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    Fire Cider Blog

    Hot n Sour Soup


    The perfect meal to warm you up on this snowy March day!

    The perfect meal to warm you up on this snowy March day!

    This recipe is by Jim Huebner: My favorite Chinese dish. This is a slightly simplified version in that I only use shiitakes instead of a mixture of shiitakes and tree ears. I also omit the traditional bamboo shoots and tiger lily stems for simplicity– and I don’t think the taste suffers a bit since it is based primarily on pepper and vinegar! This is a filling dish with a lot of flavor. 

    Hot n Sour Soup
    Generous for two as a main course and should easily serve four. The recipe can be doubled or expanded.

    Ingredients:
    • 5-10 dried shiitakes
    • ¼ pound or more of boneless pork (or chicken, or omit for a vegetarian soup)
    • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
    • 2 tablespoons tamari, divided, plus more to taste
    • 4 cups chicken (or vegetable or mushroom) stock and/or the mushroom soaking liquid
    • salt, to taste
    • 2 tablespoons Fire Cider, or more to taste
    • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, dissolved in water
    • a half package of firm tofu, cut into ¼” x ¼” strips
    • 2 tablespoons sesame oil 
    • teaspoon of white pepper
    • 2 eggs, well-beaten
    • chopped chives or scallions
    • ground coriander seeds
    Method:

    Place the shiitakes (aka black mushrooms) in very hot or boiling water and set aside for a ½ hour or more. Take the mushrooms from the liquid, remove the stems if you have not already done so and slice into bite-sized pieces; reserve the soaking liquid.

    Slice the pork or chicken (if using) into matchstick-size pieces (easier if partially frozen); stir-fry in the cooking oil in a deep pot large enough for the finished soup until browned.

    Add 1 tablespoon of the tamari. Add the sliced mushrooms and stir-fry until starting to brown; add the other tablespoon of tamari.

    Then add the chicken (or vegetable or mushroom) stock and/or the mushroom soaking liquid and bring to a simmer. Salt and/or add additional tamari to taste.

    Add the Fire Cider; then blend in the dissolved cornstarch mixture. 

    When the broth has thickened, add the tofu strips.

    Add the sesame oil and white pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste.

    Turn off the heat and slowly add the beaten eggs into the broth while stirring, so that shreds, rather than clumps of egg form. Cover and let sit for a few minutes.

    Serve with chopped chives or scallions and a sprinkling of ground coriander seeds.

     

    Variations: 
    If you want to use tree ears and Tiger Lily stems, soak them along with the shiitakes and slice/shred them before browning; use fewer shiitakes. If using bamboo shoots, brown them along with the mushrooms.

    Cocktail Hour! Double A and Fire On the Mountain

    Here are two of our favorite cocktail recipes from two of our favorite people.
    The first one is a bit more complex, and you may need to go out and purchase a few of the ingredients, but the effort is worth it. The second recipe is simple, with only two ingredients. Cheers!

    Dana, Brian and Amy at the zinc bar at the former Brix Resturant in Pittsfield with our cocktail concoctions!

    Dana, Brian and Amy at the former zinc bar in Pittsfield, MA, with our cocktail concoctions!

    Double A

    Recipe by John Byrd NYC, NY -brooklynbarmen.com or you can find him behind the bar at Bathtub Gin 132 9th Ave NY, NY

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 ounces Applejack (we use Laird's bonded 100p)
    • 3/4 ounce Aperol
    • 3/4 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
    • 1/2 ounce simple syrup

    Shake with ice, then strain over fresh ice.

    Finish with 5-6 dashes/drops of Fire Cider on top with a grapefruit peel garnish.

     

    Fire on The Mountain

    Recipe by Brian Huebner

    Ingredients:

    • 2 ounces Mount Gay Rum
    • 1 ounce Fire Cider
    Shake with ice, then strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

    Spicy Yerba Mate Tea

    Mate tea in a traditional gourd with a bombilla.
    Yerba Mate tea in a traditional gourd with a bombilla.

     

    I have a hot cup of mate tea every morning. I even take it with me when I travel. If you have not had or heard of this sweet plant which has similar health benefits to green tea, you are in for a treat! Here is some information from YerbaTea.com: "There are many health benefits associated with Yerba Mate, gained from its nutritional and chemical compounds:

    • a good detoxifier
    • produces deeper sleep
    • boosts the immune system
    • relieves allergies
    • increases energy
    • possibly reduces the risk of diabetes and hypoglycemia
    • relaxes muscles
    • burns more calories
    • increases mental focus
    • improves mood
    • possibly increases the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the heart during exercise
    • decreases hunger cravings
    • possible prevention of some cancers
    • possible reduction of heart attack and stroke
    • beneficial to the digestive tract"

    Personally, I love the energy boost with out the caffeine crash and of course, the taste! I drink it hot in the cooler months with milk and stevia. In the summer it's yummy on ice with fresh squeezed lemon. And, oh yeah, it's also super bonus good and good for you with a splash of Fire Cider! This serving suggestion is from Dottie’s Coffee Lounge on North St. in beautiful downtown Pittsfield, thanks Jess!

    Simply brew mate as usual, add a splash of Fire Cider to hot or cold Maté with a big squeeze of lemon and, if desired, a touch of honey or stevia and drink to your health!

    Fire Cider 'Slaw

    “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”  ~Thomas Edison

    We couldn't agree more!  So here is a super simple, delicious way to get your nutrition and enjoy it too. This recipe is from my dear friend Bobbie. She made this for our dinner last week with shredded broccoli stems, which I think is a really great way to eat the whole vegetable, not just the pretty broccoli tops! A mix of purple cabbage, green cabbage, broccoli stems (peeled and then shredded), plus carrots makes for a very colorful salad that will keep well in the refrigerator for a few days.

    Colorful coleslaw!

    Colorful coleslaw!

    Special Equipment:
    A Cuisinart is handy for this dish.

    Ingredients:
    • half a head of purple or green cabbage, or both, shredded
    • broccoli stems, peeled and shredded
    • 1-2 carrots, shredded
    • 1 tablespoon Fire Cider
    • Mayonnaise, to preference
    • salt and black pepper, to taste
    • parsley
    • sliced scallions
    Method:

    Combine the shredded veggies in a big bowl.

    In a separate bowl, mix the Fire Cider with enough mayonnaise to coat the shredded veggies. Adjust mayonnaise and Fire Cider to suit your taste (and the amount of shredded veggies you have). Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Add the dressing to the veggies and mix well to coat.

    Top with chopped parsley and sliced scallions, if you've got them!

    Squash Roasted with Fire!

    Here's an easy recipe sent to us from my sister Elise:

    Ingredients:
    • one winter squash
    • butter or olive oil
    • Fire Cider
    • salt and black pepper
    • honey, if desired
    Method:

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

    Cut the winter squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Peel the squash and then chop it into roughly 1 inch cubes.

    Mix the squash with the butter or olive oil to coat, a few splashes of Fire Cider and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

    Drizzle on some more honey, if you like. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

    Spread everything evenly on a shallow baking tray (or two, depending on how much squash you have) and bake in the preheated oven, until the squash is cooked through and browned just a bit, about 15-25 minutes. If you want the squash to brown more evenly, take it out of the oven once or twice to mix and flip the pieces.

    Enjoy this healthy, hearty winter dish as a side or mix it with sautéed greens and cooked tempeh for a filling meal.