Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Zabaglione – Tastes Like Romance

When you go over the things you really want in a Valentine’s dessert, this ultra-simple zabaglione checks all the boxes. Assuming that your sweetheart enjoys things like sweet, juicy fruit enveloped in a rich, but impossibly light custard, this should work out nicely.

I like to use a dry Marsala wine, but sweet Marsala is also a popular choice. If you use the sweet variety you’ll need to cut down or eliminate the sugar.  If you’re not into warm wine foams, you can literally use any other flavorful liquid, and the technique will work the same.

You may need to change the garnish, but things like coffee, fruit juices, and pretty much any other liquor, or liqueur, will work with this technique. Experiment, and see what happens. So, whether you make this for that certain someone this Valentine’s Day, or just for a random weeknight treat, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Makes 2 or 3 servings:
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup dry Marsala wine
1/2 cup diced strawberries tossed with a spoon of sugar

Friday, February 5, 2016

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Puffs – Seeing Spots

I had everything I needed to shoot a brand new chicken wing video, except for one key ingredient; a working oven. Yes, my oven decided to take the rest of Super Bowl week off, as did my oven repairman, but these bacon jalapeno popper puffs came out so well, I decided to designate this as an official blessing in disguise.

These pepper poppers in puff form really did come out incredibly well, as long as you don’t have a problem with lots of unsightly dark spots. Since we loaded these with so much diced pepper, the pieces on the outside caramelized (which is chef-speak for burned), and my beautiful, golden-brown balls were spotted with golden-black.

Apparently, I’m having more of a problem with the appearance than your average viewer, at least according to the first wave of YouTube comments, but I may still try to figure out a way to make these a little more camera friendly next time. Maybe I’ll puree the peppers first, or possibly char off the skin, which I believe gets even darker than the flesh. Stay tuned.

Superficial beauty aside, if you enjoy the gut-bombs that are classic, bacon-wrapped, jalapeno poppers, I think you’ll love these shockingly light puffs. All the same flavors are there, especially when served with the easy cream cheese dip, and the prep is much easier. I really hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 40 Bacon Jalapeno Popper Puffs:

For the dough:
2/3 cup water
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon bacon fat
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon fine salt)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs

Then add:
2 ounces extra sharp white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely diced jalapeno peppers
1/3 cup finely chopped bacon
pinch cayenne
pinch freshly ground black pepper

- Fry at 375 F. for about 3 1/2 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through

For the dipping sauce:
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
2 tablespoons minced green onions
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- add enough water to thin mixture out to proper dip consistency

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2016 Super Bowl Prediction Using Chicken Wing Bones

Welcome to this year’s installment of “Get Rich Quick with Chef John,” where you cash in on my mystical method for picking Super Bowl winners, using the lost art of wing bone reading. I know it sounds crazy, but if you think this is some kind of joke, think again. In the 49 years I’ve been doing this, there hasn’t been a single (major) university study proving these results aren’t 100% accurate. Not one single study. 

Sure, we’ve had a couple of recent, very minor “discrepancies,” but instead of wasting time arguing who's at fault, or who lost who’s college fund, I prefer to look toward the future. This year the bones point to a decisive Carolina victory, and while I’ll be personally rooting for Old Man Manning, if you want to win money, you’ll put everything you have on the Panthers. 

I’m just glad the Patriots aren’t in it. They’re shady. Anyway, good luck, and I’ll apologize in advance for any income tax issues that pop up after this windfall. Good luck, and as always, enjoy!