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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Grilled Chicken Wing Dip

Super Bowl Sunday was upon us and I was feeling a little indifferent to the whole event.  Our Steelers "spit the bit" as they are prone to do from time to time and we really didn't have a horse in the race.  I wasn't rooting for the Eagles.  More like, I was rooting against Darth Belichick and the evil empire known as the Patriots.  I needed something to get me into the game.  So, instead of the usual spread, I focused on preparing some dips for the evening.  I had a hankering for some buffalo chicken dip, but I was looking for something other than the usual canned chicken, cream cheese, raw Texas Pete all mixed up kinda thing.  So, as I am prone to do, I did a little experimenting.  Off to the kitchen we go.


Chicken Wings.  Ultimately, I used 6.
Adobo Seasoning with Pepper

For the Wing Sauce:

2/3 cup Texas Pete
1/3 cup butter
3 cloves of garlic minced

For the Base:

1, 8 oz pack of cream cheese, softened
8 oz of sour cream
2 tbsp of ranch dressing

The Rest:

2 ribs of celery, finely diced
1/4 cup of carrot sticks, roughly diced
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese plus more for topping
Bleu Cheese crumbles for topping

The night before, I seasoned both sides of my wings with the Adobo seasoning, layered them in a pan, and placed them in the fridge to dry brine.

 Dry brining removes the moisture from the skin, promoting crispiness when cooked.  More on that in my next post.

The next day, I fired up my grill to cook the wings.  While the charcoal was getting ready, I prepared my sauce, the dip base, and the veggies.

For the sauce, I melted the 1/3 cup of butter and lightly sautéed my garlic.  Then I added the Texas Pete and let simmer for about 10 minutes to slightly reduce the sauce.  When reduced, I removed the sauce from the heat and set aside for use later.

Next, I took the softened cream cheese and incorporated the sour cream, ranch dressing, and the wing sauce using my hand held mixer until the mixture was smooth.

When the grill was ready, I placed the charcoal off to one side for indirect grilling.  I placed the chicken on the grill and covered with the lid, vents wide open.  Every five minutes I came out and rearranged the wings so those that were close to the fire did not burn.  I continued this process for about 40 minutes until the skin was crispy and the meat was cooked.

 After removing the wings from the grill, I brought them inside and let them cool down for 15 minutes.  Then, I pulled meat from the bones and roughly minced until I had two cups of meat.  This amounted to six whole wings, deboned.  I also included some of the skin as it was nice and crispy.

Next, I took the meat, diced veggies and 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella and folded into the cream cheese mixture.

Then, after spreading into a 8 inch pie pan, I topped with mozzarella cheese and bleu cheese crumbles.  

Finally, I baked in a 350 F oven for 30-40 minutes when the mixture was melted and the cheese on top was brown and bubbly.  

Then, I served hot with tortilla chips and crackers for dipping.  The dip was everything I was looking for.  The grilled wing flavor came through very well.  All of the flavors mixed well.  The celery and carrot were tender crisp and not over cooked.  The next time around, I am going to add a little more wing sauce and perhaps a little more ranch dressing.  I will be making this dip again.

Thanks for stopping by...

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Checking out this Sous Vide Thing...

Hello everyone.  We are back.  New year, new computer that works in real time.  Time to get caught up.  While we were away, we were cooking and experimenting.  One technique that we tried was Sous Vide on a nice, thick bone in ribeye that I picked up at Costco over the holiday season.  

I had been wanting to try this cooking technique, but was hesitant to pull the trigger on a piece of equipment cost over $100 dollars without knowing how the process worked or if it was worth the money.  Then, I remembered that The Oldest had cooked a Sous Vide venison back strap a few years ago using the hillbilly Sous Vide method.  Hillbilly Sous Vide you say?  Yep, one Igloo cooler and a tea kettle of hot water.

First, I lightly coated my steak with some olive oil and lightly seasoned with kosher salt, cracked pepper, and granulated garlic.  The steak was then vacuum packed and placed in the cooler below. 

Next, I filled up a tea kettle with water and heated it to a temperature of 150 F.  To properly submerge my steak, it took about two tea kettles of water.  Once the steak was swimming in its whirlpool, I closed the lid and walked away.  Every 30 minutes or so I added more hot water to keep the temperature around 150 F.  I allowed the steak to "cook" in the water bath for about 3 hours.  Here is what the steak looked like after its spa treatment.

I had to admit, I was a little worried.  The meat looked like boiled steak.  But, I had my trusty grill heated up with a roaring fire.  

I placed the steak over the coals and cooked for four minutes a side.  Then I brought the steak inside, allowed the meat to rest for 5 minutes, then I cut it in half.

I am sold.  This steak two and a half inch monster was perfectly cooked.  Rare in the middle with the perfect crust on the outside.  I think it is time to spring for a Sous Vide gadget and start experimenting more.   

Thanks for stopping by,