Monthly Archives: September 2013

Raspberry Chipotle Wings

I’m still craving some wings with a sweet hot sticky sauce baked on them.

This is my latest effort try.

I gotta say I’m having fun trying to get this recipe just right.  The first try time I experimented with them, I served them at Tapas Night in July and they were ok, not all that great, but meh, ok.     My second try was for Boat Club in July and I called them Sweet and Spicy and they were good, but not great.  I thought they were better than my first try.

So onwards and upwards, I’m still craving those wings.  And I will get them right, even if it takes me a few more tries.

This time round, I’m trying a hint I read somewhere of poaching the wings first for about 10 minutes, before slathering them with sauce and baking them off.

I then baked them for about 30 minutes in a 350 deg. oven to try to get them browned a little.  Didn’t work.

Next time they will go in for an hour, minimum.      I want them to be falling off the bone tender, browned and yummy.

So I put them in a pan, and poured my prepared sauce over them, well, actually I basted them with the sauce first.

But that didn’t seem like it would be sufficient so I just poured the sauce over them and baked them off.

And this is how they looked when I took them out.
Sorry a little blurry…

I served them with some sweet potato fries and thoroughly enjoyed them.   But as I was eating the wings, I was planning my next try.  I have the sweet part down, just need a little something more, a little heat of course, but they are still missing something.  Maybe a marinade or a dry rub, hmmmm, and I just remembered I bought some chipotle pepper seasoning not that long ago…

Here’s the latest mixture  sauce:
1/2 cup Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
1/4 cup Ken’s Asian Soy Sauce dressing
1/4 cup Blackberry Jelly
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil

Heat and whisk together and then pour over the wings and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
Serve with some sweet potato fries if you like.

Which I made as a last minute thought.   I peeled the potato, cut it into strips, and zapped it in the microwave for 3 minutes.   Heated up the oil and added a few pieces of potato at a time, and fried them til golden.   As soon as they came out of the oil, I sprinkled them with a little sugar and cinnamon.    I have to say, this is my first time making these, and it will not be my last, they were so good.

Baby Bok Choy with Bean Thread Noodles

I bought some baby Bok Choy last week when I went to the ‘big’ city.  I visited my favorite little oriental store and as I think I’ve told you before, this is where I pick up my fun veggies and spices and other necessities.
So last night I wanted something good for dinner.   I’ve not been cooking a lot lately, my partner has been under the weather so I’ve been ‘gasp’ zapping some Lean Cuisines for dinner.  Which are pretty good, but I wanted something better, something that was good to eat and quick last night.

I pulled three of the baby Bok Choy out of the fridge, cut them into eights, then sliced up some mushrooms and a half an onion.
sautéed the mushrooms and onions until the onions were translucent, added in the sliced up Bok Choy along with a couple of cubes of chicken stock and a couple of tablespoons soy sauce.   Put the lid and let it cook for a few minutes while I prepared the Bean Thread noodles by pouring boiling water over them and letting them sit for a few minutes..

Bean Thread noodles are a great thing to keep in the cupboard.   You can do so many things with them.   I

I drained the noodles and added them to the Bok Choy mixture, and then added a little more soy sauce, a tablespoon or so of Sesame Oil and stirred that in.

I decided at this point that it was ready to eat.   But when I tasted it, it was lacking something.  So I got out my Sriracha Sauce and added a good tablespoon or maybe it was just a long squirt of sauce to the bowl.   And that was the ticket.   It was so good.

It was then I got the idea, DANG!!!!  I should post this, it was a tasty dish, vegetarian and gluten-free.   Well, mostly vegetarian, but you could omit the chicken stock if you like and use a good vegetable stock.   And if you need meat with it, I don’t know why you couldn’t add some thinly sliced chicken to it as well.

Maybe I’ll try that tonight.   I still have some noodles left.     And there are still a couple of carrots in the bin that would probably taste really good with this as well, especially if I cut them into coins.


Kohrabi and Sweet Potato Fritters

Have you ever had Kohlrabi?   It’s this weird vegetable that kinda looks a little like a turnip with leaves.    The name comes from the German, Kohl being cabbage and rabi means turnip.  Doesn’t taste like either one though.

I was very fortunate to grow up on a farm, we raised our own pigs, cattle, chickens and even had sheep and a goat at one point.    We also grew vegetables and soft fruits.

As a young person I was not that fond of vegetables.  I loved the fresh corn, I’d generally manage to polish off an ear or two on my way up to the house after picking some for dinner.   I would eat as many peas as I shelled when we were having fresh peas for dinner, but never cared for them cooked.

Wait a minute, I think I see a pattern emerging.   I liked raw cauliflower, raw cabbage, raw carrots and raw peas, but not cooked.  However, when it was time to harvest Kohlrabi, I was happy to eat that raw or cooked.   Mom never really did anything fancy with the Kohlrabi, basically it was steamed and served with a little butter.  Simple and oh, so very good.   You really didn’t need more seasoning than that.

