Friday, July 25, 2014

Shrimp Fra Diavolo – The Brother Devil Made Me Do It

This latest test of still how little I know about editing in Adobe Premier, features a devilishly delicious shrimp fra diavolo, or “shrimp brother devil,” if we’re being literal for comic effect.

I think this came out looking pretty good, although it took me so much longer to edit, since I’m still barely at novice level using the new software. So, with it being Friday afternoon and all, I’m gong to keep this short and sweet, and simply suggest you do two things.

First of all, if you know any great Premier tips, tricks or resources, send them my way! You’ll notice I don’t have consistent transitions, or captions for the times and temperatures; but I’m sure I’ll have that figured out soon enough. Secondly, make this. It’s really good, and turns any pile of pasta or rice into a memorable meal. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 large or 4 smaller portions:
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (16/20 per pound size, bigger is better)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more if you’re sexy
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil, enough to generously coat the shrimp
1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
1/2 tsp dried oregano, or 2 tsp of fresh
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup drinkable white wine
11/2 cups can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons sliced fresh basil leaves
*some people like lemon, but I don’t think it needs it unless your wine was too sweet.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Korean Fried Chicken is the Best Fried Chicken

I've always considered myself something of a fried chicken expert. Whether we’re talking sports bars, casual dining, or white tablecloth restaurants, if there's some kind of fried chicken on the menu, I'm going to order it. 

Because of that fact, and my advanced age, I’ve pretty much had every single style known to man, and this Korean fried chicken is officially my favorite. No other method I've come across has the same combination of tender, juicy, flavorful chicken, and plate-scratching crispiness as this recipe does. It's simply a must try if you're a fan of the genre. 

The technique is very straightforward, and you can actually do the first deep-frying ahead of time. In fact, I did a little test where I waited 24 hours before doing the second frying, and the results were still quite extraordinary. If you’re doing this for a larger group, the chicken will stay crisp, as long as you hold it in a warm oven (175 F.), while you finish frying the rest. 

Don't forget the sauce! Click here for recipe!
I highly recommend the boneless skinless thighs here, but chunks of breast meat will work as well. I believe real “KFC” actually uses chicken on the bone, but that means bigger pieces, and bigger pieces mean less surface area, which ultimately means less of the amazingly crunchy coating. By the way, I’ve tried beer and soda water in the batter, and for whatever reason, plain ice water works the best for me. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going out to buy some Korean chili paste (Gochujan), because apparently it's a crime against nature to make the sauce without it. Like I said, I've used it before, and really liked it, so I need to go out and replenish my supply, and get back into the good graces of the Korean people. Anyway, if you like fried chicken as much as I do, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions Korean Fried Chicken:
(Note: these ingredients make enough batter for about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of chicken, even though I only used 1 pound here)

For the chicken marinade:
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, quartered
1/2 yellow onion, grated (enough to generously coat chicken chunks)
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tsp fine salt (1 1/2 tsp if using kosher salt)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black
*Marinate for between 4 to 12 hours

Ingredients for batter:
1/2 cup of self-rising flour (or 1/2 cup all-purpose flour with 3/4 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt)
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup very cold water, or as needed

Serve with this Korean Fried Chicken Sauce.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Korean Fried Chicken Sauce – The Sauce of Things to Come

Who says you have to read H. G. Wells to reference him? Anyway, this lovely sweet and sour sauce is part one of a two-part series on Korean fried chicken. That video will be posted on Wednesday, and if you want to enjoy it at 100% awesomeness, you’ll want to whip up a batch of this stuff.

As I disclaimed in the video, this is just my take, and while I think it’s pretty classic, there are a couple of things I do differently. I like to add lots of green onion and garlic, as well as not cook this quite as long as most recipes call for. The result is a sauce with those ingredients a little more up-front in the flavor profile. The only drawback is you don’t get quite as deep a red color, but I can’t even pretend to be concerned with that.

By the way, you should try to find some Korean chili flakes and/or paste if you can. I’ve used them before, and the flavor is great, and obviously more authentic, but if you can’t, any hot chili flakes or paste will work. Now, all we need is some “KFC” to spoon this over. Stay tuned, and as always, enjoy!


Ingredients for about 6 servings:
1/2 cup ketchup
2 green onions, chopped fine
4 cloves of garlic, minced fine
2 tbsp honey
1 to 2 tsp red chili flakes, to taste
1 tbsp sambal chili sauce, or other ground chili sauce/paste, to taste
1 pinch of salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, juiced, or more to taste
1/4 cup water to adjust thickness, more as needed
*Note: everything in this is “to taste,” so adjust until you think it’s balanced between sweet, sour, and spicy.
-- Combine ingredients and simmer on low for about 5 minutes. Cool and serve at room temperature.
*Click here for the Korean Fried Chicken recipe