Recipe: Sweet Chili Garlic Wings

Sweet Chili Garlic Wings Recipe | read more at nyctalon.com

I LOVE chicken wings!!! Yes, I admit it, chicken wings are my thing. However, my favorite sort of wings – crispy and dosed in a good amount of great sauce – can be rather high in carbs. While perusing through the interweb looking for a possible alternative to frying and battering I came across a genius idea by the people over at the Serious Eats food lab where they used baking powder on their wings. By some mystical quizzical science that I am not going to pretend I can explain in this post, it turns flabby wings into deliciously crispy wings! No frying! No flour! What is not to love? I mixed the baking powder with my own proprietary seasonings that I will share below (fear not, this is not some list of 16 spices but rather a paltry 4). For those who may worry about any kind of aftertaste left by the baking powder, no worries, I’ve made these two times in the past week and there is no detectable aftertaste. Aluminum free baking powder can definitely be used as well for those with more sensitive palates.

Sweet Chili Garlic Wings Recipe | read more at nyctalon.comSweet Chili Garlic Wings Recipe | read more at nyctalon.com
I took this recipe a step further and added a spicy sweet garlic sauce to bring these wings to a whole other level. Trust me these are amazing and delicious, and best of all they’re low in carbs! You can conversely use any kind of sauce including plain ole’ hot sauce as an additional accompaniment to these beauties.

Bon Appetit’!

Sweet Chili Garlic Wings Recipe
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For the Crispy Chicken Wings
  1. 2 lbs of chicken wings separated at the joints
  2. 2 tablespoons baking powder
  3. 1 ½ teaspoons of smoked paprika
  4. 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  5. 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
  6. ½ teaspoon black pepper
  7. ½ teaspoon salt
For the Spicy Sweet Garlic Sauce
  1. 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  2. 4 cloves of garlic finely minced
  3. 6 tablespoons sugar substitute (I used Splenda)
  4. ¼ cup soy sauce
  5. 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  6. ¼ teaspoon molasses
  7. ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  8. 7 ounces chicken broth (1/2 of a 14.5 oz can)
  9. 2 tablespoons water
  10. 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
For the wings
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with coconut oil or Pam spray.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Place wings in a large bowl and sprinkle dry mixture over wings and mix thoroughly with hands. When all wings have been coated in mixture place on prepared cookie sheet. Make sure there is room between wing pieces depending on the size of your cookie sheet you may need to use two.
  3. Place wings in oven at 350 for 15 minutes and then increase heat to 400 and cook for 35 minutes.
For the sauce
  1. Place small saucepot on low heat. Heat sesame oil and sauté minced garlic. When garlic is golden at the edges add soy sauce, white vinegar, chicken broth, molasses and red pepper flakes. When liquid begins to simmer add sugar substitute. In a small cup mix water and arrowroot powder. When the sauce begins to boil add the arrowroot water mixture and stir. Turn off sauce. This makes a lot of sauce so I usually save half, it freezes very well.
  2. Garnish with chopped cilantro and toasted sesame seeds.
  3. Enjoy!
The NYC Talon http://nyctalon.com/

How To Make Fried Calamari

How to Make Fried Calamari - an easy calamari recipe with amazing, tasty results! | nyctalon.com

I don’t remember too much about my grandmother, she died when I was still a kid, but one thing I can recall with distinct clarity is her cooking. She was accomplished in Italian American cooking – making sunday sauce and macaroni that was the stuff of legends. I remember one Christmas day where I was sat down at a long table and was served dish after dish of her food until I was stuffed beyond measure. My favorites that day was a fragrant Italian Wedding Soup and fried calamari garnished with lemon wedges and served with a spicy marinara sauce. I often wished I could have learned the secret recipes that have made her food so intrinsic to my memory of her.

This Christmas, thanks to a request by my favorite master chef – my mom – I made fried calamari for Christmas Eve. As much as I would like to say that I felt some ancient Italian connection with my grandmother, I didn’t. However, as I was slicing squid and tossing the little tender white circles in flour with my little sister I felt another tradition was being born, and more importantly I was sharing a moment and a recipe I hope my baby sister can look back on with joy – and with the desire to recreate it herself.

