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.

Camping Gourmet: Simple Breakfast & Dinner

Two extremely easy recipes that will create massive jealously from your camping neighbors!

Steak Filet with Blue Cheese & Carmelized Onions

Steak Filets with Blue Cheese & Carmelized Onions

Ingredients Needed:

  • 2 Steak Filets, frozen to stay cold
  • 2 oz Blue Cheese
  • Carmelized Onions
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Prep:

  • Carmelize onions before leaving for camping trip.  Simply re-heat & serve.

Carmelized Onions

  • 2 tbsp of olive
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced into 1/2 inch rings
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • salt

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the oil/butter.  Once the butter has melted and is hot, add as many onions to the pan as will fit in a ½” layer in the pan. Sprinkle the salt over the onions.  Cook the onions over medium low heat.  Stir the onions every couple of minutes, and adjust the heat so you here just the merest sizzle.  Cook for 15 minutes then add sugar, continue cooking on medium-low to low heat for another 15 – 20 minutes, stirring frequently or until the onions are soft and anywhere from honey-colored to deep brown.  Let onions cool and place in a zip-lock bag.

Once on campsite to prepare dinner, simply heat your carmelized onions in a pot over high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Place steaks on a grill or grate, top with Blue Cheese about one minute before desired doneness.  Plate and top with carmelized onions.

Cream Cheese Bagels & Lox

Cream Cheese Bagels & Lox

Get this — no clean up, no fire needed and a delicious/extravagant morning meal for the campsite.
Ingredients Needed:
  • (2) bagels, pre-sliced before you leave
  • 4 oz package of pre-sliced lox
  • (2) 2 oz packages of cream cheese, you can often find these by the bakery section in the grocery store
  • 1 small jar of capers
  • 1/4  red onion, pre-sliced and placed in a ziplock bag before you leave
To Serve:
Simply smear your bagels with cream cheese, top with red onion, capers, and lox!

In The Kitchen: Asian Flare Turkey Burgers

Asian Flare Turkey Burger

Why not try and discover new burger ideas that spice up the typical routine of lettuce, tomato, onions and cheese .  I stumbled upon a delightful turkey burger twist that is nothing short of fabulous. A little spice, a little crunch and a whole lot of goodness in one bite.

Asian Flare Turkey Burgers

Yields: 4 burgers

Ingredients:

Cucumber Slaw

  • ¼ cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ Seedless Cucumber, sliced ⅛-inch thick, 1 cup
  • ¼ small Red Onion, thinly sliced

Spicy Spread

  • ¼ cup Plain Low-Fat Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Chili Garlic Sauce (Siracha)

Turkey Patties

  • 12 ounces Lean Ground Turkey
  • 2-4 ounces of mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 Scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp Grated Ginger
  • 1 clove Garlic, grated
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Cilantro, plus ¼ cup whole leaves
  • 2 tsp Vegetable Oil
  • 4 whole Wheat Hamburger Rolls

In a medium bowl whisk the vinegar and sugar with a generous seasoning of salt and pepper until dissolved. Add the cucumber and onion, toss well and set aside to marinate for about 30 minutes.

In a separate small bowl combine the yogurt and chili garlic sauce. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Combine turkey, mushrooms, hoisin, scallions, ginger, garlic and chopped cilantro and mix until just combined. Form into 4 equal sized patties.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until very hot. Lightly brush both sides of each patty with oil and place in the skillet. Cook, turning once, until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Drain the pickled vegetables and toss with the whole cilantro. Spread some spicy yogurt sauce on the top and bottom of each bun and top with a burger patty and some pickles.

*  The original recipe calls for bulgur, I substituted chopped mushrooms to add some bulk to the turkey burgers.

Asian Flare Turkey Burger

 

Original recipe from Food Network, modified by For Love of Exploration

In The Kitchen: Baked Greek Chicken

A must try weeknight dish — ready in 30 minutes and deliciously gourmet.  This recipe is easy and pairs well with a salad, cous cous, or potatoes.

Baked Greek Chicken

Easy Baked Greek Chicken

Yields: 2 Servings

  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oi
  • 1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • One 5-ounces fresh spinach (2 large handfuls)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (about 1/2 palmful)
  • 2 pieces skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup crumbled greek feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 425°. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and two-thirds of the garlic and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.  Add the spinach and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to the skillet.  Allow the spinach to wilt slightly.  Not more than 2 minutes — it should still have some of its natural color to it.  Remove and combine with onion mixture.  Melt the butter in the same pan, turn off the heat and add the panko, oregano and remaining garlic; toss.

Drizzle a baking dish with the remaining 1 extra virgin olive oil. Split each chicken breast across (butterflied, not all the way). Stuff with the spinach mixture and the feta, letting the stuffing overflow at the edges. Place the chicken pieces in the baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs. Bake until the juices run clear, about 20 minutes.