Monday Morning Quarterback Report:
I am rested from yesterday’s Superbowl Challenge. I went to bed early and played Candy Crush until I fell asleep. I awoke to find the scent of chicken wings and crab cakes replaced by the scent of the skunk who spayed our porch last night. Such is the story of my life.
Anyway, to re-cap the challenge. I started out with a clean slate. The sink full of dirty dishes from the night before was history. The dishwasher was empty and ready to go.
My stove and island were clean and clear of unnecessary clutter. I took out one of my new radiant burners and replaced it with the old coiled burners for the challenge. I was not frying chicken wings on my new radiant heat elements!
I moved my camera and lighting equipment up from the basement to the dining room. Since the game didn’t start until 3:30, I knew I would need lighting for my photos. I brought up a Lowell Ego Light on a stand, my speed light flash with a hotbox and remote cord. I used my Canon Mark 1D Mark III on a tripod with my CamRanger to tether my camera to my iPad wirelessly. All adjustments and shooting can then be done via the iPad. The pulled pork is cooking in the Crockpot on the buffet in the background.
So here goes…my photos from yesterday and today’s commentary. I didn’t have time to comment yesterday. I cooked all four dishes plus two bonus ones!
First Quarter – Ultimate Crab Cake Sliders
Post Game Commentary: We like crab cakes with lots of crab and very little of anything else, especially breading. I went with my go-to recipe for Ultimate Crab Cakes which uses ground sea scallops as a binder. I omitted the bell peppers, made the patties smaller, and served them on French rolls with Chili Aioli. If I can’t find king crab legs I use Dungeness crab pieces which are cooked then sealed in plastic tubs. No canned crab for us! The decision on this dish was unanimous, four thumbs up!
Second Quarter – Rumaki
Post Game Commentary: These were quite good. My original plan was to make these for the first quarter until I got them assembled and realized that the Rumaki recipe from the Mad men Cookbook), calls for marinating them for an hour before cooking! It is imperative to read a recipe from beginning to end, especially if time is of the essence. 🙁 So I changed the rotation, popped them in the fridge to marinate and made the crab cakes. The Rumaki only got a half hour to marinate, but they were still delicious. I would probably not go with this appetizer again if there is a time limit. The assembly is a bit tedious. I found it easiest to place the water chestnut on one end of the chicken liver then fold the other end over it and top it with a piece of scallion. Then I held on for dear life with one hand and reached for a slice of bacon with the other. I rolled the bacon around and held the bundle down on a wooden cutting board. Then I poked the toothpicks in at an angle away from me, making sure I pierced the water chestnut with at least one tooth pick. The water chestnut is the key to keeping the Rumaki from falling apart when skewered. Apparently this dish was a throwback to the 50’s and 60’s and were a staple at weddings and cocktail parties. At our Superbowl party for two in 2014, they scored the first touchdown!
Half-Time Bonus – Chicken Apple Sausage with Mayhem Mike’s Mandarin Sauce
Post Game Commentary: I have a confession to make, and it may sound unsophisticated and non-foodie but, I love cocktail wieners. I prefer to call them franks. That is probably a more foodie term. The first thing I’ll take off any Hors d’oeuvre tray is a little frank, smothered in BBQ sauce with a toothpick sticking out. To my horror, our local market did not have any cocktail franks, something I found inexplicable just before the big game. They did have Aidell’s Chicken and Apple Mini Sausages. To avoid driving into town, I picked up a package of these. I seared them in a non-stick pan, slathered with Mayhem Mikes Mandarin Sauce. Mayhem Mikes is a local company I discovered recently while shopping in old Fair Oaks village. I bought a couple of flavors of sauces and love them! The mandarin is my favorite. Paired with the chicken and apple sausage it was awesome, so awesome that I ate them straight from the pan with a long skewer while they cooked! This explains why I didn’t have very many sausages to serve. I love supporting local businesses and encourage everyone to look around and see what being offered in their own community.
Third Quarter – Chicken Liver and Sweet Onion Crostini
Post Game Commentary: This recipe for Chicken Liver and Sweet Onion Crostini was delicious, but unfortunately the photo doesn’t do it justice. I inadvertently left the fluorescent lights on in the kitchen while taking its picture. If you like liver and onions, you’ll love them on buttered, broiled rounds of French bread. I made a substitution of salt and black pepper for the cinnamon in the recipe. I just couldn’t imagine onions and cinnamon. I have been fooled before by cinnamon in savory dishes but decided against trying it this time. Maybe next time. Depending upon how the leftovers look, I may re-take the photo. This recipe deserves a good photo.
Fourth Quarter – Hot Wings and Teriyaki Wings
Post Game Commentary: I love hot wings. Love, love, love hot wings. Michael doesn’t. To keep peace in the house, I made two sauces to toss the wings in when they came out of the fryer. I made traditional sauce combining Frank’s hot wing sauce and melted butter. I also made an Asian sauce combining homemade teriyaki sauce and butter. We stood in the kitchen devouring wings, Michael from his side of the plate and I from mine. You can’t beat a classic hot wing!
Here’s the teriyaki recipe with translation of the pidgin English:
- quart Aloha Brand shoyu, not that lite stuff, no go woos out
- (1 quart of Aloha brand Soy Sauce, regular, not lite)
- one pound brown sugar, da dark kine
- (1 pound dark brown sugar)
- bout twenty cloves garlic, da sucka gotta be fresh, juss crush em, (but no be mean, garlic needs aloha too!!)
- (20 cloves of peeled, crushed garlic)
- 4 to six ounce fresh ginger, grated
- (4-6 ounces grated ginger)
- little sesame seed oil, maybe ⅛ cup
- (1/8 cup sesame oil)
- Den, DA KILLA!!!!!!!! TREE CUPS CROWN ROYAL!!! Well, I normally like start wit eight cups Crown Royal, BUT NORMALLY GET TREE INTO DA SAUCE, OR, SOME OF DA SAUCE INTO ME!!!!!!!!! go figure
- (3 cups Crown Royal whiskey)
- put all da ingediments, cept da Crown Royal, an let simmer for a couple hours, add da secret ingrediment, cover, let simmer bit more, get one can spam, let em marinate for one hour, get da Hanalei Poi, Lomi Salmon, Ahi an Tako Poke, (make sure your cats aren't around) Ahi block sashimi, an you goin be in Heaven, gaurens!!!
- Simmer all ingredients for two hours, add the Crown Royal and simmer another hour.
End Game Bonus – Teriyaki and Blood Orange BBQ Sauce Pulled Pork Sliders
Post Game Commentary: I started cooking a pork shoulder in the Crockpot in the mooring. After eight hours on low, the meat was done and pulled apart easily. I used sweet dinner rolls with the pulled pork on top. Michael’s sliders had teriyaki sauce and mine had Blood Orange Bourbon Barbecue Sauce. I wrote about how good this recipe was yesterday and I stand by that after enjoying it on my slider. It is a very unique and tasty sauce. Stay tuned for a recipe in the near future using this sauce with Fried Mozzarella Sticks!
I finished the challenge, with two bonus dishes too! Would I do it again? Probably. The hardest part was the photography. After a while, I just gave up trying to get the money shot and stopped fussing with it. I just took pictures of the food. We had fun and we ate some good food. Now it’s definitely time to turn out the lights for real. This party is over! Go Niners. See you in Super Bowl XLIX!