Dan Dan Mian Noodles

There is something so comforting about a bowl of noodles. I’ve got a fabulous recipe for Tan Tan noodles on here, but this is slightly different – and an entire meal in one bowl. Get as adventurous as you like with the add ins.

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp black bean sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth (use veg broth if you want to make this vegetarian)
  • 8 ounces egg noodles (Chinese style), rice noodles or Udon noodles
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 3-4 baby bok choy
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1/2 – 1 pound ground meat (I used pork but chicken would work well too)
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped (I used crimini but that is what was available, use whatever you can find)
  • black pepper
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 4 green onions, chopped

Garnish suggestions

  • sesame seeds, toasted
  • green onions, slivered
  • fresh bean sprouts

Typically, Dan Dan Mian is a spicy dish ….. however I’m not so good with extra spicy food. To make it more authentic, drizzle with chili oil when you are ready to serve. You can either buy one and have it to dress up many dishes, or make a quick, easy one that lives in the fridge for ages.

Chili Oil

Heat skillet over med heat – add:

  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)

Cook, stirring occasionally until garlic is fragrant – be careful not to burn it! Remove from heat and transfer to heat safe bowl or glass jar.

I got this recipe originally from http://www.halfbakedharvest.com – only tweaked it a bit for personal preferences. The chili oil is entirely hers.

Combine soy sauce, hoisin, black bean sauce, honey, vinegar, peanut butter & tahini. Stir well until smooth and creamy. (If the peanut butter and tahini are really cold it helps to heat up the mixture slightly). Add 1/3 cup water.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook whatever noodles you have decided to use. Drain well and set aside.

In the same pot, add a little neutral oil and saute the onion, green onion, garlic and ginger until soft and fragrant. Add in 1/2 of your soy sauce mixture. Stir to completely mix it all in and heat up the sauce slightly. Add broth and bring just to a simmer.

In a shallow fry or sauce pan heat up a little neutral oil and add the ground meat. Allow to sit without stirring for a few minutes to help with carmelizing the meat. When mostly cooked, add the mushrooms and shallot. Cook until the mushrooms give up their moisture, and the pan dries out again. Add in the remaining soy sauce mixture. Stir to coat well. Allow the mixture to continue cooking until crispy bits appear. This is an important step as it adds a lot of texture as well as flavour to the finished dish.

Bring the pot of broth back to a higher heat and add in whatever vegetables you have decided to use. Make sure to add them in the right order so your don’t end up with limp veg – nothing sadder. I used bok chow and as soon as they were wilted but still crisp, I turned the heat off and added the spinach and bean sprouts.

Ladle noodles into the bowl and add your broth with vegetables. Scoop a generous amount of the meat mixture over top and garnish with the suggestions listed.

Turning this dish into a vegetarian meal would be so easy – omit the ground meat and use extra mushrooms in that step. Make sure to add extra fresh veg to make it a full meal.

Absolutely delicious!

Make sure to simmer until the meat & mushrooms dry out a bit, getting those lovely little bits of caramelization that add so much flavour and texture.

Add vegetables – as many as you want.

I like to keep fresh vegetables FRESH. I only add the spinach and bean sprouts when I remove it from the heat.

Serve with scallion pancakes for a total win!

The BEST meatballs!

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When you request spaghetti and meatballs at Nana’s house you better be prepared to make the meatballs!  Stella loves to, and we all agreed that they were the absolute best meatballs ever.  In fact, I had a hard time keeping enough left in the sauce to have dinner.  Tasters kept appearing in my kitchen …..

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This shows a double recipe, all measured exactly to what Stella feels is the perfect meatball size …. 38 grams.  If you aren’t in a hurry your kids are great at this!

  • 1 pound ground meat (I like a combo of beef and pork)
  • 1/2 cup panko-style breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup milk, any kind
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, plus more to serve
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, plus more to serve
  • 2 teaspoons coarse or kosher salt, divided
  • Red pepper flakes and/or freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Place meat, crumbs, milk, parsley, cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, onion powder, eggs, and one-third of your minced garlic in a large bowl, and mash everything together with a fork or potato masher until evenly mixed. Using wet hands if needed, form mixture into 2-inch meatballs and arrange on prepared tray. Roast for 12 minutes, until cooked through (you can cut one in half).

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Ground beef and pork well mixed and ready for forming.

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Making sure each meatball is 38 grams takes time …..

Stella's meatballs

Almost 7 now, Stella likes to do it all, even if Nana’s freaking (quietly!) while she puts stuff in or takes it out of the oven.

