautiful recipes and it seemed effortless. Each day, even after busting out a ton of recipes, we wound down by shaking up some cocktails, pouring glasses of wine and then we cooked some more. What is better than home cooked meals with people you love hanging out with?
The first night I made a quadruple batch of pizza dough and we tossed up a half dozen pizzas to use up left over ingredients from the day’s shoot. Kung Pao chicken and red onion pizza, anyone? Gorgonzola and cauliflower. There was a bit of creativity between using up the left over ingredients and in raiding Jaden’s well stocked fridge. Even after tossing up a half dozen sheet pan filling pizzas, we still had almost half of the dough left over, a consequence which would prove fruitful today.
Today is Day 3.5 and we are still going strong. Each day has become easier and streamlined as the familiarity of us all working together grew. Ever since my restaurant days, I’ve had a deep appreciation for a group that works well together. It is beautiful to watch, and even better to be a part of. Laughter and smiles come quick, even when accompanied by a blitzkrieg working pace.
Today, as we were finishing up the day’s shoot, in contemplation of our 5th meal of the day, or was it the 6th, I remembered there was the left over dough and thought to make a batch of garlic knots. But we couldn’t make just ordinary knots. A couple ideas came to mind; a sweet cinnamon sugar knot, using some of the bourbon smoked sugar that both Jenna and I had been eyeing in Jaden’s kitchen all week, or a savory spicy, garlic knot. What to do? Make both, of course.
Sweet vs. Savory. A roll and rise later, the batches of knots were being tossed in their designated coatings. After a thorough dusting of powdered sugar to finish off the cinnamon sugar knots, the team dug into the warm, crisp crusted knots. Verdict. The spicy garlic knots was the clear winner. Even Jenna, my fellow sweet tooth aficionado, declared the spicy knots the victor.
I have a few ideas on an improved variation of the cinnamon sugar knots, but until then, here was our perfect finish to our left over pizza dough. Or you can just go crazy and make a batch of dough just for the knots. Fair warning – they are highly addictive.
* For step-by-step photographs, refer to our original Garlic Knot Recipe
* More Sriracha hot sauce recipes
Yield: about 40 knots
You can make them as spicy as you like depending on the chilies (variety and amount) and how much sriracha sauce you use. You can always go DIY insane and make your own sriracha. We've been known to do just that. There are two ways we usually roll out the knots, pinching off and weighing little balls of to roll into the knots, or rolling the dough out, cutting it into even strips, rolling the strips into logs and twisting the logs into the knots. In our prior garlic knot post we described the latter, this time we described the former method.
Preheat oven to 400° F
Best served warm, but still good when at room temp.