How to Make Fried Calamari - an easy calamari recipe with amazing, tasty results! | nyctalon.com

Fried Calamari
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb of Calamari
  2. 1 ½ Cup of all-purpose flour
  3. ½ Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
  4. ½ Teaspoon of Salt
  5. ½ Teaspoon of Dried Oregano
  6. Vegetable Oil (for frying)
  7. Lemon Wedges
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, garlic powder, salt, and oregano.
  2. Toss/coat calamari in flour mixture.
  3. In a small pan, heat your vegetable oil – you want the oil to be about 2.5-3 inches high in the pan. You can test the heat of your oil with a grain of rice or a small piece of calamari. The grain of rice/piece of calamari should go straight to the top of the oil and bubbles should collect around it.
  4. Fry your calamari in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan. Each batch should take two minutes each, as you don’t want to overcook your calamari (which leaves them rubbery and hard). The calamari should be light golden (not dark, like the heavier type found in restaurants).
  5. Set to cool on a paper towel. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve while still hot. You can also serve alongside your favorite marinara sauce, cocktail sauce, or garlic aioli.
The NYC Talon http://nyctalon.com/
Done correctly, this recipe yields perfect, crispy, light calamari. The calamari itself is tender and has a sweet briny, and subtle buttery flavor. If you’re serving a crowd I recommend picking up extra calamari as this is sure to be a hit. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can slice up some sweet Italian peppers – quickly fry them and serve them with your calamari.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Scallops in Lemon Vermouth Butter Sauce

Easy Scallops Recipe, Scallops, Recipe

I’ve loved scallops for as long as I can remember – in fact that goes for most seafood. I like to blame my mom for this, she introduced me to the best food early on in life and I never looked back. Because of this early intro to seafood, I’ve had quite a while to explore how to cook and consume them. My most favorite scallop recipe has to be this one, the lemony butter sauce with most definitely have you licking your plate and the scallops turn out tender and delicious.

Scallops, Lemon, Butter, VermouthScallops-in-Lemon-Butter-Vermouth-Sauce
This easy recipe makes for a great birthday or date night meal – I tend to think these size scallops make for “special” meals because they are rather expensive (I picked up four for about $15 at Whole Foods), however you could always try the recipe with the more affordable smaller scallops and just coat them entirely before frying them. You can serve these with yellow rice and salad, or creamy mashed potatoes and steamed veggies, or crusty bread – whatever you like best.

Scallops in Lemon Vermouth Butter Sauce
Serves 2
Probably one of most favorite dishes, serve these scallops alongside mashed potatoes or even pasta! It's amazing!
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Ingredients
  1. 5 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
  2. 4-8 Large Scallops
  3. 1 1/2 Cups of Breadcrumbs
  4. 2 Cups of Vermouth
  5. 3 Tablespoons of Chopped Fresh Parsley
  6. Juice of 1 Lemon
Instructions
  1. Take your scallops and coat both sides with breadcrumbs. I prefer to use Italian style breadcrumbs, but plain works just as well too.
  2. In a small skillet melt two tablespoons of butter, and fry your scallops at medium heat until golden brown on both sides. To ensure your scallops are not overcooked I usually remove the scallops from the heat right when they’re about to be cooked through.
  3. After you’ve removed the scallops from the pan, add the remaining three tablespoons of butter, 2 cups of Vermouth, and juice from the lemon. Stir and allow to simmer for about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in two tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, reserving the third tablespoon for garnish.
  4. Serve your scallops, pour the sauce over them, garnish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, and enjoy!
The NYC Talon http://nyctalon.com/

Recipe: Five Minute Half-Sour Pickles

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I’ve loved pickles ever since I was a kid – in fact I loved them so much that close family members knew that spare pickle spears (the ones you get with a burger and such) were to be immediately surrendered to me. I could eat them all day – in fact, one summer not too long ago I bought a massive jar and finished the entire thing off while watching black & white films with my sister. I probably should have died from salt intake, but boy is it amazing what the human body puts up with!

homemade, half-sour, pickles, recipe

Here’s a super simple, easy recipe for half-sour pickles. Now I’m a mostly indiscriminate pickle lover except for one type – those sweet butter kind. I hate ‘em. Which is why you’ll never catch me makin’ them. Now these, they’re not like normal salty green hamburger pickles – the garlic flavor really gives them this mouthwatering freshness and bite! They go great with burgers and sandwiches, as well as all by themselves. But seriously, this recipe is so easy that you’re going to love impressing people with your “home-made pickles” – they’ll think you’re a culinary genius!

