Honey Sriracha Wings

9 Apr

This recipe comes from Copicut Farms, the excellent chicken purveyors at my local farmers market. Not only were these delicious, but dare i say, they were beautiful. they really solved the problem i was having with a run of too pale buffalo wings.  The cooking method and soy/honey combos lends a rich brown coloring. By the way, don’t make a second batch without cleaning the pan, because man i did, and the honey got scorched on to my pan, and i ended up taking off a layer of my cast iron in cleaning.

  • 6 chicken drumsticks or 6 full wings (12 wing pieces)
  • 1/4 soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • juice and zest for 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 green onion, slice thinly for garnish
  • toasted sesame seeds for topping (optional)

To make

  1. Season chick with salt and pepper to taste. if using wings, cut each into wing piece (see diagram below). Keep drumette and wingette, discard tip.
  2. whisk together soy sauce, lime juice, zest, balsamic, honey, sriracha, chili flakes, garlic and ginger, set aside.
  3. preheat oven to 400.
  4. heat cast iron over med heat and add olive oil. Lightly brown chick on all sides. Spoon half sauce over each piece of chick and use tongs to turn the chick pieces so it absorbs the sauce all over. Allow to cook in skillet for another 2 minutes.
  5. Place entire skillet into preheated oven, turning chick regularly with tons and adding another spoonful of the reserved half of the sauce over each piece of chicken. bake uncovered for 20-25 mins until chick is cooking through and skin is caramelized
  6. Plate. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, chopped green onions and cilantro.


Steak- How to

9 Apr

Oh man, never have i ever cooked a steak to such perfection. This method come from Man Made, a DIY site for men, or as they put it “Creativity and the Handmade Life for the Postmodern Male.” That’s right.  And these guys got steak right. They say this works best for a 1.5/2 inch cut of steak. I used a rib-eye.

  1. Salt your steak. Do so liberally. With coarse seat salt (I used a smoked maldon). They recommend do this at least a day ahead, or up to three. I did maybe 15 mins ahead and still worked. About an hour before going to cook, take out steak and let get to room temp. Just before cooking, sprinkle with pepper. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Heat oven-proof skillet (i used cast iron) on stove. Lightly coat pan with a neutral oil (like canola, with high smoke point) and heat until just smoking.
  3. Lay meat down. Leave for two to three minutes (i did 3) to get a good sear. (resist temptation to pick it up and look before this). Flip over. Cook another 2 mins. Adding in flavoring. For this I used one smashed clove of garlic and a nice pat, maybe 2 tsp of butter. Butter will melt and brown, baste your steak with this. Can also add spring of rosemary or thyme, or leave out aromatics.
  4. Then transfer pan to oven. 5-7 min for rare, 7-10 for medium. I did 7 min and it was perfectly pink.
  5. Be sure to let it rest 5-10 min before cutting into it.

Didn’t make tonight, but another snackobacko fave trick is after take out of pan, deglaze with some glugs of leftover red wine. Heat on high, until it reduces and thickens slightly, such that if you graze your pan with a wooden spoon it’s leaves a visible path that holds momentarily. Pour on steak and enjoy.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

9 Apr

So every time I want to make choc chip cookies, I debate– should i try a new recipe? Or go with my gold standard- the one on the back of the Ghirardelli choc chip bag? I happen to believe that the recipe that you grew up making– forms the archetype of the cookie you are always chasing after. So even when you spend an obscene amount of effort to craft the Jacque Torres recipe, fiddling with cake flour and scales, as good as that might be- it just doesn’t taste like to cookie in my mind’s eye.

Until these. Posted on Food52 by Phyllis Grant, she says it’s her own adaptation of Toll House recipe. But to me- it is just an ever so slightly improved version of my gold standard Ghirardelli. With slightly more brown to white sugar ratio, a few more chips- and two kinds of them. When I made too, did dough a day ahead of time, and let chill in fridge over night. It’s not necessary, but it actually does make a difference in final product and helps too if wanna make ahead.

Link to her original post  A quick note on plagiarism. It seems to me like a bit needless work to retype recipes already online, so i often don’t post. But if I don’t post, the recipe gets lost in my own mental archive. Better to have them gathered here like an old school recipe box. Plus we all need pointing in the right direction, to sift through the billion recipes ccc recipes out there. Special thanks to Jordan for pointing me to this one.  So, with that said, I am copying and pasting her recipe verbatim with my changes in [ ].

Makes 24 cookies (2 ounces each)

  • 2 1/8cups all-purpose flour
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 1teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2cups regular semisweet chocolate chips [I did an even split I think, 1 1/4 cup of each bitter and semi]
  • 1cup large bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2cups walnuts, finely chopped [BLECH- i don’t use these]
  • 1cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1cup light or dark brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1/2cup white sugar
  • 2eggs
  • 2teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Mix together chocolate chips [and chopped nuts, if using]. Set aside.
  4. All medium speed unless otherwise noted: In a standing mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until well mixed and light. Scrape down the sides. Add one egg. Mix for 5 seconds. Scrape down the sides. Add second egg. Mix for 5 seconds. Scrape down the sides. Add vanilla. Mix for 5 seconds. Scrape down the sides.
  5. You’re going to add the sifted flour mixture in 4 batches, stopping before adding the final batch. For the first 3 batches, mix at low speed just to combine, scraping down the sides between each addition. When you get to the final batch of flour, add the chocolate chip/nut mixture. They will get a bit crushed. That’s okay. Mix until there’s barely a trace of flour visible. Don’t over-mix. Sometimes, it’s better to be safe and do the final bit of mixing by hand.
  6. Set up a sheet pan with a silpat or parchment paper. Bake one tray at a time or they will all cook at different rates. Make them spherical, not flat. The cookie size is up to you. I find the bigger they are, the better ratio you have between gooey interior and crisp exterior. 2 ounces is about right for that. [i use a small cookie scoop, highly recommend purchasing]
  7. Leave a few inches between the raw cookies. Place sheet pan in the oven. They cook very fast at this temp. I never set a timer. I just hang around the oven and drink tea. [phyllis said all that, not me. i time] They’re done when they’re brown and crispy on the outer border and raw in the very middle (8 to 10 minutes). Remove sheet pan. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then, with a spatula, transfer cookies to a cookie rack to cool. If you’re not going to eat them right away, they should be frozen.
  8. If you’re not baking them off right away, portion them out with an ice cream scoop, place them on a sheet pan, and freeze. Once firm, store them in a Ziploc bag. Works great to bake them off when they’re frozen. [or as i mentioned, can leave in fridge over night]



