Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Crispy Fried Chicken Wings with Asian Dipping Sauce


  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch or potato starch
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • 10 chicken wings, tips removed, then each wing cut into two pieces
  • 1- 1 1/2 tbsp frying oil (I use olive or canola)
  • Glaze/dipping sauce:
  • 1/2 cup water or beer ( used water, but David suggested beer, so choice is yours)
    3" (7 cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
    1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
    1/2 cup (packed) light or dark brown sugar
    3 tbsp rice vinegar
    1/2 cup corn syrup or maple syrup
  • Directions:
1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, starch, egg, salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground chili pepper until it’s a thick paste. Add the wings and mix with your hands until they’re thoroughly coated.  This step is very messy and the "batter" very thick.   Also know that the chicken pieces will not be totally covered with the batter.
2. Put the coated wings in the T-fal ActiFry Low-Fat Healthy Multi-Cooker  and drizzle with the oil. Close the lid and cook for 35 minutes, until brown and crispy.
David's other suggestion: Or the deep-fry the wings in a pot of hot oil (Maangchi recommends 350º-380ºF, 177º-193ºC) twice, in batches. Then drain well.
Sauce/glaze:3. In a large pot or wok, bring to a boil the water, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, chili pepper flakes and corn or maple syrup. Let cook until the mixture becomes syrupy and thick, and starts to foam. It should be about as thick as honey.
My Honey is not a fan of sticky food, so I stopped here and used the syrup as a dipping sauce.  For David' Lebovitz's recipe:  Turn off the heat and stir in the cooked wings, peanuts, sesame seeds, and chili flakes, until completely coated.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Chef Jason Lynch's Gravy Ready Braised Short Ribs

From Chef Jason Lynch's Straight from the Line

Note: Short ribs are one of my favorite cuts of meat.  I love them best sliced across 3-4 ribs - thin for marinating and grilling and about 1.5" thick for braising and in hearty soups. I've made them a bazillion different ways - some successful, others not so much.   But this one actually took my breath away when I lifted the cover after three hours.  The aroma of all the herbs, garlic and vegetables was insane - or as my grandsons would say when something is spectacularly wonderful - RIDICULOUS!!!!!  But what was even more surprising was the gravy.   Normally when braising, the juices are - well... delicious as they may be... juices.   And if you want to make a gravy, you stil have work to do.   Not with Chef Jason's recipe.  The first step is critical - tossing the ribs in in seasoned flour before searing them! 

Note:  Don't rush the searing process - it is the longest step, but take your time.  Make sure your pan is hot before adding the ribs; Don't crowd the hot pan; Let the ribs sit for 3 minutes before checking to see if they are well browned and ready to turn; Continue to sear the other side for 3 minutes and remove from the pan.  Repeat until all your ribs are seared. 

Printable Recipe

Prep time:40-45 minutesCooking time: 3 1/2 hours or so
Serves 4-6

1/3 cup all purpose flour

salt & freshly ground pepper
4.5- 5 lb/2.2 kg beef short ribs  (I like mine cut across 4 ribs, about 1.5" thick, with lots of meat on the bones)
4 tbsp olive oil, divided (I actually used grapeseed oil)
2 medium red onions, cut into 1" pieces (or roughly chopped)
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 celery rib, cut into 1/2" pieced
3 large cloves of garlic, smashed or minced
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp, fresh thyme leaves, (I give them a chop or two also)
2 cups full-bodied red wine
2 cups chicken stock (since I was out I used my homemade roasted vegetable stock
2 cups diced roma tomatoes with their juice (I use a 19oz/398ml tin of diced fire roasted tomatoes and their juice)
1/2 cup good quality balsamic vinegar (this time I used Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar from Liquid Gold - a cool tasting bar for all things olive and vinegar)

1. Preheat the oven to 350F/175C and place the rack at the lower position. .  

2. Mix the flour, salt & pepper in a large zip lock bag and toss the ribs in to coat them.  Do this in batches, so all of the ribs get some coating.  Knock of the excess flour and set the dusted ribs aside while preparing the other batches.

3. My personal step to make the rest of the prep work easy:   Prepare all the ingredients in the order they will be added to the pot.   For this one I chopped the onions, carrots and celery and placed them in one bowl.  In a small prep bowl, combine the crushed garlic and herbs.  Premeasure wine in one cup, stock & vinegar in another and have the tomatoes ready.  

4. Pat the ribs dry and toss them in the flour mixture (see my note at the top).  

5. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wide, heavy bottom pot (I have an old cast iron roasting pan that I used as I wanted to have the ribs spread out as much as possible) over medium-high heat.  Brown the ribs in hot oil (3 minutes or so per side, but it might be less or longer, depending on the thickness and length of your ribs) Remember not to crowd the ribs or check for sear too soon.  Rule of thumb:  Using tongs, the meat will easily come off the bottom of the pan only when the sear has taken.  Lift too early and you will only succeed in removing the coating.   BE PATIENT!   Remember not to stuff the pot, you want your ribs to sear, not boil and for that they need room.   Once the ribs are done, remove the batch to a platter and repeat the slow process, until the last of the ribs are seared.

