Monday, April 16, 2012

A&J Tackle PW: Week Three

All right, so this week we're going with Asian Hot Wings, Spicy Dr. Pepper Pork, Honey Plum Soy Chicken (hopefully), Thai Chicken Pizza, Spicy Caesar Salad, Eggs Benedict, and the Best Ever Grilled Cheese. Wow.  That's seven.

I'm gonna post the recipe, then the review.  As always, for the ones I could find online, the title is the link to the website.

~Asian Hot Wings~

Asian Hot Wings (p108)

2011 Ree Drummond, All Rights Reserved
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 24 chicken wing parts (12 wings separated into 2 pieces)
  • 3/4 cup plum jelly
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (less of you'd like less heat!)
  • 3 to 4 assorted hot peppers (serranos, jalapenos, and so on), minced fine
  • Thinly sliced (julienne) carrots and cucumber, for serving


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Heat 3 inches of canola oil in a heavy pot to 375 degrees F.
Add half the chicken wing parts to the oil and fry them until they're golden brown and fully cooked, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the other half of the wing parts.
Add the plum jelly to a bowl. Then stir in the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Add the brown sugar, ginger, red onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and hot peppers. Stir to combine, and then pour it into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the sauce until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Then turn off the heat.
Place the wings in an ovenproof dish and pour the sauce over the top, reserving some sauce for serving. Toss to coat, and then bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Place the wings in dishes, and then spoon extra sauce over the top. Serve with cool vegetables to go with that delicious heat. (You might want to have a glass of ice water handy, too.)

Oh. My. Gawd.

I don't even know where to start.  So I'll start with what Angela had to say- she used a little more garlic and ginger.  And here I'll quote: They were amazing.  That sauce is one I will be using on EVERYTHING.

That about sums it up.  I couldn't find plum jelly, so I used Plum Sauce from the Asian aisle, because that's what Laura told me to do.  I didn't know what kind of pepper was what at the store, so I grabbed a handful of little green ones and some larger red ones.  Angela says she just used jalepenos because she apparently is in the middle of a love affair with them.  I cut the top off one of the little green ones I got and licked it, trying to decide if it was spicy.

Then my mouth caught on fire and I died.

But then I came to, and diced them up, and mostly followed the directions.  I used a little less garlic and ginger because plum SAUCE (as opposed to plum jelly) already has all that in there.  And I didn't use crushed red pepper because I was still in a coma from the pepper.  The sauce boiled down to a sweet, sticky, tangy mess of heaven.


I'm not being dramatic ladies!! This sauce made me want to knock my kids out of the way and lick their plates.  But I couldn't, because they'd already licked them. It wasn't spicy at all, it was just perfectly tangy and sweet and soy saucey.  I can already see Nick trying to think of a way to get me to put this on the menu every week for the rest of infinity.

Stop scheming baby, it's already done.

Go.  Now.  Make this recipe.

Oh, one more thing, I fried (Nick fried) these wings in a fry daddy.  I can't seem to get the hang of frying things in a pot, so I don't even bother.  And also, any suggestions for sides? We had kraft mac and cheese.  Not quite as classy as I'd like.  Although I do love me some kraft mac and cheese.

Sigh.  I already want more wings.  The dishwasher hasn't even finished destroying the one sticky morsel I refrained form licking off my plate.  Think if I pulled it open it'd still be on there?

Just kidding.  You hope.

Update: It's Sunday night, like four days after I made these, and we're having them again.  Yes.  They REALLY ARE THAT GOOD.  I swear it. Update to the update: We had people over and they loved them too.  Even though they only got a tiny sliver of chicken because I ate ALL THE FOOD.

 ~Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork~

Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork(159)

Added by Ree on March 22, 2011 in Main CoursesPork
  • 1 whole Large Onion
  • 1 whole Pork Shoulder ("pork Butt") - 5 To 7 Pounds
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 can (11 Ounce) Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce
  • 2 cans Dr. Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Preparation Instructions

-Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

-Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of a large dutch oven.

-Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.

-Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in both cans of Dr Pepper. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir in.

-Place lid tightly on pot, then set pot in the oven. Cook for at least six hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. Check meat after six hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it’s not falling apart, return to the oven for another hour.

-Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Strain as much of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it. Return the shredded meat to the cooking liquid, and keep warm until ready to serve. (You can also refrigerate the meat and liquid separately, then remove hardened fat once it’s cold. Then heat up the liquid on the stovetop and return the meat to the liquid to warm up.

-Serve on warm flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, avocado slices, salsa, and whatever else you’d like.

Well, I don't have much to say about this.  Angela and I both made it in the crockpot.  She warned me about how spicy it was, so I only threw in like two of the chipotle peppers and a tiny bit of the sauce.  My meat was very bland and dull and boring.  Angela said hers was flavorful but greasy.  We both did it in a crockpot instead of the oven.  I can't speak for Angela because she's busy right now and not answering my texts even though she knows I want her at my beck and call, but I will not be making this again.  It wasn't even good enough for a do-over.  Sorry PW.  I think it'd be just as satisfying as a shoulder roast with a bottle of BBQ sauce or a packet of taco seasoning.  Maybe it just has to be one of those spicy dishes.  Sigh.

~Honey Plum Soy Chicken~

This one wasn't on the web either, and it's long, but for you amazing gals, I trucked through and typed it out.  You're welcome.

Honey-Plum-Soy Chicken (p197)
-8 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
-3 cups red wine
-3 bay leaves
-one 13ounce jar plum preserves
-1 cup honey
-one 20ounce bottle soy sauce
-2 tbsp olive oil
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-4 plums, pitted and chopped plus
-1 plum, pitted and thinly sliced
-12 ounces egg noodles
-3 green onions, sliced

1. Put the chicken thighs in a large bowl, pour in two cups of the red wine.  Add bay leaves, toss to coat, and marinate for one hour in the fridge.

2. In a separate bowl, add the plum preserves, honey, and soy sauce.  Whisk to combine and set aside.

3. Heat olive oil in a heavy pot over med high heat.  Remove chicken from wine, then brown both sides, about two minutes per side.

4. Reduce heat to med low then add the garlic.  Stir it around in the bottom of the pan for a couple minutes to release the flavor.  

5. Add the remaining cup of wine, chopped plums, and honey-plum-soy mixture.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cover and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, until the chicken is falling off the bone.  

6. Cook the noodles according to the package directions and place on a large platter.

7. Spoon the chicken and at least half the cooking liquid over the noodles.  Serve on plates, garnish with the plum slices, and have little bowls of extra cooking liquid on the table so people can spoon on more if desired.  

Nick really liked this.  I did too, but I feel like I like everything PW does, so Nick's opinion is a little more unbiased? Does that make any sense? Anyway.  Again, I had to use plum SAUCE instead of preserves.  I think that preserves would have been a LOT sweeter, and sweeter would have been a LOT better.  The soy sauce was slightly overpowering and the honey got lost in the post somewhere.  I'm on the fences about whether this was really easy or really annoying to throw together.  I forgot I was making it, so I was rushing trying to get it going before I left to do something or another (yes, I leave my pots simmering when I dash out.  Please don't report me to...the Don't Leave Your Pots Simmering While You Dash Out people.) so I was flustered.  But then when I told Nick what all I had to do, it sounded really easy.  And other than the preserves, this is ALL stuff I have lying around.

Oh, except the wine.  I don't drink wine, so I don't have that.  I went and bought a TINY little box of wine, and I guess I can do that again, but does anyone have a better, less ghetto suggestion? If this is going to be a staple in my meal plan, I need a solution.  I'm not going to buy a normal bottle of wine and then only use three cups, you know?

Angela and I both made rice instead of egg noodles.  She used the sauce to make hers, I just made white rice.  She said, of the chicken, "it was great.  Next time, I'll use boneless skinless chicken breasts."  She's very articulate :)

But she gets her point across and that's the...point.

She also said she only used two plums, but I wasn't going to mention that because I did too.  And then I didn't EAT any of the pieces because they were SUPER mushy.

~Thai Chicken Pizza~

Thai Chicken Pizza (p145)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp fresh minced ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1.5 cups smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup very warm water
4 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 recipe pizza dough (p141)
olive oil for drizzling
4 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
12 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 cup alfalfa or bean sprouts
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups cilantro leaves
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

1. Preheat oven to 500 and put rack at lowest position.

2. Make the peanut sauce: to the bowl of a food processor or blender, add garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and fish sauce.  Next add the peanut butter and the warm water.  Blend as you're pouring it in.