Thanksgiving Primer

6 Nov


*Insert pun about cracking open thanksgiving

So last year I cooked a thanksgiving dinner for 25 people. And did a trial run of the meal with a group of maybe 11. But for some reason, didn’t post any of it. But as people are starting to think about cooking this year, I thought I’d throw in my 2 cents and supply readers with some links to recipes I used for my menu.

Snacko Backo Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad. A hit for any t-day or potluck. Always great to have something green, fresh and crunchy in the meal. New thing: now using a slicing disk attachment on the food processor, makes shredding those puppies way faster.

Turkey! Did two eleven-pounders for 25 people. Spatchcocked the bird. Dry brined following Serious Eats recipe. On my test run I took out the spine myself with a pair of poultry sheers (above pic), but way easier, as I learned to just ask your butcher to butterfly it. Serious Eats has a very long explanation of why this method is the best and how to do it. Basically, it only takes 1.5 hours to cook your bird and comes out fall of the bone tender. I really believe too, that carving the bird right is what makes for great presentation. If you are not sure about how to do this, serious eats also has a video (scroll down to bottom of that link) for your spatchcocked bird. They also have how-to carve a regular turkey. Knowing how to carve a turkey is an amazing skill because it directly translates on how to butcher/carve any chicken/bird.

Gravy. Serious Eats. I chose this recipe because can make it ahead and don’t have to wait until post-turkey to assemble. Plus it’s very tasty. And I am not even a huge gravy person. The secret to this recipe is soy sauce and a dash of maramite to give it that umami, or so they say. They also have recipes on there for the post-turkey kind.

Stuffing. Again did Serious Eats. Liked, but didn’t love the breakfast sausage in it. Next time would do sweet italian or another, more mild flavored one.

Mom’s Cranberry Chutney. Always and forever.

Sweet Potatoes. Last year did mashed with a homemade brown butter fluff- a Food 52 recipe. So good, will make again this year.

Now, I didn’t make this last year. But growing up my mother always made, what we lovingly referred to as Broccoli Mush. I can’t believe this recipe is on Serious Eats, but here ya go. It’s a Silver Palate recipe, actually called Pureed Broccoli with Creme Fraiche. Last time I made this, I really fucked it up. As I recall, 2 bunches of brocc was no where near the five pounds the recipe suggests. I used more bunches to get to five pounds and ended up with an absolutely absurd amount of broccoli. Next time I make, I will report back on proper quantities. But I’d suggest sticking with the 2 bunches and disregarding the 5 pound idea. I’m not sure Broccoli Mush is an impress-your-guests type of dish but had to include for its taste-like-home factor.

Apple Crisp. Another family tradition. No holiday meal is complete without it.


Snap Pea, Tomato and Peach Salad

25 Jul

pea tomato peach

This is another snacko backo (not) recipe. Summer salads. Not something I should really have to sell you on. Fresh. In season. Don’t have to turn on your oven or bother with pots and pans.

One of my favorite things to do lately is go to the farmers and just get some tomatoes. Slice them thick. Douse with olive oil, fresh herbs, salt & pepper. And the other day I spliced in thick slices of peaches with my tomatoes. Man. Did this take things to a new summer level.

I am also not generally a huge snap pea person but some recent encounters have changed my tune. One was some fresh peas- eaten off the vine at an air bnb – and the other was a simple pea and mint salad.

Thus: Snap Pea, Tomato and Peach Salad

Combine snap peas, cherry tomatoes, and peaches. Dress with olive oil, lemon, salt & pepper. Along with any fresh herbs you have. Again, because it’s on my fire escape, I use basil and tarragon. But this salad also screams for mint.

I’ve been thinking lately too about adding some fresh mozzarella to it.


While were at it, I’m sure you 9-5ers and food blog readers are all familiar with some iteration of a mason jar salad for office lunches. The idea is- you do dressing on the bottom, then strategically stack your fixins. This way the whole salad doesn’t sit in dressing all day or overnight.

So the other week while I was at that archives I took my (bigger than mason jar) container and at the bottom: olive oil, with generous amounts of lemon juice (1.5 lemons). Then I put in shredded cabbage (cause benefits from overnight dressing soak), then cucumbers, then diced red pepper, then cherry tomatoes, then mozz (or feta would work well), avocado, peaches and of course salt and pepper. Once you’re ready for lunch- shake and enjoy.

Even less of a recipe than the first— consider it more of a call – in praise of infinitely adaptable summer salads. And fuck the lettuce/kale etc., who needs it.


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