pickles, pickle recipe, easy pickle recipe

Five Minute Half-Sour Pickles
Super simple, super quick pickles. Perfect for parties, BBQ's, or last minute pickle cravings!
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Ingredients
  1. 3 Kirby Cucumbers*
  2. 3 Cloves of Garlic, thoroughly smashed
  3. 1/4 Cup of White Vinegar
  4. 1 Tablespoon of Sugar
  5. 1/2 Cup of Water
  6. Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Slice up those kirby cucumbers to ideal pickle size – you can do spears or the normal “chip” shape. Pop them in a glass heat-safe bowl or cup – something that they’ll fit comfortably in – then take your vinegar and pour it on top of your cucumbers.
  2. In a small pot or pan, combine your water, sugar, pinch of salt and 3 smashed garlic cloves. Once the mixture begins to boil remove from heat and pour it over your cucumber/pickle mixture.
  3. Five minutes is enough time for your cucumber slices to absorb all that flavor and emerge as tasty pickles! Take them to BBQ’s, picnics, and the next time you have an insatiable craving!
Notes
  1. * The recipe should turn out the same if you use normal or hot house or “English” cucumbers, in case you can’t get a hold of kirby.
The NYC Talon http://nyctalon.com/

My First Time Frying

I’ve been pretty competitive ever since I was a kid. I used to read those tween girls magazines and see those stories about 12 year old geniuses – girls who won awards and medals, traveled around the world by boat, and invented prosthetic arms for handicap pigs in third world countries. Ironically, those stories were meant to inspire us young readers, instead it left me with an overwhelming feeling of ineptness. Like “why could she do that and not me?” Suffice it to say, at eleven years old I had a hard time coming to grips with the fact that I had yet to do anything really impressive. I couldn’t wait until I could find something special that I could do well.

Then when I got to middle school I was bit by the cooking bug. I read Ruth Reichl’s memoirs and was inspired – I started consciously watching my mom cook, taking notes in my head about how things looked when they were cooked and what smelled spicy or sweet. Ruth Riechl made her first souffle when she was 12, I turned out my first chocolate souffle when I was 13. Ever since then I’ve been sort of competing with myself to see what’s the most complicated or tasty recipe that I could turn out (in my spare time that is).

As it happens, fried chicken has been my home cook’s Moby Dick. I’ve watched countless hours of Food Network programming involving someone frying chicken – however, it always looked so complicated – a multi-step process full of pitfalls and potential disasters. Overheated oil results in burned (yet raw) chicken. Do you or don’t you use buttermilk? Do you season before or after dredging? And when exactly is the right temperature to drop your poultry in the pan?

For a long time I put off frying chicken, I figured I’d get around to it once I researched every single eventuality and had determined a safe and secure exit strategy. And then just a few days ago I stumbled upon a recipe from Lee Brian Schrager’s (Founder and Director of NYCWFF and SOBEWFF) newest cookbook Fried & True – I’ve linked the recipe here, for those of you who are ready to fry.

Following (most) of the directions, I have to say, for my first frying it was pretty spectacular. There were a few moments where, full of trepidation, I wondered if I should dump the expensive peanut oil down the drain and call it a night – but alas, the sirens call of crunchy, golden, juicy, tasty chicken was too hard to resist.

Here’s a pic of my final product:

fried3

What was the first impressive dish you ever made? Do you have experience frying chicken, a really great recipe, or handy tips – let me know in the comments below!

XO Almond Berry Trifle Recipe!

I love trifle, the mixture of pudding, cake, whipped cream and berries totally does it for me. It’s fun, it’s decadent, it combines my favorite kinds of dessert, and you can get really creative with it. I want to say that this XO Almond Berry Trifle is perfect for Valentine’s Day – and it is – but really, it’s great for anytime you want something wonderfully fantastic! The flavors of the almond vanilla pudding, mixed berries, and chocolate and vanilla cake make this trifle one of my favorites.Trifle with BlackberriesEasy Almond Berry Trifle

You can be real fancy and make both the cakes, pudding, and whipped cream from scratch. Personally, I’m not above a good store bought cake – although for the chocolate cake I used a doctored cake mix. Also, I use just a smidge less milk for the Jell-O instant pudding mix because it makes the mix a bit thicker and works better with the trifle. And feel free to change the berries up to suit your preference!

Easy XO Almond Berry Trifle
I used a 6 inch glass dish for my trifle – it’s enough to serve six.

XO Almond Berry Trifle
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Package Each of Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, & Cherries
  2. 1 Large Box of Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding
  3. 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Almond Extract
  4. 1 2/3rd Cups of Milk (for the Jell-O Mix)
  5. 1/2 a Loaf Entemann’s Pound Cake
  6. Chocolate Cake (You can make this before hand, or just buy premade from the store)
  7. Whipped Cream – I use the canned kind, or you can easily make it from scratch
Instructions
  1. Make one box of Jello-O Vanilla Instant Pudding, add the almond extract and mix thoroughly and set aside. Prepare your berries by washing, and in the case of the cherries, pitting.
  2. Cube both the vanilla and chocolate cake – keep seperate, as you’ll want to layer them in seperately.
  3. Layer, in this order, chocolate cake, whipped cream, pitted cherries, blackberries, 1/2 of the vanilla almond pudding, pound cake, remaining pudding, raspberries & blueberries.
  4. Serve with whipped cream. It’s a little messy, but boy is it delicious! Enjoy!
The NYC Talon http://nyctalon.com/

 

Lemon Basil Bow Tie Pasta Recipe!

