Sunday, June 27, 2010

Alton Brown's Pan Fried Chicken

I was thinking about fried chicken this week and I spotted this. I love Alton Brown and this is recipe is short and simple.

1 broiler/fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups low fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Flour, for dredging
Vegetable shortening, for frying

1. Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
2. Melt enough shortening (over low heat) to come just 1/8-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan. Once shortening liquefies raise heat to 325 degrees F. Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F.
3. Drain chicken in a colander. Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Liberally season chicken with this mixture. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
4. Place chicken skin side down into the pan. Put thighs in the center, and breast and legs around the edge of the pan. The oil should come half way up the pan. Cook chicken until golden brown on each side, approximately 10 to 12 minutes per side. More importantly, the internal temperature should be right around 180 degrees. (Be careful to monitor shortening temperature every few minutes.)
5. Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan. Don't drain by setting chicken directly on paper towels or brown paper bags. If you need to hold the chicken before serving, cover loosely with foil but avoid holding in a warm oven, especially if it's a gas oven.

Check out the video here

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Beef Empanadas

Credit: Kitchen Daily: These savory pastries were created by Mariana Velasquez, a Test Kitchen intern who grew up in Bogot, Colo
NOTE: I removed alot of things I didn't like from the original recipe. Do as you will, the bones are the same.


3 cups all-purpose flour (see Tips)
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup canola oil
1-1 1 cups water
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups potatoes diced, cooked (about 8 small red potatoes) or frozen hash-brown potatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 scallions (white part only), chopped
1 egg mixed with 1/4 cup water for glaze


1. To prepare dough: Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add oil and work with your fingertips until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add water and knead until dough just comes together (do not overwork). Press the dough into two disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

2. Cook ground beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Add onion to the pan and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, vinegar, potatoes, salt, and the beef. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes to intensify flavors and reduce liquid. Fold in scallions. Let cool completely in the refrigerator.

3. To assemble empanadas: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. On a well-floured surface, roll out one disk at a time to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut circles of dough using a 4 1/2-inch round cookie cutter (see Tips). Make 24 circles altogether.

4. Brush egg glaze around the edges of the dough circles. Place about 2 tablespoons filling in the center of each circle. Fold filled circles in half, press edges together and crimp with a fork. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush egg glaze over the empanadas.

5. Bake the empanadas until golden and crisp, switching the position of the pans midway, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Tips: You can use 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour to replace 1 cup all-purpose flour. If you don't have the right-sized cookie cutter, an empty 28-ounce can or plastic lid will also work.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Roasted Strawberry Bruschetta

Recipe Credit: YumSugar
I made some modifications to the recipe because I really don't like goat cheese, and I think the texture of the raw arugula throws everything off (but that's just me)


2 cups strawberries, hulled
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 loaf ciabatta bread
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup of brown sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Get a large bowl and mix the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Slice the strawberries into the bowl and gently mix to coat. Spread strawberries out on a baking sheet and bake for five minutes. Remove and let cool.

3. Cut the ciabatta into equal slices, coat with olive oil, and broil on each side until toasted and crisp.

4. Spread feta cheese on hot bread, top equally with the roasted berries and juice. Season with salt, pepper, and a little more brown sugar. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Irish Whiskey Lemonade

Courtesy of Esquire Magazine

1. Juice 12 lemons. Strain the juice.
2. Dissolve 2 1/4 cups Demerara sugar or Sugar in the Raw over a low heat in 2 cups water, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Let cool, mix in the lemon juice, and put in a large (at least 1-gallon) pitcher or jug.
3. Add 2 quarts water, season to taste with Irish whiskey (I use at least a liter) and refrigerate.
4. If you've got raspberry bushes and ripe berries, you can mash a cup or two of them into the hot syrup, strain out the seeds and proceed in the normal way.