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SPICY CHINESE CHICKEN WINGS

2 to 3 pounds chicken wings
  Note:  If available, buy wings labeled “Buffalo Wings” that are already
                halved and trimmed – saves a lot of time!
Marinade:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup honey (preferably raw)
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons oil (good choices are safflower, sunflower, grapeseed)

Wash chicken wings and pat dry.  Trim off each wing tip at the joint and cut in half at the joint. 

Mix together all marinade ingredients until well combined.  Place wings with marinade in a covered container and marinate overnight (better) or at least 6 hours.  Turn wings occasionally to assure they marinate evenly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place wings in a single layer, skin side up, in a large baking dish.  Place marinade in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then set aside.  Bake wings for 45 minutes to one hour, basting with the marinade occasionally.  Wings are done when they are crispy and very brown (brown to the point where they appear almost black). 

Great served as an appetizer, or main course.

MARINATED CHEESE CUBES – Bonus Website Recipe!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons minced green onion (scallions)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ounce jar diced pimento, drained
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, cut into small cubes
  • Optional:  Black olives and/or Green olives

PREPARATION

Combine all ingredients except for the cheeses in a container large enough to hold the cheese cubes (and olives if using).  Whisk until well combined.  Place the cheeses in the container, stir gently to cover the cubes with the marinade.  Let sit covered in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours before serving, stirring occasionally.  Bring to room temperature before serving.  Can be stored, covered in the refrigerator for 1 month.

SNOWMAGEDDON CHILI (a.k.a. CUBAN-STYLE CHILI) – a Bonus Website Recipe!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (should equal approximately 1 1/2 cups chopped onion)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pound ground pork (lean)
  • 1 pound ground beef (lean)
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, lightly drained
  • 1 3/4 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (preferably hot Mexican-style)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives (small)
  • 1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • Brown rice to accompany, cooked according to package instructions

 PREPARATION

In a large heavy kettle (or Dutch oven) heat the oil over moderate heat until hot.  Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened.  Increase the heat to moderately high and add the pork and beef.  Cook, and stir to break up lumps, until the meat is no longer pink.

Reduce heat to moderately low and stir in the tomatoes, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, raisins, chili powder, spices and salt.  Simmer partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.  Simmer chili uncovered, stirring occasionally, for another 30 minutes.  Quarter the olives and add to the chili with the almonds.  Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve chili over rice.  Serves 4-6

Check out my recent Blog entry “Snowmageddon Chili!”

SPICY BLACKENED CATFISH – Featured in Cooking with Clyde!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Hungarian (sweet) paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (preferably organic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1 pound catfish fillets
  • 1 tablespoon garlic olive oil (a great choice is Olave Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

PREPARATION

In a small bowl combine the oregano, thyme, paprika, cayenne, sugar, salt and pepper.  Pat the catfish dry and sprinkle half of the spice mixture on one side of the fish fillets.

In a large skillet, heat the garlic oil and butter together over moderately high heat until the butter foam subsides.  Add catfish to skillet.  The side that has the spice mixture on it should be facing down.  As soon as the fish is in the skillet, sprinkle the remaining spice mixture on the other side.  Saute for approximately 5-6 minutes on the first side before turning.  Note:  when you turn the fish, it should have a very dark, blackened appearance.  Do not worry – it will not taste burned.  Continue cooking on the other side for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until cooked through (flakes easily when tested with a fork).

Transfer fish to serving plates and spoon whatever is left in the pan over top of the fish.

Serves 2-3 

HONEY CHEESECAKE SQUARES – Bonus Website Recipe!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (I like Keebler brand)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, preferably organic
  • 1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature in a large bowl
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk (low-fat OK)
  • 1 generous tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup mild honey

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a medium-sized bowl.  Stir in melted butter until thoroughly combined.  Pack mixture firmly and evenly into an 8-inch square baking pan.  Bake crust in the middle of the preheated oven for 10 minutes, remove from oven and cool 5 minutes.

While crust is baking, add egg, milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the cream cheese.  Blend with an electric hand mixer until very smooth and no lumps are visible.  Add the honey and blend in thoroughly with the mixer.  Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust and bake in the middle of the oven until slightly puffed and set, which should take about 30 minutes. 

Cool cheesecake in the pan for 1/2 hour, then chill in refrigerator, covered, until cold, 2-3 hours.  Cut into squares.