Sous Vide Fried Chicken and Waffles!

The consistancy of using a Sous Vide machine will result in perfectly fried chicken everytime!

We all want that bite. You know the one….that succulent, juicy tender center with that traditional crunch- golden crispy and perfectly brown everytime! Sometimes it’s hard for home cooks to achive the same results getting the interior of the chicken properly cooked while the outside may over cook.

This recipe allows the cook to achive a perfected piece of fried chicken, inside and out, every- single time!

You’ll Need:

For the Chicken

6-8 pieces of chicken, wings, legs or thighs or breasts

Salt and pepper

1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground Italian seasoning

5 cups good quality, high smoke point vegetable or peanut oil for frying

For the Flour Mixture:

3-4 cups self-rising flour

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 tablespoon dry Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Egg Mixture

4 eggs, beaten 

Fresh ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon ground Italian herbs

For the Waffles:

2 large eggs

1 3/4 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup pecan or your favorite nut meal ( optional ) 

2 tablespoons palm or granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Here’s How: 

The Waffles

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring just until nearly smooth; a few small lumps may remain.

Spray your waffle iron with a non-stick cooking spray before preheating it. Cook waffles according to the waffle irons manufacturer’s directions. For an 8″ round waffle iron, use about 1/3 cup batter; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the iron stops steaming. 

Serve hot, or cool and crisp in the toaster before serving. Top with room temperature butter.

The Chicken:

Set your SV Precision Cooker to 155’F Degrees / 68.3’C.

Season the raw chicken with salt, pepper and a light dusting of Italian seasoning. Place into a resealable freezer or vacuum bag. Seal airtight.

Place the sealed bag of chicken into the water bath and circulate for 2 hours. 

Prepare the waffle batter and set aside. 

When the chicken is almost done, preheat the oven to 200’F degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and a baking rack. Set aside.

Once cooked, remove the bag from the water bath. Prepare a dredging station with two casserole dishes side by side-one containing beaten seasoned egg mixture, and the other with the seasoned flour. Set aside.  

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed fry pan or Dutch oven to exactly 350’F degrees. While the oil is heating, remove the chicken from the bag and begin dredging by gently patting the cooked chicken dry and then running the chicken pieces one-at-a-time through the egg mixture, then through the seasoned flour mixture. 

Only when the oil reaches the proper temperature, carefully lower each piece of dredged chicken into the pan. Working in batches, with tongs, turn the chicken parts after a few minutes to achieve a crisp golden-brown crust on all sides. 

Once the chicken is completely golden brown on all sides, remove from the oil, pat off any excess the oil with a paper towel, sprinkle with kosher salt. Set on the rack-lined baking sheet and place it in a 200’F degree oven until ready to serve. 

Make the waffles while chicken stays warm and crispy in the oven. Be sure to serve hot with warm maple syrup or honey!

Chef’s Note: 

Do not allow the temperature of the oil to go below 350’F degrees to achieve the optimal crunch and have oil return to the pan.

No Buttermilk? No Problem!

Combine 1 Tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice mixed into 1 cup of whole milk. Let the milk stand for 10 to 15 minutes until it thickens very slightly and curdles- boom- you have buttermilk!

Leftovers? Make Mash Potato Bombs!  

Baked or fried these are a fun way to use up any left-over mash potatoes… or, a good excuse to make more!

You’ll Need:

Filling:

3 cups chilled mashed potatoes

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

½ cup bacon, chopped small dice

1 bunch chives, chopped

Pepper to taste

Breading Station:

1 cup flour or GF flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs or GF breadcrumbs

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated fine

Xtra virgin coconut oil, Ghee or Organic Canola Oil for pan frying

Here’s How: 

Preheat the oven to 425°F degrees, unless pan frying.

Cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the leftover mashed potatoes with the eggs, cheese, chives and bacon bits. Mix to combine, cover and set aside in the refrigerator.