From this point you can serve them however you like – we like them simmered in a tomato sauce just until heated through.  They are so soft and tender with just the right amount of seasoning.  I always make enough to freeze half for another dinner, for us that means doubling this recipe.

This recipe came from the amazing Deb at smitten kitchen.com, and she also lists her easy tomato sauce for simmering  … if you haven’t been to her website, or read any of her cookbooks, make sure you do!  Always delicious, and manageable for doing with kid helpers.

Coconut Prawn Curry

This sauce is incredibly good.  How, I wondered, did so much flavour show up in 25 minutes?

Garlic Herb Naan 3

I managed to get a few sprigs of cilantro on here for a photo, but it was ready so quickly, and smelled so heavenly there was no fancy plating for a photo!

I’ve made it with some jumbo prawns tonight but you could easily substitute any protein you like, or go straight vegetarian and you will be so glad you tried it.

SHRIMP & MARINADE

  • 1 lb extra large shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed please)

CURRY SAUCE

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp Madras curry powder
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can (13.5 ounce) coconut milk

cilantro for garnish

rice for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a small bowl toss the shrimp with the marinade ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  • While the shrimp is marinating, heat the oil in a medium size skillet. To it add the onion, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes until the onion softens and becomes translucent. Stir in the garlic, ginger, pepper, salt, coriander, turmeric and curry powder. Cook for another minute.
  • Add the diced tomatoes with juices and all, the coconut milk, stir and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the shrimp with the accumulated juices from the marinade and cook for another 2 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and cooked through.
  • Serve over hot rice and garnish with cilantro or parsley.

I’d say the only way you could be disappointed by this dish is if your spices are old.  They really aren’t meant to last forever just because they are dry!

Coconut curry 2

Get your prawns gently tossed in the marinade and put in the fridge until you are ready to add them to the curry sauce. (I used chili flakes rather than cayenne pepper today)

Coconut curry 3

Follow the instructions on how to build your flavour base – it really is important in many dishes, but I find especially so in Indian food.

Coconut curry 6

Coconut Curry 5

The next night we still had enough for another meal – so I lightly sauted some fresh vegetables in a sauce pan until just tender crisp.  Then add the sauce and heat only enough to warm through.  This keeps the individual flavour of your vegetables and doesn’t overcook either the remaining prawns or the curry sauce.

Make sure to serve these with Garlic Herb Naan – just what you need to sop up this inviting sauce.

These were my best naan ever!  So tender, with dough that is very easy to work with.  As an added bonus they freeze well so for nights when it is just the two of us I only cook half and freeze the other half …. ready for fresh frying when I am.

 

I have a lot of “authentic” food bloggers I follow for cooking dishes from India, Thailand, and Mexico just to name a few.  This recipe came from a fellow Canadian!  If you haven’t been to Jo’s website …..   http://www.jocooks.com then I recommend you do.  She has specific hints to make everything better, and is well worth a read.

 

Miso Glazed Sablefish

We don’t cook a lot of fish, really only seafood like prawns, crab, or white meaty fish items that are as tasty as this is.  Fish and chips are my specialty and they often show up … Of course, when Grant isn’t home …. salmon might be on the menu!

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Just look at that glistening, tender, flaky sablefish.  Drool worthy.

 

6 6 ounce pieces of fresh sablefish (any meaty white fish will do)

Marinade

  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 2 tbsp grainy dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp creamy dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp wasabi paste (from tube)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 fresh lemon (juiced)
  • 3 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic

Crust

  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

Whisk together all marinade ingredients – pour over fish pieces in a shallow pan – make sure all sides are coated.  Cover and marinate for 45 minutes in the fridge.

Combine panko, cornmeal, salt and pepper.

Remove fish from marinate and dip in panko mix.

Heat olive oil in heavy bottom fry pan – once it is sizzling, add the fish.

Cook for about 4 minutes per side, just until fish flakes and is glistening.

This recipe is deceptively simple.  It holds such a flavour wallop. As an added bonus, I make it often just for the two of us, and freeze the excess marinade.  It freezes well and I’ve got all the work done for another night.

Thanks go entirely to the cookbook “Whitewater Cooks” for this amazing recipe (and many more!).

 

Wonton Soup

A gloomy April day needs just this kind of soup – so much flavour and just packed with fresh vegetables.  I think the miso is what really bring the flavour bomb.

Wonton Soup 4

Loads of vegetables, a few wontons and the best broth you could wish for.

