Since there’s some sort of sports game event on the Teevee today, I thought I’d post about some of the high-end junk food I’ve made recently.
The first example is another version of the Korean-flavored wings, notable this time for the fennel-celery-blue cheese-salad-and-sauce-in-one that undergirded the wings. I mandolined the celery and fennel, kneaded the paper-thin slices with salt until they gave up the juice, then rinsed, squeezed, and added them to the cheese, which I’d whisked into some yogurt, kimchi brine, fish sauce, and usukuchi tamari. It sat like that while I cooked the wings, getting friendly with itself. The wings were per usual: seasoned flour-tossed (5-spice, curry powder, salt, pepper) and browned, then finished with a sauce of gochujang, sake, soy sauce, a bit of heavy cream, and cider vinegar and left to bubble gently while the sauce thickened and coated the wings and cooked them through in its snuggly, spicy embrace.
Blue cheese and all the fermented soy products share mold as their fermenting agent, making them uniquely compatible in an application like this; the cool, crunchy salad sauce made a really pleasurable counterpoint to the hot, saucy wings. It’s an idea well worth further tinkering, though I feel like I’m getting close. If I ever open a food cart, these will surely be on the menu.
A few nights ago the boy and I enjoyed some guy time, and the catering needed to fit the occasion, so I made cheeseburgers. To add something a bit different, I made onion rings. I make very very good onion rings, though I almost never bother; as with fries, the mess and general squalid unhealthiness of the food kind of take the fun out of it. But since there was a jar of frying oil left from making the now-legendary lamb pops, it seemed worth it.
The simplest of beer batters (good local IPA, flour, salt, curry powders, copious pepper) with lumps left in, as with tempura, is key. Not-too-thick slices of onion is also important, so they can cook some in the short time they spend in hot oil. Curry and onion rings go together like football and not watching it. Tangy fermented red cabbage-carrot pickle doesn’t suck on a burger, either.
Also, smoked gouda may be the best cheeseburger cheese of all time. Discuss.