More Super Bowl Specials: Goat Cheese Stuffed Jalapenos Wrapped in Bacon

Peppers are one of the most versatile veggies out there.  There are so many varieties and cooking with them is fun.  Here is a nice twist to the jalapeno.  Stuff them with goat cheese and wrap them in bacon.

A sure-fire crowd pleaser, this Super Bowl party fare couldn’t be easier to prepare. The spicy jalapenos , tart goat cheese and smoky bacon offer an irresistible contrast of flavors. Your guests will beg for more.

Ingredients:

12 slices of thick-cut applewood smoked bacon (about 1 lb.)

12 jalapeno peppers

2/3 lb .creamy goat cheese

1/3 cup chopped chives

Procedure:

Slowly cook bacon on a cool part of the grill turning over once until cooked through but still pliable. (Thinly sliced bacon and quick cooking will crisp the bacon.)

Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and membranes. Fill each half with goat cheese mounding it slightly. Cut each piece of bacon in half. Wrap one piece of cooked and cooled bacon around each pepper half and sprinkle with chives. Place on a sheet of aluminum foil on a medium hot grill until the jalapeno is slightly charred. Serve. Makes 24 stuffed peppers.

Note: Bacon can also be cooked on a grill pan on the stove top and the stuffed and wrapped peppers placed on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven until peppers soften slightly.

Photographer Bill Brady http://bit.ly/9wFYxm

Unauthorized use, distribution, and/or duplication of proprietary  material without prior approval is prohibited.  If  you have any questions or would like permission I can be contacted via email at sweetpaprika@optonline.net  Feel  free to quote me, just give credit where credit is due, link to the recipe, and please send people to my blog:  http://www.sweetpaprika.wordpress.com

An American Classic: Buffalo Hot Wings

Anchor Bar Style Buffalo Wings

Hot wings are very likely the pinnacle of snack food, whether you’re watching the Super Bowl game, enjoying a cold beer at the local bar or just feeling hungry for a spicy snack.  You’ll find hundreds of versions, baked, grilled, shallow fried, breaded, not breaded, but the people at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, where hot wings originated, will tell you that the only true hot wing is deep fried. The legend is that back in 1964, Teressa Bellisimo received a shipment of chicken wings by mistake and developed a method of serving them.  “These are just too nice to toss in the stock pot,” she mused. And voila!  The birth of Buffalo Chicken Wings.  The Anchor Bar has been serving them ever since.  Many claim they’re the best wings anywhere.

So what is it that makes you crave a big batch of these spicy morsels? Some would say it’s all in the sauce; true, but the quality and handling of the wings is also key.  You want fresh, large, meaty wings, preferably from a poultry dealer.  If you don’t have access to one, buy a top quality brand.  Rinse them in cold water, pat dry and cut them at the two joints, discarding the wing tips or saving them for stock.

Place them on a rack on a pan and refrigerate them overnight. Drying them out under refrigeration will make them much crispier, once deep fried.  In a deep fryer or a 5 or 6 quart heavy pot with a thermometer, pour the oil.  Heat the oil slowly to 365 degrees. Depending on their size, deep fry the dry wings from 6 to 10 minutes in small batches.  Place on paper towels to drain off excess oil.  Hold them in a warm oven as you go along.  Be sure to return heat to 365 degrees between batches.

Toss the wings in just enough hot sauce to coat them.  A “suicidal” version calls for 1 part Tabasco sauce to 4 parts of the hot sauce. Place in a large bowl and serve along with blue cheese sauce and celery sticks.  Lots of napkins will be useful.

Ingredients

3 lbs chicken wings

Peanut oil for deep frying

Hot Sauce

1 stick sweet butter

1 bottle (12 oz.) Louisiana Hot Sauce*

1 T cider vinegar

1/8 t garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, melt butter.  Stir in remaining ingredients.

Blue Cheese Sauce

1 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

2 T finely grated red onion

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix together and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld.

Celery sticks

4 celery ribs cut into thin sticks.  Soak celery in a bowl of ice and cold water for at least a half hour and up to 1 hour.

*Franks Red Hot Sauce and Wingers Original are popular.

Victor Weighs in on America’s Top Bar Food:

Do Buffalo Have Wings?

Frenched hot wings

Whenever my Mom roasted a chicken, she would save the wings for me. They’ve always been my favorite part of the bird. I just love the way the skin gets extra crispy on a wing. And I adore a challenge – so getting at the meat is especially satisfying for me. I guess you can imagine, then, that a whole plateful of chicken wings is right up my alley. But I’m not talking about my Mom’s roasted wings here. Of course, I refer to Buffalo-style Wings. When I’m around them, they fly right off the plate fast and furiously.