6.  There should be very little oil left in the pot, but if there is, spill it out before adding another 2 tbsp of oil to the hot pot.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the chopped onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are just softened and beginning to brown (ab out 10 minutes).

7. Add the garlic and herb and cook, stirring frequently until the aroma hits you and you are transported - less than 2 minutes!  Add the wine, stir once and allow to come to a boil.  Let it reduce to half ( at least 5 minutes, maybe longer).  Add the stock, tomatoes and vinegar and bring to a simmer (soft bubbles).

8.  Return the ribs to the pot.  I like to try and spread them out so there is no more than two layers of meat, but not to worry if you need to do an extra layer.  Just make sure the ribs are covered with sauce.   

9.  Cover the pot/roasting pan with a well fitting lid or two layers of heavy duty foil, sealing the pot as best you can.   Place the pot in the oven and braise until the ribs are fork tender (about 3-3.5 hours).  

The book tells you to use a slotted spoon to remove ribs and transfer them to a large serving bowl.  Let the cooking liquid stand briefly and skim fat from top.   But there wasn't any extra fat in my batch and the gravy/sauce was thick and perfectly seasoned.   All I had to do was serve it with something delicious to sop up the gravy... could be rice, pasta or,mashed potatoes...or as  I did, mashed sweet potatoes & carrots with as side of broccoli.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bal's Awesome Grated Cauliflower & Peas

From Bal's Spice Kitchen  Served here as a side with Grilled Steak rubbed with Bal's Steak Masala

Printable Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger root (I store mine in the freezer - lasts longer and is easy to grate)
1 tbsp coriander seeds (I ran out of seeds so I used 1 heaping tsp of ground)
1 tbsp cumin seeds (same story as coriander seeds)
1 tsp ground turmeric
salt to taste
1 tomato chopped (I actually used 1 tbsp tomato paste instead)
1 small cauliflower, grated
1 cup frozen peas

1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add the onion and ginger and cook for about 4 minutes.  You want the onion soft and translucent.

2.  Stir in the spices and cook for about 15 seconds - just until you can smell the wonderful aroma.   Add the tomato (or paste) and cauliflower.  Toss well and cook until the cauliflower is tender ( 12-15 minutes).  It it starts to stick before the cauliflower is done add a 1-2 tbsp water and cover.

3.  Add the peas and cook for a few minutes until they are cooked and coated with the spices.

This is a wonderful side for grilled meat, chicken, fish and soooo good by itself as a leftover lunch the next day.

Bal's Steak Massala

From Bal's Spice Kitchen

Printable Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes 1/3 cup
Lasts up to 3 months

2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp brown mustard seeds (I used yellow and it was still delicious)
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/4 cup fenugreek leaves
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt

1.  In a skillet, toast the cumin, fennel & mustard seeds, and peppercorns on medium low heat until the aroma fills the air - about 30 seconds.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

2. Process the spices in a spice grinder or mortar & pestle until coarsely ground.   Add the fenugreek leaves, paprika, chili pepper flakes and salt and give a quick pulse in the grinder or pounding in the mortar.
Store in an air tight jar in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months.  NOTE: I made have the recipe for two steaks and still had enough left over for another time.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spicy Smoky Lip Smackin' Ribs

Printable Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes
Roasting time: 45 minutes

Serves 4


1-2 racks of back pork ribs (depends on how meaty they are)  beef ribs work too!
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2-3 tsp Tlalelolco Rub from Epices de Cru, Sensational!
3 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp powdered mustard (my favorite is Keen's Mustard)
Chipotle Chili Sauce
1 cup American-style Chili Sauce (I like Heinz - always takes me back to my childhood & my mother's shrimp cocktail and secret ingredient for her meatballs)
2 tbsp honey
1/2-2 tbsp chopped chipotle chilies in Adobo.   
NOTE: (once I open a tin, I pulse the chipotle in the Adobo and measure 1 tbsp portions on stretch 'n seal plastic wrap, cover with another layer of wrap, place on tray and quick freeze for until hard,  roll/fold wrapped  portions & place  in zip lock baggie.  Store in freezer and peel off as much as you need, whenever you need some)

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack on top so fat will drip away from the meat.

2. Prepare the rub: mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and then rub over both sides of ribs. 

3. Prepare the sauce: mix all the ingredients in another bowl.  Taste for seasoning, making it as mild or spicy as you like.

4. Place ribs on the rack, meaty side up, baste with sauce and roast for 45 minutes - 1 hour.  Baste every 20 minutes or so to keep them moist. 

This time I served it with classic sides:  home made fries in my T-fal Actifry; and an old favorite - Asian Broccoli Coleslaw.  