 

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 baby bok choy
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon yellow miso paste, or more, to taste

FOR THE WONTONS

  • 8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 36 2-inch won ton wrappers

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large bowl, combine shrimp, garlic, green onions, oyster sauce, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, Sriracha and pepper.
  • To assemble the wontons, place wrappers on a work surface. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the shrimp mixture into the center of each wrapper. Using your finger, rub the edges of the wrappers with water. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, pinching the edges to seal; set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Whisk in chicken broth, soy sauce, mushrooms and 2 cups water.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until mushrooms have softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in bok choy and green onions. Stir in miso paste until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in wontons until cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.
  • This soup is as flexible as the ingredients in your fridge – I like to prep them and stir fry them separately, which keeps them fresh and bright.

Wonton soup 1

A huge pile of fresh vegetables disappears in a hurry in this delicious broth.

Serve this incredible soup with these crispy scallion pancakes for a total win.

The soup recipe is courtesy of http://www.damndelicious.net and I’d recommend looking at her recipes …. everything I’ve tried has been fantastic.

Cambodian Lok Lak

Lok Lak is one of Cambodia’s national dishes, we fell in love with it during our trip this year.  The marinated beef is delicious on it’s own, but dipping in the lime pepper sauce accentuates everything.

Lok Lak 1

We are food geeks, it is true.  One of our trip highlights was visiting a pepper plantation in Kampot, home of the worlds best pepper.  La Plantation was incredible, and we loved seeing pepper being harvested by hand.  Of course you can use whatever pepper you have on hand, we just happened to bring it home with us.

Ingredients

  • lb beef steak , sliced
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 scallions , chopped

Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic , chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon Kampot pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon chicken broth powder
  • 2 teaspoons potato starch (or cornstarch)
  • 3 teaspoons paprika

Sauce

  • Juice of 5 limes
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic , chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon Kampot pepper

Sides

  • A few leaves lettuce
  • 2 ​​tomatoes , sliced
  • Steamed white rice

Instructions

  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a salad bowl, add the meat and stir well.
  2. Marinate the meat for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  3. Heat the 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok or pan and fry the chopped scallions over medium heat until they turn light brown.

  4. Add the meat, mix well and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. In a bowl, stir all the ingredients of the lok lak sauce vigorously.
  6. Prepare large plates.
  7. In each plate, place a bed of lettuce leaves and a few slices of tomato.
  8. Place the meat on the lettuce leaves and sliced ​​tomatoes.
  9. Serve with steamed white rice.
  10. Place a small bowl of lok lak sauce on the side or the center of each plate.

Lok Lak 2

Crispy but tender beef, soft rice, and a lime pepper dipping sauce to brighten it all up.  In Vietnam it is often served with French fries, but we like the rice best.

I found this recipe on a website 196 Flavors, and it was just like the Lok Lak we enjoyed in Cambodia …. lick your plate good!

Asian Chicken Mushroom Bowls with Peanut Sauce

So unlike me, but every so often I’m looking for a quick and easy dinner!  This hits all the notes with a delicious sauce, crunchy vegetables and the bright hit of those pickled vegetables – don’t skip them!

DD Chicken 5

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 (3.5-ounce) package shiitake mushrooms, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 head butter lettuce

or

  • stir fried vegetables
  • cooked rice

FOR THE PEANUT SAUCE

  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce, or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

QUICK PICKLED VEGETABLES

  • thinly sliced cucumbers & radishes
  • salt
  • vinegar (use what you have on hand, either white vinegar or rice wine vinegar

Thinly slice vegetables and place in non-reactive bowl.  Sprinkle with a little salt and then just cover with vinegar.  Set aside.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. To make the peanut sauce, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, chili garlic sauce and ginger in a small bowl. Whisk in 2-3 tablespoons water until desired consistency is reached; set aside.
  2. Heat vegetable oil and sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ground chicken, mushrooms, carrot and shallot. Cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes, making sure to crumble the chicken as it cooks; drain excess fat.
  3. Stir in garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in hoisin sauce, chili garlic sauce and fish sauce until heated through, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro.
  5. To serve, spoon several tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf, taco-style, drizzled with peanut sauce.

I’ve adapted (translate copied, but give credit where it is due!) this to a rice bowl from a Damn Delicious recipe for lettuce wraps …. if you haven’t been over to her site, treat yourself and go review a few recipes.   Needless to say we didn’t use carrots as Grant HATES cooked carrots so we just ignored that portion altogether.  Use whatever vegetables you have on hand to supplement the chicken mixture to create a colourful, delicious bowl.

