Crunchy Hot Sesame Wings & Cool Cucumber Salad

Crunchy Sesame Chicken Wings

I have fallen head over heels in love…with a cookbook!  Seriously my excitement for this cookbook is borderline insane.  I have cooked four meals from it since Sunday and am already dreaming about conquering the whole book!  I scored this masterful find at William Sonoma on sale for $7.00 which in itself was a treasure.  Chris called it out to me as the title smacked him over the head, MAD HUNGRY: Feeding Men & Boys – Recipes, Strategies & Survival Techniques by Lucinda Scala Quinn.

This cookbook is chock full of beautifully thought out and passion-driven recipes.  Classics with simple twists that make the difference between an Applebees and a fine dining establishment.  Tips of cast iron pans, good knives and meal servings.  Life knowledge that will change the way your family, your men and your kitchen operates.

My favorite cookbook introduction now goes as follows:

“Men eat differently from women — they eat more, they eat constantly, and they eat passionately.  They ransack a packed refrigerator and scrounge crumbs from an empty one.  They eat standing in front of the fridge, and they eat with their fingers.  They are all appetite and no pretense, “What’s for dinner?” is the most important, most burning question.  Food is everything to them and food is nothing until there is none.  And, if they’re “mad hungry” with no food in sight, life is a living hell.  But feeding them well is what many of us love to do and few jobs feel as satisfying.  It’s what keeps them healthy, keeps them happy, gives them some of their fondest memories, and teaches them to cook.” – Lucinda Scala Quinn

 

Mad Hungry: Feeding Med & Boys

So the first recipe I share with you from Mrs. Scala Quinn (trust me there will be plenty more) is one I never dare make at home — typically I can’t nor do I dare recreate the masterful wings of a local bar.  Buffalo wings are a delicacy you just don’t make at home.  Ahh…but Lucinda has clued me in on the secrets.  These wings not only look similar to the ones you dive into with a beer in hand but they taste that much better.  Try them out for a football Sunday and boys will go insane or serve them up on Super Bowl Sunday and (trust me) you will win girlfriend of the year!

Ingredients:

  • 20 chicken wings
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • vegetable oil, for coating the pan
  • 1/4 c sesame seeds
  • 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 c panko bread crumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • bottle of hot sauce or wing sauce

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Place eggs in a large bowl and beat, add chicken wings and combine until wings are fully covered.  In a small bowl, combine the sesame seeds, flour, salt, cayenne, panko, and garlic.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with baking parchment or coat the pan with oil.
Dip each wing into the flour mixture to fully coat.  Place the coated wings side by side on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes at 375 F and then increase the temperature to 400 F.  Cook until the wings are golden brown and sizzling, 20 – 30 more minutes.  Immediately remove wings place in a bowl with hot sauce or wing sauce and toss to coat.

Crunchy Sesame Chicken Wings

Pickled Cucumber Salad

Cool Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c rice wine vinegar
  • 2 generous tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp siracha

Mix all ingredients together and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

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In The Kitchen: Small Bites

Looking for easy, quick appetizers to whip out for a spur of the moment get together?  Check out a few easy suggestions, made with similar and affordable ingredients for some delicious small bites!

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Yields: 24 Mushrooms

  • 24 Ounces, weight White Button Mushrooms
  • ⅓ pound Hot Pork Sausage
  • ½ whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • ⅓ cup Dry White Wine
  • 8 Ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • 1 whole Egg Yolk
  • ¾ cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste

Wipe off or wash mushrooms in cold water. Pop out stems, reserving both parts.

Chop mushroom stems finely and set aside. Brown and crumble sausage. Set aside on a plate to cool.

Add onions and garlic to the same skillet; cook for 2 minutes over medium low heat. Pour in wine to deglaze pan, allow liquid to evaporate.  Add in chopped mushroom stems, stir to cook for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set mixture aside on a plate to cool.

In a bowl, combine cream cheese and egg yolk. Stir together with Parmesan cheese. Add cooled sausage and cooled mushroom stems. Stir mixture together and refrigerate for a short time to firm up. Smear mixture into the cavity of each mushroom, creating a sizable mound over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Allow to cool at least ten minutes before serving; the stuffed mushrooms taste better when not piping hot.

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Spanish Chorizo Bites with Arugula Parmesan Pesto

Arugula Pesto

  • 2 Big Packed Handfuls Arugula Leaves
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • ½ cup Grated Romano Or Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ cup Walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup Olive Oil
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Water, as needed

Chorizo

  • 1 (8-inch) Link Chorizo Sausage, cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
  • Dash Oil, for sauteing
  • Dash Sherry Vinegar

To make the pesto: Add the arugula, garlic, cheese, and walnuts to the bowl of a food processor or blender, and puree. As the processer is running, drizzle in the olive oil. This will be used to garnish the Chorizo. Season the mixture with salt, and pepper, to taste. If the pesto is too thick, you can thin it out with water.


To make the sausage: Cut the sausage link into large 1 ½-inch chunks. Heat the oil in a saute pan, and saute the sausage until the edges start to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Toss the pieces while they fry so they cook all over.

Add a dash of sherry vinegar to the pan to deglaze and release all the flavors. Transfer the sausage to a platter and serve with dollops of the arugula pesto. Add little cocktail sticks or toothpicks to each piece for easy eating.

Spanish Chroizo with Arugula Parmesan Pesto

 

Skinny Baked Jalapeno Poppers

Yields: 24 Poppers

  • 12 Jalapeño Peppers, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 4.5 ounces Light Cream Cheese
  • 5 medium Scallions, green part only, sliced
  • 2 ounces Shredded Low Fat Sharp Cheddar (I Used Cabot 50%)
  • ½ cup Egg Beaters Or Egg Whites, beaten
  • ½ cup Panko Crumbs
  • ⅛ tsp Paprika
  • ⅛ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ⅛ tsp Chili Powder
  • Salt And Fresh Pepper
  • Spray Oil

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut peppers in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and membrane. Combine cream cheese, cheddar and scallions in a medium bowl.  Fill peppers with cheese filling with a small spoon or spatula.

Combine panko, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in another bowl.

Dip peppers in egg beaters. Place pepper in panko mixture, using a spoon to make sure all the seasoning doesn’t fall to the bottom of the bowl. Spray a baking pan with oil spray. I lined my pan with parchment for easier cleanup. Lightly spray the peppers with a little more oil spray.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and cheese oozes out.  Remove from oven and serve immediately. Serve hot.

Skinny Baked Jalapeno Poppers

* Recipe courtsey of Skinny Taste.