Prepare 3 breading stations. One bowl of flour, one bowl of beaten eggs and one bowl of panko bread crumbs mixed with the Parmesan cheese.

Dust your hands with flour and use an 1/2 ounce portion control scoop to measure the balls. Or a Tablespoon.

Pat them gently to form them into balls and roll them in the palm of your hands to get them perfectly round.

Immediately dust them with flour again and set aside. Repeat until you have 24 flour-dusted balls.

Drop a ball into the egg mixture and use a spoon to turn the potato ball over until fully coated.

Lift the potato ball out of the egg mixture with a fork. Drain off any excess. Immediately drop the potato ball into the panko and cheese mixture and use another spoon to dredge it fully.

Pat in any excess bread crumbs that might be falling off the ball.

Set aside on a parchment lined cookie sheet and repeat with remaining balls.

Fry in batches in hot oil over medium high heat until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Or, bake at 400’F degrees for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with my homemade ketchup! 

 

 

Yum! Makes approximately 2 dozen potato bombs!

Grilled Pizza! Get Your Pie Out-of-the-Oven and onto the Grill!

The trick to a perfect grilled pizza is all the preparations. Roast, sauté, cook, slice, and grate whatever toppings you like before you begin your grilled pizza journey. Adding those pre-cooked toppings to the pizza as it is grilling is the trick.

The dough will only require a 3-5 minutes cook time per side.

Making the Dough

Keep in mind, yeast is a living organism, so don’t kill it by burning it with hot water or salt. I add sugar to my recipe to feed the yeast. Why? Honestly – I’m in a hurry. Shhhh.

The yeast will reconstitute in the water, wake up and be really hungry. The yeast eats- then it quickly begins to digest its food and yes, creats gas. Yes, I know it’s funny, and trust me when I say the kids will LOVE this Science lesson on C02 and so will you ! This step actually helps accelerate the dough’s rise faster! Definitely a win-win.

The important part about the end of the day, is also being with your family so– It’s also okay to use uncooked-prepared store bought pizza dough if you are short on time. Many grocers carry great organic uncooked pizza doughs today without tons of preservatives. The pizza police wont come for you, I promise!

You’ll Need

6 cups all-purpose flour plus more for shaping dough
1 teaspoon active dry yeast ( rapid rise yeast if you are in a big hurry )
1/4 teaspoon sugar or honey
1-2 cups room temp water, as needed
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt


Here’s How

Whisk sugar or honey with the yeast in a medium bowl with 1 cup of the water. Set aside for about 5-10 minutes until foaming with bubbles. Make sure the water temperature is not above 105’F degrees or you will kill the yeast.

In a large gallon sized food storage bag or bowl of your stand mixer with dough hook attached, add the flour and the salt. Combine to distribute the salt throughout the flour. Make a well in the center of the flour if using the bag method.


Add the water with the yeast mixture, 1/2 of the remaining cup of water, and all of the olive oil. Close food storage bag by removing air and sealing all but a 1/2 inch up at the zip. Massage from the bottom of the bag up and incorporate well. Mix dough gently to form a nice dough ball. Add more of the 1/2 cup remaining water if water if needed. or, start the mixer on medium speed and mix until dough hook forms and ball.

If using a stand mixer continue to knead the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. About 5 minutes. Remove into a lightly oiled bowl.

If using the food storage bag method – knead well until it all comes together and forms a ball. Open the food storage bag, and transfer the dough ball to a large clean lightly floured surface.

Hand knead about 10 minutes until dough seems smooth. Resting in-between if it becomes unmanageable. This is actually the gluten forming which is rubber-band like. Just let it relax and return after a minute or two once dough seems smooth- place in a lightly oiled bowl.

Cover the dough ball with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature (about 72° F degrees) in a draft-free area until surface until dough has doubled in size, about 1.5 hours. Use rapid rise yeast instead of regular dried yeast if you are in a hurry- the rise will happen faster.