DD chicken 2

Get everything ready to go, this all comes together so quickly.

DD chicken 3

Brown the chicken, mushrooms, onions, garlic and ginger, then stir in the sauce.

DD Chicken 6

Today’s vegetables were crunchy and delicious – use whatever you have on hand

 

DD Chicken 4

This takes only a few minutes to come together, so have your vegetables ready to go, and your rice cooked so you can put it all in your bowl within 20-30 minutes.

DD chicken 1

The leftovers are amazing in these fresh, soft pita’s I made.

Lamb Barbacoa

lamb barbacoa 4

Pretty simply delicious.  Feels just like you are at a roadside stand or a local Mercado in Mexico.  Serve with a salad and dinner is ready.

I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with the pack of frozen lamb stew meat in my freezer …… This turned out to be perfect!  It helps that whenever we come home from Mexico we bring dried peppers so I always have a good stock on hand.  The only thing I didn’t have, in fact, was the agave leaf, or banana leaf.  I’m sure it will add another dimension of flavour when I try that, but honestly this was just fantastic without.

FOR THE LAMB

  • 12-inch chunk of an agave leaf (penca de maguey) or 1 large banana leaf, optional
  • tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder (you could also use beef or pork – marinade works with either)
  • 12-ounce bottle of beer (optional but I love this!)
  • Salt

FOR THE MARINADE

  • 2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn into large pieces
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn into large pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • tablespoon cider vinegar
  • tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 canned chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

FOR SERVING

  • Your favorite hot sauce or salsa
  • A little chopped white onion or pickled red onions
  • A handful of cilantro leaves

This recipe came from Rick Bayless, and I have copied it here exactly as he posted it, but I’ve added my changes in the bold Italic font.

Roast the agave leaf being careful not to touch the exposed flesh of the agave) over an open flame, turning every few minutes until pliable and charred, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness.  (If using a banana leaf, run it briefly over an open flame to soften it.)  Cut into 3 pieces.  We are in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic, so I wasn’t about to run out to the store and try to buy agave leaf or banana leaf (the closest we can get to either of these is frozen banana leaf).  I just left this part out.

In the stovetop-safe insert of your slow cooker or in a very large (12-inch) skillet, heat the oil over medium-high.  Pat the lamb dry with a paper towel, sprinkle generously with salt and lay it in the insert of skillet.  Cook, turning occasionally, until richly brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.  Fit the insert into the machine or transfer the meat to the slow cooker.

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a blender with 2 cups of water and blend to a smooth puree.  Pour through a medium mesh strainer into the slow cooker. Nestle the pieces of agave leaf or banana leaf under and around the meat and pour the beer over the top, if you are using them.  Cover and turn on the slow cooker to high.  Your barbacoa  will be done in about 6 hours, though you can hold it for longer. (My slow-cooker can be programmed to switch from high after 6 hours to a “keep warm” temperature for up to another 6 hours. Some slow cookers click to “keep warm” automatically; others need to be switched manually.). I put the seasonings and the torn chile peppers into the blender along with hot water, and allowed it to sit for about 20 minutes before blending. This allowed the peppers to soften nicely and they blended up very smoothly.

Given that we are just “at home” these days, I didn’t use the slow cooker, but browned the meat well before adding it to a heavy cast iron dutch oven, covering with the marinade and slowly roasting at 275 for about 3 hours.  Honestly, I prefer this method most of the time anyway as it allows for the sauce to be richer.

lamb barbacoa 3

Just look at how rich that sauce is …. I don’t find the same result in a slow cooker.

When you are ready to serve, coarsely shred the lamb and arrange it on a warm platter.  Skim any fat from the sauce that remains in the slow cooker, then taste it.  If you feel it would be better with a more concentrated flavor, pour it into a medium saucepan or remove the insert and set it over high heat.  Boil for a few minutes to reduce that quantity, then taste and season with salt if it needs it. Spoon as much as you like over the lamb or beef.  (I like to sprinkle coarse salt over the meat at this point.)  Serve the barbacoa with the hot sauce or salsa, onion and cilantro.  Grab some tortillas, if you like, and you’re ready to make some delicious tacos.

lamb barbacoa 2

Needless to say, it isn’t necessary to make your own tortillas, but I love doing it.  I’m still struggling with getting my corn tortillas worthy of being a Mexican Abuela, but my flour tortilla game is strong!!  On Saturday mornings at one of our favourite mercados in Mexico City we have found the absolute B E S T pork carnitas.  This is the only spot we’ve ever seen this done, but they are making their tortillas loaded with herbs, so I tried that today.  Pretty successful, if I do say so myself.  I just kept adding herbs until it looked and smelled about right.