This is the season when “wings” come into their own. Oh, we enjoy them all year round as bar food, appetizers and even as snacks. But there’s something about a good football game, especially the “Big One,” that insists on buckets-full of hot wings and cold beer. I’m fairly flexible when it comes to my wings. I’ll take them just about any way you offer them to me – drummies or flats – especially when you’re doing the cooking. As a certified foodie, though, I do have my preferences.

Standard Buffalo-style Wings are deep-fried, unbreaded. I know, fried foods for some are a no-no. But there’s just no getting around that. After a crispy run in the fryer, the wings are tossed in a mixture that almost always consists of melted butter and a vinegar based hot sauce. Really simple. Accompaniments, as you know, are usually comprised of icy cold celery sticks and a creamy blue cheese dressing. This balances the spiciness of the sauce.

Now, that’s the basic recipe. I like it a lot. From there, though, you can really allow your imagination to run – or fly, since we’re talking wings – rampant. And that usually peaks my interest when food is concerned. I’ve been known to fry, toss in sauce, and then fry again. I end with another coating in sauce. This produces a more intense flavor and extra crispness that I really enjoy. Some of my friends like to dust the wings with flour before frying. They claim that it helps the sauce adhere much better. OK by me. A little flour never hurt anyone. Others will marinate the wings in buttermilk with a few drops of hot sauce. They then proceed to coat the wings in breadcrumb before frying. When all is crunchy and done, the wings take a tumble in the sauce. I have to admit, I like this one a lot. The texture of the breadcrumb coating adds another dimension to the wings, and the sauce holds fast to it.

No one says you have to stick with a vinegar based hot sauce here. You really can go with anything you like, especially when it’s nice and spicy. Asian inspired sauces are particularly adaptable to wings. Usually soy sauce based, I’ve tasted everything from fresh ginger to Five Spice to Szechuan chili pepper in these versions. With extra sauce for dipping, they’re mighty good. Or you can go with Tex Mex inspired ingredients, including chili powder and lots of heat from Serrano or jalapeno peppers. The hotter the better for me. You can even add a little sweetness to your sauce by including some honey in the mix. I’ve tried that with a spicy mustard sauce. A nice contrast.

Before I head off, I should mention that my cousin likes to bake her wings. Says it satisfies both her tastes and her sensibilities. They’re actually quite good. Lots of marinating and basting ensures concentration of flavor. Keep an eye on them, though. You want just the right doneness. Offer a good dipping sauce and everyone will enjoy.

The game is just about to start. I’ve got my bowl of wings, an icy beer, and my honey sitting right next to me. I ask you…what could be better?

Victor Ribaudo

Recipe by Phyllis Kirigin, aka sweetpaprika

Photographer Bill Brady
Written by Victor Ribaudo
Food Stylist Brian Preston Campbell
Blog syndicated at the datingsymbol.com



Chili Con Carne

OK. You and your friends are gathered around the TV riveted on the Super Bowl. Chips and salsa have been passed about, but now it’s half time and the call is for something more stick-to-your ribs satisfying. Chili!

Ingredients

1 T cumin seeds

2 medium (roughly 3 by 5 inches) chiles ancho

2 T pure chile powder

2 t ground Mexican oregano

4 strips applewood smoked bacon

2 ½ lbs. well marbled beef chuck cut into ½ inch cubes

Salt

1 medium white onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 14-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes (preferable D.O.P.)**

1 T freshly squeezed lime juice

1 t sugar

1 t masa harina

1 14-oz. can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Directions

1. Toast cumin seeds in a small cast iron skillet until lightly browned and fragrant. Cool. Pulverize in a small grinder (such as a coffee grinder used only for spices).*

2. In the same skillet, toast chiles ancho until crisp. Turn over but be careful not to burn. Tear into pieces. discarding stem and seeds, and place in a bowl. Cover with 2 ½ cups hot water. Set aside.

3. Mix chile powder and oregano together. Add enough water to form a light paste. Set aside.

4. Cook bacon in a large skillet on medium high until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove from pan and set aside on a paper towel. Pour bacon fat in a separate container and set aside. When bacon cools, crumble it into small pieces and set aside.

5. Increase heat to medium high and add one tablespoon bacon fat back into pan. Work in batches to brown the beef. Don’t crowd or you will steam the beef. Brown on all sides and lightly salt as you cook. Remove from pan and set aside.

