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Recipe Friday: Sour Power

Pucker up, buttercup! Sour has stepped into the spotlight, revolutionizing kitchens and menus with layer upon layer of flavor, bringing balance to richer dishes and brightness to crisp ceviche. Next-level sour is taking a jump-off from lemon and balsamic acidities and diving into the deep end with stand-out flavors and ingredients like tigre de leche (tiger’s milk marinade), calamansi, sour orange, plum, and pickled and fermented foods.

Check out thesse recipes from McCormick for Chefs for inspiration. 

Sinigang Chicken Wings

Yield: 4

Ingredients for Sinigang-Inspired Wing Sauce

¼ cup butter
½ cup Thai Kitchen ® Sweet Red Chili Sauce
¼ cup tamarind concentrate
½ tsp calamansi juice
1 T pickled green chiles, chopped
1 T lemongrass paste
1½ tsp kosher salt


In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in Chili Sauce, tamarind concentrate, calamansi juice, green chiles, Lemongrass Paste and salt, until well blended. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until heated though. Remove from heat; set aside.

Ingredients for Wings

6 ea. chicken wings, sectioned (about 1 lb)
2 T cornstarch


Steam chicken wings until an internal temperature of 165°F is reached. Hold refrigerated for service.

To Serve

  1. Set fryer to 375°F. For each serving, toss one pound of wings with two tablespoons of cornstarch until well coated. Fry until golden brown.

  2. Transfer hot wings to bowl. Pour prepared sauce over top, tossing to coat evenly. Serve wings with sliced cucumbers, pickled green beans and pickled okra, if desired.

Charred & Pickled Peach Burrata Salad

Yield: 4

Ingredients for Pickled Peach Vinaigrette

½ cup champagne vinegar
2 T white wine
½ clove garlic, crushed
1 T sugar
1½ tsp McCormick Culinary ® Sea Salt, Mediterranean Spiced
1 tsp McCormick Culinary ® Black Pepper, Whole
1 cup peach, brunoise
1½ tsp marjoram, minced
1 tsp McCormick Culinary ® Perfect Pinch Signature Seasoning Blend
½ tsp garlic, minced
1 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a sauce pot combine champagne vinegar, white wine, garlic clove, sugar, Mediterranean Spiced salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil.

  2. Place brunoised peaches in a holding container. Strain and pour hot pickling liquid over peaches. Cool completely.

  3. Once cool, whisk in marjoram, Signature Seasoning, and garlic. While whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil until emulsified. Hold refrigerated until needed.

Ingredients for Burrata Salad

3 ea. peaches, quartered
2 ea. avocado, quartered, skins left on
1 T olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 qrt arugula
4 tsp marjoram, whole leaves
1 tsp McCormick Culinary ® Sea Salt, Mediterranean Spiced
½ tsp McCormick Culinary ® Basil Leaves
¼ tsp McCormick Culinary ® Black Pepper, Coarse Grind
1 cup Pickled Peach Vinaigrette (recipe above)
4 ea. burrata cheese


  1. Set grill to high. In a bowl toss quartered peaches and avocados with olive oil and salt until well coated. Grill on flesh sides until well charred. Cool.

  2. Remove skin from avocado. Cut peaches and avocados in large chunks of equal size.

To Serve

  1. For each serving, in a bowl combine 1 cup arugula, 1 teaspoon marjoram leaves, quarter teaspoon Mediterranean Spiced salt, eighth teaspoon basil leaves, and a pinch black pepper. Drizzle quarter cup vinaigrette around the sides of the bowl. Mix until dressing is evenly distributed.

  2. Place one burrata on desired plate. Cut into quarters. Lay dressed greens around cheese. Place three quarters worth of charred peaches and one half charred avocado decoratively around plate. Drizzle with additional vinaigrette if desired.

Filipino Pork Adobo With Mandarin Pancakes

Yield: 6

Ingredients for Filipino Pork Adobo

10 ea. garlic cloves
1 cup cane vinegar, such as Datu Puti®
1 cup Filipino soy sauce Or soy sauce
1 T McCormick Culinary ® Black Pepper, Whole
1 T palm sugar or light brown sugar
4 McCormick Culinary ® Bay Leaves
4 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) chunks
1 cup water
2 T scallions, chopped, to garnish


  1. In a resealable plastic bag, combine garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, peppercorns, palm sugar, and bay leaves. Add pork, turning to coat well. Refrigerate at least four hours or overnight.
  2. Transfer pork and marinade to saucepot. Add water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook one hour. Remove cover, stir. Simmer about 25 minutes longer, until meat is very tender and liquid is reduced to a glaze-like consistency. Hold hot for service.

