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Entries in blue cheese (2)

Monday
Mar122012

Hilton Head Monthly...The Wine Beneath My Wings

 

photograph by Rob Kaufman

In March, as all Islanders know, the festival season takes flight with two big ones: the Wine and Food Festival and Wing Fest.

On the 12th of March, more than three thousand wine aficionados will swirl and swill close to one thousand bottles poured at the 24th Wine and Food Festival.  Two weeks later another four thousand attendees will convene and commence to chomp their way through six thousand pounds of chicken wings at the 17th annual Wing fest in Shelter Cove Community Park.  

Now I know that buckets of ice-cold brewskys are generally the accepted libation of choice when it comes to wings.  Which is fine, but is it written in stone?  Why not take a walk on the wine side and put a glass beside your wings?  Mash it up a bit with an oaky chardonnay, a fruity sauvignon blanc, or a spicy zinfandel.  Now that really appeals to me. 

 So with that in mind I thought I’d pair these two popular Island events in my own little wing and wine taste test and see how it flies.  

Ways to cook your wings

To bake:  Preheat oven to 425°F.  Cook wings for 35-40 minutes on a baking tray (do not over crowd) turning them halfway through cooking time.

To grill:  Prepare grill for medium-high heat.  Cook wings for 15-20 minutes.  Keep a squirt bottle by the grill to douse any flare-ups.

To deep-fry:  Heat oil to 375°F.  Cook wings (in batches) for 5-8 minutes until crisp and golden.  Drain on paper towels.

Winging it…how many will you need?

Usually there are eight to ten wings per pound depending on size.  Four pounds should give you six appetizer or four main course servings.

 

Wings and wines

photograph by Rob Kaufman 

Chili Garlic Wings


Slightly sweet sauce with a mild bite and garlic taste.  Pair these with a Pinot Noir

Ingredients

1 28oz can of tomato puree

8oz chili garlic sauce

½ cup sugar

½ cup cornstarch

Whisk the above ingredients together in a large bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  Marinate wings at least 20 minutes before baking or grilling.  This is also a great stir-fry sauce.  

photograph by Rob Kaufman

Orange Chipotle Glazed Wings

The ever-popular hot and sweet combination.  Pair these with a Chardonnay

Ingredients

1 32oz jar of orange marmalade

3 tablespoons chipotle puree*

Stir the marmalade and puree together in a medium saucepan.  Heat on low until glaze simmers; stir to prevent sticking and burning.  Re-heat gently to a brushing consistency when ready to glaze wings.  Bake or grill wings basting often with glaze.

*To make chipotle puree process a can of chipotles in adobo sauce in the bowl of a food processor until smooth.  The puree will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

 

photograph by Rob Kaufman

Hoisin Lime Wings

Lime cuts through the sweetness of this traditional bean paste based sauce.  Pair these with a Zinfandel.

Ingredients

2 cups Hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons garlic puree

1 tablespoon ginger puree

½ cup limejuice

Whisk the above ingredients together in a large bowl.  Marinate wings for at least 20 minutes before baking or grilling.

photograph by Rob Kaufman 

Classic Hot Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing

The tried and true original.  Pair these with a Sauvignon Blanc or a Riesling

Ingredients

¼ cup butter

1 ½ tablespoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)

4-6 tablespoons hot sauce (like Texas Pete)

Heat the above ingredients together in a small saucepan until the butter melts.  Transfer to a large bowl and add the piping hot cooked wings.  Toss to coat.  Serve with blue-cheese dressing on the side.

 

Blue Cheese Dressing

Ingredients

½ cup olive oil

½ cup sour cream

1 teaspoon minced garlic

3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

¾ cup crumbled blue cheese

Place the above ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.  Dressing keeps in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.  


Saturday
Feb262011

Buttermilk Blue Cheese Biscuits with Walnuts and Apple Thyme Butter

 


  

Walnuts, apples, and blue cheese – it’s a great combo and these yummy little biscuits are as flakey as can be thanks to the secret ingredient!  I’m already picturing them as part of our Easter dinner. 

 I hate to admit that the biscuits I’ve made before turned out like little cement blocks and then if you did bite into one, it was like chewing talcum powder - hence no recipe until now re: biscuits.

 I think certain dishes and techniques are in your blood.  For instance, I can roast potatoes, but according to my kids, I can’t roast them like my BF Debbie, in London, can – must be a British thing.  I can make potato salad, but not like my BF Terri, can – must be a Southern thing and that’s why her recipe’s on this website. I had almost given up on the biscuit process putting it down to me not being a born and bred Southerner.  I won’t even bore you with my red velvet cake story.

With some things there seems to be that little je ne sais quoi which goes hand in hand with your geographic cooking DNA.  I hate to think about my original geographic cooking DNA pointing to bologna sandwiches and hot dogs.  But, having said all that, there are some amazing things now being done to alter DNA of all sorts...after all...look how far I’ve come. I can make biscuits now!

Ingredients

Makes 16 biscuits

For the biscuits:

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

2/3 cups vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into cubes (the secret ingredient!)

1 ¼ cups blue cheese, crumbled

¾ cup walnut pieces

1 cup buttermilk, plus a little more for brushing

 

For the butter:

2 sweet apples, like Fuji or Braeburn, peeled, cored and diced

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

1 cup water

1 stick of butter, room temperature

 

First make the butter...

Sprinkle the apples with sugar and thyme.  Cook over medium low heat in a small skillet until the apples soften, collapse, and turn into a chunky sauce, about 20 minutes. 

Add water as necessary to the skillet so the apples don’t scorch and burn.  Smash down any stubborn pieces that refuse to sauce-ify.  Cool completely.  Blend the butter and apples together using an electric hand mixer or whisk.  Chill until ready to use. 

 

Now make the biscuits...

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl.  Work shortening into flour using a pastry blender or fingertips until you have course looking crumbs and the shortening is distributed throughout the flour mixture. 

 

Add walnuts and 1 cup of the blue cheese, again using a pastry blender or fingertips work dough until blended.  Make a well in the center and add buttermilk, stir using a spoon or spatula until a dough forms. 

Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until combined.  The dough will not be completely smooth, like a pie crust but should hold together and be a little elastic.  Form into a rectangle about ¼ inch thick and use a pizza slice to cut into 16 squares (if you prefer round biscuits...have at it!). 

Place biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Brush with a little buttermilk, sprinkle with a little blue cheese and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.  Serve warm or at room temperature with apple butter. 

 

It’s All Delicious notes:  The dough can be made a few hours ahead and refrigerated until ready to bake.