Crispy Buffalo Wings

Every Thursday at our house we have pizza and wings.  Sometimes we mix it up and do sweet Asian wings or garlic parmesan wings, but 90% of the time it is these classic buffalo wings.  They require very little hands-on time and come out just as crispy as anything deep fried, even though they are baked.  I love my deep fryer and hate healthy food but have found no reason to switch to frying wings because the oven method is easy and good.

I see a lot of wing recipes that talk about cutting the wings and discarding the tips but I get mine at Costco in a 10 lb. bag of frozen wings.  There is nothing to cut up or discard. You can grab however many you need out of the bag and defrost them in a bowl of cool water.

Sometimes I set some aside without the sauce to be dipped by the kids in barbecue sauce or ketchup (gross).

You will need:

-20 wings

-2 cups all purpose flour

-2 teaspoons seasoned salt

-1 teaspoon finely ground pepper

-1/2 cup Frank’s or Texas Pete hot sauce

-1/2 cup (one stick) of salted butter

-1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

  1.  In a large ziplock bag, mix the flour, seasoned salt, and pepper together
  2. Place the wings inside.  They should not be wet, but there is no need to obsessively pat them dry.
  3. Shake until the wings are well coated, them put them back in the fridge for at least an hour, up to 24 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, if you have a convection setting this is a good occasion for it as it really crisps them.
  5. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it in foil and generously spraying with a non stick spray.  Place the wings on it without them touching each other
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip them individually.  Bake another 15-20 minutes.  They should look crispy.
  7. Towards the end of the baking time, prepare the buffalo sauce by melting the butter in a large saucepan and adding the hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce.  (Worcestershire is not being highlighted by spell check, is it possible I have spelled it right TWICE?)
  8. Toss the baked wings in the buffalo sauce, right in the sauce pan.
  9. Serve with blue cheese or ranch.

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Broccoli Salad for a Crowd

Broccoli is an interesting vegetable to grow. First of all you are eating unopened flower buds, which is strange. But what is really neat about it is that after the main harvest of big cauliflower-like heads, nine or so inches in diameter, you get little side shoots for a month or so. You can really get quite a few servings out of the side shoots, and there are plenty of recipes for steamed and roasted broccoli that are great for when you have just a few servings worth to cook.

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This recipe, however, is for that first exciting harvest, when you have a lot.

It is adapted from a Trisha Yearwood recipe that I copied out of a library book. It is very good.

You will need:

1/2 lb. of bacon

2 lbs of broccoli florets, raw

1 cup mayonnaise

1 T. apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup white sugar

1/3 cup chopped red onion

3/4 cup raisins

Directions:

1. Cook the bacon, drain on paper towels. When cool, crumble and set aside.

2. Mix the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar to make a dressing. Add the chopped onion and raisins.

3. Gently fold in the broccoli.

4. Cover and refrigerate 2-4 hours.

5. Fold bacon in just before serving.

Best eaten the day it is made.

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(I served it with Rachel sandwiches for an easy, no cook meal.)


Italian Braided Bread

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This is another one of our most frequently made breads, French Rolls for Sandwiches being the other.  It is great sliced with butter or served alongside pasta the night you make it, and leftovers make good french toast or regular toast.

It is adapted and simplified from a King Arthur recipe called Scali Bread, but I have changed it so much I’m not sure it qualifies as Scali bread anymore.

As always, start with the lesser amount of water and add more if needed.  And use the dough cycle on your bread machine if you have one.

For the dry milk powder, I order this from King Arthur, but some is available at grocery stores. It is worth placing an order from them though. You can get a whole pound of red star instant yeast for under $7, which will easily fit in a one quart mason jar and live happily in the freezer. I also like their sparkling sugar, cinnamon, and parchment sheets, which lay flat and can be reused two or three times.