3. Check the consistency, give it a taste, and add a little more of whatever it needs.  Add more warm water if it needs thinning. 

**At this point in her step by steps, she mentions that she forgot she wanted to add chili paste.  She says she added a little, then added more because she likes it hot.  I wasn't sure if she meant that chili paste was something else, or that she meant the four tbsp chili SAUCE listed right under the water**

4. Next, sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and grill them on both sides until done.  Slice thin.  You can also saute them in a skillet if you prefer.

5. To assemble the pizza, roll out the dough and place onto a baking pan drilled with olive oil.  Spread the 4 tbsp sweet chile sauce all over the dough (like you would with pizza sauce.)

6. Lay on the mozzarella slices, then the chicken slices, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.

7. Throw on as many sprouts as you'd like.  Add the shredded carrots and cilantro leaves. 

8. Drizzle the peanut sauce all over the top of the pizza (in her picture, she put the sauce in one of those plastic squeeze condiment bottles- looks like a pretty sweet idea.)

9. Sprinkle on some chopped peanuts and serve.

I made this for lunch today.  It's hard to review, because I just don't like Thai peanut food.  Nick always eats this pizza at CPK and LOVES it, and he LOVED this one too, so I guess it's a win.  I did NOT make the pizza dough, I bought a bag of dough at Whole Foods.  I ended up with my ENTIRE blender full of this peanut sauce, but then she sort of leaves you hanging as to how much to drizzle over the top.  I used maybe three or four tablespoons.  Which means I have a LOT left over.  Nick loved it, did I already mention that?

Angela is sick and didn't get a chance to make it, but she plans on making her own dough, so I'll be sure to let you know how that works out.

Oh, you need more chicken.  And also, cook with pizza with the carrots.  Otherwise they're raw and weird.

~Spicy Caesar Salad~

Spicy Caesar Salad (p40)

2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 egg yolks
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
3/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 recipe cornbread croutons (I'm not typing all that out yet)
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 hearts of romaine lettuce

1. Mix garlic, dijon, and egg yolks, whisk to combine.  Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the Worcestershire.

2. Mince up the chipotle peppers and add them to the dressing.

3. Whisk it all together, then begin drizzling in the live oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly to emulsify.  Slowly but surely, it will turn into a gorgeous, thick dressing.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate it until you need it.

4. Drizzle over the leaves and drop on plenty of croutons.  Top with grilled chicken or shrimp for a main dish salad.

Oh my word.  I just mixed this together and drizzled it on my standard frozen chicken breast lettuce wrap ups that I always eat for lunch.  Then I licked all the drippings off my fingers.  Then I licked the plate.

I sort of halved the recipe.  I used a heaping teaspoon of garlic (yes.  I use jarred garlic.  Only sometimes though) one egg yolk, a giant squeeze of mustard, almost a teaspoon of Worcestershire, one chipotle pepper, and I just sort of poured in some EVOO while I whisked.  I can't figure out when she wanted you to use the melted butter.

Did I mention that I licked it off the plate? I used my finger.  Not my tongue.  Tongue to finger, not to plate.  If that makes me less pathetic.

But here's what Angela has to say about the whole ordeal: I made the dressing. I enjoyed the thought of making dressing, since i had never done so prior. The end result was very strong with flavor. I honestly couldn't discern if I liked it or not when I tested it. My guests said they liked it so I put it on the entire salad. It was SPICY. And very garlicy. It was edible, but I don't think I'd do it again. 

All right.  Well, to show you how mature I am nowadays, I won't pout and say that Angela is stupid and I hate her if she doesn't like the same things as me.  Different people like different things, that's why we're doing this in the first place.

But she also likes tomatoes.  I'm just saying.

~Eggs Benedict~

Eggs Benedict (17)

2012 Ree Drummond, All Rights Reserved


Add the egg yolks to a blender or a food processor. Add in the lemon juice and blend for several seconds. With the blender on, slowly drizzle in the melted butter. Turn off the blender and add in a little salt and cayenne. Whip it again until combined. Set this aside for a minute.
Next, poach an egg by gently cracking an egg into simmering, slightly bubbling water.
Leave the egg alone for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, and then remove it with a slotted spoon and carefully place it on a plate. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
To serve, place a buttered, toasted English muffin half on a plate. Top the English muffin with a warm slice of Canadian bacon. Place the warm poached egg on top. And then drizzle on some warm hollandaise. Sprinkle a little paprika on top.

