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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dinner Tonight: Wings!!!

I have to tell you I love wings. Unfortunately for the chicken population I am not alone.
Sometime in recent history some culinary genius from upstate NY came up with the idea for Buffalo Wings and since then Americans have been eating them in large quantities. Not many other foods around are as messy to eat as wings yet they are eaten with such gusto that we seem to ignore they fact that we look animal like as we consume them. In front of a television hunched over a plate of wings with blue cheese and celery pieces is a glorious place to be.

Buffalo Wings are traditionaly fried but tonight I prepared them on my grill. A part of me has always been scared to own a fryer. I envision myself at 2 o'clock in the morning frying hunks of cheese and I do not want to go down that road. Anyway,I made them with two different sauces. One a traditional Buffalo style sauce and another an Asian inspired sauce. Well actually I didn't prepare the Buffalo sauce I used a bottled sauce and as a foodie I am not ashamed to admit it. I have successfully made Buffalo sauce before it essentially is butter and hot sauce but I found a bottled brand that actually is good. It is made by Mikee. I purchased it at a speciality store but I have seen it in supermarkets as well. Its a really good product. Simply toss the cooked wings in the sauce when done. Its pretty spicy already but if its not to your liking you can always kick it up a notch with some more hot sauce.

The Asian inspired sauce I made from scratch. The base of the sauce is made from a Taiwanese barbecue sauce from a company called Bull Head. This sauce and American barbecue sauce couldn't be more different. Bull Head sauce is a known as Sha Cha sauce and China and the base is made from dried fish. The texture is gritty almost like a wet rub. The flavor of fish is subtle and it has a spicy aftertaste. I mixed it with a few other ingredients.

Asian Barbecue Sauce:

2 Tblespns Bull Head Barbecue Sauce
1 Tblespn Oyster Sauce
1 tspn cider vinegar
1 hot sauce to taste

Mix ingredients and bring to a boil then toss the wings in the sauce after they are cooked. I usually grill wings about 7 minutes or so on each side.


* Bull Head Sauce is a common product in Asian markets

Monday, May 5, 2008

Dinner Tonight: Fish Tacos w/Pico De Gallo

I had my first fish taco in L.A. county a few years back and found them to be a nice light alliterative to the beef taco. Since then I've had them in a few different establishments here on the east coast and while I found them good I thought there was room for improvement. One common trait that I found was the deep frying of small cubes of fish. The problem I find with this method is when you bite into the taco sometimes you will get a piece of fish and sometimes you wont. I wanted to insure that I would get a mouthful of fish and every bite. Right away I though about Cod and the way it flakes when you cook it.

I wanted to top the fish taco with a fresh Pico de Gallo which is a simple condiment consisting of tomatoes, onions, cilantro and chilies.

For the Fish Tacos:

1 lb Cod
1 tspn ground cumin
1 tspn chili powder
1 tblspn vegetable oil
Chopped lettuce
Flour or corn tortillas.
Juice of one lime
dash white wine
salt and pepper to taste.

Wash the fish and cut into cubes. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the fish. Mix in the cumin and the chili powders. Add the wine and cover the skillet and simmer for about ten minutes. While the fish is cooking prepare the tortillas according to the package. Uncover the fish and add salt,pepper and lime juice. With a fork gently flake the fish pieces. If the fish is not yet flaky cover and cook a little longer. Arrange the tortillas on a plate and add the chopped lettuce. With a slotted spoon add the fish to the tortillas over the lettuce. Spoon some Pico De Gallo over the fish and serve.

Serves 2

Pico De Gallo:

3 large ripe tomatoes seeded and chopped
1 small chopped onion
2 Jalapeno Peppers with seeds and pith removed
3 tblspns chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving


*Feel free to try another type of fish besides cod. Scrod will also flake similarly to cod.
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