It’s the ubiquitous Sriracha. I have it in my fridge and I’m sure you have it in yours. You can find it at Thai restaurants, taquerias, and Chinese take out joints. Sriracha is the new hot sauce. Move over Tapatillo and Tabasco, because Sriracha is the new man in town!!
When I worked at Jean-Georges, Sriracha was used in a mayonaise-based foam that was paired with a lobster dish…or anything we cooks could get our hands on and douse in this sauce of perfection. Sriracha is not only a fast food enhancer; it is also found in fine dining restaurants.
I decided to take this chili sauce and add it to a simple yet immensely satisfying dessert: Rice Krispie Treats. My friend Tasos recently emailed me and asked me for the recipe. He’s Greek and doesn’t know it can be found on the side of the cereal box.
Why do I feel compelled to do Tasos this favor? The explanation ensues. My friend Lauren and I signed ourselves up for a Mediterranean cruise for our 21st birthdays (this was a few years ago) that had guaranteed it would be a young, hip crowd on board. We packed our pretty dresses and some bathing suits and prepared to lounge by the pool, stroll the Greek islands, and dance the evenings away. Turns out we were the youngest people on the cruise by about 30 years, except for Tasos. Tasos was on the boat because his father was the captain. We made him be our friend, and he proved to be a great one by showing us the hidden markets, by treating us to traditional cuisine, and introducing us to the clubs we couldn’t and shouldn’t miss. He ended up being the perfect little Greek boy to introduce us to so many Greek things.
Just a few days ago he emailed me randomly to say, “can u send me the recipe of the marshmallows and the rice grispies. do u know it? so…how r u crazy girl?” How can I refuse? For this boy who showed us so much, I shall post the rice ‘grispies’ recipe.
This recipe is the simplest dessert in history…I think. But I love it and it is so satisfying. How can you not be thrown back to your days of kindergarten, sitting on the communal carpet, pushing rice krispies into your face, and inevitably your hair? I have tweaked it a tad, and you can further play with this tried and true gem.
3 tbsp. butter
10 oz. marshmallows
6 cups rice krispies
fleur de sel or other large flake salt
1 tbsp. (or more) Sriracha, depending on your heat tolerance (or cardamom is an incredible addition as well. think chai tea in the form of rice krispie treats!)
You can really choose any spice or flavoring additive. Have fun. Today I added 2 tbsp. of Sriracha (I like it hot!) for a spicy kick. Yesterday I added 1 tbs. of ground cardamom for an aromatic experience. Who knew these snacks were so versatile?
I personally like to use a 9×5″ pan (such as for banana bread) because it makes the treats extra large. Or you can pour them into a smaller casserole tray. It’s up to you.
Butter your dish of choice and set aside.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat and stir in the marshmallows until completely melted. Add Sriracha or other spice. Turn the heat to low and stir in the rice krispies until evenly coated. I like to mix in some fleur de sel at this point (about 1 tsp). Pour mixture into buttered pan. Use either a buttered spatula or wax paper to press the krispies down evenly. Then sprinkle the top with more salt. The salt actually makes the treats seem a bit sweeter, like adding a touch of salt to watermelon. It also adds a satisfying crunch.
So Tasos, enjoy the rice krispies. I think it’s a fair trade for your tour guide services, don’t you?