Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The bastardization of fine cuisines

Well, I have accomplished the unaccomplishable... (?)

Okay, maybe not completely true statement there. But I'm very excited for my newest culinary bastardization of two of my favorite new cooking techniques (?)... Asian cuisine + Buffalo Chicken wings. (somewhere - probably in DC - Don Bistarkey is groaning in dismay)


Last night saw the culmination of a dream. A dream that came to me about two weeks ago when the wife and I made our first egg rolls. Sausage and coleslaw egg rolls. They were so delicious, and so easy to make, that it got me thinking. Why not Buffalo chicken egg rolls?

After contemplating for a week or so, I came up with a preliminary recipe to test it out. Buffalo wings have always been a specialty of mine... Buffalo wings, burgers and chili are three items I have raised to haute cuisine level after years of repetitive experimentation. But Buffalo wings are the kings of my repertoire.

I have a very simple way of preparing Buffalo wings, and I have never tasted a better wing in my life. It all started almost 20 years ago in college, at one of our first house parties (the SEWER house for those in-the-know) when I decided to add a little ranch dressing into the sauce to cool it down slightly. Over the years the recipe has evolved to include a little soy, sriracha hot pepper sauce, twice baking the wings instead of deep frying, and blue cheese dressing has replaced the ranch (although my wife still prefers ranch, so I always make a separate batch for her).

Anyhow, this prep was a little different, and still in the experimental stages (so I certainly would accept any recommendations or pointers from some of my more accomplished chef friends).  

Basically, stage one was baking the wings. mixed the wings, some cayenne powder, sea salt, garlic powder, veg oil and pepper in a big bowl and placed on a baking sheet. Baked at 350 for about an hour and a half. cut some celery into thin slices, to give the texture of water chestnuts, and julienned some carrots. once the wings were done baking, I took out of oven and let sit for 1/2 hour to cool off, covered with some aluminum foil. In a pan I sauteed the carrots and celery with a little butter. I then took the chicken meat, with some skin, off the wing bones, added to the sauteing carrots and celery, added my hot sauce mixture (Frank's Red Hot, Soy, Blue Cheese dressing, splash Sriracha hot pepper sauce) and cooked down slightly until the sauce was absorbed by the chicken and veggies. The trick is not to use too much sauce, didn't want the egg rolls to be overtaken by the heat. Once heated through, I used a soup spoon and stuffed one egg roll at a time while I waited for my oil to heat up. Into the oil and all done in about three minutes.

They were delicious, with a little ranch for dipping. I was very happy with the end result. More experimentation to come, and again, would appreciate any instruction to help me perfect this dish.

Oh, and since this is a drinking man's blog... what goes great with egg rolls? Foster's beer, of course. When funds are tight and there is some beer drinking at home to be done, I'm either picking up a case of Sam Adams (again, Don groans), Heineken, or Fosters. 

The Fosters tasted just right for this Pan-Amerasian dish.

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