When dough has risen, transfer on to a floured work surface. Gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide and cut into 6 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to center to create 4 folds. Turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball. Dust dough with flour and set it aside on work surface or a floured baking sheet.

Repeat with remaining portions. Let dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, until soft and pliable, an additional hour.

Planning Ahead

The dough can be made 3 days ahead. Wrap each dough ball separately in a gallon sized plastic food storage bag with rolled in a little bit of flour and chill in fridge until ready to use. When ready to use, unwrap and let rest at room temperature on a lightly floured work surface, covered with plastic wrap for about 15-20 minutes before shaping.

To Make The Pizza
During the last hour of dough’s resting, heat your sauce, sauté your vegetables and grate the cheeses.

With one dough ball at a time, dust dough generously with floured hands stretch the dough into a rectangle or triangular form the best you can. Free form is the way to go with grilled pizzas.

Oil both sides lightly with a good quality cooking oil. Set on a clean baking sheet.

Prepare the grill by oiling. Once the grate is well oiled, place your raw dough on hot cooking grates and resist the urge to move it.

Grill the dough for about 3-5 minutes. Flip the dough when it releases from the grates when given a nudge. Look for deep colored grill marks and some crispy edges before tuning over. Repeat on each side.

When both side are cooked, move pizza crust to indirect heat choose a side of the grill where the heat element is turned off below, or to a side of the grill where there are no burning coals.

Top the rustic pizza dough with warmed pesto or pizza sauce if desired — then add your choice of pre-cooked toppings. Top with cheese, melt by closing lid or covering with a foil tent. Finish with flavored oil ( see my recipe here ) and serve. So delicious!

Variations : Add fresh chopped herbs to your dough or fresh chopped garlic for an additional favor layer.

Earthy Egg Embellishment

Searching for eggs around the yard is an annual tradition for many families in the Spring, but first there is decorating to be done. Dyes are easy enough to find in stores this time of year. No special trip to the store is necessary this year. All the things you need are in or around your house.

Decorating eggs has various historical roots. Eggs are a symbol of Springtime, and new life. The ancient Zoroastrians painted eggs for their new year’s celebration, which falls on the spring equinox. Sculptures on the walls of Persepolis, capital of the Achaemenid Empire, show people carrying eggs to the king. Jewish Passover Sedar calls for hard-boiled eggs called Beitzah dipped in salt. Thanks to craft.com, we have a homemade recipe for your own beautiful eggs.

This year start a new tradition at home by playing with flowers, clovers and pretty leafs as the inspiration for your beautiful eggs. So many things can be used as dye like berries and veggies – yep, a fun way to play with your veggies!

You’ll Need
White eggs
Flowers and leaves to decorate eggs
Pot of water
Dye (onion skins, blueberries, asparagus / spinach…)
1 tablespoon white vinegar to intensify the dye
One pair old nylon stockings (in a color that won’t bleed)
Thread

Here’s How
Cut up your stockings into 4-5″ sections. Tie off one end.

Wash the eggs in mildly soapy water to clean off any oils or residue that might keep the dye from being absorbed.

Dry off the eggs and place them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use.
Choose leaves and flowers carefully, looking for interesting and distinctive shapes. Plants that can be pressed flat create interesting two-dimensional graphics.

Carefully place the egg in the stocking pouch. Be careful, your plant could move around. This will get easier with practice.

Tie off the other end of the stocking, making sure the stocking is stretched tightly as possible around the egg to hold your natural inspiration in place.

Add the dye material – blueberries, raspberries, spinach, asparagus – with vinegar and eggs to the water. Boil for 20 minutes. Remember to do the dyes separately. Or, mix blueberries and strawberries and see what happens.

Remove the eggs, cut off the stocking and leaves. Then rinse your eggs. Rub vegetable oil on for a nice finish.

Lastly, share any really special designs with me in the comment section below!