This recipe is one of my favorites, it’s creamy and tasty and just generally amazing! What’s really great is that it’s actually a very versatile recipe, for example you can change out asparagus for sauteed spinach if you prefer, or add more lemon zest and grape tomatoes for a more bright spring-like flavor. I just love it – the flavor of the lemon and the basil play wonderfully together. It’s a simple pasta that’s filling and flavorful, what more could you ask for?

Lemon Basil Bow Tie Pasta

Lemon Basil Recipe

12oz of Farfalle (Bow Tie) Pasta (about 3/4 box)
3 Garlic Cloves – minced
1 lb Asparagus Spears – cut into 1 inch segments
1 Small Onion – finely chopped
2 tbsp of Olive Oil
Zest of 2 Lemons
Juice of 1 Lemon
8 oz of Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise
Bunch of Basil, about 21 leaves – chopped finely into strips
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Boil the pasta until al dente, drain and let cool in a bowl. Add zest to the pasta and set aside to cool.

Farfalle

2. Chop up garlic, onion, and asparagus. Pour olive oil into a small pan at medium to low heat. Saute onions until they are translucent. Add garlic and chopped asparagus. Place lid on pan and let the mixture sweat until the asparagus looks bright green. Remove from heat.

3. Add asparagus mixture to the pasta and mix well. Allow to cool.

4. Once pasta is cool add the juice of one lemon, the Greek yogurt and mayonnaise. Mix in chopped basil and add salt and pepper to taste.

Oikos Yogurt RecipeBasilPasta Recipe

Drop me a comment and let me know if you try this recipe out and what ways you make it your own!

 

 

Red Carpet Ready Movie Night & Giveaway with Wholly Guacamole & Daily’s! Ends 2/28

You all know I’m a movie loving lady, so a couple of nights ago I had a little movie night get together in order to get myself psyched up for the Oscars – which are on in only two more days (depending on the time you read this post, lol)! wholly7

Wholly Guacamole & Salsa products are all natural, gluten free, contain no preservatives,

are non GMO, and are Kosher Certified.

Of course, no movie night party is complete without chips, salsa, and guacamole! Wholly guacamole makes my most favorite salsa so I was really excited to get my hands on some of their creations. I love how their salsa always tastes really really fresh – the flavor of the tomato really comes through, and it always delivers that really great spicy kick that I just love. Seriously perfect dipping salsa.

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I made some super yummy ham and provolone quesadillas to dip in our Wholly Salsa!

And no proper party is complete without some Daily’s, and it only seems appropriate to have champagne at a pre-Oscars viewing party! Daily’s has loads of tips and recipes that make entertaining a whole lot easier on their site here, and for the recipe for the (seriously) delicious celebratory drink – Peach Party Champagne click here or on the image below.

peachparty_comp

And while I normally don’t cook at all for movie night, I just had to try Wholly Guacamole’s Guacamole Deviled Eggs (recipe here). Instead of using the basic guac, I used spicy guacamole – which added a welcome kick to the filling.

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These were surprisingly delicious and even more surprisingly- easy to make! I loved loved loved them and so did my movie-watching buddies!

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So because Joaquin Phoenix is nominated for Best Actor in a Leading role, we decided to watch (drumroll please)… The Village! Woohoo! The Village is one of my all-time favorite movies, I love the suspense and the relationship between Lucius (Phoenix) and Ivy and well as Lucius and his mom. However, our party lasted a little longer than I had expected and we also ended up watching another Joaquin Phoenix film – Walk the Line, which is also another all-time favorite! I own the soundtrack, and know the whole movie line for line and it never gets old. Phoenix does an amazing job as Johnny Cash to Reese Witherspoon’s June Carter Cash. It was a totally eventful, fun night, fueled with yummy snacks and drinks!

Now it gets even better, the wonderful folks at Wholly Guacamole not only invite YOU to join us at an exclusive “Red Carpet Ready” twitter party during the Oscars on February 24th! Just follow along with the hashtags #Oscars and #RedCarpetReady — share your movie night photos, dish on the Red Carpet fashion, and share your opinions on the winners and losers!