Ingredients for Chile Vinegar

5 ea. garlic cloves, sliced crosswise
3 to 5 ea. bird chiles, cut in small rings
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1½ tsp McCormick Culinary ® Black Pepper, Whole
1 ½ cups cane vinegar, such as Datu Puti®
2 T Thai Kitchen ® Premium Fish Sauce


In a bowl or jar, mix all ingredients until well blended. Cover and refrigerate four hours or until service.

Ingredients for Mandarin Pancakes

1½ cups flour
¼ tsp McCormick Culinary ® Sea Salt, Mediterranean Fine Grind
⅔ cup boiling water
1 tsp vegetable oil


  1. In a heat-proof bowl, combine flour and salt. Add boiling water to flour mixture. Mix until dough comes together to form a ball. Once cool enough to handle, knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth about eight minutes. (Sprinkle with additional flour if dough is too sticky.) Wrap with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature about 1 hour.

  2. Roll dough into 12-inch log. Cut log into 12 equal portions. Flatten each piece into a disc and roll into a circle about 4 inches wide x eighth-inch thick. Brush top of each circle with oil. Stack 2 circles together, oiled-side up, to make six double-layer circles. Roll and stretch stacked dough circles on very lightly floured surface to form six-inch pancakes.

  3. In skillet over medium heat, cook doubled pancakes until blistered and browned on both sides, about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Remove from skillet and cool slightly. Peel layers apart to make two pancakes. Keep warm. Repeat with remaining pancakes. (Cover dough with a damp towel to keep from drying out while cooking pancakes.)

To Serve

Spoon Adobo Pork into serving bowl and garnish with scallions. Serve Mandarin Pancakes and hot cooked rice on the side. Serve vinegar and pickled chile mixture for dipping.

Duck Breast With Couscous, Aioli & Pickled Carrots

Yield: 4

Ingredients for Baharat Seasoning 

¾ T McCormick Culinary ® Cumin, Ground
6 T McCormick Culinary ® Black Pepper, Pure Ground
6 T McCormick Culinary ® Coriander, Ground
6 T McCormick Culinary ® Paprika
3 T McCormick Culinary ® Cardamom

Ingredients for Duck Breast

4 ea. duck breast
Baharat seasoning (recipe above)
½ tsp salt, to taste


  1. Trim the duck breast of excess fat from sides. Score diagonally shallow.

  2. Pat dry and season with Baharat seasoning and a pinch of salt on the fat side.

  3. In a non-stick pan heat canola oil on high until smoking. Add the breast skin side down and reduce heat to medium high to render some of the fat out. Flip over and finish in an oven at 400°F until medium (approximately four minutes).

Ingredients for Couscous

1 cup chicken stock
1 cup couscous
1 ea. red bell pepper, brunoised
1 ea. shallot, brunoised
¼ cup almonds, sliced and toasted
 ½ tsp salt, to taste


  1. Bring chicken stock to a boil and add couscous. Cover and let stand for five minutes. Once hydrated transfer to a sheet pan and completely cool in the fridge.

  2. Heat a pan on medium high with canola oil. Add red pepper and shallot and sauté until translucent. Add couscous and almonds and continue to sauté for a few more minutes. Season with salt.

Ingredients for Cajun Aioli

½ cups canola oil
1 garlic clove
2 T McCormick Culinary ® Cajun Seasoning
1 ea. egg yolk
1 T dijon mustard
1 ea. lemon, juiced
 ½ tsp salt, to taste
1 tsp water


  1. n a medium sized pot, add Cajun seasoning, garlic clove and enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot and submerge the spice. Bring to a simmer for one minute then remove from the heat and add the remainder of the oil. Allow to cool and infuse for one hour.

  2. Strain through a thin towel or fine mesh strainer and reserve the oil.

  3. To make the aioli, place the egg yolk, mustard, and lemon juice in a bowl and while vigorously whisking slowly add the oil infusion until completely incorporated. Season with salt to taste.

Ingredients for Vanilla Pickled Carrots

1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp McCormick Culinary ® Dill Weed
1 T McCormick Culinary ® Pure Vanilla Extract, Premium
3 ea. carrots, thinly sliced


  1. Bring the sugar, vinegar and dill to a gentle simmer. Once at a simmer cut the heat and add the pure vanilla extract.

  2. Pour over the thinly sliced carrots and cover.

  3. Allow to completely cool in the pickling liquid.

To Serve

  1. Place two piles of warm couscous on the plate in the lower half.

  2. Trim the top left and bottom right corners of the finished duck breast so that when sliced on the bias it will lay flat with the cut side facing up.

  3. Season the cut side with salt, add carrots and add aioli dots around the plate.



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