Soy Braised Chicken Wings

Bon Appetit, January 2020 Issue, Pg. 97

So this week’s dinner was meant to be the Soy-Braised Chicken Wings recipe I found in a Bon Appetit issue. I was missing a bunch of ingredients though, so really this a much adjusted version. The cooking instructions are pretty close, but I had to swap a bunch of ingredients and skip a step or two. No complaints though, still a fan of how this turned out!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp five-spice powder
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 12 chicken wings
  • 3 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 4 scallions
  • 5 garlic cloves – 2 minced, 3 smashed
  • 2 Thai bird chilies
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

Instructions

  1. Pour 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tbsp brown sugar, minced garlic, and 1 tsp five spice powder in mixing bowl. Add wings and toss.
  2. Chill wings in fridge for 1 – 8 hours. (I did 1.5hrs).
  3. Add oil to pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Stir in scallions, smashed garlic, chilies for a couple minutes.
  5. Add in cinnamon stick, remaining brown sugar and five spice. Give that a quick stir.
  6. Pour in remaining soy sauce and 3/4 cup water.
  7. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low.
  8. Add in chicken wings. Do not pour in marinade.
  9. Pour rice vinegar over the wings.
  10. Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook for 15 minutes.
  11. Flip chicken over, cover and let cook for another 5 minutes.
  12. Remove chicken and solids (chilies, cinnamon, and smashed garlic).
  13. Continue to cook sauce over high until thickened.
  14. Toss wings back in. Add in extra scallions if you want. Mix until thoroughly coated.
  15. Serve with a side of jasmine rice.

And Voilá! Tasty savory chicken wings! I didn’t have a metal sieve to strain out all the solids before reducing my sauce – so you’ll see all the leftover onions and garlic left things much chunkier than what you see on that Bon Appetit spread. These are so good though, even as modified as they were. They were savory and flavorful without being overly salty. With a little side of white jasmine rice, it was perfecto!

Bee’s Score: 4.5 / 5

My Score: 4 / 5

Happy Eating!

Brown Butter Lemon Pasta

Bon Appetit, March 2020, Issue, Pg. 77

When I think pasta, I think creamy. Creamy, cheesy, gooey carbonara. For some reason, I always forget how good a simple pasta can be. Sunday afternoon, Bee and I sat down and sifted through all my issues of Bon Appetit to pick out this week’s recipes to try. This six-ingredient pasta caught our eye because – 1) it looked easy peasy and 2) I still had way too many leftover lemons from baking a Vegan Lemon Loaf a week ago.

LINK TO RECIPE

Slicing lemons and grating parmesan

My lemons were a little two ripe and it made it hard to get them cut super thinly, but they still tasted delicious either way. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten the rinds cooked like this before, I usually toss them away like any other garnish. This pasta was so butter-y though that it did need that tangy pop of lemon.

Browning lemons and butter in the pan

The recipe called for a short-tube pasta. Unfortunately, with everyone panic-buying pasta, the closest thing I could find was some penne. No problem though, these ended up just the right amount of al dente. Bee was a big fan of the texture – firm and a little chewy.

This is where I fudged up a little. After adding the pasta water to the brown butter, the mix looked so thin and I worried (even though the recipe explicitly told me this would happen and to wait). Instead, I decided to add more parmesan – conveniently forgetting that the parmesan was salty. So oops, a teensy bit over-seasoned.

At the end of the day, still a solid recipe. Probably better if I had listened to directions and possibly gotten the right pasta. That being said, it was still nice to change up the pasta game with something a little zestier. Quick to whip up and so much better than an out-of-the-bottle pasta sauce.

Things I learned:

  1. There is such a thing as too much cheese – especially when it’s a salty parmesan

Bee’s Score: 3.5-4 / 5

My Score: 3 / 5

Happy Eating!

Chrissy Teigen’s Pot Pie Soup

Hi friends!

SKIP TO RECIPE

It has literally been a year since my last blog post – oops? What can I say, sometimes life gets away from you. Anyway, hope you’ve all been well and safe, especially in these hard-times. I’m not going to lie, for the first half of this shelter-in-place business, I was doing a lot of takeout and frozen pizzas. I was eating my feelings, don’t judge me. But then, my little sister moved in with me and I figured I should really be feeding her something other than fried chicken. Maybe even a vegetable or two. Coincidentally, we happened to watch Julie & Julia the first week she was here, which made me realize that for all the cookbooks and food magazines that I collect…. I haven’t used a single recipe from one.

So now, I’m on my own Julie & Julia adventure minus the Julia Childs bit and the super aggressive pace. BUT I do want to try making one or two recipes from my cookbooks each week, starting with (surprise surprise) Pot Pie Soup from Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings.

I don’t want to be one of those scroll-for-ten-years-before-you-get-to-the-recipe bloggers, so I’ll try to always post the recipe or share a link right at the top. This seems to be a pretty widely made one, so you don’t have to buy the book to try it.

Full Disclaimer – I cheated. Instead of making the pot pie crackers, I just bought a sheet of puff pastry, cut those into little squares, and popped them in the oven instead. But even without the crackers, this soup was wonderful. It tasted exactly like a pot pie, but a creamier, richer version. Huge fan.

