2-Napkin Wings for Super Bowl

Extra gooey, super spicy wings, on New Year's Eve

Super Bowl-inspired platter of sauce-laden BBQ wings, which we call "2-Napkin Wings." Put them on the table and they don't last too long -- why this photo is missing at least a dozen! Put out plenty of napkins, too -- enough to dab the sauce from cheeks, chin and fingertips.

The alchemy of these sweet yet spicy wings is simple -- use a base of your favorite BBQ sauce, but amply sprinkle garlic salt, chili powder, fresh-cracked five-pepper peppercorns and hot Hungarian paprika over them before saucing up.

Roast in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes, turn, re-season, and brush on more sauce. Repeat two more times, reducing oven to 325 for last 20 minutes.  The sauce will be the consistency of molasses and turn from ruby to a glistening mahogany reddish brown.  Pile onto a platter with a 1/2 cup of your own homemade bleu cheese dressing, and watch them disappear!
SOUTHWESTERN POBLANO CORNBREAD

 

For our Super Bowl celebration, we whipped up an easy batch of buttermilk cornbread, spiked with some southwestern corn for added spice and texture. Thanks to The Food TV network and Paula Deen for guidance on this savory treat. Less than an hour from start to finish, here's how we did it:

Ingredients

2 large eggs, beaten with a fork
1-1/2 c buttermilk OR 1 c whole milk + 1/2 c sour cream
1 c southwestern corn (includes chiles, poblano peppers and other Tex-Mex ingredients - we used Del Monte in a can)
6 T melted butter
2 T butter for pan

1 c white cornmeal
3/4 c flour
1 T sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda


Process

1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Grease a 9" x 9" baking pan with butter.
3. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl.
4. Mix all wet ingredients except for corn in smaller bowl.
5. Gently fold in Southwestern corn.
6. Pour into baking pan and bake for 25 minutes until golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Enjoy with your favorite chili or chicken 'n' ribs!




SUPER BOWL DRY ROASTED RIBS 
Low-carb, almost no sugar


Our recipe for dry roasted ribs is a delicious alternative to slathering sugary, high-calorie, carb-laden sauce. Containing almost no sugar, all you need is an oven set at 300F for four hours, a little water, and the delicious ingredients that are listed below. We served these with our Poblano Cornbread. This rub works equally well with chicken, just turn up the heat to 375F after 3 hours and roast for another 30 minutes, until brown and crispy.

Preheat oven to 300F

Ingredients

2-4 lb. rack of ribs
1 T high-quality smoky paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T cumin, or more if desired
1 T ground chili seasoning, or more if desired
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp onion salt
Generous grind 5 pepper medley (Williams Sonoma)
2 T dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt or fleur-de-sel (Williams Sonoma)
Water

Take ribs out of refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature (about 20 minutes).

Mix spices well in bowl, rub generously into both sides of a rack of ribs. Place ribs on a sheet pan that has been fitted with alum foil to catch drippings and place ribs on a wire rack over pan with 1/4 c water beneath rack. Roast in oven 4 hours, turning every 20-30 minutes, replenishing with 1/4 c water as needed.

Here's what they will look like when they are ready. Carve and enjoy!




Top food trend for 2018

Click on this link to read the complete story:

Fermented foods oust seeds as top food trend for 2018

According to a report just published by the Specialty Food Association, fermented foods ousted seeds as the No. 1 superfood for 2018, according to Pollock Communications' and Today's Dietitian's survey of registered dietitian nutritionists. The rise of fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh, some pickles, kimchi and miso, signal that consumers in the coming year will move towards clean, natural, and simple foods as they seek options that improve gut health and overall well-being.
Rounding out the Top 10 superfoods for 2018 are avocado, seeds, nuts, green tea, ancient grains, kale, exotic fruits, coconut products, and salmon. The survey also revealed that clean eating, plant-based and ketogenic are “in” as diet trends for 2018, while low-fat, dash, and wheat belly are out. 
"The movement toward clean eating reflects a change in how consumers view food," notes Jenna A. Bell, PhD, RD, SVP of Pollock Communications. "Consumers are searching for nutrition information and equating diet with overall well-being." As an example, Bell points out that the quick rise of fermented foods in the top 10 superfood list shows that consumers have expanded their definition of wellness to include benefits like gut health. "It also suggests that consumers are digging deeper for information about the food they eat and in this instance, finding out why yogurt, kefir or kimchi is so good for them."

Good Luck Lentil Soup!



In many families, it is a tradition to have lentils, black-eyed peas or some sort of bean on New Year's Day ... to usher in the new year with luck and good fortune. Here's our version of a hearty lentil soup that fills the bill ... It's easy to make, fills the house with amazing aromas, and with the addition of kielbasa, makes a meal unto itself. Just add your favorite beverage and hot crusty Italian bread!