And in addition to your #RedCarpetReady invite, Wholly Guacamole will also be gifting one of my lucky readers with their own Red Carpet Ready prize pack including Wholly Guacamole and Wholly Salsa products, promo items from Wholly Guacamole and Daily’s, AND a $20 Walmart gift card! How awesome is that?!

To Enter, Please Leave One Comment PER Entry!

Mandatory

1. Like Wholly Guacamole on Facebook

2. Like Daily’s Cocktails on Facebook

3. Like The NYC Talon on Facebook

Optional, but much appreciated! Also leave one comment per entry for these as well!

1. Follow Wholly Guacamole on Twitter

2. Follow Daily’s on Twitter

3. Follow The NYC Talon on Twitter

4. Retweet this tweet:

Giveaway Ends on 2/28/12 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

*I was provided with product samples from Wholly Guacamole in order to facilitate this review. My opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.

Friday Night Consolation Chocolate Bread Pudding

Have no date? Nothing to do on a Friday night? Well then make this fast and easy chocolate bread pudding- this consolation prize will make all your really-busy-’cuz-I-have-a-life-friends super jealous and break up with their lousy boyfriends and want to spend their Friday nights eating this with you. But their sudden stroke of genius will be too late, because you’ve already used your magic bread pudding to wheedle your way through the stomach and into the heart of that cute trust fund baby you’ve had your eye on since for-evah!

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I credit my mum (no I’m not British, but it’s really fun to say mom that way) with this recipe. It’s pure delicious genius!

Friday Night Consolation Prize Chocolate Bread Pudding
4 cups of brioche bread cut up into chunks
2 bars of milk chocolate Scharffen Berger cut up into pieces
5 eggs
1 cup of heavy cream
3 cups of milk
1  cup of white sugar
1/4 cup of brown sugar
2 tsp. of Vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
Butter casserole pan. Put chunked up bread into pan in layers alternating with the pieces of Scharffen Berger. You want to disperse the chocolate so that when you bite into the bread pudding you have a chocolate chunk here and there. Lastly mix all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, mixing really well. Then pour it over the bread chunks in the buttered casserole. If need be and if the bread is still too dry you may add extra milk (1/4 cup max).
Put in 350 oven for 35 minutes until puffy and golden. Viola! Yum to da tum:)

This is what it looks like right out of the oven- yum!

Iron Chef Our Way: Round 1

So round one is over and, as promised, here is what we all came up with using our secret ingredients:

My older sisters secret ingredient was broccoli and she made Broccoli Feta Bread!

My secret ingredient was strawberries! I was really excited about this one because strawberries are super versatile. However, my dad (one of the two judges) hates fruits (unlike his wife and children, who love them), so I had to find a recipe with something in it for him. So, making sure I had this week in the bag (or my highly competitive nature wanted to make sure all bases were fully covered), I made like three things. Strawberries Almonds and Cream Sweet Bread, Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries Dipped in Chocolate and Rolled in Potato Chips (yes I sooo went there), and Lemon Strawberry Shortcake (for dad) with homemade Lemony Whipped Cream.

Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted my Sweet Bread photo’s- but luckily I pulled the recipe from food.com where there are more photos and you can see how to make it yourself- because it was outrageously good! Just add a little almond extract to the batter like I did. Here’s the link!

My brothers secret ingredient was chips. Now he’s an avid chip connoisseur, I mean if I was a major chip company (like Lays, Doritos, Fritos, or UTZ) I would hire this kid as my mascot. Luckily for him, his metabolism is faster then lightening. But I digress, he made Cheddar Chip Mac ‘n Cheese – a recipe of his own making!

My younger sisters secret ingredient was chicken. Now out of all of us, she’s probably the least cooking inclined. So we were really surprised when she pulled this off- Southwestern Style Chicken Burgers with Cajun Mayo!

So after spending all day slaving working in a hot kitchen. The time to judge had come.While my parents enjoyed everything (as parents do), they let me and my younger sister know that we would be moving on to the next round. Leaving my brother and older sister up for elimination. My older sister ended up being eliminated (you have no idea how funny it sounds to actually write that- it sound so godfatherish), and my brother make it to the next round by the skin of his teeth. Her plate wasn’t as creative as it could have been, and his pasta would have been better had he served it hot and given the cheese enough time to thoroughly melt.

My younger sister and I were both commended for our excellent dishes- and the winner of this round was…ME! Yayyyyy!!! Personally I wouldn’t have minded if my ‘lil sis won because her burger was super flavorful and really really delicious- but, I am happy I won ;)

Did you like anything you saw??? If so, let me know in the comments below and I’ll post the recipe ASAP!