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Sticky Wings

These were a result of two recipes, Alton Brown’s Buffalo Wings for his two step cooking method, and Krista’s Honey Garlic wing recipe for the sauce.  The dumplings are from frozen and were steamed.I steamed the wings in two batches, about ten minutes each, because the basket was small.  The steamed wings were allowed to drain and cool on paper towels before baking on parchment paper at 375 until browned, about 40 minutes more.  Flip the wings over halfway through.Switching the paper for foil, the wings were dipped in the honey garlic sauce and baked until the sauce got bubbly, and then were re-dipped and baked again.  Two thumbs up!

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Creamy Coconut Shrimp

DSC_0351 (1600x1060)There was a variation of this at the Chinese buffet we frequent.  It was pretty tasty but I didn’t know what to call it and so asked the woman tending the counter.  She named it Coconut Shrimp.  I’ve seen the version of it that has battered shrimp coated with shredded coconut for deep frying but not this creamy version.  A search for “creamy coconut shrimp” found several recipes – after discarding several that mentioned mayonnaise I settled on this one.  I didn’t have amaretto and didn’t want to buy a bottle for the two tablespoons the recipe called for so I subbed in a little almond extract, adding a teaspoon to the coconut sauce mixture.  In another departure I used cooked shrimp instead of raw.  These two things were bad calls in retrospect.  The dish really needed that bit a caramelization from cooking in the amaretto.  That said, it was still an enjoyable meal.

Lemon Garlic Sticky Chicken

DSC_9180 (1600x1060)I could have easily called it lemon garlic ginger honey sticky chicken because all of those played a role in the dish.  This started with boneless thighs and a couple of lemons and evolved from there.  I started thinking sticky chicken because I have done that and had good luck.  Mix the juice from two lemons, the zest of one lemon, a couple good squeezes of honey, grated fresh ginger root, grated garlic, some brown sugar, and a slug of soy sauce and use it as a marinade for the chicken.  I chopped the chicken into one inch pieces but it would be fine to leave them whole.  Let it marinate for an hour then array the chicken on a foil lined baking tray and let it brown in a 400 degree oven, about 30 minutes.  Turn once to brown both sides.

While the chicken is cooking, add more lemon juice, honey, and soy sauce to the remaining marinade in a small sauce pan, heat to boiling, turn down to a simmer, and thicken with a cornstarch slurry.  I added a couple tablespoons of chili garlic paste to add some zing.  When the chicken is nicely browned toss with the thickened sauce and serve over rice.  I added steamed broccoli for this dish but it can be served on the side.

Wing Pr0n – Honey Soy Glaze

DSC_8521 (1600x1060)These were pretty good.  The wings were cut apart and soaked for an hour in a marinade of soy and honey with garlic ginger paste, some chili sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, and a splash of rice vinegar.  Line a baking tray with foil and arrange the wings on the foil or on a rack over it.  I gave these 30 minutes at 350, then brushed them with some of the marinade that I had reducing in a sauce pan.  Turn them once and make sure the sauce caramelizes.  These were in for at least 45 minutes before they came out.  Serve the reduced marinade as a sauce.

The potstickers are from frozen and were good enough that I don’t feel a need to try to make my own.

Baked Honey Glazed Wings

DSC_7318 (1600x1060)These were pretty good.  I looked for a recipe for baked wings and found this one from Bon Appetit.  I didn’t bother with the hot wings half of the recipe.  I didn’t have any fresh ginger root in the house so I grated a few tablespoons of some from the freezer.  It keeps pretty well in the freezer, I put it in plastic bags and grate it still frozen.

Curried Lamb

DSC_4238 (1600x1060)We wanted to do something a bit different with some lamb meat we found the other day.  This recipe looked fairly easy and I had everything for the curry mix except cardamon.  A quick search found that nutmeg and cinnamon would sub for it so I went that way, using about a half tablespoon of each in lieu of the cardamon.DSC_4239 (1600x1060)There was quite a bit as it turned out but I went ahead with all of it even though I was short of the lamb called for in the recipe, I only had 1-1/4 lbs.  Didn’t make a huge difference.  Stir all that with the lamb added back for a minute and then add the broth.DSC_4240 (1600x1060)Bring it to a boil then cover and simmer for a while.  Mine went an hour and a half, maybe longer, before the lamb was tender enough to suit me.  I took the lid off and increased the heat to reduce the gravy at the end.  The recipe suggested stirring in yogurt and lemon juice before serving but I decided that wouldn’t be pretty enough.  LOLDSC_6969 (1600x1060)There are many curried lamb recipes that had more veggies, potatoes and tomatoes were often mentioned and there are many variations in the range of curry spices.  Curries are a whole ‘nother thing and you can spend lots of time exploring them, they amount to an entire cuisine.  This one today wasn’t particularly hot with the 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne but you can certainly suit your own taste.

