Monthly Archives: February 2013
Super Bowl day!
So I just know that you all have been waiting breathlessly to see what I might cook up for a Super Bowl party. Or not.
It’s tough coming up with wonderful finger-food dishes when you’ re in the process of losing a lot of weight (I’m at 33 and counting).
On the other hand, a Super Bowl just isn’t a Super Bowl without chicken wings, and so I just had to make my own.
First off, I skip the butter. I’m not quite sure why butter is necessary in chicken wings, but the place that originated the treat, the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York–Buffalo wings are called Buffalo wings because they were originated in Buffalo; you didn’t think they had anything do do with buffaloes, did you? Duh! Buffaloes don’t have wings!!)–used butter in the recipe, so butter has become the gospel. Not here.
Second, I skip the deep frying. Who needs the fat or the mess?
Third, when finished, I defy you to suggest that these wings aren’t every bit as good, and you can eat more of them, because they are skinnier.
A couple of notes: This recipe is for a fairly hot/spicy wing presentation. If you prefer your wings less spicy, delete some of the cayenne pepper from the dry rub, and replace the self-made sauce with your favorite hot-wing sauce from the grocery store. I have used Texas Pete’s Extra-Mild wing sauce, and all the flavor is there with a tiny little of the spice. It makes a terrific wing-sauce substitution that the kids can eat. Texas Pete’s comes in a variety of “hotnesses.” There are other pretty good wing sauces out there; two of my favorites are Tabasco brand and Budweiser Hot Wing sauce. Any sauce will do, but read the labels–watch out for fat content. Some are better than others. In my view, the lower, the better. Fat, in this case, doesn’t make the food taste better.
- canola oil spray
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon light brown granulated brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fine-ground white pepper
- 1tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup red hot pepper sauce; I still like Tabasco best, some swear by Frank’s RedHot Pepper Sauce. Use your favorite.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white vingar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Lots of chicken wings, separated at the joint, tip portion discarded
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare sheet pans with a lining of aluminum foil and coat lightly with canola oil spray.
2. In a large bowl, add the first 11 ingredients (paprika through ground ginger). This is a dry rub I keep around premade in a container all the time; the recipe makes about 3/4 cup; for this recipe I use about 1/2 cup. If you’re making it up fresh, mix the ingredients well. Add the wings to the bowl and toss well to coat thoroughly. Use your hands or a big kitchen spoon. Make sure the wings are coated with the rub.
3. Spread the wings on the sheet pans and spray lightly again with canola oil. Bake in the preheated oven, turning once, until done and nicely browned, 20-30 minutes. If you have a convection oven, turn on the fan.
4. Wash the large bowl, add the pepper sauce, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce and mix well.
5. Put the cooked wings back in the bowl and toss to coat with the sauce.
Serve hot with celery sticks and blue cheese dip. I make the blue cheese dip with 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese and 2 cups Ken’s Lite Blue Cheese salad dressing.
It’s Super Bowl Sunday. Make these wings and eat hearty, without the guilt. Eat as many as you can. Super Bowl Sunday only comes once a year.
In response to another comment, I have taken the principle of baked rice one step further, and produced, via one of my favorite recipe sources, a perfect dessert: baked rice pudding. Comfort food as good as good can be. The key to this recipe is Arborio rice, the same stuff that you use to make risotto. Good with long-grain white rice. With Arborio? Orgasmic. You owe it to yourself to do this one for a loved one. I promise results.
1/3 cup Arborio rice
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup golden raisins, soaked in Amaretto for ½ hour, then drained (optional, but incredible—if you don’t have Amaretto, replace with ½ teaspoon almond extract mixed into ½ cup warm water)
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons Demerara sugar (Google it! Then find it!)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly coat an 8×8 square or 9-inch round baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter
- Pour milk into baking dish. Add rice, brown sugar, and butter; stir gently.
- Place on the center rack of preheated oven. Bake 2 hours, stirring gently every 10 – 15 minutes (this is important—if you don’t, the dish will form a skin and the skin will burn.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle Demrerara sugar over the baked rice.
Serve immediately with soft vanilla gelato or (yawn!) ice cream.
I heard a request at a meeting last night for baked rice. If you have been stuck in a rut with rice, try this alternative method of cooking rice. It is seriously good. and it releases the flavors in a whole new way. You might never look at rice the same way again.
Simple Baked Rice
1 cup long-grain rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup carrot, celery, onion
2 cloves garlic
2 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat baking dish lightly with olive oil spray
- Spread long-grain rice into prepared casserole dish.
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, and onion and saute until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute more.
- Increase heat to high, add chicken stock and bay leaf to saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the rice in the casserole dish. Cover the dish tightly with foil.
- Bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil an bake until most of the liquid is evaporated and absorbed, about 20 minutes more. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season with freshly ground black pepper, fluff with a fork, and serve.
Note: If you like drier rice, return to the oven an additional 5 to 10 minutes, to your taste.
Baked Brown Rice
1 teaspoon butter
3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Toast rice and butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until rice gives off a nutty fragrance, about 5 minutes. Transfer rice to a Dutch oven or heavy casserole pan with a lid
- Bring chicken broth, olive oil, salt, powder, onion, and cayenne pepper to a boil in the same saucepan; pour over the rice and stir to combine.
- Cover and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork before serving.