Thursday, July 28, 2011

Stoner Cooking

Buttermilk Baked Chicken Recipe courtesy the Neelys
Show: Down Home with the Neelys
Episode: Hometown Favorites

Total Time: 13 hr 0 min.
Prep 15 min.
Inactive 12 hr 0 min.
Cook 45 min.
Yield: 4 servings

2 cups buttermilk
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic, smashed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (3 pound) chicken cut into 8 pieces, rinsed and patted dry
2 cups crushed corn flakes
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Fit a sheet tray with a wire rack and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix together buttermilk, lemon juice, hot sauce, onion, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Add chicken and coat with mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours or up 12 hours.

Mix corn flakes, Parmesan cheese, and thyme together. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off, and dredge through the corn flake-Parmesan mixture, pressing to help it adhere.

Place on the wire rack-fitted sheet tray and bake for 45 minutes until golden and crisp.

Cook's Note: Remove the skin to save calories. Soaking chicken in buttermilk leaves the chicken incredibly moist with a delicious flavor.


Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

For the dressing:

8 to 12 ounces Florida orange juice

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

8 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon sriracha sauce

1 cup smooth peanut butter

4 ounces soy sauce

3 ounces rice vinegar or Chinese black vinegar

3 ounces sesame oil, toasted

Combine 8 ounces orange juice and remaining ingredients in food processor and purée until smooth. Add additional orange juice if desired to adjust consistency.

For the salad:

1 pound cellophane noodles, softened in Florida orange juice and drained

2 pounds carrots, cut into julienne strips

2 hothouse or English cucumbers, cut into julienne strips (no quotes on English)

1 pound fresh bean sprouts

2 to 4 red bell peppers, cut into julienne strips

3 pounds chicken strips, cooked

1 bunch green onions, finely chopped

½ bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients in large bowl and toss to combine. Add peanut dressing and toss gently until salad is coated with dressing. Serve immediately.

Makes 8 to 10 servings


How to Make the Perfect Banana Split

In these times of economic torpor, indulgence appears to have gone totally out of fashion. Nowhere is this more obvious than when it comes to the way we eat.

Nowadays, just about everywhere you look, there are articles filled with uninspiring ways to feed a family of four for $4, TV programs showing you how to turn cheap cuts of meat into hearty meals and blogs extolling the joys of earthy root vegetables in our diet.

So, as a counterpoint, I am going to offer up some recipes that all come from a time when the words “full fat” were not considered satanic. Some, like today’s offering of the banana split recipe are straightforward, being more acts of composition than culinary endeavor. Others may take a little more time and effort.

But they all have one thing in common: They’re gloriously indulgent and come from a time when food was, to put it quite simply, better.

The credit for creating the banana split may have many claimants. However, the general consensus is that its roots can be traced back to 1904 and the town of Latrobe, PA. A pharmacy assistant named David Strickler returned from a trip to Atlantic City and was inspired by the soda fountains he had seen on his travels. He went about creating his own sundae using bananas.

Bananas had only begun to appear in the U.S. in the 1880s and were still considered a luxury, as was the pineapple that Strickler also put in the mix. When combined with three ice creams, chocolate syrup, marshmallows, whipped cream, nuts, and cherries, it made for quite a premium version of the drugstore delight, and one he was forced to sell for a dime, twice as much as other normal drugstore ice-cream treats.

Strickler, who later bought the pharmacy, hoped that the dessert would attract students from the nearby St. Vincent’s College. He was right, and the popularity of the dish soon began to spread locally. But it took the intervention of one of the country’s most famous pharmacies to make this dish a wider sensation, when Walgreen’s began to offer it in their Chicago branches.

The banana split arguably reached the height of its popularity in the 1940s and 1950s, but since the more calorie-conscious days of the 1980s, it has suffered an inglorious absence from dining menus.

Well, it’s time to change all that. If you want to sample a truly decadent piece of American culinary history, below is my recipe for the perfect banana split.

Banana Split Recipe
(per person)
1 banana (ripe, but not black)
1 scoop strawberry ice cream
1 scoop chocolate ice cream
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
½ cup of crushed pineapple
¼ cup mini marshmallows
½ cup whipping cream
3 maraschino cherries
¼ cup blanched, chopped almonds (dry-roasted in a pan)
2 fan-shaped ice cream wafers (any shape will do if you can’t find these, but I think they add to the appeal)

To get the true effect, you will also need to seek out a proper banana-split boat. Some stores do sell them, but you can also find them online.

The syrups
There are lots of recipes online. These are fairly standard ones.

Chocolate syrup
(You can use store-bought or see recipe below.)
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 cup unsweetened hot chocolate or cocoa powder
1 tspn vanilla extract

1-Combine water and sugar over a low heat in a saucepan until all the sugar has dissolved to form a sugar syrup.
2-Add the cocoa powder and stir until it has all been combined in the sugar syrup.
3-Allow to cool and add the vanilla extract.
4-Decant to a squeeze sauce bottle and place in the refrigerator until needed.

Strawberry syrup
(Store bought or see recipe below.)
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
2 cups mashed ripe strawberries

1-Combine the water and sugar over a low heat in a saucepan until all the sugar has dissolved to form a sugar syrup.
2-Add the mashed strawberries and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes.
3-Pass the strawberry mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds and pulp, and decant the syrup to a squeeze bottle and place in the refrigerator until needed.
assembling the banana split

1-Peel the banana and split lengthwise.
2-Whip the cream and keep ready to one side.
3-Lay the two halves of banana facing each other on the glass plate.
4-Place one scoop each of the chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream between the two halves of banana.
5-Top the ice-cream scoops with crushed pineapple and then with whipped cream.
6-Add the mini marshmallows.
7-Squirt a good amount of the strawberry and chocolate syrups over the whipped cream.
8-Top with a handful of roasted almonds and the three cherries.
9-Place a wafer at either end of the glass plate and serve to an awestruck audience.

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