This was really good too!! This was a pretty successful week, I guess.  Let's see...I forgot to separate the eggs, so instead of three yolks I had two whole eggs.  I used bottled lemon juice because I'm sick of squeezing lemons.  I wasn't sure what Canadian bacon was, so I just used thick ham, and I nuked it instead of getting a skillet dirty.  I have little silicone egg cups and they poached mine BEAUTIFULLY.  I'm not sure the Hollandaise sauce was even worth the time and effort of making it. That probably means I did it wrong, but I just happen to really LOVE eggs.  Like, LOVE LOVE.  So for me, an egg on a piece of ham with an English muffin underneath is just amazing enough as is.

Here's what Angela sent me on this one: The eggs benedict were amazing.  I did quite a few things differently though.  I could not get how to poach the eggs (even after you-tubing it), so I just fried them. 
I topped the toasted and buttered english muffin with a slice of ham I heated in the same skillet I fried the egg in, a slice of tomato, some baby spinach I sauteed in the same pan, the hollandaise and a slice of mozzarella which I put under the broiler for a couple of min to get it good and melty. While obviously not exactly healthy, it is to die for. 

My comment to Angela's comments? Hello, it's got SPINACH.  That means it's TOTALLY HEALTHY.  

~Best Grilled Cheese Ever~
Wow.  A LOT of these recipes aren't on the internet!! I guess because she wants you to have to buy the book? I feel a little bad typing them out.  But that's silly.  Right?

Best Grilled Cheese Ever
4 poblano or Anaheim chiles (or you can use canned whole green chiles)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup mayo
8 slices rye bread
12 slices provolone
2 ripe tomatoes, thickly sliced
8 slices cheddar cheese
1.2 cup (one stick) butter, softened

1.  Roast chiles until skin is blackened.  Throw them in a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let them sit and steam for a while.

2. Pour the vinegar over the sliced red onions and then them sit awhile too.  This will take away a little of the crazy onion flavor and leave them with a nice sweetness. 

3. Make the special sauce: equal amounts of mayo and dijon.

4. Scrape the blackened skin off the chiles.  Scrape out the seeds too, so you end up with big pieces of roasted green chiles.

5. Generously spread 2 pieces of rye bread with the special sauce.  Lay on 2 slices of provolone, 2 slices tomato, and 2 slices of cheddar.  Add a nice layer of green chiles and a few onion slices and one more slice of provolone just to hold it all together.

6. Top with the other slice of bread and spread the outsides with a good amount of butter.  Toast on a skillet over medium low heat until the cheese is thoroughly melted inside.  Don't burn the bread!!

This was a grilled cheese.  It was good, and for me it was easy, because I just used a can of diced green chiles.  And I don't eat tomatoes, so I didn't do that either.  I also didn't use rye bread because I like my one point per slice wheat bread.  Wow.  Not even sure if this can be considered following her recipe, since I did everything differently! I really liked the mayo and dijon sauce.  Like, a lot.  I only used four pieces of cheese per sandwhich, and that was still way too much.  And I used reduced fat cheddar, so it melted a little weird.

But it was good.  Good enough for me anyway, and Daisy ate one too, just without the chiles and onions.

Here's what Angela sent me: I made the grilled cheese for Dawan (her husband) and myself.  He liked it (sort of),  I did not.  It was too cheesy and the rye is overpowering.  The onions and chiles weren't a bad idea though. 

So that was our week of cooking. It was a lot, I have to admit.  Even though Angela works, she seems to have more time to cook than me, which is really baffling.  Guess I need to work on my time management skills? Or maybe just my laziness skills...Angela, if you're reading this, you really are a badass.  I wish you gave yourself more credit.

Engelbrecht out.

1 comment:

  1. The reviews are great! If you love the sweet and spicy sauces, you MUST try the pomegranate chile lime glaze from ...we eat it on EVERYTHING. Definitely going to attempt the wings and the thai chicken pizza.