Friday, December 28, 2012

Winding down to wind back up

As the clock for 2012 slowly winds down many of us are behind the scenes winding up the clock for 2013. I have many exciting things to share with you in the coming year and I hope you come along for the ride, but in true blogger fashion I am not going to say one more word about that and leave you hanging with a pasta post.

Making spinach pasta is as easy as can be - creamed spinach, egg, semolina flour and mix and knead and mix and knead until it is glossy. Roll out the dough as thin as you can get it (I have a machine so I stop before it gets too thin) and you are ready to make a world of things like ravioli, for example.
Spinach and crab ravioli is fast, easy, rich and satisfying.
Once you have the sheets rolled out you can then run them through a pasta cutter to make fettucini or spaghetti or angel hair or you can cut them with a knife or you can tear them into rags.
Pasta rags with crab and tobiko in a tomato butter sauce.
The easiest thing to do with large pasta sheets is to make a lasagna. Crab Lasagna - layers of fresh made spinach pasta, layers of lump crab and crab claws, layers of cheese and creamed spinach, layers of fresh marinara all topped with a super creamy b├ęchamel and served with some buttery tomato and garlic sauce. Eat drink and be merry my friends - see you in 2013.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken Is Better Than The Rest

What are you trying to say, you might be asking. What on earth is "sweet tea brined chicken" you are wondering. Are you crazy, you probably mumble; and the answer to all of these questions would be YES, a resounding nonsensical YES. Sweet tea brined chicken is the new, new. Something about the tannins in the tea and the sweetness of the sugar that balances nicely with the herby and salty brine that makes this the go to brine for me for the next 6 months.

Lets cut to the chase and talk about how I did what I did and if you know me like I know me you know I wont be posting a recipe as much as I will describe the process. I took some legs and thighs and separated the drumstick from the thigh and then I trimmed the thigh of its extra fat and the tail bones and what not until they looked just right, and while I wanted to show a picture of this I determined that it was a little too much so you have to imagine it. Now you have your chicken pieces and its time to make the brine. You can use whatever combinations of spices you like, they sell pre-mixed poultry seasonings and these work fine, you can mix and match with cajun seasonings or whatever your little heart desires as long as it has salt, if it doesnt you need to add salt until its salty like the sea: until whats salty like the sea? You ask. Your chicken that is covered in sweet tea! Thats right. You can brew some tea and sweeten it or buy some half gallon jug of pre-made sweet tea and pour that over your chicken and spices.

Speaking of spices you can see some flecks of spices in my chicken and that is a combination of thyme and rosemary, my favorites to go with poultry, now let your chicken pieces sit in the brine for 3 hours up to 12 hours - any longer and your chicken might get a little too salty depending on how salty your brine is. Drain it, pat it dry and here comes the tricky part. Crush one large bag of wavy potato chips and mix with 3 cups of flour and add what ever combinations of herbs and spices and this will be your crunchy, crispy crust. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, dip in beaten egg and dredge again, shaking off the excess. Fry at 300F turning often until they are pleasantly golden and the liquid that is showing is starting to get clear. Transfer to a wire rack and put in a 350F oven for 15 minutes to finish the cooking and to add extra crunch to the crunch. I fry the thighs and legs separate since they cook at a different rate.

Using your vegetable peeler you can peel some carrots, apple and cucumber into a bowl, toss with lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and a drip or two of honey and this is your slaw. Make some biscuits in the same hot oven that the chicken is in and in about 35-40 minutes you will be sitting down to this fantastic meal. This about sums it up and from where I sit there should be no questions.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Migrating Feast Tacos and New Mexico in Pictures From The Summer of 2012

I went on a little trip with my son to New Mexico in August and it was great fun to be home and see my family and large extended family and take in all the beauty that the wonderful Land of Enchantment has to offer. Two of the greatest perks on this trip were: Being asked by Farm & Table, one of the, if not the - hottest restaurant in Albuquerque - to be a guest chef on one of their closed nights to help create a $95 per person 8 course tasting menu for 60 distinguished guests including local and popular artists, business people and the Mayor of Albuquerque.
I made an apple pie tamale for dessert. Talk about hitting it out of the ballpark!
I also made a little tart. I am trying to track down the menu I cant find in all my piles of paper but when I do I will append this post.
The event at Farm & Table was an enormous success and I hope to do it again if not at this restaurant hopefully others.
Another perk of this trip was I also got a chance to shoot a segment for Migrating Feast. This is the second thing I have done for this series and I see more in the future.

Each and everything I do with Migrating Feast is something that I am proud of.
The best perk of all was being able to take my son around and do some of the things that I loved to do when I was a kid growing up in New Mexico. We walked around in my field (I own a house there on 5 acres) the ditches, and my parents back yard and we shot the BB gun and the bow and arrows. Huge fun.
We also saw many things. I want to show my son where I am from since he is being brought up in New York City its important for him to know about his heritage.
So once again my batteries get charged from the bright New Mexico sun and and all the delicious chile and I am ready to face the world head on again. I hope you enjoyed this photo vacation.
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