You will need:

-3 cups bread flour

-1 cup to 1 1/3 cup of water

-2 T olive oil

-2 T. Dry milk powder

-1 1/4 t. salt

-1 t. sugar

-2 1/4 t. yeast (Red star instant)

-(an egg and sesame seeds for topping the dough)

Directions:

  1.  Add all ingredients to a bowl or bread machine bucket, and knead until very smooth.  Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
  2. Divide risen dough into three equal pieces and roll gently into 10 inch logs.  Allow them to rest, covered in greased plastic wrap, about 15 minutes or so.  This will make them easier to work with.
  3. Pull them out a bit longer, to about 15 inches long.  Then begin your braid.  Sometimes it is easier to start in the middle and flip it around.  Tuck the ends under.
  4. Place the loaf on a baking sheet either prepared with parchment or sprayed with cooking spray.  Brush the loaf with the beaten egg.  Sprinkle sesame seeds on top, pressing to help them stick.
  5. Cover the loaf with greased plastic wrap and allow to rise.  (Preheat your oven to 425 at this time) Check after 30 minutes, because if it over-rises the braid pattern will be ruined.
  6. Bake in 425 degree oven 25-30 minutes.  It will look very golden because of the egg wash, which can be deceptive.  You may want to check with a thermometer before taking it out.  (It should be about 195-200 degrees inside.)
  7. Cool on a wire rack.

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Greek Pasta Salad

(Hi to anyone coming over from Lisa’s Discovery Tour!  And thank you to Lisa for including me! I’m Katie and my blog is mostly about homemaking: to include cooking, gardening, decorating, organizing, and frugality.  I share recipes, but only our favorites that we make over and over.  This is one of them!)

May is the beginning of cookouts and pool parties, especially with Mother’s Day, college graduations, and Memorial Day on the calendar, and I am always looking for a good side dish to share.  This pasta salad is filling but not too heavy, and is a definite crowd pleaser.  I came up with the recipe trying to copy an expensive pasta salad that we used to buy all the time.  It is what I am most frequently asked to bring to parties.

You will need:

for the dressing:

1 cup olive oil

2 1/2 t. garlic powder

2 1/2 t. dried oregano

2 1/2 t. dried basil

2 t. salt

2. t. black pepper

2 t. onion powder

2 t. dijon mustard

1 1/3 cup red wine vinegar

for the rest:

1 box of mini penne pasta

1 can of black olives

1 green pepper finely sliced

1 small red onion finely sliced

6 oz. crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

  1.  Cook the pasta to al dente in boiling, lightly salted water.  Drain, rinse with cool water and set aside
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing EXCEPT the red wine vinegar.  Add the vinegar last, while whisking quickly to combine.
  3. In a large serving bowl, toss the pasta and dressing together, then add the olives, green pepper, red onion, and crumbled feta.
  4. Cover and chill at least four hours.

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French Rolls for Sandwiches

We make these rolls every week, on Tuesday.   They are great for Italian sandwiches, cheesesteaks, and whatever sandwich your heart desires.  The dough can also be made into larger round loaves or baguette shapes to serve with dinner.

The best thing about the rolls is that they freeze well for at least two weeks, and can be defrosted in the microwave easily (takes about 1 minute on the defrost setting).  The crust can be recrisped with just a few minutes in the oven.  They have a thin, crisp crust and are super soft inside.

I always, always, always knead and rise my dough in the bread machine, although I never bake in it.  The stand mixer is okay.  I have never had success kneading by hand, but obviously many people do.

This recipe is one of the easiest to make, but also one of the best.  It is slightly adapted from Bread Machine Magic.

You will need:

4 cups of bread flour

1 1/2 cups of water

2 t. salt

2 1/2 t. instant yeast (I like Red Star brand)

Cornmeal and flour for dusting

Directions:

  1.  Combine your ingredients and knead into a soft smooth dough, preferably in a bread machine on the dough cycle.
  2. Cover and allow to rise until doubled.  (The bread machine will take care of this, and will beep when done.)
  3. Divide into 10 equal pieces using a sharp knife.
  4. Shape into rolls, pinching the bottoms until the tops are smooth.
  5. Prepare your baking sheet by either spraying with non-stick spray or covering with parchment, then dust with cornmeal.
  6. Rub flour on top of the rolls. Place them on the baking sheet, slashing a diagonal line with a sharp knife.
  7. Preheat your oven to 450, and place a spare empty baking sheet with a lip in the oven.
  8. Cover your rolls with greased plastic wrap, and put in a warm place to rise.  When they look very puffy, remove the plastic wrap.
  9. When the oven has preheated, pour 1 cup of water on to the spare baking sheet to create steam.  It may buckle.  This is okay.
  10. Put your risen rolls into the oven, and bake for 16-17 minutes.  When done, they will have slightly browned bottoms and feel light for their size.
  11. Cool and use immediately or freeze.

 

 

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