"It IS all about the TASTE"
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  • BBQ Thursday Asian Chicken WIngs

    One more in the continuing saga of man and grill. Today, as a run up to the Holiday weekend, a long time pub favorite, updated to a new taste and a new cooking method. I’ll use a asian fruit based teriyaki sauce and I will grill / some these over indirect heat on my grill.

    As a flavor kicker, I’ll add a handful of soaked wood chips to the grill and not start cooking until I get a heavy smoke.

    A Buffalo wing, hot 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 or ranch dressing.

    Buffalo wings were created in Buffalo, New York. The residents of Buffalo generally refer to them as “wings” or “chicken wings” rather than “Buffalo wings.”

    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). The wings are usually fried in oil until they reach close to a golden brown color. They are then drained where they can either be placed in a bowl with sauce or even seasoned with salt and pepper. Following this, one covers the bowl tightly and shakes to coat the wings. As an alternative to waiting to coat the wings until after they are cooked, one can also put seasoning over the wings in a sealed bag and shake them until they are coated evenly. Afterwards, arrange the wings on a baking sheet and wait until they are cooked thoroughly. Wings can then be served dry with sauce on the side.

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  • Pasta Wednesday – Grilled Tomato Sauce

    I am upstate this week doing my time on jury. As such I get to revel in the application of mega-BTU’s to many items of cookable and edible nature. But one does not live on steak alone and with the coming of the Holiday Weekend and the traditional smoking of ribs, brisket and chickens, perhaps something on the lighter / more healthy side… (Or so says Madam Bad Wolf..)

    Say pasta, but with a truly hearty savory sauce to match a hearty tagliatelle, fusilli, or radiatore.

    One thing I love is grilled vegetables, with a bit of char, and a lot of rich sweet-savory-smokey goodness, now if I could just do that for all the veggies in a pasta sauce. Just think smokey tomatoes, savory garlic, charred peppers, and flame caramelized onions.

    When Grilled, the peppers get a nice char on them, the garlic and shallots become soft and deep-flavored, and the tomatoes get so sweet, you’ll know the final sauce has got some other rogue chef secret ingredients. Even just plain grilled tomatoes will be awesome on your pasta or pizza. Also great about this sauce – the thick consistency. As anyone who’s tried to make a fresh pasta sauce knows, tomatoes are FULL of water and make for a runny sauce, you spend hours simmering to cook off the water and caramelize the tomatoes . Not so with grilling. The sauce is thick and rich and oh so delicious!

    Does this take time YES!. Is it worth it? YES! It IS all about the taste and the comfort that good food brings. If you can not understand that experience, I’ll leave the can opener out on the counter

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  • Fat Tuesday – Black Bean Hummus

    It’s getting warmer, not horrible, but warmer, and Madam Bad Wolf has asked for some lighter luncheon fare, I on the other hand am reveling in unfettered access to my grill and the manly art of burning meat over an open fire…

    Then again IF I wish to sleep in the house, perhaps a lighter bit of tuck would be nice.

    A simple compromise, (Please note US Congress, compromise is possible), say something Mid-Eastern / Mediterranean, quick, fast, savory, and with a strong umami….

    Hummus is a dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. It is a popular food in various local forms throughout the Middle Eastern world. While cuisine-related sources carry forward a folklore which describes hummus as one of the oldest known prepared foods, its historical origins are unknown with a long history in the Middle East which stretches back to antiquity. It is probable that is only dates back some 2000 years or so.

    As an appetizer and dip hummus is scooped with flatbread (such as pita). Hummus is also served as part of a meze or as an accompaniment to falafel, grilled chicken, fish or Baba Ganoush. Garnishes include chopped tomato, cucumber, cilantro, parsley, sautéed mushrooms, whole chickpeas, olive oil, hard-boiled eggs, paprika, ful, olives and pickles. Outside the Middle East it is sometimes served with tortilla chips or crackers. In fact it is almost as ubiquitous as peppers in Thai cooking, and acts as a “velcro” to allow many disparate food items to blend together to form a pleasing meal.

    It is written that some early Jewish settlers in modern Israel rejected everything that reeked of Diaspora and an eager, almost childish, embrace of the Levant. The infatuation with falafel and hummus, staples of Arabic cuisine, started there. The outcome, according to others, was that “Shawarma, falafel and hummus soon became “sabra” foods,” a part of everyday meals in Israel. Many restaurants in Israel are dedicated to hot hummus, which may be served as chick peas softened with baking soda along with garlic, olive oil, cumin and tahini. One of the more upscale hummus versions available is made with lemon-spiked tahini garnished with whole chick peas, a sprinkling of paprika and garnished with hot-peppers and drizzled with olive oil.

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  • Meatless Monday – Vichyssoise

    I am upstate this week due to jury service… As such I will be preparing a number of dishes for Madam Bad Wolf.

    While it is not 100 plus as it is in parts of Texas, (Amarillo is projected to reach 111 today), it is warm enough to start considering things that cool and sooth.

    Vichyssoise is a thick soup made of pureed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock. It is traditionally served cold, but can also be eaten hot.

    The origins of vichyssoise are a subject of debate among culinary historians; Julia Child calls it “an American invention”, whereas others observe that “the origin of the soup is questionable in whether it’s genuinely French or an American creation”.

    Louis Diat, a chef at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City, is most often credited with its (re)invention. In 1950, Diat told New Yorker magazine:

    In the summer of 1917, when I had been at the Ritz seven years, I reflected upon the potato and leek soup of my childhood which my mother and grandmother used to make. I recalled how during the summer my older brother and I used to cool it off by pouring in cold milk and how delicious it was. I resolved to make something of the sort for the patrons of the Ritz.

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  • Wild Card – Asian Chicken Caeser

    I’ve been heavily engaged in client projects, bad wolf projects, home projects, and adjusting to some interesting twists of life, as such I’ve been quite busy and have not been inspired to post for a bit. I hope this will break the dry spell.

    Thinking reasonably healthy, (look, at least it’s NOT Burger Barf’s Healthy Salad), and thinking light, fast and tasty. Chicken marinated in an Asian style, either grilled or woked, and tossed with a good caeser base salad. Not the usual over the top rogue chef style, but it is tasty

    Tender Romaine lettuce heads split and charred on the grill, then drizzled with a Caesar style dressing, and maybe garnished with croutons and shaved Parmesan.

    With the grilled chicken a perfect light lunch.

    This is a taste sensation…

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  • Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ (Kinda)

    It’s father’s day, and I’m back in the city gearing up for yet another incredible week. I really want a pulled bbq sandwich, but do not have the time for a smoke job.

    But taking a trick from my father, I have a selection of meats chopped to 1″ cubes, some onions, some bbq sauce left from the last smoke job, and some liquid smoke. Take all of this and plop into a slow cooker and simmer until the meat breaks down and the sauce thickens to a rich, meaty, spicy spoonable mass.

    Serve over split Hoagie or Onions Rolls, with cole slaw, BBQ Beans, or pickles and raw onion, add an Ice Cold Beer and I am almost ready for the coming week.

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