Now that I’ve gotten the story telling out-of-the-way –

I got so excited when I found some Kohlrabi at a little oriental store I go to when I visit the big city.   They have the most incredible variety of fun vegetables there.  I usually pick up some baby bok choy, as well as chinese eggplants and other fun stuff.    But this time after grabbing my essentials, I found some Kohlrabi.  So I bought it.

I thought one of the bulbs would go nicely with a sweet potato and some besan flour  and some of the new spice mixtures I picked up at another store.   And since I was going to go to a gathering yesterday, I used my friends as guinea pigs.    I decided to play with this and see how it turned out.   Of course if they hadn’t passed my taste test, I was just going to share it here and  and not say a word about it.  I used the recipe for  Carrot Pakora’s I made a while ago as a base for these.

1 sweet potato, peeled and grated
1 Kohlrabi, peeled and grated
1  cup Besan Flour  (Chickpea Flour)
1 cup Rice Flour
1 sweet onion, finely diced
1 Jalapeno, finely diced
3 teaspoons cumin/coriander powder mix  to taste,

(I just purchased this at the Indian store).
1/2 teaspoon salt
Water to moisten, I used about 3/4 cup
Oil for frying

Peel the Kohlrabi, making sure you get all that woody outer peel off.

You can see in the picture that under the peel is a layer of white peel, you don’t really want that either.  Not for this recipe.   Grate it and set aside.  Peel and grate the sweet potato, then mince the onion and jalapeno.

Dump all the veggies into a bowl and add the flours and spices.  Mix together and then add water.

I used a half cup water but it was still a little dry, so I added about another 1/4 cup, which was almost too much.   But it worked.  Heat the oil to about 350 degrees, you can do a shallow fry with these fritters, which is what I did.  Or you can use a Fry Daddy if you like, whatever floats your boat.

Place a tablespoon of the fritter mix into the oil and fry til golden on one side, then turn and fry til golden on the other side.

Remove from oil and drain.

Serve warm with some Chutney sauce.

And I did say I was at a gathering with some friends, which in my neck of the woods equates to lots of yummy dishes.
I tried Gefilte Fish yesterday, served with Horseradish.  Very interesting.

There was some Ham, and I took a picture before the mustard and mayonnaise was put into the bowls.

There was also some yummy Asparagus, with a touch of balsamic vinegar and caramelized onions.

You gotta have some Cheese and Crackers along the way as well.   And I did not get a shot of the yummy burrito’s either, grrr.   I managed to eat one, but…

All in all, another successful gathering.

Home Made Vanilla Extract

Do you buy Vanilla Extract?  I used to, but then found out how easy it was to make my own, and I’ve now got a jar in the cupboard that I use for baking.  You can even use it to flavour some coffee, if you like vanilla coffee.   Personally, I like Mocha, but I did try some in my coffee one day and it wasn’t bad.

I cannot believe that it has taken me this long to make my own extract.

I mean, two ingredients and leave it alone for a month, how simple is that?

Here’s the recipe, such as it is.

Two vanilla beans, split lengthwise and the center scraped out with a sharp knife, you want the seeds in there, they do add a lot of the vanilla flavour.    I also cut my beans in half, cause otherwise they weren’t submerged.      I bought my beans at World Market, but you can buy them online as well.  Just make sure they are fresh and pliable, if they’re too dried out, they do not seem to work as well.
1/2 cup Dark Rum, or brandy, cognac or vodka.   Any of them.    I like the nuances of a mixture of brandy and rum myself.    So that’s what I did.  Well, actually I only had a 1/4 cup of brandy left and it wasn’t enough so I added 1/4 cup of dark rum as well.   And it was good.

Place the beans in a glass jar, pour the rum/brandy over it, and seal.   Set the jar in a dark cupboard and shake it once a day or so for a couple of weeks.   Then just let it steep in the dark.   You can use this after a week or so, but I let mine go a whole month, before I used it the first time.

Label it, trust me it helps.

After using a couple of teaspoons, replace those with some more rum or brandy.   And add another vanilla bean every few months, just to keep the goodness going.

I don’t strain this when using it, I don’t mind if some of the seeds get into my batter or frosting.  Just adds character.  But if it does bother you, just use a fine strainer to strain out the seeds before using the extract.

And another hint, if you happen to run into a really good deal on vanilla beans, you can split them in half lengthwise, and submerge them in a container of sugar and in a couple of weeks, you have some lovely vanilla sugar.

And just got hit with  this thought, whew that was close.   This would be an awesome Christmas gift for your fellow foodies.   You know who you are.

It’s not too early to think of Christmas, really, it isn’t.  Just ask your grand-kids.   You could make this in a large jar, then decant it into some pretty little bottles.   I think I see a visit to the big city in my future.