Friday, June 12, 2009

Slumdog wings

Does that look good or what? The recipe below serves 2 for big appetites as an entree, or 4-6 as appetizers. The perspective of the photo is misleading. These wingettes weren't large, quite small actually, but in the pic they look like legs!
I revisited my previous tandoori-style chicken recipe. There were wings left from my birthday party in April. So I modified the whole thing and prepared them as follows. It’s not essential that you brine it, but I nearly always brine chicken before cooking. Note that after brining no salt is added. If you choose not to brine, add 1 tsp table salt to the dry mix.

Slumdog wings

10 chicken wings, tips removed
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups water
1 tbsp garam masala2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp powdered garlic2 tsp chili powder
lime juice
Cut apart the two sections of the chicken wings. Dissolve the salt and sugar in the water. Put the wing pieces and brine mix into a freezer bag. Refrigerate for 1-4 hours.

In a bowl, mix together all the remaining ingredients except the lime. Put this into a shaker bottle (an empty spice container is perfect).

Remove the chicken from the fridge, rinse and dry with paper towels. With a sharp knife, make a slit in the meatiest part of each wing piece.
Sprinkle the chicken liberally with the spice mix on both sides. Place them on a wire rack over a large plate and refrigerate uncovered for 1-3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 250°. Put the wire rack with the chicken on it onto a baking pan with at least 1” sides. Pour 1 cup water into the pan. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 2 - 2 ½ hours.

Remove from the oven and turn the heat to “broil.” Leave the oven door ajar so that the heating element does not cycle off. Remove the foil from the chicken. Sprinkle with more of the spice mix on the top side. Broil for 3-5 minutes until the chicken starts to get nice and brown. Turn the pieces over, add spice mix again, and broil for another 3-5 minutes until sizzling and browned.

Remove from oven, tent with foil and allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with lime juice and serve.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Shrimp/catfish burgers with Asian slaw

On January 31 I posted a shrimp/catfish burger recipe. This one is new - and better!

This makes for a very inexpensive meal (with a vegetable and some rice to accompany), especially if you find shrimp on sale. It makes no difference what size the shrimp are since you're going to cut them into pieces anyhow.

We scored a huge shopping victory yesterday at Sunflower Market when we found a 2 lb. bag of frozen "easy peel" shrimp for $7.84. That's the least I've paid for shrimp in memory.

We keep an eclectic mix of ingredients on hand, so making these Asian-style burgers didn't require buying anything. Substitutions: a splash of red wine vinegar for the Chinese vinegar; any hot sauce and some minced garlic in place of chili/garlic sauce; some toasted sesame seeds and some vegetable oil in place of sesame oil; shallot in place of scallion; lemon juice in place of lime.

Shrimp/catfish burgers with Asian slaw

1 8 oz. catfish filet
8 oz. shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2-3 tsp sesame oil (to taste)
1 tbsp chile/garlic paste
1 egg white
½ tsp kosher salt (1/3 tsp if table salt)
½ tsp white pepper

Asian slaw
¼ head cabbage sliced thin
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 shallot, green and white parts cut in 2” julienne
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese black vinegar
juice of ½ a lime

Cut the catfish into ½” pieces. Do the same with the shrimp.

Place the fish, shrimp, and all other ingredients into a food processor. Pulse to a rough puree.

Put 1 tsp of the mixture into a small bowl and microwave for 20-30 seconds. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Form the mixture into 2 large burgers. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

In the meantime, assemble the slaw. Put the cabbage in a large bowl. Whisk together all remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the cabbage and toss to coat.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. When hot, add the burgers. Cook for about 5 minutes per side. The way to tell when they are done is to press your index finger on the top of one of them. The cooking is finishing if there is little or no “give.”

Serve on your favorite burger rolls topped with slaw.

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