Thursday, February 2, 2017

Super Bowl Express: Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings with Parmesan Dipping Sauce

I am always staggered to hear how many chicken wings are consumed on Super Bowl Sunday.  Last year it was 1.3 billion! I really do understand the allure.   In the pantheon of things we love to eat, the Chicken Wing is high on our list.  Crispy, crunchy and easy as all get out to make, I could likely put these on our dinner menu once a week, Super Bowl or no Super Bowl.  As a wing lover, I’ve tried all kinds of recipes for these delicious little finger-licking goodies and almost without fail, I love the results.   But in terms of simplicity, nothing comes close to this take on wings: 10 minutes tops in prep and 45 minutes undisturbed in a hot oven and that’s it. The recipe was brought to my attention by Tyler Florence in his “Tyler Florence Family Meal” (Rodale 2010).  Tyler subheads this book “Bringing People Together Never Tasted Better”.  And I couldn’t agree more. Tyler attributes the recipe to The Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco (558 Sacramento St. Tel: 415 772 9060).  And like every chicken wing recipe in America, it owes at least something to the ubiquitous Buffalo Wing.  In fact, every recipe for Chicken Wings pays some homage to the original because if it hadn’t been for Buffalo, we might never have tasted wings at all.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Attention Trader Joe's Shoppers: This TJ discovery comes direct from France and it's worth every sou.

Alouette Brie, here pictured with sliced apple
Just a quick bonus post to tell you about a great find at TJs.  Yesterday at a lunch celebrating Cheese Week which is coming to New York later this month, I was seated next to Serge Bruno.  Serge is the Director of International Sales and Foodservice Marketing for the cheesemaker, Alouette.  In the early 1970’s French cheese whiz, Jean-Noel Bongrain decided to bring his skills in making French specialty cheeses to the US.  The company says ‘there’s French in their DNA’.  They’ve put their love for
Alouette Cheese comes from Farms like these.
cheese to work creating 6 French style cheeses using fresh milk from the Amish country in Pennsylvania and from dairy farms in Lena, Illinois. I was surprised to find that Alouette is responsible for Trader’s Joe’s private label Cream cheese and its Crème Fraiche.  Serge and I swapped recommendations for Trader Joe items.  Since yesterday was Croissant Day, I told Serge about my fondness for Trader Joe’s Almond Croissants and
Serge turned me on to two Made-In-France items I’d never tried before. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Shrimp with Spicy Tomato Sauce and Strozzapreti

What cook doesn’t love Shrimp?  They are such an obliging partner in the kitchen. They not only cook in all of three minutes but they turn pink and opaque to tell you they’re done.  They’re wildly popular—in fact they’re by far the most popular of all seafoods in this country.  Here they live up to their promise of speed in a dish that pairs shrimp with a spicy tomato sauce, ribbons of fennel, chiles that let you control the heat and Strozzapreti, one of my favorite pastas of all time.  And why is it a favorite?  Because it translates into English as “Priest Choker”.  Andrew pointed out that Strozzapreti isn’t the backbone of the dish and that you could substitute pretty much any tubular pasta from Gemelli to Rigatoni or Penne Rigate.  While that’s true, the writer in me just couldn’t wait to dive into the story of Strozzapreti and so, in the middle of last week’s Nor’Easter I trudged 6 blocks to the Supermarket. There, in the specialty pasta section I found my Strozzapreti and the basis for this post.  But first off, let’s talk about Shrimp which is a good news/bad news story if there ever was one.