Five-ish years ago, I went to Texas for the first time and the very first meal I had there was a pot pie. It was served in a little dish with a little pocket of crust right on top instead of as a traditional pie. This recipe reminded me so much of that. That trip wasn’t the greatest, but that pot pie sure was. This soup is just as good.

The Good

  • Great for meal prep – reheats deliciously!
  • Doesn’t take too long to whip up once you’ve got all the ingredients diced up

The Bad

  • Little sister ate all my Tums after this. All that butter = heartburn

Has anyone else tried any other recipes from Cravings? Any recommendations? If you’ve made this one, is it worth doing again with the full from-scratch crackers?

Bee’s Score: 2/5 for Heartburn, “Too Creamy”

My Score: 4/5

Happy Eating!

Orange, Almond & Apricot Biscotti

You know the best thing about having sisters? It’s like having mandatory friends – friends who visit and bring you food. You know what’s even better than a sister? A little sister who likes to bake, which mine does. Hallelujah! Baby sister Bee was in town a few weekends ago to deal with some grad school applications and she brought me up some fresh baked biscotti!

When she was just a little tot in elementary school, I remember her attempting to bake lemon bars by herself one Saturday morning and being absolutely crushed when they came out terribly. So adorably sweet. Such terrible, terrible burnt lemon bars.

Well, she’s come a long way from those days! Because these biscotti were absolutely addicting. They were dense and doughy but crispy on the edges. Each bite was chock full of crunchy almond bits and chewy sweet pieces of dried apricot. They probably should have been a bit crispier, but Bee says she may have over done it with the orange juice. Remind me to tell you another time why we always called her the juicer growing up!

I killed about four of them and then decided later that evening that they would go great with jam. So cue some last minute midnight jam making! Nothing fancy – I had a bag of frozen mixed fruits (namely strawberries, peaches and pineapple) that I use for smoothies. I threw some of those in a pan with some orange juice, a bit of stevia, and some cinnamon. Soften, smash, reduce and voila! Jam!

I let it cool in the fridge overnight and treated myself to some biscotti and jam with my coffee the next morning. Yum! Anywho, if you don’t have a little sister to do your baking for you, try out this recipe she used: Orange, Almond & Apricot Biscotti.

Some tips from baker Bee if you do:

  • Bake at a higher temp. It takes much longer to golden than expected.
  • Measure out your juice.
  • Cut smaller pieces on the diagonal if you want to get the full 24 slices.
  • It’s a super sticky dough. Get ready to put use some elbow grease.

Happy Eating! xo.

Happy New Year | Crab Rangoon Recipe

Happy Lunar New Year! While this holiday isn’t nearly as celebrated in the States as it is over in the East, it’s still a huge deal in Asian-American communities. For my family, it means weekend-long get-togethers and a spread of way too much food for the number of guests in attendance. I’m pretty sure my mom only invites me home for the extra help in the kitchen (Kidding, my mom would kidnap me and keep me home always, if possible). That being said, I woke up at 7am last Saturday to help her churn out some apps for the family.

If you’ve ever been to a 3-star asian seafood buffet or picked up some Panda Express for a last minute meal, you are no stranger to the Crab Rangoon. Stuffed with a creamy fake crab filling, this is no fancy appetizer. Nonetheless, it’s always a party favorite. They’ve been mine since I was little and basically begged my mom to figure out how to make them. So we’ve been churning these out for every party since I was like ten.

It’s not a complicated recipe, but hand-folding all the wontons can take some time. Luckily, if you make an assembly line of your favorite sisters (or whoever you can rope into it), wonton making becomes a good hour of family bonding.

Ingredients

  • 16oz Imitation Crab
  • 16oz Cream Cheese
  • Wonton wrappers
  • Chives / Green onions
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Egg
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

1.Mark sure wonton wrappers and “crab” are fully defrosted. Set cream cheese out for a little bit to soften or blending will be quite difficult.

2. Finely chop up your chives or green onions. Enough to fill about half a cup.

3. Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until the onions soften.

4. Add onions, “crab” and 8oz of the cream cheese into a food processor.

5. Pulse until everything is roughly chopped and mixed together. If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop up the crab and onions by hand then combine in with the cheese.

6. Pour out into a mixing bowl and fold in the remaining 8oz of cream cheese.

7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

8. Alright folks it’s wrapping time! Scoop about a teaspoon of cheese mix into a wonton wrapper.

9. Crack an egg into a bowl. Dip a finger or cooking brush into the egg and brush around the edges of the wonton wrapper.

10. With two fingers each hand, pinch four sides of the wrapper in to meet in the middle. You should end up with this little X shape.

11. Pinch the middle so the sides stick together, then work your way out along the edges of the X, slowly pressing all the gaps closed.

12. Voila! One wonton down, many many more to go. Keep folding until all your wontons are ready to fry!

13. Okay, frying time! Fill your fryer with your oil of choice and get the temperature up to about 425 to 450 degrees.

14. Pop your wontons in a few at a time and take them out with a slotted spoon once they’re evenly golden-brown. It’s important that they’re sealed really well or they’ll pop open at this step. Trust me, exploding wontons are much less tasty.

15. Set them on a rack to cool, letting the excess oil drip off the bottom.

16. Enjoy!

Hope your family loves these as much as mine! They’re great for little hands and disappear in seconds. Happy Eating!