Vegan Baked Apple Pastry Roses

I wrote this recipe for my friends over at #30SecondMom. Thought I’d share with you too if you don’t follow me there.

You’ll need:

  • 6 red apples, cored, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter or regular butter
  • 1 package phyllo dough
  • nonstick spray
  • water or nut milk, to seal
  • equal parts cinnamon and sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • powdered sugar

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Saute the apples in the vegan butter until soft.
  3. Lay 4 phyllo sheets flat and spread butter in between each sheet.
  4. Cut four 3-inch by 6-inch strips.
  5. Sprinkle the strips with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  6. Place apple slices overlapping along the long side of the dough. Use about half an apple per strip. Top with the almonds.
  7. Fold the bottom half of the dough up to meet the other side of the dough, enclosing about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the apple slices to form one long ruler-like pocket. Now roll from the right to the left to form the rose. Use water or nut milk to seal the edges.
  8. Bake in the muffin tins for about 10-12 minutes, or until brown.
  9. Cool and top with powdered sugar before serving.

10 Minutes to Creamy! Chocolate Avocado Mousse! 

Chocolate Mousse has never been healthier …or faster! When choosing Avocados use Haas variety- they tend to have a rich creamy finish. 

You’ll Need: 

4 ripe avocados

3 Tablespoons honey, maple syrup or optional liquid sweetener. ( do not use granulated sugar) 

3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Small pinch of Himalayan or your favorite salt

4-5 Tablespoons cow or nut milk

1 cup washed berries for garnish 

Cocoa for dusting 

Here’s How:
Split the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pits.

Using a spoon, scoop out the meat and place into your food processor. Add honey, cocoa, vanilla, salt, and milk.

Blend until very smooth. About 1 minute. Taste and adjust sweetness. Add additional milk to adjust consistency. 

Place mixture into serving bowls or glassware, and chill until ready to serve. 

Top with fresh raspberries and a sprinkle of cocoa. 

Makes Approximately 4-6 servings   

Eat it all up! 

Cloud Eggs – An Eventful Mothers Day Breakfast Even a Kid Could Make! 

Cloud Eggs- A culinary staple in egg cookery but are all the rage right now. So fun to make, and eat! Perfect for a surprise breakfast treat! 

Ingredients:

4 large eggs

Pink Himalayan or Kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper

1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese.( Fine grate )

3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Method:

Preheat oven to 450° and line a large high sided baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 

Separate egg whites and egg yolks, placing the egg whites in a large bowl and the yolks in a small bowl. Careful not to break the yolk. Set yolks aside. 

Season the egg whites with salt and pepper. 

Using a whisk or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. 

Gently fold in Parmesan, and chives. 

Create 4 mounds of egg whites on the prepared baking sheet and indent the centers of each to look like nests. Bake until slightly golden, about 3 minutes.

After three minutes, and whites are sturdy-carefully add an egg yolk to the center of each egg white cloud. 

Season yolk with salt and pepper. Bake until the yolks are just set, about 3 additional minutes.
Enjoy!

Variations

Add chopped cooked pancetta, crumbled bacon, diced ham, small chipped red bell peppers , scallions–or any of your favorite breakfast foods to the egg whites after they have stiff peaks. Be extra careful not to deflate the whites when folding in. Serve with a classic Bloody Mary. On or off toast. 

No Artificial Color- Empress Red Sugar Beet Cupcakes ! 

Ingredients:

1 cup puréed fresh red sugar-beets, (fresh cooked not canned)

1/3 cup coconut oil, slightly heated to pourable state

1 1/4 cup granulated organic sugar

2 teaspoons Madagascar vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons natural cocoa powder ( do not use Dutch processed cocoa for this batter) 

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup almond milk or substitute 

Method

Preheat oven to 350′ F Degrees. 

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. 

In the bowl of your stand mixer, or large mixing bowl – add the beet purée. 