Sesame Chicken

DSC_5745 [1600x1200]We were pleased with how well this worked for us this time.  The chicken pieces had just a little crunch from the corn starch and flour in the marinade/batter.  I’m happy that I didn’t toss the sauce with the chicken before plating them.  I used boneless, skinless thighs for this dish today, cut into 1 inch pieces, but breast meat would be the usual.  I’m fairly sure I’ve fixed this before with bone in thighs and chopped the chicken into smaller pieces with a cleaver.  I have just about convinced myself to use this same recipe for chicken wings.

Marinade

* 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon cooking wine or dry sherry
* 3 drops sesame oil
* 2 tablespoons flour
* 2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 2 tablespoons water
* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Sauce

* 1/2 cup water
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 1/8-1/4 cup white vinegar or rice wine vinegar
* 1/4 cup cornstarch
* 1/2 cup sugar (I used Splenda)
* 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons sesame oil
* 1 teaspoon chili paste (Mmm… sambal oelek!)
* 1 garlic clove (minced)

Mix the marinade and stir into the chicken, refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.  Mix the sauce in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer.  Mine got too thick so I cut it with a little water.  Fry the chicken in enough oil to cover, in small batches to keep from cooling the oil too far, and remove to drain on a warming rack.DSC_5750 [1600x1200]Serve over rice, garnish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.  I tossed the dried chilies in the hot oil for a bit and added them as garnish as well.

Mmm… sesame chicken

Call me crazy… but this is a food blog, sorta!  LOL

Recipe

[Edited to add the recipe]

Crawfish rice dressing recipe

That store bought crawfish rice stuffed chicken we had yesterday was so good I set out to see if I could replicate it.  There are scads of recipes online and I looked at several to get a feel for what would work and settled for a fairly simple one that didn’t include canned soups.

It looked like I would need to find some crawfish tails, so I took my list in hand and went to market.  Found some first place I looked.  Yay!

I set those to thaw, started some white rice,  and busied myself dicing the onions, the green pepper, and the celery.  I added some ground pork along with the ground beef and got the meat and the trinity plus a half dozen cloves of minced garlic cooking in a big skillet.

I started adding some creole seasoning and tasting and adding more until the heat seemed reasonable.

I had some seasoning made up already but thought I would nod to the folks that made the stuffed chicken that sent me on this track.  When the rice was done I added it and the crawfish tails to the mix with a half stick of butter and combined everything nicely, adding more seasoning while I was at it.

This was tasting so good!  I crammed a roasting chicken full and tied the legs up with string…

gave the whole bird a good dusting with the seasoning and set it in a 350 oven in a covered roaster for about an hour and a half.  The lid came off for another twenty minutes or so and…Ta-Da!

Gumbo Nights

I was rummaging about in the big freezer and turned up a stick of Andouille sausage.  That put me of a mind to make a pot of gumbo.  I noticed that Alton Brown was touting a method of making a brown roux in the oven that seemed to be foolproof, and didn’t require one to stand over the stove stirring for a half hour and more:

Place the vegetable oil and flour into a 5 to 6-quart cast iron Dutch oven and whisk together to combine. Place on the middle shelf of the oven, uncovered, and bake for 1 1/2 hours, whisking 2 to 3 times throughout the cooking process.

Seemed to work pretty well:

This was after 90 minutes.  It could have spent a little longer and been a bit more brown but I went with it as you see it.  More or less following Alton’s recipe, I put it over a medium flame on the cooktop and stirred in diced celery, green peppers, and onion.  The roux turned right away into thick mud but I kept stirring it until the veggies softened a bit, about ten minutes.  Next was several cups (4-5?) of the stock the chicken I used was cooked in, fortified with some Creole seasoning, along with the canned tomato bits I used in lieu of fresh.  I did have fresh thyme and even grow my own bay leaves now.  That simmered for a half hour before I added the cooked chicken, thawed pre-cooked shrimp, and the sliced and browned Andouille sausage.

Serve over rice, and be sure to have a bottle of hot sauce on the table lest you be taunted.