Friday, February 5, 2016

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Puffs – Seeing Spots

I had everything I needed to shoot a brand new chicken wing video, except for one key ingredient; a working oven. Yes, my oven decided to take the rest of Super Bowl week off, as did my oven repairman, but these bacon jalapeno popper puffs came out so well, I decided to designate this as an official blessing in disguise.

These pepper poppers in puff form really did come out incredibly well, as long as you don’t have a problem with lots of unsightly dark spots. Since we loaded these with so much diced pepper, the pieces on the outside caramelized (which is chef-speak for burned), and my beautiful, golden-brown balls were spotted with golden-black.

Apparently, I’m having more of a problem with the appearance than your average viewer, at least according to the first wave of YouTube comments, but I may still try to figure out a way to make these a little more camera friendly next time. Maybe I’ll puree the peppers first, or possibly char off the skin, which I believe gets even darker than the flesh. Stay tuned.

Superficial beauty aside, if you enjoy the gut-bombs that are classic, bacon-wrapped, jalapeno poppers, I think you’ll love these shockingly light puffs. All the same flavors are there, especially when served with the easy cream cheese dip, and the prep is much easier. I really hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 40 Bacon Jalapeno Popper Puffs:

For the dough:
2/3 cup water
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon bacon fat
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon fine salt)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs

Then add:
2 ounces extra sharp white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely diced jalapeno peppers
1/3 cup finely chopped bacon
pinch cayenne
pinch freshly ground black pepper

- Fry at 375 F. for about 3 1/2 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through

For the dipping sauce:
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
2 tablespoons minced green onions
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- add enough water to thin mixture out to proper dip consistency

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2015 Super Bowl Prediction Using Chicken Wing Bones

Welcome to this year’s installment of “Get Rich Quick with Chef John,” where you cash in on my mystical method for picking Super Bowl winners, using the lost art of wing bone reading. I know it sounds crazy, but if you think this is some kind of joke, think again. In the 49 years I’ve been doing this, there hasn’t been a single (major) university study proving these results aren’t 100% accurate. Not one single study. 

Sure, we’ve had a couple of recent, very minor “discrepancies,” but instead of wasting time arguing who's at fault, or who lost who’s college fund, I prefer to look toward the future. This year the bones point to a decisive Carolina victory, and while I’ll be personally rooting for Old Man Manning, if you want to win money, you’ll put everything you have on the Panthers. 

I’m just glad the Patriots aren’t in it. They’re shady. Anyway, good luck, and I’ll apologize in advance for any income tax issues that pop up after this windfall. Good luck, and as always, enjoy!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Hot Baked Reuben Dip – Deli Up Your Super Bowl Party

This baked Reuben dip works so well that you’ll be racking your brain trying to think of other iconic sandwiches to convert into dip form. Of course, thanks to the Internet, most of this work has probably already been done, but something to keep in mind the next time you’re out of things to daydream about.

I went with pastrami here, but corned beef is more common, and probably the safer bet. Pastrami is heavily spiced with coriander and black pepper, and therefor your dip will be too. I love that kind of thing, but something to consider depending on your audience. No matter what meat you use, you’re going to be enjoying a truly delicious hot dip, which is also great warm, or room temp.

The seeded crackers I used in the video were great, but they’re a little on the pricey side, especially when purchased at the fancy cheese shop, so one of these days I need to show you how to make your own. Unless we all get rich betting on the game, using my guaranteed chicken wing bone method. In that case, we’ll continue to buy the crackers. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 24 servings:
1 pound sliced corned beef or pastrami
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sauerkraut, drained well, squeezed very dry
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 rounded tablespoon ketchup
1 rounded tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
cayenne to taste
8 ounces “Swiss” cheese (4 ounces Gruyere and 4 ounces Emmenthaler)
crackers and bread