6. Add another tablespoon of bacon fat to pan. Add chopped onions and sauté until soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add chile and oregano paste and continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes.

7. Put onions and garlic, beef, bacon and tomatoes (breaking them up with your fingers) into a 6-quart Dutch oven.

8. Pulse ancho chile water in a food processor a few times. (There will still be pieces of chile in the liquid.) Strain into pot and add lime juice and sugar. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 1 ½ hours. Then uncover and maintain a bare simmer for another half hour.

9. Mix the masa harina in a small amount of water to make a slurry. Stir into the chili to thicken it. Mix in the kidney beans. Add salt and adjust seasonings to taste.

Serve with any or all of the following garnishes on the side:

grated sharp cheddar

chopped red onion

sour cream

sliced scallions

diced fresh tomatoes

chopped fresh cilantro

*Ground cumin comes in a spice bottle, of course, but if you toast and grind your own, you will be transported to spice heaven by the aroma and fresh taste.

**D.O.P. refers to tomatoes that have been processed in the same place they were grown.

Chili Melts the Chill

by Victor Ribaudo

How many different chili recipes have you encountered in your food journeys? If you’re anything like me, then the number is staggering. I mean, almost everyone I know has his or her own proprietary version of this comfort food classic. Restaurants, too. Not surprising, either. As with so many American standards, this favorite is flexible. So many flavoring options and tons of opportunities for placing a personalized stamp on the dish. I think that’s what I like so much about it.

So where does chili come from? I’ve read lots of stories, none of which can be substantiated. I’ve heard say that it is a Mexican dish. I really do doubt that, since you don’t find it in Mexico, except in establishments near the border catering to American tourists. However, I can’t help but believe that the creation of chili was highly influenced by Mexican cuisine. Many of the same spices. Most do agree though that the first chili was concocted in the Southwest. That makes a lot of sense to me.

I love chili. I’ve found that there are nights when nothing else will do. Warm and filling and really intense in flavor. One of my fondest memories includes chili. It was at a winter resort. The day was a single digit one, and we were frolicking in the snow doing all sorts of fun things. At about 4:00 pm, I found myself famished. We had a late breakfast and skipped lunch. So we headed for a cozy eatery and found chili on the menu. I tell you, it just hit the spot so beautifully that it was the highlight of my day. Can’t get enough of it ever since.

So, in the mood for simmering a big old pot of chili? There’s nothing quite like it on a cold and wintry day. One of the first things you need to decide when embarking on chili cuisine is whether or not to bean it. Texans will fall on a sword before they’d add beans to their recipes. All meat for them. Others will omit the meat altogether, vegetarians or not. You should also think about the level of heat you want to infuse into your chili. I’ve found that most go easy on the spice. Some, however, are so heavy handed that you don’t taste a thing because your mouth is afire. You know, the Five Alarm Chili crew. Really, it’s a matter of taste. I prefer a blend of beans and meat, whether it’s beef, turkey or chicken. More hearty and interesting to me, with contrasting textures and all. As for heat, I’m all for a moderately intense kick.

The next thing to do is to get your hands on a fantastic recipe. And they do abound via cookbooks and online. But why leave it up to chance? If you haven’t guessed by now, Phyllis Kirigan wins my affection through my taste buds all the time. So I highly recommend her recipe. I promise, you’ll love it.

It’s funny how some foods just have to be included in certain occasions and events. Chili is one of those. I mention this because Game Day is soon approaching. In my home, we refuse to enjoy football unless there is chili in the offing. I like to serve it with the usual suspects – chopped onion, cheese and sour cream accompaniments. I always have cooked rice available as well. One thing I’ll never do is ladle it over pasta. I know, lots of people like it. But I’m Italian, and my mother would kill me if I did!

I also adore chili leftovers. The flavors really meld and marry in the fridge overnight. And I find that you can do lots with it. Chili hot dogs are spectacular. Chili sitting next to my scrambled eggs is divine. Chili on a grilled chicken sandwich – amazing. Chili makes it better. Sounds like a tag line. I might use that sometime. In any event, I’m cooking up some of Phyllis’ chili tonight. If you care to join us, dinner is at seven.

Recipe by Phyllis Kirigin

Photographer Bill Brady
Written by Victor Ribaudo

Food Stylist Brian Preston Campbell
Food Stylist Laurie Knoop laurieknoop.com

Courtesy of Heat Magazine Heat-magazine.com
Blog syndicated at the datingsymbol.com
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