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Thursday, October 29, 2020

The XXL Hot Cheetos Burger

After much cajoling by the kiddoes, I decided to duplicate yet another food item from the Mukbang videos, the Hot Cheetos Burger.  This one, though seemingly rather easy from the video, gave way to a bit more of a challenge, as opposed to doing the chicken and even the pork cutlets, I didn't post those guys, but they were phenomenal.  In keeping with the burgers we saw on the video, they were easily 1/2 lb. each, way too much for my taste, for a single patty at least, though I do love a good double burger!  The size however, does lend to a protein with medium rare to medium outcome, of which I failed miserably and had to microwave my "Ginormagantuan" (borrowed from Stan Smith, American Dad) burger.  The microwave, though shunned by some, was a savior for this recipe, this time. 

 The burger demo calls for the par-cooked burger to be dipped in an egg wash, then doused liberally in the Hot Cheetos coating, then deep fried.  Due to the stupid crazy size of my burger, I was left with a burger, medium, with a raw center.  I used ground chuck mixed with super lean beef to achieve a more meaty and stable patty, I think I'll use the good old 75/25 blend, which is great for maintaining a super moist product, as long as you drain it properly, always pour off that extra animal fat, you don't need it, even if you add some olive oil back into the dish to retain moisture, it's still a 'better for you' fat, with no cholesterol.

Once I worked out the doneness kinks, the rest was smooth sailing.  For dramatic effect, I added Colby Jack Cheese, American cheese, which is just the right thing to do, some fries, WuJu Sauce and Blue Cheese, for a Hot Cheetos Loaded, Black and Blue Behemoth. For the record, WUJU is a beast!!  You will want it on everything!  The burger was rather tasty, but I will definitely make it with 2 patties instead of one next time and use corn starch before the first dip, to keep the red hot coating in place, its all about the crust.  The family received the burger well, and everyone was beyond stuffed.  They did however agree that the chicken and pork are more favorable candidates for our imminent next round of Hot Cheetos Mania coatings.  










 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

'Ten'doori Style Chicken, Soulful Mixed Greens and Southern Style Corn Pudding w/ an Island Twist



 Multiple cuisines inspire this dish for wonderful results.  I recently finished up a most exciting recipe contest sponsored by Chef's Roll, Spiceology and the National Kidney Foundation.  The goal of the contest involved select chefs,  were chosen to develop recipes using a collection of 13 Salt Free Spice Blends, put out by an absolutely amazing spice company called Spiceology.  You can read more about the aforementioned on my post before this one!  
The following recipe is one that I developed using no added salts and limited  fats for submission, but eventually ended up replacing it with a couple other recipes.  I  planned to come back and make this a part of the #lifeordeathrecipe challenge, but failed to meet the deadline.  I was able to submit 4 other recipes that I feel good about though!  

The chicken for this recipe is inspired by the Spiceology Salt Free Blend, Tandoori Glory, a  bright and vibrant dance of warm spices, including paprika,cinnamon, cumin and others.  In fact, I created a Tandoori Chicken marinade, with the name, a play on my own, Tendoori, because I decided to use sour cream instead of yogurt, and a few other depth building ingredients, call that 'Southern Swang'.  I marinated the chicken in the spice forward sour cream and Tandoori Glory combination, for several hours, imparting a delicious and vibrantly colored protein, that I served with Southern American side dishes, loved and respected in our home.  

The greens were hand picked for me, by one of my dear friends, Vee, who always brings by seasonal goodies, grown with love! I  prepared the greens in a traditional Southern American Soul Food fashion, with smoked ham hock or smoked turkey necks, low sodium chicken stock, onion, garlic and a healthy pinch of Spiceology Guac and RolI (Gr)!  The beauty of Spiceology Salt Free Spice Blends is that you can take them in any direction.  For this instance, it is used as a flavor enhancer to a dish, that contains ingredients with potentially too much salt and balances it out with lots of herb and spice flavor boost! At the same time, going less salt and salt free is right at your fingertips for the next recipe, accommodating regular and restricted diets respectively.  Anytime is a good time to seek out a comfort zone when cooking and consciously limiting sodium intake.  It's a practice that is beneficial to us all, each and every one.  

