Category Archives: feature

Chicken Wings: Grilled, not Fried

BoygrillswingsMaking chicken wings at home may seem like a hassle, in fact you may not even think it’s possible. As you wander in to your local chicken wing restaurant, you will probably notice the deep-friers sizzling the wings away. But replicating crispy, crunchy wings at home doesn’t require submerging your wings in oil. Many recipes suggest baking them (broiling would work, too). But I went for a different method: I fired up the grill (for the first time). With a sauce inspired by the Toronto Momofuku Noodle Bar,  I started by oiling the grill (my dad  not far away) with toasted sesame oil before laying down the wings. After about fifteen minutes, and they were relatively evenly cooked. I tossed them into my sauce and threw them back on the grill for about five minutes more. The result? A sweet and sticky exterior that packed crunch and crisp and a soft and tender interior with a slow moving spice. While I didn’t get the sauce recipe from this article, it was a source of inspiration, full of  helpful tips: Mark Bittman gives inside tips and tricks on how to make a “truly great” chicken wing here.

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Unami Sauce Recipe

Note: I completely estimated this entire sauce and while it was inspired by Momofuku and I got a hint from another recipe, I mostly threw in what I thought would add some punch. Reading the recipe, this may sound a little kitchen sink-y to you, but trust me, the final result is great, all of the flavors nicely balancing out.

Ingredients:

  • honey
  • Sriracha
  • fresh garlic cloves
  • toasted sesame seed oil (DO NOT go for another oil you have on hand, i.e. olive, grape seed, canola, or some other variety. The sesame seed oil is incredibly flavorful and while it’s slightly more expensive, the final result is far ahead of someother oil. Also, cooking the garlic alone first, immerses it in the oil’s flavor.)
  • bonito flakes (dried fish flakes)
  • nori (dried seaweed)
  • Morton coarse kosher salt

Steps:

Cover a small saucepan’s bottom with the sesame seed oil and set on low-medium heat. Once it starts to bubble, throw in the garlic and cover the pan. Shake the pan every now and then for about two minutes. Next, add the Sriracha and honey. (The key to the sauce’s success is tasting it as you go. Without doing so you will either a) end up with a mouth-wateringly spicy sauce or a b) incredibly sweet sauce. You don’t want either of these results: something just in the middle is what you’re going for. Once the oil, Sriracha, and honey have mixed well together, toss the bonito and nori in too and take off of heat.

The sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated and then basted onto the wings after they have cooked for about fifteen minutes. Then throw the wings back on the grill for about another five minutes. Seconds after the wings were off the grill and still steaming hot, I sprinkled some chive flower, toasted sesame seeds, and torn nori on top for some nice contrast in a bowl. Enjoy while hot.

Photo credit: Douglas Itkin

A Snack at DENDEN Cafe Asiana

After a bike ride around Providence, I was hungry. I’d been wanting to go to the newly opened DENDEN Cafe Asiana for a while and now seemed the perfect time to given it a little test. After some consideration of the menu, my dad and I settled on the Gyoza Dumplings. Although they usually panfry them, they accomodated our request for them to be steamed. They were soft on both the inside and out without much of a dominant vegetable flavor. The main source of flavor comes from the accompanying dipping sauce which was slightly sweet, slightly spicy.

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We also had the Yakatori: chicken and vegetables, skewered and grilled. They were coated in a sweet marinade that tasted like BBQ done Asian style. They were quite small for about $6, but hey, they were good!

IMG_6758-webI would definitely come back for a dinner. Ramen? Bento? Tonkatsu? Count me in.

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Brunch Done Right

For their fun, nostalgia, and familiar food, diners are a classic way to start a weekend morning. But for a truly delicious breakfast, a leap above greasy fried eggs and undercooked pancakes, head to the West Side of town. There you’ll find Julian’s, a hip restaurant with something for everyone. You’ll also find Nick’s on Broadway, which I’d never been to until a few weeks ago. Julian’s has a great atmosphere and delicious food, plus is a great place for families. (Check out the bathroom!) While less obviously family friendly, a brunch at Nick’s was a nice treat on the last day of spring vacation. I had a perfectly crispy frittata with mushrooms, feta and onions along with some pesto-grilled focaccia, a nice departure from white, wheat, or rye. My mom’s order was quite unique: black beans stewed in a hearty broth with avocado-cilantro creme and pico de gallo along with perfectly charred tortilla. My brother’s poached eggs over polenta were perfectly cooked and complimented by what seemed like beet juice. To top it off, homefries were given a nice twist with the addition of sweet potatoes and onions, as well as standard white potatoes.

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Out of all of the meals of the day, breakfast seems like the one least likely to beckon eating out. At lunch and, especially, dinner, a nice time spent at a restaurant is enjoyable. But to roll out of bed early on a weekend morning to spend money on breakfast may not seem worth it. At Nick’s however, it is.

Nick’s on Broadway: www.nicksonbroadway.com

Skillet-Baked Eggs with Spinach, Yogurt, and Chili Oil – Bon Appétit

Skillet-Baked Eggs with Spinach, Yogurt, and Chili Oil – Bon Appétit.

Ottolenghi eggsINGREDIENTS
2/3 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1 garlic clove, halved
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped leek (white and pale-green parts only)
2 tablespoons chopped scallion (white and pale-green parts only)
10 cups fresh spinach (10 ounces)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon kirmizi biber (Turkish chili powder), or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and a pinch of paprika
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

PREPARATION

  • Mix yogurt, garlic, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 300°. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add leek and scallion; reduce heat to low. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add spinach and lemon juice; season with salt. Increase heat to medium-high; cook, turning frequently, until wilted, 4–5 minutes.
  • Transfer spinach mixture to 10″ skillet, leaving any excess liquid behind. If using 2 smaller skillets, divide spinach mixture equally between skillets. Make 4 deep indentations in center of spinach in larger skillet or 2 indentations in each small skillet. Carefully break 1 egg into each hollow, taking care to keep yolks intact. Bake until egg whites are set, 10–15 minutes.
  • Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add kirmizi biber and a pinch of salt and cook until butter starts to foam and browned bits form at bottom of pan, 1–2 minutes. Add oregano and cook for 30 seconds longer. Remove garlic halves from yogurt; discard. Spoon yogurt over spinach and eggs. Drizzle with spiced butter.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
4 servings; 1 serving contains: Calories (kcal) 223.0 %Calories from Fat 64.1 Fat (g) 15.9 Saturated Fat (g) 4.9 Cholesterol (mg) 196.5 Carbohydrates (g) 10.3 Dietary Fiber (g) 3.4 Total Sugars (g) 2.4 Net Carbs (g) 6.9 Protein (g) 11.1 Sodium (mg) 172.7

Photography: Bro D