Lamb barbacoa 1

Most people come home from Mexico with decor, or tequila …… we bring home tortilla baskets, dried chile peppers and mezcal to make barbecue sauce.

Buttermilk Brined Roast Chicken

Chicken 2

Ohhhh – the skin ….. for those crispy skin lovers this chicken is a dream!  Best part of all, is that it protects the most deliciously moist chicken underneath.

I’ve been roasting chickens for a LONG time …… I rarely use a recipe, but with the isolation going on around Covid 19 I thought it was time to branch out and try something new.  This appeared in one of my Food & Wine magazines and I was pretty excited to give it a try.  Naturally with the isolation and reduced shopping I had to improvise.  I had a few dried morels, so used those in place of the porcini, and only had fresh thyme, so used that in place of the rosemary.  I also didn’t have quite that much buttermilk left, but just topped up the container with water to cover the chicken.  I followed the recipe method exactly though, and even though it took longer to cook in my oven …. more like an hour and a half, the result was worth the wait.

  • Kosher salt
  • 11 garlic cloves—9 smashed, 
2 thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary or 
5 Douglas fir sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • One 3 1/2-pound whole chicken
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Step 1

In a medium saucepan, combine 
1/4 cup of salt with the smashed garlic, the sugar, rosemary, bay leaf and 
2 cups of water. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. 
Transfer the mixture to a very large bowl and stir in 2 cups of cold water.

Step 2

In a spice grinder, grind the mushrooms to a powder. (You should have about 
3 tablespoons.) Whisk the porcini powder and buttermilk into the salt mixture. Place the chicken in the buttermilk 
brine, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 12 hours.

Step 3

Preheat the oven to 425°. Remove 
the chicken from the brine and pat dry; 
discard the brine. Tuck the wing 
tips behind the breasts, tie the legs with kitchen twine and set the chicken, 
breast side up, in a rack over a roasting pan. Season all over with salt.

Step 4

Roast the chicken for 15 minutes. Brush the butter all over the chicken, then return it to the oven and roast 
for about 45 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted 
in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes.

Step 5

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, simmer the olive oil with the sliced garlic over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic just starts to brown and the oil is hot and fragrant, about 
3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and let cool.

Step 6

Carve the chicken and arrange the pieces on a platter. Brush with some of the garlic oil and serve right away, 
passing the remaining oil at the table.

Chicken 1

No fancy presentation here, just the most delectable chicken drizzled with the garlic oil.

I copied this right out of my Food & Wine magazine, so it’s only fair to also let you know where it comes from!

Chefs Evan and Sarah Rich of RT Rotisserie in San Francisco make the very best chicken. They use a buttermilk brine that includes umami powder, garlic and Douglas fir—a signature ingredient from their flagship restaurant, Rich Table, that they forage themselves. In this adaptation, the chicken is roasted in the oven, and the brine is made with buttermilk, dried porcini, garlic and rosemary, though if you have access to Douglas fir sprigs, feel free to use them.

chicken 3

Resting the chicken is so important.  Tent it loosely with foil and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes, this allows the juices to remain in the chicken – it’s worth it, I promise.

The ingredients and method are entirely out of Food & Wine, but the photos are my own!

Korean BBQ wings, sweet & spicy!

These are the quickest, easiest wings that deliver the most amazing flavour – they hit all those sweet, spicy and sticky notes.

Korean BBQ wings

  • 1.5 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Korean BBQ Sauce

  • 6 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp corn starch

Garnish:  

  • sesame seeds
  • thinly sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 400 – use convection if you have it.

Combine flour, salt and pepper in bowl.  Pat wings dry and toss with olive oil, then lightly coat with the flour mixture.  Place on a rack over a baking sheet and put in prepared oven.  Bake for 20 minutes, flipping them at 10 minutes, then turn oven to broil and broil for 3 -4 minutes, then turn over and do another 3 minutes or so – watch carefully so they don’t burn!

In a small sauce pan combine soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, rice vinegar, sriracha, garlic and sweet chili sauce.  Bring to a boil, then mix the water and corn starch together and stir into the sauce mixture.  Return the sauce to a boil, and simmer until it thickens. Set aside.

Toss wings with the BBQ sauce – garnish with sesame seeds & onions,  and get out the napkins!

KFC cauliflower

Perfect served with these KFC cauliflower bites – so yummy.