I hadn't made a corn pudding in ages it seemed and it turned out to be a perfect accompaniment to the dish as a whole.  The corn pudding recipe is inspired by the Islands and Tropical places.  I used coconut milk instead of regular 2% milk and evaporated milk, which I use in my traditional Southern American version.  I also used a healthy teaspoon of Spiceology's Salt Free Mango Tango (Mt) to impart delicious mango and chamoy notes.  I use pure cane sugar on the regular for sweet or sweetened dishes, as well as everyday purposes, which is Island inspired by nature.  For an interesting edge, I also added Spiceology's Salt Free Chile Margarita (Ch) spice blend to counter yet compliment and balance the sweetness of the corn pudding.  My mom said that dinner was "Excellent" and that felt like 1000! She is my most discerning critic, one I adore and accept her objective opinions respectfully and with a keen ear.  

The natural bitterness of the mustard, kale and turnip greens blend, contributes to the overall Umami of the combination of spices, ingredients and cultures that are represented on this plate.  

Today, I'll be publishing the recipes for the Tendoori Chicken and the Island Inspired Corn Pudding.  

Tendoori Chicken:

4 to 6 chicken leg quarters, about 8 oz. each, with or without skin, bone-in or boneless, your choice

8 oz. regular or reduced fat sour cream 

1 tbsp. Spiceology Tandoori Glory (T) Salt Free Blend

1 tbsp. smoked paprika

2 to 3 drops, red gel food coloring, optional

2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced

2 tbsp. grated onion with juice

1 tbsp. Sriracha or to taste

1 tbsp. Buckwheat honey or to taste

1 tbsp. liquid aminos or to taste

Wash, trim and pat dry leg quarters, removing any slimy or fatty portions, before bending at the joints and making diagonal cuts across the top sides.   

Combine all the listed ingredients to create marinade.

Slather each leg quarter front and back with marinade, making sure it gets down in the slices  and refrigerate for 3 to 6 hours.

When ready, roast off in a 400*F oven, air fryer or grill, until juices run clear, internal temperature is 165*F and  the protein is golden and shows signs of caramelization, about 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and let stand for several minutes to redistribute juices and handle.

Serves 4 to 6. 

Tropic Southern Style Corn Pudding:

2 cans, whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 lbs. fresh frozen, thawed

1 can cream style corn

2 large eggs

1 can coconut milk, regular or lite

1/2 c. packed brown sugar

4 tbsp. melted unsalted butter

2 tbsp. organic Coconut flour mixed with 2 tbsp. AP flour

2 tbsp. pure cane sugar

1 tsp. Spiceology Salt Free Mango Tango (Ma) Blend

1/2 tsp. Spiceology Salt Free Chile Margarita (Ch) blend

1 tsp. Vietnamese Cinnamon

1/4  tsp. Five Spice

1 tsp. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract

Zest of one lemon, and the juice of half the lemon 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375*F.

Blend the liquid ingredients, then stir in spices.

Add corn and stir.

Pour into a butter greased or non stick sprayed baking vessel, about 11x9 or a large cast iron skillet.

Cover with foil and bake for first 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove foil and cook until pudding is slightly reduced and set, with no giggle in the center, about 45 minutes total, depending on oven.  

Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Serves plenty, with extras. 





Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Spiceology of Life, We're on a Chef's Roll


Spiceology has 13 Salt Free Blends!


Roasted Ratatouille Sandwich w/ Cauliflower Pistou on Herbed Cloud Bread


 I am fortunate enough to have been selected to take part in a most exciting adventure with the help of Chef's Roll and Spiceology.  In support of and in conjuntion with the National Kidney Foundation, chefs and Culiniarians from all over the United States are coming together to create recipes, for those with salt sensitivities or other renal conditions that makes too much salt, a most dangerous and unwelcome endeavor, potentially putting their lives at stake, yes, causing death.  