Ingredients
1 16 oz bag dried lentils
2-3 T extra virgin olive oil for sautéeing
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb. kielbasa, cut into 1/2" pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4" pieces
1 lb. carrots, cut into 1/4" pieces
4 c beef broth (heated)
6 c water (heated)
1 bay leaf
French fleur de sel to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Process
1. In a large Dutch oven, sauté the kielbasa in 1-2 T of olive oil until browned.
2. Add chopped onion, garlic and celery. Sauté until wilted. Add more olive oil if needed.
3. Add carrots, mix with kielbasa, onion, garlic and celery and sauté one-two minutes more.
4. Add warmed beef broth, bay leaf, warmed water, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.
5. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to simmer for 1-1/2 hours.
6. Let cool slightly and serve with your favorite beverage and hot crusty Italian bread.


HAPPY NEW YEAR! May good fortune, good health and abundant joy be yours in the year to come!








Coquilles St. Jacques (Scallops in Cream Sauce)


Elegantly Simple ... And Simply Elegant.

If you are musing over what to serve on Christmas Eve and/or New Year's Eve, here's a surprisingly easy yet exquisite dish that works for two, four or six. Served over ris au four (baked rice) and accompanied by a chilled white wine or Prosecco, and garlic-sautéed haricots vert, it is a memorable meal for a special night. With abundant thanks my muse, master chef Pierre Franey, for his inspiration.

Ingredients

Coquilles (Scallops in Cream Sauce)
1-1/2 lbs. fresh bay scallops, well rinsed and patted dry
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sautéed in 2 tbsp. butter (can be done ahead)
1 shallot, minced
6 tbsp. butter
3 leeks, washed well, and chopped finely
2 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp. flour
1/4 c. dry white wine, such as a Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay
1 small shallot, chopped finely
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 tbsp. Sambuca (or Pernod)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Baked Rice


1-1/2 c. white rice
2-1/4 c. water or low-sodium chicken broth
1 small sweet onion, chopped finely
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme and 2 sprigs fresh parsley
1 small bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Process

Prepare the rice first:
Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

1. In a small Le Creuset or similar casserole that can go from the range top to the oven, sauté the onion and garlic in butter until translucent. Stir in the rice and coat well.


2. Add water or broth, and all ingredients.
3. Cover with a lid and bake at 400F for 15 minutes.

While the rice is baking:
1. Sauté the leeks in butter until wilted. Add wine, and cook for a few minutes until it has given up its alcohol. Stir in cream, flour, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over low heat to reduce and thicken, stirring frequently.


2. As cream mixture simmers, sauté shallots, salt and pepper in a large separate non-stick sauté pan. Add the scallops when shallots are translucent and sauté to a golden hue.

3. Add Sambuca and heat until it has given up its alcohol.
4. Combine scallop mixture with cream sauce, bring to a boil, and add remaining butter. Serve with baked rice.








Christmas Eve Paella (Also: New Year's Eve Paella)


Paella is one of our family's favorite dishes, and even though I've heard it's "easy," there are many ingredients and the assembly is tricky. Ron's dad had a great recipe that goes back three decades (which uses the oven), and I found a fantastic version by Janet Mandel, a Spanish cooking authority (which uses the stove top).  I put the two of them together, and also added my own touches.  I decided to use a large earthenware casserole dish and the oven method.  (Note: Assembly time: about an hour; cooking time, approximately another hour. Give yourself ample time, don't rush and enjoy the experience!)

Ingredients:
4 small chicken thighs, bone-in
4 small chicken breasts (or two breasts cut in half), bone-in
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
10 strands of saffron, steeped in boiling water
2 cups long grain white rice
8 cups chicken broth
1 green pepper, cut in 1/2" x 1/4" strips
1 ripe plum tomato, chopped
1 lb. Spanish chorizo (sausage)
18 raw, peeled and deveined shrimp
18 mussels
18 littleneck clams
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large Spanish onion, chopped (approximately 1 cup)
1/2 box frozen peas
4 oz. roasted red peppers

Note: Prepare your mis en table in advance; chop all tomatoes, onion, pepper, garlic, clean all seafood, etc. so the cooking and assembly process goes smoothly.

Preparation
Cook the chicken: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Salt and pepper both sides of all pieces of chicken in oven-proof frying pan. Sauté in olive oil on both sides until deep golden brown.  Pop into oven for 20 minutes.

Cook the chorizo: Fry chorizo in non-stick pan. When cooked through, cut into small pieces. Drain pan of excess fat. Return chorizo to pan. Add onion, garlic, chopped tomato and green pepper, adding olive oil if necessary. When onion and garlic are translucent, remove from heat and set aside.

Steep the saffron: Bring one cup water to a boil. Remove from heat, add saffron. Set aside.

Assembly
When chicken is cooked, arrange around edges of large open casserole or paella pan.  Sprinkle with rice and add chicken stock, chopped tomato, chorizo/onion/pepper mixture, saffron with water, stir and cover tightly. Cook for 40 minutes, stirring half way through.

Remove from oven, uncover, stir. Add peas, roasted red peppers and shrimp. Cover, put back in oven for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, add mussels and clams. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, or until clams, shrimp and mussels are cooked. Shrimp should be firm and pink. Discard any mussels or clams that are not open.

Serve with salad and crisp white wine, such as Pinot Grigio (or Sangria, for you purists).

Paella also makes a fantastic party dish, as perfect for a crowd on New Year's Eve as on Christmas Eve.