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New York Buffalo Wings

IMG_8064In 2008, at the Wing Bowl, Joey Chestnut ate 241 wings in two, 14 minute periods. If the wings were made using this recipe, I think I could beat him. It is just plainly and simply, the best recipe I have ever tried (not to toot my own horn). A bit of heat, a lot of juiciness, and just the right crispiness along with the blue cheese sauce that is in no way overpowering, but let’s you feel like its got a bit of a bite, this recipe is the bee’s knees.

Every American knows that a sports bar is made great by 3 things: simple beer on tap, a massive TV on the wall, and buffalo wings on the menu. They can be a little intimidating to make at first, but I promise they are as easy as the pie. IMG_8066

Ingredients

for the chicken:

10 chicken drumsticks

10 chicken wings

150 g all purpose flour

½ tsp cayenne pepper

240mL hot sauce (pick your poison)

150 g melted butter

2 T garlic powder

1 T salt

carrot and celery batons

vegetable oil, for frying

 

for the sauce:

80mL mayonnaise

120mL stilton cheese

120mL sour cream

1 T milk

1 tsp lemon juice

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

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To prepare:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C

Mix flour and cayenne pepper in a bowl.

Dredge the wings, drumsticks and fry for 10 minutes until golden brown.

Mix hot sauce, melted butter, garlic powder, and salt together. Roll fried drumsticks and wings in the sauce.

Lay drumsticks/wings on a rack above a roasting pan covered in aluminum foil. Bake for 35 minutes, turning halfway through.

For the sauce, blend all ingredients.

Serve with carrot and celery batons.

 

Grill Method:

Salt and pepper wings.

Place on the cool side of the grill (can stack) and cover grill. Let the fat render for about 15 minutes.

Slather with sauce and grill on the hot side about 10 minutes, turning a couple of times- careful not to crowd them.

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Texas Chili Con Carne

DSC_7591Everyone is going on and on about diets….Yes. I get it. It is January. We have all overindulged yada yada..
I think what some of the diet-lauders fail to recognize is that the gluttony of the Holiday season (most notably from the day before Thanksgiving, continuing for 5 weeks through New Years day hangover saving food) is just simply “normal” for some of us. I should constantly be on a diet given the food I eat. Such is life. But for those who flipflop, I have the perfect recipe for you. Totally healthy on its own, but has a load of add-ons that can make it as unhealthy as your unhealthiest eater can fathom. Texas Chili: a beautiful mix of gorgeous vegetables and beef sirloin meat in a reduced ale sauce…what more could the faithful dieter ask for? Let me tell ya- luscious sour cream, smooth shredded american cheese, tacos, fluffy white roasted potatoes, and a huge bowl of fresh tortilla chips. Your imagination is the limit.

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I apologize for the poor image. The chief taste tester was trying to lick the plate.

Ingredients:
500g minced pork or beef (1 lb)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 large green pepper, roughly chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
Can of chopped tomatoes (400g)
Tube of tomatoe puree (or 1 can red enchilada sauce)
1 can of kidney beans rinsed( 450g)
1 T hot chilli powder

3oz dark chocolate
1 tsp smoked paprika
5 drops Tabasco sauce
1 bottle of dark beer
Tortilla chips
Sour cream
Shredded cheese

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium sized pan on a medium heat
  2. Add chopped onion and brown for 3mins
  3. Add chopped green pepper, cook for a further 3mins .
  4. Add beef mince over medium heat until brown, 5 minutes.
  5. Add whole tube of tomatoe puree and coat the mince
  6. Add chopped tomatoes, chili powder, smoked paprika and tabasco sauce, Stir well, add the rinsed kidney beans, garlic
  7. Add beer, stir and cook over low for an hour to an hour and a half
  8. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, and shredded cheese
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Shrimp n’ Beer Linguine

 

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I think it is pretty arrogant to say something is “the best”. Considering I am a Paris Cordon Bleu chef, I say that pretty often. This is mostly because if I cook anything terrible (I have ordered a pizza many a night), I can just blame it on “your unsophisticated food palate”. I tried that on my Daddy when I had burned the shizzle out of a risotto – it didn’t work…

DSC_7580But, I am telling you folks, this is the greatest pasta that has ever been created. Could that be due to the 2 sticks of butter? Perhaps, but who’s counting? Take a break for stew, turkey, ham, and all the other Christmasy dinners, pop over to your local fishmonger to get the freshest shrimpers around, and make this. This takes 25 minutes tops including prep and is literally foolproof.

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Shrimp n’ Beer Linguini serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 200g uncooked linguini (1/2 lb)
  • 60mL olive oil (1/4 c)
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 120mL dry white wine (1/2 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus a few whole sprigs to garnish
  • 5 tomatoes, seeded and large chop
  • 115g  unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 120mL double cream (1/2 cup heavy cream)
  • 10 large prawns (or small ones)
  • 2 cans beer (guinness or some type of heavy beer)
  • sea salt, white pepper

DSC_7579Method:

  • Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add garlic, red pepper and chicken base, cook 2 minutes then add white wine and minced parsley.
  •  Cook 2 minutes, then stir in chopped tomatoes. After 5 minutes add butter and bring sauce to a rapid boil.
  • Turn down sauce to a soft simmer, add cream. While sauce is simmering, cook linguini. Drain; add to the sauce. Heat thoroughly. Garnish with parsley sprigs.