Fitted with the whip attachment, whisk on medium high speed and slowly begin to combine the beet purée with the oil by adding the oil in slow, yet steady steam hitting the interior side of the bowl- while whipping. Continue until all the oil is incorporated. If added too fast he after will delegate. We call this ” breaking” – so take your time adding the oil. 

Next, add the sugar and the vanilla extract. Beat an additional minute. 

Alternate adding the flour mixture and nut milk until incorporated into the batter. Continue to beat until combined. 

Divide among cupcake liners, filling them 3/4 full, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when poked in the middle.

Cool and keep airtight in cooler. 

Storing airtight is an important step to retain moisture and the natural red color. Only remove 30 minutes prior to serving to frost. 

10 Minute Umami Fried Rice 

final-fried-rice-ft2

During the week families need meals that are fast, cheap and easy.

If I make rice I ALWAYS make additional and set some aside just for this recipe. My family loves this fried rice and I do too because it is practically a meal-in-itself.  Add sautéed shrimp or grilled chicken to the dish, and there you have it…. dinner. Using day old rice is not only to speed the preparation process, it’s important because fresh cooked rice  can continue steaming itself to mush during the stir fry process. Still good, but even better if the rice sits in the fridge overnight.

If you can’t get your hands on Japanese rice, feel free to substitute with other types of short grain rice. You can also use Jasmine or Basmati. To save additional time, I often use my mini food processor to chop the onion, garlic and the carrot.

Ingredients:

6 Tablespoons butter or butter substitute

1 large yellow onion, very finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large carrots, peeled and diced very small

6 cups day old short-grain Japanese rice, room temperature

2 eggs, beaten

½ teaspoon garlic salt

1/8-1/4 cup soy sauce

1 cup frozen green peas, cooked and held warm (optional)

3-4 green onions, sliced in 1/4 inch diagonal slices

Sesame seeds for garnish

 

Method: 

In a large stove top wok or 12-14 inch large sauté pan, heat the butter. Add the onions and carrots. Sauté until the carrots and onions begin to brown and the natural sugars start to caramelize. About 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 1 minute.

Add the day old cooked rice and stir until the carrot, onion and garlic are incorporated well. Add the beaten eggs and toss  the rice quickly to cook through —stir well. After everything is incorporated turn up the heat to high and allow the rice to begin browning string constantly. About an additional 3-4 minutes.

Season to taste with the soy sauce and add fresh cracked black pepper if desired. Remove from the heat, add the cooked peas, and scallions – toss to fluff the rice up and serve immediately. Garnish with sesame seeds.

To enhance the umami flavors ( our fifth taste sensation ) use Dashi broth instead of water when making rice!

Makes approximately 6 to 8 servings.

2016 Post Election, Red Wine and Chocolate Popsicles ! 


I know it’s 5 o’clock somewhere ! Here is a fun pick-me-up after a long stressful election year. Try my  frozen popsicle recipe strictly for adults. Cause, sometimes we need a break too! Not only will these take the edge off the 2016 Election, it will also turn your lips and tongue into a bright shade of red!

What the heck! Be a kid again– even if it’s just for a few hours!

Ingredients

1 cup good quality Cabernet wine.

1 bar of 70% or higher good quality dark chocolate, chipped into small chunks

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup winter plums, deseeded, and sliced

Method: 

In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar and the wine on medium low heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture just begins to simmer.

Add the plums and allow to cook for about 3-5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Process everything except the chocolate in a food processor or standing blender until smooth.

Return to the saucepan and stir in chocolate to melt and combine. Cool.

Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for about 1½ hours, then insert popsicle sticks. Allow to freeze until solid an additional 3 – 4 hours. To remove from molds, run warm water over the molds to help release the popsicles.

Or, freeze in a shallow glass casserole pan stirring a few times during the freeze time. Serve by scooping into bowls! If you are feeling really stressed –just eat it out of the container with a giant spoon!

Yum!