Saturday, January 25, 2014

This Week In Shoving Food In Your Face: Potluck Palooza.... Diabetes Not-cakes, Sriracha Honey Ginger Wings, and Grand Marnier Injected Strawberries.

Friday night I had the pleasure of joining some friends for a potluck.  And because God forbid I bring the appropriate amount of food to a get together, I made three dishes since (naturally) I figured one dish wasn't enough.

I tend to go a little overboard when it comes to food.  Please be aware that if you come over to my apartment, I will try to feed you and will attempt to shove alcohol down your throat.

Since the recipes I made for the potluck were pretty successful, and they're things I would absolutely make again, I figured "why not post the recipes"?

First up, cupcakes I uh..don't have a name for.  Oops.

And I guess since they combine cookie dough, Reese cups, and brownie batter, they sould probably just be called "You Might Now Have Diabetes" desserts.  I don't think they're really cupcakes in the traditional sense, so for the purpose of describing them, I guess they're not-cakes. And if these bad boys look familiar, you might be right - they're a pinterest recipe.

1 package/roll refrigerated, premade chocolate chip cookie dough
12 Reese cups
1 box Brownie Mix (prepared)
Non-stick cooking spray

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a cupcake tray with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Pinch off a small amount of the cookie dough and press to the bottom of each cupcake mold, about 1/4 of the way up.

2. Place a Reese Cup upside down on top of the cookie dough. Press gently.

3. Cover the cookie dough and Reese Cup with prepared brownie mix about 3/4 of the way full.  You'll see that I went a bit over

4. Bake in your preheated oven for 18 minutes.  Let cool and run a knife around the edges of each cupcake mold. The cooked not-cakes should easily pop out. You can see mine sunk in the middle - this isn't the first time it has happened while living in my current place (the old place never had the issue), so I attribute the issue to an oven that isn't calibrated and runs to hot.

Another sweet bite I did were Grand Mariner injected Strawberries.  The way I figure, while I absolutely love jello shots, I felt that maybe I should find a fancier way to combine food and alcohol when I go to a dinner party.  Don't get me wrong - I'll go HAM on cherry jello and rum, but I wanted something a little nicer.

Enter your new drunk best friend...



1. Grab a meat injector.  If available, try to pick one with as small as a gauge as possible.  They're super cheap, and can be used for a TON of things.  Mine just so happens to be for getting people hammered on fruit.

2. Fill the injector with your choice of booze.  I used Grand Mariner for my strawberries; however, you could absolutely use rum (mmm rum and pineapple or rum injected into peaches? yes please), brandy, or anything else your little heart desires.

3. Inject yo fruit!  I started with my cleaned strawberries, piercing the flesh at the tip of the berry and slowly injecting the fruit until i noticed the alcohol leaking out (or until it shot into my eye).  I then pierced another one or two points in the flesh and filled until I felt the berry firm up and figured it was good and boozy.

4. Refrigerate until you're ready to serve. Pro tip? The longer you let them sit and hang out, the more drunk your fruit will be.

So to balance out the diabetes and alcohol I made, I also figured I should do something with protein.  Since I have some friends who are watching their carb intake, I figured I'd do some wings.

ALSO, since I found out about the potluck a day prior to the event, I needed something that was fast.  I also didn't want to fry the wings and needed something I could pop in the oven but would still get the "wing-crisp" feel when you bite in.

I found this recipe while scouring the interwebs and felt it was great for what I needed- no marinading or letting the meat rest overnight and from all of the comments, great results.  I was game.  I changed a couple things from the original recipe, so here's my modified version of Sriracha Honey Ginger Chicken Wings.   They've got a bit of a kick to them, so feel free to ease back on the Sriracha if you're not one for spice.

The sauce I made is more than enough to glaze the wings toward the end of the cooking process. I wanted some extra to coat the wings prior to presentation as well as serve table-side should people want their wings more smothered than others.  The sauce is also amazing on other meat...soooo I made some extra.

Without further ado, I present to you...

Sriracha Honey Ginger Wings

2-3 pounds of chicken wings
3 T. melted butter
1 T. vegetable oil
1 T. garlic powder
Salt and Freshly cracked pepper to taste
1 inch knob of ginger, grated fine
Cilantro (garnish)
Green Onions (garnish)
Sesame Seeds (garnish)

Ingredients for the Sauce
8 T. unsalted butter
2 T. AP flour
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. Sriracha
3 T. soy sauce
juice of 2 limes
2 T. garlic powder
2 inch knob ginger, grated fine

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  I used a Silicone Baking Mat to line my baking sheet. I love Silpats because they offer super quick cleanup and food comes off of the sheet easily.

2. Trim off wing tips with a very sharp knife by simply pressing the middle of your knife along the joint in the wing.  Discard or save for additional flavoring in soups and stews.

3. In a large bowl, combine wings, butter, vegetable oil, garlic powder, ginger, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.  Add wings to mixture and give them a good coating/rub.  Make sure the wings are thoroughly coated..

4. Place wings on prepared baking sheet, skin side up first and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway though.

5. While wings are cooking, make your sauce.  Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted and bubbly.  Whisk in flour until lightly browned. Stir in honey, Sriracha, grated ginger, soy sauce, garlic powder, and lime juice.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Continue to cook for about 2-3 minutes.

6. Once wings have finished cooking, brush with sauce and pop back in the oven for 3-4 minutes.

7. Flip your wings (they should be skin-side up now) and coat generously with more sauce.  Pop back in the oven for 4-5 minutes until wings are crispy and brown.

8. When wings have finished their entire cook time, place in a large bowl and spoon sauce around the edge of the bowl.  Toss thoroughly to coat and place in a serving dish. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, green onions and toasted sesame seeds to garnish.

I think maybe the next time I make the wings I might put some orange juice and/or orange zest in the sauce.  I think the flavors of soy, lime, ginger, honey and Sriracha work well together and even though it sounds like a lot, the flavors don't get muddled and confused.

The great thing about the three above recipes is that I completed all of them in about 2 hours. Seriously. Got home from work, banged out the food, and still had time to do my hair and makeup before going to the potluck.

I don't think potlucks need to be traditional mac salad....or just reaching for a bag of chips because you don't know what to bring, claim to not be able to cook anything, or saying you don't have time to whip something together.   What are your favorite potluck recipes?

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