 

 

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Comforting Chicken Pot Pie

DSC_6598When I first moved to the UK, I had no friends, no boyfriend, no family, and was, on average, going to Blockbuster every other day (my internet didn’t work yet, takes a month here to get it set up- horrors).  I had travelled here with a lot of hope, but at the beginning I experienced 85mph winds, 13 inches of rain, and haggis (which I thought I “had” to try). Worse, after the haggis encounter, I had decided to become a GASP shhhhhhhhhhhhh vegetarian….. I ate tofu cacciatore for dinner 3 nights in a row. How low can you go? Lower. I had decided to try my hand at becoming an artiste (well, really a scribbler). I figured I might as well be a starving one (aka vegetarian) because they make more money and look a lot better in red lipstick. But, inevitably (5 days to be precise) I got hungry. I also finally figured out how to turn on the oven in my apartment (you have to turn on a switch that is under the freezer, duh). DSC_6599What was the first thing I made? My momma’s chicken pot pie. It is warm, it is creamy, it has a crispy pastry, and it is decidedly not vegetarian (although I guess you could make it that way). I ate the entire thing myself while crying out the window about how homesick I was, but then had to close the window because it was FREEZING. It did make me feel better though until I realized that I ate the whole thing and needed to go find a gym to join. But let me tell you, if you are ever sick, tired, sad, or really just want a cozy delicious meal at home, my momma’s chicken pot pie is the WHOLE shebang. A mixture of glorious vegetables and shredded chicken in a thick cream sauce with a nice crispy pastry on top is the cure for everything that ails you. It also only takes about 20 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook (if you use pre-prepared pastry like I did!).

I don’t want you to think living in Scotland is all bad, like anything, there was a silver lining: if American guys start off on the scale at 0, them Scottish guys start off at 3 or 4 just with the accents. Scottish girls* are not exactly well known for their ethereal beauty , so I go up on the scale a bit. The playing field leveled off quite nicely folks.

P.S. Blockbuster had a limit of renting 7 movies at one time. Don’t know how I know that…

Ingredients: Serves 4 or 1 very hungry, homesick individual

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 250g sliced mushrooms (3 cups)
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 150g frozen peas (1 cup)
  • 50 g butter +2 Tbs (1/3c + 2 Tbs)
  • 50g flour (1/3 c)
  • 240mL  heavy cream ( 1 cup)
  • 360mL chicken stock (1 1/2 cups)
  • 120mL white wine (1/2 cup)
  • 2 Tbs fresh thyme, minced
  • salt, white pepper
  • 2 squares pre-prepared shortcrust pastry (or be fancy for a recipe here)
  • 1 egg
  • 30cm by 30cm oven proof casserole dish (12 by 12 in)

To prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F). Roll out one piece of pastry and place in a casserole dish. Brush with whisked egg and bake for 15 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a saute pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and sauté the chicken breasts until thoroughly cooked through (about 10 minutes). Don’t worry too much about overcooking since it will be shredded into the sauce. Set aside.DSC_6589
  3. In the same sauté pan, add the 2 Tbs of butter and sauté onions, about 6 minutes. They should still be a bit crunch. Add in half the thyme. Do the same with the carrots (about 4 minutes) and mushrooms (about 8 minutes) until just tender. DSC_6590
  4. In a large sauce pan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk well until a paste type texture is formed, also called a roux. Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly, followed by the wine. Let simmer about 3 minutes. Meanwhile shred the chicken.DSC_6592
  5. Lastly add the cream to the sauce and then add all ingredients (shredded chicken and vegetables.) Pour this mixture into the casserole that has the baked pastry inside. Then lay the second piece of pastry on top and brush with the whisked egg. Make 3 slits in the top of the pastry. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

* No disrespect meant to Scottish girls, I’m sure there are American stereotypes that would be horrible. I’ll list them (promiscuous, ignorant, fat, stupid, arrogant, materialistic, I could go on forever).

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Beer Battered Fish Tacos with a Spicy Slaw’

My entire flat smells like a fish n’ chips shop. While that smell is delicious when you are starving one night and about to receive crispy french fries with a deep fried white fish, it is not so delicious on a Saturday morning at 7am when you are sporting a raging hangover. But, after double, triple, and quadrupling testing this recipe, much to the joy of my chief taste tester Henry, I have nailed it. Is it worth the 7am smell? Maybe not, but folks, this recipe is a real winner. The crispy fried flaky cod topped with a spicy creamy coleslaw and finished with a charred tortilla and avocado just hits the spot. Most importantly, if you want to make this dinner even easier and don’t want your house to smell like a fish and chips shop, on your way home, pop in, grab the fish, and finish it off at home with the coleslaw and tortilla. I promise, this is one of my best recipes yet and lets us celebrate the final days of summer. Serve with some tortilla chips and guacamole to seal the deal. DSC_6529 DSC_6524

Ingredients: (serves 2)

4 corn tortillas

50g butter (4 Tbs)

2 limes

½ avocado

For the fish:

1 large cod or halibut filet

240mL vegetable oil (1 cup)

240mL beer (1 cup)

140g flour  (1.5 cup)

70g corn flour (3/4 cup)

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp paprika

For the slaw’:DSC_6516 1 small head cabbage, finely shredded

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

DSC_6504DSC_65101 tomato, seeded and diced

2 tsp cider vinegar

1 tsp dijon mustard

3 Tbs mayonnaise

2 Tbs sugar

1tsp each salt, pepper

To prepare:

  1. Cut the fish in long strips and mix together 70g flour, cornflour, salt, pepper, paprika, and salt. Whisk in the beer and put the remaining flour in another bowl
  2. Heat a pan over medium heat with the vegetable oil.
  3. Dip the fish in the liquid batter, shake, and then dip into the flour. Fry the fish about 5 minutes each side.
  4. Mix all the ingredients for the slaw together.DSC_6515
  5. Place butter in a pan on medium heat and fry the corn tortillas on one side until brown about 1 minutes
  6. Assemble the tortillas with the fish, slaw, a squeeze of lime and a slice of avocado.

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