Sunday, November 17, 2013

Baked Chicken Wings

We like chicken wings at our house. There are three of us and we each like something different on our wings. My daughter is a barbeque lover. I like Frank's Sweet Chili sauce. And my husband, the purist, likes buffalo sauce made with Frank's Red Hot. These baked wings make it easy for everyone to sauce their own wings as they like or try a little of everything. We buy the package of fresh chicken wings in the grocery store and cut them to the smaller wing size. The wings come with three parts, the shoulder, the arm, and the tip. When prepping, you'll discard the tip. I'll share the recipes here for our buffalo and blue cheese sauces. The picture shows the wings drizzled with Frank's Sweet Chili sauce.

Baked Chicken Wings
(makes 24 wings)
1 package of fresh chicken wings
4 T. olive oil
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
3 T. of minced garlic (jar style) or 3 cloves, pressed
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white ground pepper, this is a finely ground pepper that blends in nicely
1 gallon size zipper bag

Buffalo sauce:
1 cup Frank's Red Hot
2 T butter or margarine

Marcy's Blue Ranch sauce:
1/2 cup Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Celery sticks, if desired

Preheat convection oven to 375°F (see note below). Cut chicken into the smaller wing pieces, discarding the tips. Prepare the rub in the zipper bag by adding the oil and spices right into the bag. Add chicken wings. Zip the bag shut and shake to coat the chicken. Set aside until oven is heated then arrange on a baking sheet sprayed lightly with pan spray. Bake 30 minutes or until crispy and cooked through. While baking, prepare the buffalo sauce in a small saucepan. Heat thoroughly. Prepare the blue ranch dip. When wings are done, add to the buffalo sauce and stir briefly to coat. Remove and serve with blue ranch and celery.

(NOTE: We used convection baking on our oven, so the time to bake was only 30 minutes. If you do not have convection baking, bake 40-45 minutes at 375°F.)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Steakhouse Salad with Roasted Beets

After I finally figured out how to make perfectly roasted beets, I was ready to make the steakhouse salad I had imagined. We buy a split quarter beef from a farmer in southern Minnesota and have processed at the Bergen Meats butcher shop in a tiny town with only a couple of other buildings in it. It's great stuff. They also have awesome smoked turkey breasts, but that's off topic. Back to the steakhouse salad. I wanted to make a salad with grilled sirloin. These sirloin steaks are so great and we grill ours pretty rare, you should grill to the doneness you like best. Now, roasted beets are a perfect compliment to a hearty steak. The only real prep time is the time it takes to roast the beets (which you can do easily in the crockpot: see recipe here.) The rest is just a few minutes at mealtime. We used one 16 ounce sirloin for a main dish salad for our family of 3. If you are serving more people and this is a main dish, you'll want to double the recipe. If it's a side dish, smaller portions are perfect. I hope you enjoy it.

Steakhouse Salad with Roasted Beets
1 clamshell of organic spring mix salad greens
1 16 oz. sirloin steak, seasoned with any all purpose grill seasoning you normally use
6 roasted beets, cut into strips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Grill the steak to desired doneness. Allow to rest a few minutes while you prep the salad. On plates, arrange the spring mix greens. Add the beets, feta and walnuts. Drizzle with maple mustard dressing. Slice the steak and arrange on top of the salad and serve.

Maple Mustard Dressing
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 maple syrup
1 tbsp. mild Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. paprika
Mix it all together in a jar and shake!