Peanut Chicken Wings

Peanut Chicken Wings
I’ve never been a fan of chicken wings. They are one of those foods impossible to consume in public without ending up with stained cheeks and hands. There are times when I will happily dive into a messy dish at a restaurant, but I think a meal served with a side of moist towelettes should be reserved for diners 5 and under.

With the Super Bowl and appetizers on my mind, I decided to forgo neatness and make a plate of wings. I devoured them in the privacy of home with plenty of napkins and a sink nearby to wash off. Marinated in soy sauce spiked with peanut butter, ginger and garlic, these peanut chicken wings were worth the sticky fingers.
Peanut Chicken Wings
Peanut Chicken Wings

Serves 4

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated
1-1/2 pounds chicken drumettes
1 tablespoon chopped roasted peanuts

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper and the white parts of the scallions. Place the drumettes in a gallon-size ziplock bag. Pour in the soy sauce mixture and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place a wire rack on top of a foil-lined sheet pan. Arrange the drumettes in a single layer on the rack spacing about 2-inches apart. Roast for 30-35 minutes until dark brown and cooked through.

Toss the wings with the green parts of the scallions and peanuts before serving.

Potato Chip Cookies

Potato Chip Cookies
The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t made it to the Super Bowl since I was in grade school in the 80s. A streak of playoff losses continues to plague my hometown team in the post season. Every September I am hopeful that this could be the year they do it, but by Thanksgiving I finally accept that once again I will have to wait for a championship.

I plan on tuning into the Super Bowl, but without my team in the game, my focus will be on the spread of snacks and treats. For last weekend’s AFC and NFC championships, I baked potato chip cookies with milk chocolate chips. They had that addictive combination of salty and sweet, and I will be making another batch for the big game.
Potato Chip Cookies
Potato Chip Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen

1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1-1/4 cup crushed kettle-cooked potato chips 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two sheet pans with parchment.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup potato chips. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Drop the dough by the scant 1/4-cup, spacing 2-inches apart on the sheet pans. Press the remaining chocolate chips and potato chips into the top of the dough. Bake for 13-15 minutes until the cookies are golden brown. Cool on the sheet pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp Fried Rice
The past few weeks we have been sitting down for dinner at 9pm. Our hectic evenings start with dashing from work to pick-up W. at daycare, feeding him his dinner, followed by a bath and then bed. Such delayed dining means an even later bedtime for us. We are in that never-ending cycle of exhaustion all working parents know well. Will there ever be a day when I don’t feel wiped out by 4pm?

I have been attempting to cut down the amount of prep work it takes to get dinner on the table. Doing some chopping and cooking in advance has helped along with choosing fast entrees. The other night I reached for the wok, and we enjoyed shrimp fried rice at a respectable 8pm. By using day-old cooked brown rice and frozen veggies, this stir-fry was on our plates in less than 10 minutes.
Shrimp Fried Rice
Shrimp Fried Rice

Serves 2-4

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
1 large egg, beaten
12 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed if frozen
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
5 scallions, sliced thinly, white and green parts separated
1/2 cup fresh or frozen diced carrots, thawed
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn, thawed
3 cups cold cooked brown rice
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Place 1 teaspoon canola oil in a wok over high heat swirling to coat. Add the egg tilting the wok, so it makes a thin, crepe-like layer. Cook until set, about 1 minute. Remove the egg from the wok and roughly chop.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the wok. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in the wok. Cook without moving for 1 minute. Flip the shrimp and continue cooking for 2 minutes until opaque. Remove the shrimp from the wok and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the wok. Stir-fry the ginger, garlic and white parts of the scallions until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the carrots, peas and corn and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and then the soy sauce and sesame oil. Once heated through, add the shrimp and finish with the green parts of the scallions.

Greek Yogurt Labneh

Nearly everyday I have Greek yogurt as an afternoon snack. All that repetition may seem a bit boring, but what changes is how I flavor it. From a few scoops of crunchy granola to a swirl of peanut butter and crumbled graham crackers, all those mix-in options make it impossible for me to get tired of yogurt even though I always buy it plain.

Rather than scooping yogurt into a bowl, I strained it overnight and made labneh, a Middle Eastern fresh cheese. Bright and tangy labneh is often seasoned with herbs and spices and drizzled with olive oil. I decided to keep things simple and sweet spreading Greek yogurt labneh on a slice of oatmeal bread and topping it with honey and walnuts.
Greek Yogurt Labneh

Makes about 1 cup

2 cups whole milk Greek yogurt
Pinch of kosher salt

In a small bowl combine the yogurt and salt. Transfer to a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh strainer placed over a large bowl. Tie the cheesecloth creating a bundle. Let the yogurt drain for 24 hours.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

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