In My Time Of Frying

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.

9 comments to In My Time Of Frying

  • Last time I discussed burgers I got yelled at so I’m reluctant to do so again. But I will say that smoked gouda does sound really good, and while at first the idea of [scrolls up, cuts and pastes] Tangy fermented red cabbage-carrot pickle didn’t sound right — sort of sauerkrauty — the more I thought about it the more I thought about how much I like pickles on burgers, and actually I think it sounds excellent.

    Not that my opinion matters. Just thinking and typing.

    More to why I’m commenting: It doesn’t sound like you cooked the wings a whole long time, and I find that wings have a lot of connective tissue which is pretty rough going unless it’s had time to cook down some. Did you cook them longer than it sounds here — “cooked them through in its snuggly, spicy embrace” is rather vague — or do you not find they need it?

  • I must say, I have to make tongue for a recipe (salpicon montglas for an appetizer) and your post on the subject inspired me to slow cook and stove smoke the little bugger. These wings sound amazing and I love the twining of cuisines… it is the spirit of evolution, isn’t it?? As for football… it’s what happens between the great commercials.

  • Peter

    Chris: I’m right there with you re: pickles on burgers. Kimchi is also mighty. This doesn’t taste krauty, really, just good.

    I’d say that the wings probably simmered for about 30 minutes on low with a lid, getting a shake every now and then to distribute the sauce and prevent sticking in the middle. Next time I think I’m going to sous-vide them for hours at 150˚ so they’re falling apart tender and then brown and sauce them quickly. That has to be good.

    Deana: Glad you liked the tongue post. Yes, Korean flavors and wings are a winning combination, and remixing is what he new flavors are all about. How did the tongue come out?

  • Did you make that cabbage pickle yourself? Anything unusual about it you would care to share?

  • Peter

    I did. Shredded red cabbage and carrots in a 4% brine for a few weeks. That’s it. It’s pretty, and goes with everything.

  • i love a man who doesn’t watch football. michael is another of those. he knows nothing of sports. big plus.

    i love onion rings and cheeseburgers and lamp pops. just in case you needed to know such things…

  • oh snap. i remember that chris guy! hehehehee…

  • Peter

    If you didn’t live with a famous chef I might have a shred of pity for you.

  • i live with that chef and am now fat. yes, please pity me. i am to be pitied… more pity please. pity please?

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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