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  • Irish Soda Bread

    Ah, St. Patties is surely upon us, the annual celebration of drunken people wearing “Kiss Me I’m Irish”, buttons, even when they hail from South East Asia ….

    One thing served at this time of the year is Soda bread, a type of quick bread in which bread soda (or baking soda) is used for leavening rather than the more common yeast. The ingredients of traditional soda bread are flour, bread soda, salt, and buttermilk. Other ingredients can be added such as raisins, egg or various forms of nuts.

    The buttermilk in the dough contains lactic acid, which reacts with the baking soda to form tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide. In Ireland, the flour is typically made from soft wheat; so soda bread is best made with a cake or pastry flour (made from soft wheat), which has lower levels of gluten than a bread flour.

    Various forms of soda bread are popular throughout Ireland. Soda breads are made using either wholemeal or white flour. The two major shapes are the loaf and the “griddle cake”, or farl in Northern Ireland. The loaf form takes a more rounded shape and has a cross cut in the top to allow the bread to expand. The griddle cake or farl, is a more flattened type of bread. It is cooked on a griddle allowing it to take a more flat shape and split into four sections.

    As an extension, one can divide the dough into a set of muffing pans and create a soda bread muffin or biscuit, one can add lemon zest, or serve hot with butter and citrus jellies / marmalade …

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  • SuperBowl Wings

    It has been a long week, it is Super Bowl Week, I am tired, and I really do not want to stand over the stove.. Now tossing stuff into the fryalator is quite a different thing. I have this fondness for buffalo wings, but not just any wings, ….

    Wings, jointed, fried and, finished in a buffalo style, (East Buffalo, Thailand that is), but with that special Roguechef twist, perhaps even better a sidecar of sweet ginger chili sauce. Maybe even toast a few sesame seeds and sprinkle on as a garnish…

    Background

    A Buffalo wing, hot wing, chicken wing or wing is a chicken wing section (drumette or flat) that is traditionally fried unbreaded and then coated in sauce. Classic Buffalo-style chicken wing sauce is composed of a vinegar-based cayenne pepper, hot sauce and butter. Buffalo wings are traditionally served with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing.

    Cayenne pepper hot sauce and melted butter or margarine are the basis of the sauce. Buffalo wing sauce can be made with a variable amount of heat/spiciness, with the names of these sauces generally corresponding to the level of heat, such as mild, medium, or hot. Typically, the wings are deep-fried (although they are sometimes grilled or baked), drained, placed in a bowl with the sauce, tightly covered, and shaken until the wings are evenly coated. Plain wings can also be served.

    In most cases, each contains the same base sauce but varies in the amount of butter or margarine and hot sauce used. Wings can also be served dry with the sauce on the side.

    Sriracha is a type of Thai hot sauce, named after the coastal city of Si Racha, in the Chonburi Province of central Thailand, where it was first produced for dishes served at local seafood restaurants. It is a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt.

    Traditional Thai Sriracha tends to be tangier, sweeter, and runnier in texture than non-Thai versions, and is available in varying heat levels. Non-Thai sauces are different in flavor, color, and texture from Thai versions.

    In Thailand, Sriracha is frequently used as a dipping sauce, particularly for seafood. In Vietnamese cuisine, Sriracha appears as a condiment for phở, fried noodles, a topping for spring rolls (Chả giò), and in sauces. Dishes with Sriracha sauce can be found in 20 US states, and readers of the Diner’s Journal blog reported on dishes in 17 more states

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  • Happy Holidays from The Bad Wolf Pack

  • Holiday Dinner – Roast Loin of Porcine

    It is almost Christmas, and tradition says my house does a Roasted Ham, with scalloped potatoes, and deviled eggs.

    Now do not get me wrong, tradition is cool, and the “Standard Christmas Dinner” is quite good, but maybe we’ll shake it a bit this year.

    A roasted Pork Loin with a bourbon brine, and a fruit and bourbon glaze sounds about right, and perhaps some bourbon glazed sweet potatoes as well….

    Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat, whether an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting usually causes caramelization or Maillard browning of the surface of the food, which is considered a flavor enhancement. Roasting uses more indirect, diffused heat (as in an oven), and is suitable for slower cooking of meat in a larger, whole piece. Meats and most root and bulb vegetables can be roasted. Any piece of meat, especially red meat, that has been cooked in this fashion is called a roast. In addition, large uncooked cuts of meat are referred to as roasts. Roasting is a much slower method of cooking. A roast joint of meat can take one, two, even three hours to cook – the resulting meat is tender. Also, meats and vegetables prepared in this way are described as “roasted”, e.g., roasted chicken or roasted squash.

    Nothing spells special event like a roast. Roast Chicken on Sundays, Roast Pork / Ham on Christmas, Roast Turkey on Thanksgiving, it is clear Roast is special event food. Since I’ve had my red meat for the week, I’ll roast a pork tenderloin. Before roasting I’ll brine in a Honey Bourbon Mustard mixture, just to hydrate and add that special Bad Wolf Taste twist.
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  • Cheese Cake Truffles

    cheesecake-truffles

    The classic holiday rum candy remade with my favorite whiskey. I’ll use my gingersnap cookies to replace the classic vanilla wafers, and I’ll use pecans to replace the classic walnuts, and of course bourbon to replace the classic rum. These cookies like rum balls are aged not baked, but with approx 1/2 a jigger of bourbon per candy, they can be WMD’s. (Weapons of Mass Drunkenness).

    Background

    These are a truffle-like confection, being sweet, dense balls flavored with chocolate and rum. They are roughly the size of a golf ball and often coated in chocolate sprinkles, desiccated coconut, or cocoa. Rum / bourbon balls are the perfect adult indulgence. As their name implies, these cookies contain rum / bourbon and because they are not baked the alcohol flavor and kick is not lost during baking. Essentially these Rum / Bourbon are the same; the only difference being the alcohol. This cookie is especially popular during the holiday party season.

    Just for kicks, I’ll roll these in melted chocolate and then in the spices

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  • Sauce for Prime Rib

    As my annual Holiday dinner approaches, I have the prime aging in the prep fridge, and I need to consider a sauce to offset the subtle smokey taste and tender mouth feel. A classic is horseradish, but we all know I just can not leave well enough alone. Let’s do a bit of an oriental taste by adding some ginger, and just to make sure I have the proper roguechef twist, I’ll work in some wasabi..

    A very simple thing to make and very simple to make inedible, so make sure you test the strengths of the various components, and do balance the flavors so that one of the flavor triad does not become THE FLAVOR.

    Horseradish sauce made from grated horseradish root and vinegar is a popular condiment in the United Kingdom and in Poland. In the UK it is usually served with roast beef, often as part of a traditional Sunday roast, but can be used in a number of other dishes also, including sandwiches or salads. A variation of horseradish sauce, which in some cases may substitute the vinegar with other products like lemon juice or citric acid, is known in Germany as Sahnemeerrettich. Also popular in the UK is Tewkesbury mustard, a blend of mustard and grated horseradish originating in medieval times and mentioned by Shakespeare (Falstaff says: “his wit’s as thick as Tewkesbury Mustard” in Henry IV Part II). A very similar mustard, called Krensenf or Meerrettichsenf, is popular in Austria and parts of Eastern Germany.

    In the U.S., the term “horseradish sauce” refers to grated horseradish combined with mayonnaise or salad dressing. Prepared horseradish is a common ingredient in Bloody Mary cocktails and in cocktail sauce, and is used as a sauce or sandwich spread.

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