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It’s my party, and I’ll fry if I want to.

My birthday was on monday, and instead of receiving, I gave. I decided to make some delicious, fried appetizers for my dinner guests, which included; my girlfriend Elena, my sister Heather, Heather’s boyfriend Roque, and my friend Jay.

I happen to believe my apartment lies in the middle of some vortex, where a batter does not stick to anything you want to fry. I started us all out with crab cakes, and beer battered shrimp.

Unfortunately, the batter did not stick to the shrimp. It was tasty, too. Made with Old Bay seasoning, and Pabst. What a waste. The flavor, surprisingly, stayed with the shrimp. Another crazy mystery of my kitchen.

The crab cakes were a topic of discussion. I used canned crab, which everyone agreed, led to a lack of crab flavor. I completely agree. I’m not a Rockefeller, so I couldn’t afford fresh crab meat.

I added bread crumbs, and a flavorful “mayonnaise” to the meat. As a group, they said the cakes alone were just okay. When they tried them with the tartar sauce I made, they really enjoyed the combo. The tartar sauce had capers, mayo, mustard, Old Bay, pickles, and other seasonings. The only complaint came from my sister, who didn’t like the size of the pickles. Sorry for my lack of knife skills. 🙂

As a finale, we had buffalo chicken tenders, with blue cheese dressing.

This was a big hit. The flavor was delightful in the chicken. I battered it with flour, and butter milk, seasoned with…well I can’t tell you that. The dressing was well received. I thought there was something off about it, but everyone disagreed. Thankfully!

Roque had nothing but oodles of praise. I take that as a great compliment. Whenever I ask him if he likes something I make him, he usually just says, “n’yup”.

I feel this was a happy birthday. I spent time with friends, and family. I made some food that I get to improve on, thanks to the feedback. Getting older doesn’t always suck.

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Posted by on June 2, 2011 in Appetizers

 

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Vacuumed chicken?

I have never done this technique with anything before, but this is the ONLY way to make chicken much better. I vacuum sealed the chicken breast with salt, pepper, herbs, and a little olive oil.

I marinated it overnight to let everything get acquainted. I then simmered the chicken in the bag for about fifteen minutes. That will cook the chicken through without making it dry. When it was time to eat, I browned the breast in a pan with more herbs, and finished it in the oven to heat through. The result was a terrific surprise!

The chicken was succulent. The herbs were very present in the taste and aroma. To accompany the beautiful bird, I made a spectacular chicken jus. The jus consisted of onion, carrot, celery, white wine, chicken stock, and a plethora of herbs, including allspice berries and bay leaves.

If that wasn’t enough of a mouth-gasm, I made mushroom risotto (my specialty) and sautéed swiss chard. All the flavors worked excellent together. Savory from the chicken … earthy from the mushrooms … a little sweetness from the swiss chard…

A surprisingly light dish that speaks volumes in taste!

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2011 in Entree

 

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