Doughsant vs. Paczki: Revenge of the specialty doughnuts

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Much like everything else in our society, the typical breakfast doughnut has evolved from its humble glazed beginnings to something much more decadent.   Sure you can still get a plain or sugar-coated cake but be aware that others might look upon you with disdain for selecting something so ordinary when there are so many extraordinary varieties to choose from.

What are some of the interesting flavors out there?

Taro (Hawaii)

Purple Goat: lavender glazed and filled with berry goat cheese (South Carolina)

Chorizo Cheddar (Los Angeles)

Voodoo Bubblegum: Glazed topped with bubble gum dust and an actual piece of gum (Oregon)

Lemon Sichuan: Lemon curd-filled topped with Sichuan spice (San Francisco)

 

The specialty doughnut also included different types of doughnuts as well.  For example, the Cronut is croissant-doughnut hybrid invented by Dominique Bakery in New York City.  It’s made by layering croissant dough, cutting it into a shape of a doughnut and frying it.

This past weekend, Alex and I ventured out to Oakmont Bakery for some breakfast.  We wanted to try their version of the Cronut, they call it the Doughsant, to see what all the hype was about.  While we were looking through the rows of doughnut varieties, we just could not pass up the opportunity to have a Maple Bacon Paczki.  For those unfamiliar with a Paczki, it’s the Polish version of a doughnut.  Deep-fried pieces of dough shaped into flatten spheres and traditionally filled with rose hip jelly and covered with powdered sugar.

So now the big question is which specialty doughnut reigns supreme?  Is it a regular glazed specialty dough type like the Cronut. Or is a more traditional dough with unique flavors and toppings.

Here is my verdict:

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Chicken fried steak, by a Northerner

11 Mar

Okay I have to admit, I’ve never attempted to make country fried steak before. So when Alex suggested it for dinner Sunday night I very reluctantly agreed. (I hate messing up a Sunday dinner).   I immediately went on the iPad to google “best chicken fried steak recipe”.  My results led me to this Alton Brown recipe, which I altered slightly to give it my own little flare.  It turned out pretty decent for a Northerner’s first attempt so I figured I’d share.  Enjoy!

Chicken Fried Steak
4 servings (or if you are glutens like us, 2 servings)

2 pounds beef bottom round steaks
2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 whole eggs, beaten
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 tbsp
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup whole milk
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

2. Mix flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne and place into a pie pan. Place the beaten eggs and Worcestershire sauce into a separate pie pan.

3. Dredge the meat on both sides in the flour mixture. Tenderize the meat, using a needling device or meat tenderizer, until each slice is 1/4-inch thick.

4. Once tenderized, dredge the meat again in the flour, followed by the egg and finally in the flour again. Repeat with all the pieces of meat. Place the meat onto a plate and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking.

5. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook one steak at a time as to not overcrowd the pan.  Cook each piece on both sides until golden brown, approximately 4 minutes per side.

6. Keep cooked steaks warm in the heated oven while cooking the other steaks and preparing the gravy.

7. Once all the steaks are finished, add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of flour left over from the dredging. Add chicken broth and deglaze the pan. Whisk until the gravy comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Add milk and whisk until the gravy coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste, with more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve the gravy over the steaks.

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Crispy oven “fried” chicken wings

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Alex and I decided to throw a Super Bowl party for ourselves this year. What does that mean? Basically, we are going to cook a bunch of party food and eat it ourselves. It’s really the best kind of party. There is no need to dress up or put on makeup. We know exactly what we want to eat, how much to cook and we don’t have to worry about someone taking the last chicken wing which we secretly wanted for ourselves.

So what’s first on our menu tonight? Crispy oven “fried” chicken wings. We are HUGE fans of extra crispy deep-fried chicken wings and it’s seldom that I enjoy eating a baked chicken wing. But the fact is, deep frying at home can be messy. So a couple of years ago, I spent quite some time researching the best way to bake a crispy chicken wing and I finally came up with a fool proof method that requires zero oil! I know there are probably a lot of skeptics out there but I promise you these wings will not disappoint. (Alex is a picky wing eater and he loves them – or at least that’s what he tells me).

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Pok Pok Party

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Last weekend, my friend Moriah invited us over to her house for a Thai cooking party. She was inspired to throw this party after her roommate received the new Pok Pok cookbook for Christmas.  A surprising twist?  Alex bought me the exact same gift!

I first became interested in Chef Andy Ricker after watching Anthony Bourdain devour his famous fish sauce chicken wings on the final episode of “No Reservations”.  Bourdain raved about the food at Pok Pok NY, claiming that it was the best and most authentic Thai food available outside of Thailand.

I’d like to fancy myself as a Thai cook.  I mean, I grew up eating Thai food and my mother owns a Thai restaurant!  I should pretty much be an expert in the cuisine.  But I have to admit that when I first glanced through Ricker’s cookbook at a local bookstore I realized that I still had much to learn.  Sure I knew how to make Som Tum, Larb, and Phat Si Ew….but I had never even attempted to make half of the recipes that Ricker (a white guy) had mastered.

The cookbook itself is pretty awesome. Its filled with authentic recipes that are not at all simplified to make cooking easier. In fact, I would even venture to say that they are so authentic that some of the ingredients he mentions are items I’ve never boughten before in my life (sad). To read more about the Pok Pok cookbook, check out this article in Food and Wine: How to Make Real-Deal Thai Food at Home.

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Recap of our DC trip

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I know it has been about a month since my last post but what a busy month it’s been! With Christmas, New Year’s, Alex’s birthday, and the birth of our friends’ first child I just haven’t found the time to sit down and write. But the new year brings new beginnings and I hope to bring a lot of exciting stuff to the blog this year.

To start off the new year, here is the much anticipated recap of our holiday DC trip! Continue reading

REPOST: Thai comfort food

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Ok first of all, I just want to apologize to all my readers! I didn’t realize that my previous post about Thai comfort food didn’t have any text! I absolutely loathe the WordPress app because it does not properly sync up with the online interface. I had this whole blog post written out but apparently it did not load up on my phone so when I went to upload the pictures and post, it only posted the pictures! Soooo annoying. Anyway…here is the repost (with text).

There is just something so comforting about eating a hot bowl of chicken noodle soup during the winter months. And although medical professionals say that most of the healing benefits of the classic soup are psychosomatic, there is some truth regarding the anti-inflammatory properties of chicken noodle soup which can help relieve the development of cold symptoms. But medical benefits aside, you can’t deny the wholesome “good feeling” you get after having this old-fashioned classic.

Here at Chew Me Blog, we love the classics with twist. We are all about blending together flavors from different cuisines to create something unique and delicious (e.g. Greek Style Greens and Beans). So here I will share my Thai-ed version of Chicken Noodle Soup.

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Curry marinated chicken

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I have been really into Tandoori chicken lately. It all started a few weeks ago when I ordered a “Naanwich” at the Market District (Naan bread, jasmine rice, Tandoori chicken, cucumber salad and cilantro). I was hooked! I ordered another Naanwich a week later. Then I started ordering Tandoori chicken platters, and then Tandoori chicken a la carte. I’ve been adding Tandoori chicken to my salads, over rice, and even buttered noodles! I just love all of the flavors and spices.

So I tried to recreate my Market District favorite at home. How did it turn out? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like Tandoori chicken. But even though it wasn’t exactly what I was shooting for, I decided to post this recipe anyway because you know what? It was still pretty darn good.

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