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Tabasco Original Red: It ain’t all about the heat

This post brought to you by TABASCO® Original Red. All opinions are 100% mine.

Eggs, hashed browns and Tabasco sauce.  It’s almost the perfect combination, isn’t it?  A silky, runny egg yolk, the crisp, earthy undertone of potato sauteed in butter and the tangy, spicy bite of hot sauce. It’s heaven, or at least it’s as close as a breakfast dish gets.

The goodness that is TABASCO® Original Red doesn’t stop with topping eggs.  In fact, it’s an ingredient that has become so ubiquitous in American cuisine that it often becomes something that isn’t really mentioned.  It’s there, like onions or garlic, salt and pepper, but the significance of Tabasco as an ingredient and flavor enhancement is sometimes relegated to “season to taste” or “add a dash of hot sauce if you like”.

When you think about it, that’s just a bit sad.

Sure, it’s hot, but then so are a lot of other things.  Tabasco is a pure incarnation of salt, red pepper and vinegar, aged for three years in oak barrels.  It’s a little bit of American history, but also an international staple.  Tabasco sauce can be found on restaurant tables almost everywhere and is shipped with soldier’s rations to this day. (Trust me, Mess hall food and Tabasco have a long history!) Tabasco isn’t all about the heat, it’s about flavor.

This is something that I always have in my pantry.  In fact, it is one of only 4 spicy sauces that I use, and not just for adding a zing to eggs or a nice zesty hit to pizza.  I use Tabasco for all sorts of things, from stir fry to barbecue sauces to marinades.  It’s perfect for Cajun foods, Caribbean foods or Asian dishes.  The flavors are pure enough to fit in anywhere and bold enough to raise almost any dish to a new level.

If you’ve never tried Tabasco as anything other than an addition to breakfast, let me toss out a few of the ways that I use this sauce and have probably forgotten to mention:

  • Add 1/2 tsp of Tabasco to buttermilk while marinating chicken for added zip
  • Scramble a dash of Tabasco directly into eggs for fried rice. (or just for scrambled eggs with a bite)
  • Add a bit to a pasta sauce for a little bit of bite and a lovely bright flavor
  • Use in stir fry recipes that call for hotter, sauces.  Tabasco adds two of the five crucial elements of a good Asian dish, tangy and spicy.
  • If you like fire, add a few drops to any noodle soup just before serving along with a bit of fresh cilantro.

Of course there are more uses, and if given time I could list a lot more of them, but I leave it to your imagination and personal preference to find them.  If you’d like a bit more inspiration, check out Tabasco’s Game-Day Party Menu or their Pizza Perfected websites for some killer ideas.

Do you have a favorite recipe or food that only Tabasco is good enough for?  If so, be sure to let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear about them.

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