Friday, January 31, 2014

Sugar & Spicy Glazed Salmon

Adapted from Taste of Home

Printable Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes
Roast time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

4 individual servings salmon fillets, rinsed & patted dry
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Mirin or soy sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp grated fresh ginger root

1. Preheat the oven to 425F/220C and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean up.

2. In a small pot mix all the rest of the ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil, stir and remove from heat.

3. Place the salmon fillets on the baking sheet, leaving space between each and baste with some of the sauce/glaze.

4. Roast for 10 minutes, uncovered,  baste again and set the oven to broil, moving the tray closer to the  top element for a lovely glaze.   The salmon is ready when the fish flake.

I like to serve it over some dark green veg stir fry.  This time with rapini,  blanched, then diced and sauteed with chili pepper flakes & very thinly sliced garlic.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chef Jason Lynch's Swiss Chard with Chilies & Bacon

From Chef Jason Lynch's Straight from the Line

Printable Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes
Saute time: 10 minutes

Serves 4

1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and very thinly sliced (I use my microplane slicer)
2 strips smokey bacon cut into matchstick pieces (I used pancetta because that was in the fridge)
1/2 - 1 tsp crushed red chili pepper flakes  (I used 1/2 & Chef Jason used 1 tsp)
2 bunches Swiss chard (I removed the ribs and coarsely chopped the leaves)
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter 

1. Finely grate lemon (should equal 2 tsp) and set aside.  Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into a separate bowl. 

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

3. Add garlic and cook, stirring often until it begins to golden at the edges (about 2 minutes).  Add the bacon, cook until crispy (about 2 minutes) - separating the pieces to keep them from sticking together.   Add red pepper flakes  stir for 30 seconds.

4.  Add the Swiss chard.  Cook, tossing to coat in the sauce, until wilted but not overcooked (3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Using tongs, transfer Swiss chard to a serving dish.  Add butter, lemon zest and juice to the pan.  Cook, whisking until a sauce forms.  Drizzle over the Swiss chard and serve.

Chef Jason Lynch's Grilled Flank Steak

From Chef Jason Lynch's Straight from the Line

Printable Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes
Marinating time: 24 hours
Grilling time: 10 minutes
Rest time: 5 minutes

Serves 4

1 large flank steak
1 tsp black peppercorns (or sometimes I add Sechwan peppercorns)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup canola oil (I used less)
1/8 cup white wine
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1. Place flank steak on a cutting board.  Using a sharp knife, carefully remove silver skin  (thin white film running over the meat).  I lightly slash the flank steak across so the marinade can penetrate further. 

2. Place all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.   I like to place the marinade and flank steak in a large zip lock bag, Chef Jason places the meat in a flat bottomed dish and pours the marinade over the meat. Marinate in the fridge overnight. 

3. Preheat grill to very hot.  Grill or pan sear to medium rare 4-6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the flank steak.  Remove from grill.

4. (My addition: cover and let rest for 5 minutes or so)

5. Thinly slice across the grain and serve.  

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fall Harvest Salad with Maple Apple Cider Vinaigrette

It's a terrible photo, everyone was in too big a hurry to eat.  No time for good photography, but a spectacularly delicious recipe adapted from Chef Michael Smith

Printable Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes
Assembly & Serve: 5 minutes
Serves 6+ (depending on what you're serving it with)

Roasted Pumpkin seeds: last for at least 1 month, great sprinkled on roasted salmon too
2 cups pumpkin seeds, shelled
1 tbsp salt
2 cups water
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cloves
Dried fruit:
1 cup either/all dried cherries, blueberries &/cranberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 red wine vinegar
Your favorite mixed greens (my very technical measurement (1 large double handful per person)
1/4 red cabbage very thinly sliced (I love my mandolin for this job)
Handful of arugula leaves
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 tangy, juicy apple (I love crunchy MacIntosh or Honey Crisp), thin julienne strips (another mandolin job)  or shredded
handful of pomegranate seeds (optional, but delicious)
Apple Cider Vinaigrette: This makes a lot of dressing, but keeps well
1 cup good extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon (I love Kozlik's Amazing Maple or Balsamic Fig & Date or Honey & Lime mustard)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (I love Boates Farm Balsamic style)

Pumpkin seeds:
1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

2. In a small saucepan, bring water, salt, brown sugar to a boil.  Add cinnamon, allspice, cloves and pumpkin seeds, tossing well.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Strain.

3. Scatter seeds on the prepared baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted and crunchy (about 15 minutes or so).  Toss after 10 minutes.   Allow to cool completely before adding to the salad.

These can be made in advance and they keep well for at least a month.

Dried fruit:
Combine your choice of dried fruit with vinegar and sugar and let stand for at least 30 minutes.  Strain before using.  These can also be made ahead of time and kept in a sealed container.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
Place everything in a 2 cup mason jar and shake vigorously until emulsified.
Note: According to Chef Michael, this keeps for months in the fridge.  Frankly, we found it addictive, so it really never lasted very long.

Salad assembly:
Toss greens, cabbage, carrots, apple in a large serving bowl.  Scatter seeds and dried fruit and drizzle some dressing.  Toss again and serve.