Archive | February 1st, 2010

Chili Powder Lifts Fried Chicken

Chili Powder Lifts Fried Chicken

Serve this spicy fried chicken either hot or cold.

Chili Fried Chicken

1 (3 1/2-pound) frying chicken, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 cups peanut oil
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sifted flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Place the chicken in a mixing bowl and add milk barely to cover. Sprinkle with chili powder, stir briefly and let stand in the refrigerator overnight.

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet to at least 350 degrees.

Place the flour, pepper and salt in a paper bag. Take the chicken pieces from the milk, drain briefly and dip them, one at a time, into the seasoned flour. Drop them into the fat and cook until brown on one side. Turn and cook until brown on the other side. Total cooking time should be 20 to 25 minutes.

Drain the chicken and pieces on paper towels and serve hot or cold.

Makes 4 servings.

From “The New York Times Menu Cookbook” by Craig Claiborne

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White Beans, Olives in Soup

White Beans, Olives in Soup

This winter warmer is great during the game or any time.

Bean and Olive Soup

1 cup dried white beans
5 whole cloves
5 peppercorns
5 allspice berries
1 ham hock
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ripe black olives (not canned), seeded and cut into wedges
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Cover the beans with water and soak overnight.

Drain the beans and place them in a kettle. Add 1 1/2 quarts water. Tie the cloves, peppercorns, and allspice berries in a muslin bag and add to the kettle. Add the ham hock, onion, garlic and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours until the beans are tender.

Discard the muslin bag of spices. Remove the ham and cut the meat from the bone. Dice the meat and return it to the kettle with the olives. Reheat. Mash a few of the beans to give body to the soup. Adjust the consistency by adding more water. Sprinkle with parsley.

Makes 5 servings.

From “The New York Times Cookbook” by Craig Claiborne

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A Retro Super Bowl Party

A Retro Super Bowl Party

The first Super Bowl was held back in 1967, when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. The game, referred to some back then as “the Supergame,” was not the major party day that it is now. But what would the host with the most have served guests back then?

I hauled out my copy of “The New York Times Menu Cookbook,” which appeared a few months before the game. Those who partied by the rules set forth by its author, Craig Claiborne, would have had a “Lunch for a Football Game” menu already planned.

All they would have had to do was assemble the ingredients for the following:

It’s interesting how much of the menu has stayed the same. Ham and cheese subs, carrot sticks and, of course, beer are still with us. Beans are often a big part of the party for people, though they’re found in chili and not a soup. (Yes, Texans, people not from the Lone Star State often muck up their chili with beans. It’s a sad fact, but true.)

Yet, when was the last time you saw raw fennel strips on a vegetable tray? Sounds good to me. It’s crunchy, has a delicate licorice flavor and adds a nice complement to the radishes, carrots, celery and whatever else you’re serving.

Equally good is a mixture of 1/2 cup butter and 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard to create the wonderful sandwich spread known as Mustard Butter.

For the Egg and Tomato Hero, simply butter rye bread, then cover with thin slices of hard-cooked egg. Top with thin slices of tomato, freshly grated horseradish and lettuce. Great vegetarian treat, if you can find ripe tomatoes this time of year.

If that’s not enough for your buffet, you could add another did from Claiborne’s collection. It’s for cold Chili Fried Chicken, which you can make the night before.

Don’t go entirely retro, though. Would any of us swap today’s flat-screen TV for a tiny black-and-white model from the late 1960s? And don’t get me started on the coffee. The beer, too, is better, thanks to the wealth of microbreweries today.

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KLRN Gears Up for San Antonio Wine Festival

KLRN Gears Up for San Antonio Wine Festival

KLRN is gearing up for the annual San Antonio Wine Festival later this month.

To get the ball rolling, the station sponsored its annual Wine Competition at La Quinta on I-10 Saturday. Five panels judged 515 wines in categories that ranged from Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon to Spanish Varietals and Port-style Wines. Each panel of judges, featuring wine professionals, collectors and more, sampled more than 100 wines over the course of the day.

Volunteers and KLRN supporters kept the glasses moving from the pouring area to judging room, whiles the wines from around the country and around the world were graded.

Many of the winners will be featured at the various events, including the Fine Wine & Cuisine Tasting on Feb. 15, the Opener on Feb. 19 and the Champagne Brunch on Feb. 21. For a full schedule of events, including prices, locations and times, click here.

The annual festival is a benefit for the local public television station.

A Malbec round ready for the judges.

A small sampling of the wines to be judged.

Appearance is important.

Sean Ballesteros taking in the aroma.

Carl Dominguez and Charlie Deacon

Looks like we have a few medal winners.

Volunteers Jay McCracken and Pie Alvarado making sure all the glasses are spotless.

Volunteer Leslie Campbel takes a quick break.

Volunteer opening a bottle.

(Photos: Nicholas N. Mistry)

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Dates Add Gooey Richness to Bars

Dates Add Gooey Richness to Bars

Dates and nuts give this bar cookies their richness.

Nutmeg Date Bars

8 ounces pitted dried dates
1 cup pecans or walnuts
1 cup sifted powdered sugar, plus more for garnish
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Put the dates and nuts through a food grinder using the medium blade. (Editor’s note: Here’s where modern appliances come in handy. Make the dough for this dish entirely in your food processor.) Add the sugar, eggs and salt and mix well. Add the melted butter, lemon juice, flour and nutmeg and mix thoroughly.

Spread the batter in a very thin layer in a greased 9-inch square pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

Cool partially. Cut into bars. Roll the bars in additional powdered sugar.

Makes 21 bars.

From “The New York Times Menu Cookbook” by Craig Claiborne

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