Here is all you'll need to make the batter ~
Tip: Something I learned from a soul food restaurant cook; use chopsticks to handle the rings. Not your GOOD chopsticks. I just use the ones my local Sushi restaurant provides when I order to go. Use one for the rings in the batter, and one for the rings in the oil.
For such a small amount of frying I just use a little portable deep fryer (Fry Daddy in this case), and I always use canola oil for the beer batter preparation.
Preheat oven to 275-degrees (F)
Place a wire rack inside a baking sheet with a shallow rim. (Quarter-sheet pan is perfect.)
I slice the onions fairly thick (about 1/2 -inch to 3/4-inch), separate into rings. I slice the onions first, then whisk up the batter (put it in the fridge to keep it cold if there is any delay in using it, but it's best used within 20 to 30 minutes.)
Heat the oil, dip a couple of rings into the batter, submerging completely, lift and drain one at a time to allow the excess batter to run off. Carefully place them one at a time into the hot oil; don't crowd. Allow them to cook for a few moments, then turn them over with the other chopstick , you can turn them over and over to assure even frying. When they appear golden, and cooked to your liking, lift from the oil by placing the chopstick through the onion ring and allowing any excess oil to drain back into the pot, then place on the rack in the pan & place in the oven to hold until all are fried.
Sprinkle with salt if you like ~ I don't add extra.
You can eat them immediately, but the trick to crispy onion rings is to allow them to stay in the 275* oven for an additional 10 to 20 minutes to further crisp the coating.
(Watch them to make sure they don't begin to over bake, since ovens vary.)
The first bite reminds me, one more time of why I love summer!
Earlier this month a group of us gardening enthusiasts, internet pals from across the US and Canada, gathered to have virtual/real Garden Parties simultaneously. Despite the poor weather in the east (on both sides of the border) it was great fun to see the beautiful creativity each member had to offer. The food, gardens, and themes were imaginatively festive and diverse, even the ones that were forced indoors because of the weather. Good sports!
Unfortunately, by August my blooming gardens are starting to wane. Only a few roses, day lilies, clematis, and shrubs in the hummingbird and butterfly gardens are still blooming, so...
I decided to set up the buffet table for my small party(four of us) on the cool grass in a grove of Douglas Firs, with the mature rhododendrons and azaleas providing a verdant green backdrop. The trees offered welcome shade during the late afternoon gathering.
Unlike most foccacia recipes this one requires no sponge (starter), making it a good candidate on a busy day when you want freshly made foccacia. The flavor and texture are very good considering how little effort is required. The dough can be made with a stand mixer or bread machine, and shaped into two foccacias or (soft) breadsticks.
The recipe is directly from the back-of-the-bag courtesy of the Gold Medal Flour folks.
I attempted to find a link on their site to link to it here, but I couldn't find this particular recipe, so this is next best:
(Click to enlarge)
I topped it with caramelized onions, shallots, a sprinkle of chopped sundried tomatoes and fresh rosemary, along with a couple of grinds of fresh pepper.
Slices make a wonderful accompaniment to salads (as with this short-cut Caesar), soups, stews, or as an appetizer with beverages. I would make this foccacia recipe again.
It may be available elsewhere in North America, but I haven't found any other sources. Italian Harvest sells all kinds of Italian products as well as the artisanal pastas, you may want to look around their site for other goodies. I've always been satisfied with their prompt delivery and customer service.
Orecchiette with Broccoli, Sausage, and Roasted Peppers
Serves 4 to 6
4 ounces sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed (My country meat store sells their wonderful house-made Italian sausage in 8 ounce package, I use the entire 8 ounces in this recipe.) I'm sure you could substitute Turkey Italian sausage if you prefer.
1 cup jarred roasted red peppers, rinsed and chopped medium (As noted, I prefer the fresh diced tomatoes when in season, or sun-dried tomatoes)
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch broccoli (1 1/2 pounds), florets cut into 1 -inch pieces and stalks peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick. (For this recipe I just buy broccoli crowns, so there is less stalk to deal with.)
Salt to taste
A pinch of Red pepper flakes if you like it spicy
1/2 cup water
1 pound of dried orecchiette (I usually use about 8 to 10 ounces)
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot for the orecchiette.
Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it into small pieces with a spatual or spoon, until browned. Stir in the roasted red peppers (if using) and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
Stir in the broccoli, 1/2 tsp. salt, and water. Increase the heat to high, cover the skillet and cook until the broccoli begins to turn bright green, about 2 minutes.
Uncover and continue to cook, stirring frequently until the liquid has evaporated and the broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes longer.
When the water is boiling, stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the orecchiette. Cook, stirring often, until the orecchiette is almost tender but still a little firm to the bite.
Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain the orecchiette and return it to the pot.
Stir in the sausage and broccoli mixture, the fresh, diced tomatoes, oil, and toss to coat.
Add the reserved pasta cooking water as needed to loosen mixture before serving.
I pass the grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano at the table so each diner can add their own.
Inspired by: "America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook"
6 medium-size chicken thighs
1 ½ cups shredded potatoes, squeezed dry by twisting in a clean tea towel, removing as much liquid as possible.