Renal conditions do not have to mean loss of enjoyment and flavors in your meals and with the help of Spiceology, kicking up meals and taking delicious bites of life, just got easier.  Spiceology presents us with 13 magnificent Salt Free blends to layer on the taste, wake up the taste buds and put enjoyment back on the menu for almost 370 million people, worldwide.  The best part of it is you don't have to have an issue with your kidneys to care about the sodium you consume, sometimes senselessly in some other seasonings available on the market.  Spiceology has new and inventive blends, that in turn may be blended together to create just about any flavor profile from any cuisine you can think of.  Purple Haze, Everything Bagel, Chile Margarita, Steak and Bake, Mango Tango, Lemon Pink Peppercorn, Really Ranch, Guac and Roll, Greek Freak, Pizza Pie and El Taco are some of the names of these awesome blends, each one, as spectacular as the next.  No longer do you have to accept the salt with the rest of the principal ingredients of a spice and herb blend, Spiceology makes it easy.  

Bold and bright, Spiceology brings the A game and inspired the recipe for the photo above, Roasted Ratatouille with Cauliflower Pistou on Herbed Cloud Bread.  Head on over to Chef's Roll and Spiceology to check out the amazing Salt Free recipes for your viewing enjoyment and a  detailed listing of each blends' specific ingredients. Better yet, get your hands on some and work your magic!  An added incentive to this exhilarating challenge is that I too have become more aware of the added salts in these herb and spice blends on the market' and I am happy to be a new edition to the Spiceology family. 

 You can have more confidence in the foods and dishes you prepare for clients and family members, knowing there are no 'sneaky', unwanted salts hanging around or hiding in your herb and spice blends, making the meal healthier and better for  you, with just a pinch, shake or a palmful. This #lifeordeathrecipe challenge is just that.  Take charge and get BOLD with Spiceology, Chef's Roll and the National Kidney Foundation.  I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of something much bigger than myself and helpful to those in need... of a little spice in their life!  I have several more recipes featuring Spiceology Blends to be submitted to the challenge, wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Veg-cellent!

A good tip for making sure you get your proper veggies for family meals is to go ahead and prepare them all at one time, for the whole week.  That may sound like a lot of work, but in reality, it shaves tons of time off your meal planning for each and every day, making light work out of 1/3 of the decision process.  The only thing that will be needed is a protein and a starch, then you're good to go.  The easier the vegetables are to access, the more likely your family members are to consume them.  Simply grill a bunch of your favorite veggies as seen above or to your specific liking and let the fun begin.  The prepared items may be added to a large, plastic and rectangular bowl with a lid.  For mealtime, you can have an extensive variety to choose from with ease.  I used my newest 'toy' for these guys, a 17 inch tabletop outdoor griddle, put out by Blackstone. It's fueled by these handy 1 lb. canisters of propane, and the work surface is such that you can get a substantial amount grilled at once.  I love it!  I even made Pad Thai on the griddle for a super fresh and easy dinner one night, then we had dinner right on the patio, serving off the griddle, serving as the warmer and the dish.  Now, back to the veggies, you can vary your seasonings and flavorings by way of different oils and salts, even butters.  I used Ghee for some of the above vegetables.  For others, I used simple extra virgin olive oil.  Of course, you can prepare the vegetables separately or in combinations.  I found that doing both ways was the bee's knees! 

 I also used this magnificent oil called Cocavo, which is a blend of organic, unfiltered coconut and avocado oil, scented with Lemon, along with Turmeric.   This oil is bright, light and full of fresh flavor, complementing whatever you add to it with lots of vigor and flavor pop!  

The vegetables may also serve as add ins to your Ramen, soups, sandwiches and other dishes you make, easy peasy.  Realistically, you may want to freeze them until needed, but the fact that they are super ready to go will serve you and your family in a considerable way better than needing to wait for them to defrost or thaw, which will change the texture and more likely the level of satisfaction with your dishes.  

Friday, October 2, 2020

Trick or Tokyotreat October 2020 Box! Shoto Todoroki and the MHA Crew Too for a 2020 Halloween Bash that's Plus Ultra

Treat Yourself with Tokyotreat!

 
Tokyotreat features unique and fun Japanese snacks!

