Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pasta Carbonara With Bacon

Thank you Life Made Delicious for this fast and easy meal.  Three days later we are still eating the leftovers, and I have packed some lunch-sized portions away in the freezer for the kids school lunches.  There is alot to be said about a meal that you and your family will happily continue to eat for days.  It doesn't happen very often.

I made a few changes to lighten the fat load, but the original recipe isn't too bad on it's own.

Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Pasta Carbonara With Bacon
6 oz spaghetti (I used whole wheat rotini - a box and a half)
4 slices bacon (I used 12 fat savings here, but I did use double the pasta)
1 garlic chopped
1 egg
3/4 c milk (I used a cup of fat free evaporated milk)
3/4 c parmesan (I used a cup)
1/4 tsp pepper
4 c baby spinach leaves
3/4 c chopped tomatoes (I completely forgot to add this - turned out great without them, probably delicious with them - you choose)
8 scallions sliced
3/4 c plain yogurt (I used 0% Astro)

Cook & drain pasta.  In a skillet cook the bacon and garlic until crisp (I cook my bacon in the microwave with paper towels since it soaks up a lot of the oil, so I only threw the garlic in the skillet to saute a little bit.)  Drain and remove from skillet.  In a small bowl beat the egg.  Beat in milk, cheese, and pepper.  Place cooked pasta in the skillet.  Add milk mixture, tomatoes and scallion.  Cover and cook over medium-high, stirring, until the spinach is tender.  Stir in yogurt; cover over low heat just until heated through.

A tip I learned from my new favorite book ("Cooking For Mr. Latte" by Amanda Hesser) that apparently is used by all great chefs is to always reserve some pasta cooking water after you drain your pasta.  Because of it's starchiness, it can be added as needed to pasta sauces to thin them out, and it allows you to lessen the amount of fat you use since the starchy water clings well to the noodles.  It's a great tip and works very well.

Until next time! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Absolute BEST Fried Chicken Wings

OK people - this recipe is courtesy of Serious Eats.  If you haven't checked out this website before, you probably should.  They list the best of the best when it comes to food, and their content is updated almost daily.  Their articles are informative, and leave you feeling hungry every time.  If you're a foodie, this is the website for you.

When I saw this recipe last week, I decided that I MUST make it ASAP.  I have never been able to make a pub-worthy chicken wing.  My BF and his friends regularly go to the pub down the street because they serve the best wings, and I have always been determined to beat their recipe and make a better version that can be enjoyed at home.

Here it is folks.  This is a killer recipe - you will not have better wings.  Ever.  Guaranteed. 

Korean Fried Chicken Wings
Kosher salt
3/4 c cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
2 lbs chicken wings (about 12)
2 qt peanut or veg oil
1/2 c flour
1/2 c cold water
1/2 c vodka
Sweet Soy Sauce:
1/2 c sot sauce
2 T rice wine vinegar
1/4 c Mirin or other sweet rice cooking wine
3/4 c brown sugar
2 garlic minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 tsp sesame oil
1 T cornstarch
1/4 c sliced scallions

Just a note that I doubled the above recipe - made 24 wings...and ate them all!!
Combine 2 tsp salt, 1/4 c cornstarch, 1/2 tsp baking powder and whisk until combined.  Add wings and toss until coated.  Transfer to a wire rack set in a baking sheet, shaking to get rid of excess flour.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or over night.  Preheat oil to 350 in a large pan.  Combine remaining dry ingredients and whisk.  Add in vodka and water, and whisk until batter forms.  Add up to 2 T water if the batter is too thick.  Add half of the wings to the batter.  One at a time lift wing and allow excess batter to drip off (this is important, I skipped this step for the first couple wings just to see what would happen and ended up with a very thick batter around the wing).  Carefully lower the chicken into the hot oil.  Repeat.  Fry, rotating & turning wings as needed, 8 minutes.  Transfer to a towel-lined plate and season immediately with salt.

For the sauce, heat all except cornstarch in a small pot.  Combine cornstarch with 1 T water and whisk into sauce.  Bring to a boil and cook until thick, 3 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and let cool 5 minutes.

SOOOO good!!!