1 small onion, grated
2 tablespoons flour
Tabasco Sauce, to taste
Vegetable oil and butter for frying
3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
Nectarine (or Peach) Yogurt Drizzle ~directions follow
Preheat oven to 375-degrees (F)
Generously salt and pepper the chicken thighs and place them in a pan, snugly with the skin side up. Stretch the skin all over the tops of the thighs to prevent them from drying out while baking. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes without opening the oven door and then turn off the oven. Leave chicken in the closed oven, undisturbed for another 45 to 60 minutes to continue baking by the retained heat. This part may be done in advance.
When ready to assemble the cakes, remove kin and bones from the chicken and discard. Chop meat coarsely and set aside.
In a large bowl mix the potato with onion, flour 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, a couple of good grinds of pepper and a drop or so of Tabasco. Combine all thoroughly.
In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat up a combination of oil and butter. While this is heating combine chicken with the potato mixture and then add the eggs. Mix quickly.
When the oil is hot, drop rounded tablespoonfuls of the chicken mixture into the skillet. Allow to cook until golden, about a minute or so or a little longer before turning. Turn and flatten slightly and cook second side until golden. Keep finished cakes warm until all the chicken mixture is used. Adding oil and butter to the pan as needed.
To each 6 to 8-ounces of plain (unflavored) yogurt mix in a couple of tablespoons of nectarine or peach jam. If you like your drizzle with a bit more tart flavor stir in a squeeze of lemon, orange or lime juice.
You'll find it very versatile; served as a dip for tortilla chips, as a table salsa with many kinds of foods; Mexican dishes ~ or any simply prepared chicken, fish, beef or pork, as well as on scrambled eggs. I particularly like it as a condiment with grilled or roasted foods, as well as with beans or rice. I always stir some into my homemade guacamole.
I've been making this for almost 30 years ~ I've never found a fresh salsa I like better. For parties I have made quarts of this, and there is seldom any left. I love this stuff!!
It's a common recipe, but since I learned it from Mexican food authority and cookbook author Diana Kennedy, that's how I refer to it ~ Diana Kennedy's Salsa Cruda.
The Sinaloa version includes scallions and lime juice instead of the onions and water, the Yucatean version calls for Seville orange juice in lieu of the water ~ but this one is my favorite.
Salsa Mexicana Cruda ~ Fresh Mexican Sauce
Although this can be made up to three hours ahead, it is best made at the last moment for optimum flavor and texture.
Through the years I've tweaked Diana's recipe just a little; my notes are in italics.
1 tomato (about 6 ounces), leave skin on
1/2 medium onion
6 sprigs fresh coriander (more if you love it!)
1 to 3 fresh chiles, preferable serranos (my favorite) but I've used fresh jalapeno, too.
Diana's recipe calls for 3 chilis, but since each chili can vary so much in heat intensity I always start with less. You can always add more to amp up the heat if you like it hotter after it's made.
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/3 cup cold water
(I prefer a less watery salsa, so I hold back on this until I determine how juicy the tomatoes are. Often I only add a tablespoon of water, or less.)
Finely chop all of the ingredients.
(Diana advises not to remove the seeds or pith from the chili -but I do if the chilis are really hot, just to tame them a bit.)
Mix together in a bowl, stir in the salt and add more if needed.
Add water. If the tomatoes are really juicy, you may not need much water at all.
The mixture is only going to be warmed in the oven, make sure the chicken is cooked through.
Finished grilling, and ready to fill the flour tortillas.
Here's my recipe ~
Oven Baked Chicken Chimichangas
I like mine with a lot of veggies, but you can adjust this to more chicken and fewer veggies. One very large chicken breast half will yield about 3 Chimis the way I make them.
Large flour tortillas
Boneless, skinless chicken breast(s)
Thinly sliced onions; yellow, white or red
Bell pepper, (any color you like) sliced into narrow strips
Seasonings: Garlic, oregano, salt and freshly ground pepper, all to taste
Squeeze of lemon or lime juice (optional)
a bit of salsa, homemade or from the jar
canola oil for the grill and baking pan
Preheat oven to 450-degrees (F)
Brush oil on the inside (bottom only) of a shallow rimmed baking pan and set aside
Heat a small amount of oil on a hot grill, or in a large heavy frying pan (cast iron is ideal), add the chicken, bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the hot grill. Allow to sear, turning the ingredients so they cook evenly, but do not burn. Remove to a plate or bowl and stir in a spoonful or two of salsa.
Warm the flour tortillas so they are pliable. Place the chicken filling mixture down the center of the tortilla and fold as for a burrito (envelope style). Place seam side down on oiled baking pan.
Repeat, with remaining tortillas and filling ingredients, arranging each Chimi on the pan so there is space between each one. At this point you may brush the assembled Chimis with a little canola oil, or bake as is.
Bake until golden, or as crispy as you like. It usually takes about 15 minutes or so in my oven.
Serve with sour cream, grated cheese, salsa, sliced black olives, or guacamole if desired.
I usually serve them with my favorite fresh salsa (Salsa Fresca/Salsa Cruda); recipe listed separately.