Tokyotreat October 2020 Box


Halloween Tablescape with Tokyotreat and My Hero Academia, some of our favorites.  These treats are amazing and hand picked by the  Tokyotreat gang!  My family loves getting together and sampling all these wonderful snacks and knick knacks, every one is as good as the next! Keep up the Good Work.  Stay Plus Ultra!

NOTE: The Shoto Todoroki Figurine and The My Hero Academia Mini Backpack are personal belongings of Bronwyn's and are not included in the featured October Box.  

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Hot Cheetos Chicken, Mukbang Style

Hot Cheetos Chicken!

 After seeing these brilliantly colored food items, ensconced in a Hot Cheetos hail of fire, I could not and the kiddoes would not let me rest, until I emulated what we'd seen and quell our curiosities.  My young teens have stumbled upon and subsequently introduced me to  Mukbang or Mukbanging, which from  my understanding and  a visual assessment is when people record themselves eating massive quantities of food, with the main focus on the sounds made while doing so, ergo biting, chewing and swallowing.  The menus of the participants vary, from French fries, burgers, cheese sticks, onion rings and chicken nuggets to king crabs, octopus and whole fried spam dipped in cheese sauce and various other delicious looking dishes, from their native country.  American youth are taking part in the action too. I have seen Soul Food plates with greens, cornbread, chicken, ribs and macaroni and cheese, crab boil platters, loads of McDonald's food, KFC and Taco Bell, plus hot wing trays. Please be advised, I never said these practices were healthy or healthful, but no judgement here, so save your waistline by watching someone else do it.   One of the coolest parts of these videos is the participants that prepare their dishes right before your eyes. It seems to be the standard to wear gloves for the event, black usually.  I am not certain as to the exact reasons other than hygiene, but likely to draw focus to the hands and for dramatic effect and contrast.  
 There are copious amounts of noodles and noodle bowls with all the accouterments and super hot sauces.  The displays also feature random other vegetables lying around like fresh mushrooms, peppers and lettuce leaves, that serve as quick bites and vessels to house some of the prepared proteins and items that are small by comparison.  
Another very popular dish to Mukbang is select items breaded with Hot Cheetos and deep fried to crunchy hot perfection.  This was almost bizarre to me at first, but after seeing it done and all the items the Bangers would 'incrimsonate' (to make red or add red color) with those crushed, hot little staffs of goodness, I had to give it a go.  I'm glad I  did. 
 The breading is a two step method, one with egg wash as the binder of the crushed Cheetos to the protein or items of choice. I wasn't certain of the heat index for this first round, so I decided to mix in some of the original Cheetos with the Hot Cheetos.  The regular ones can be seen in the flecks on the chicken pictured above.  I found the finished dish not so full of fiery heat, so next time, I'll use the Hot Cheetos XXL, yeah, it's a thing!
I used boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets for my recipe and they turned out marvelous.   The crisp and satisfying crunch may be obtained by using an air fryer or a deep fry method.  Either way, if you are a fan of Cheetos and chicken or anything with 'crunchtacity,' (the ability of a food item to audibly crunch) this method is for you.  The breading allows the protein to stay moist during cooking, which is a plus! The color alone is brilliantly seductive in nature, encouraging you to feel the burn of chilies, even before your first bite!  I can't wait to share the next recipe and photography with you all, it's a tossup between  Hot Cheetos Cauliflower and  Katsudon, Hot Cheetos style.  Katsudon is a breaded and fried pork cutlet, served with egg and thinly sliced onions, simmered in a  delicious and flavor forward brown sauce, over steamed rice.  My daughter Bronwyn and huge Anime fan, chose this dish as her 13th birthday meal, while my nephew Braelyn, also an 'Animeniac', decided on Sweet and Sour Chicken as his celebratory meal on his 14th birthday, only two days later. Both were served with my go to Yellow Jasmine Rice recipe and Braelyn's with veggie stir fry on the side.   They were pleased with their menus and I beamed with pride in contributing to their special days!  Stay tuned for the next episode of Hot Cheetos Cuisine!

Bronwyn's dish, Katsudon for her 13th birthday.

Katsudon for my mom.

My Hero Academia Plus Ultra Energy Drinks!


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Smokinhotchef
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