Friday, August 28, 2015

Waldorf Slaw with fried spicy chicken

I do believe I have thoroughly covered fried chicken on here previously, so excuse the gloss over, this isn’t too different from previous versions, apart from the fact that white meat is used.

Waldorf Slaw
Savoy Cabbage
1 Apple, granny smith or lemonade are good
Walnuts, toasted and chopped roughly
Red onion, thinly sliced
Lemon juice
  • Remove the tough outer leaves from the cabbage, peel off enough leaves for the salad and blanch in boiling salted water for a minute, transfer cooked leaves to an ice bath until cool, thoroughly drain and pat dry, slice thinly.
  • Slice the apple thinly into matchsticks and toss in a bowl with lemon juice. Add a dollop of mayonnaise. Toss through the cabbage, onions and walnuts, taste and season with salt and lemon juice.

Fried Chicken Strips
  • Place buttermilk, 1% salt, cayenne pepper, hot sauce into a zip-lock bag.
  • Cut chicken breast lengthways into 1cm slices, place in the bag and massage, put in the fridge and let it rest at least 4 hours.
  • Add to a bowl, by weight, 1 part wheat starch, 1 part tapioca starch, 1% salt, 2% garlic powder, 1% cayenne pepper, 1% baking soda. Mix well.
  • Tip the chicken out into a colander. Set up a rack over a sheet pan. Take strips of chicken, knocking off excess buttermilk and toss in the starch. Arrange the coated chicken on the rack. When done refrigerate for 30 minutes, remove before heating the oil.
  • Heat a few inches of oil in a heavy based pot, I usually use rice bran or canola, but any frying oil, or fat, is fine.
  • Set up a rack to transfer the fried chicken to, near the pot is good. I usually have a rack with raw chicken on the right, pot in the middle and rack for cooked chicken on the left.
  • When the oil is at 190ºC start carefully laying strips of chicken in the oil, don’t overcrowd the pot, you’ll need to do it in batches.
  • Cook for 2–3 minutes, remove to rack and drain.
  • Toss the cooked chicken in your favourite hot sauce and serve in a soft bun with Waldorf slaw and most importantly crinkle cut pickles.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cheese Scones

There’s nothing easier and crowd pleasing to throw together when expecting company than cheesy scones. Best served warm from the oven with lashings of butter smeared on the flaky scone melting down the sides. My method is a little different to most I’ve seen, nothing drastic, the most important thing is not work the dough too much.

320 g Flour (2 cups)
188 ml Milk (¾ cup), plus extra for brushing
½ cup grated cheese*
75 g Butter (cold and cubed)
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
6g salt (1%)
Dash of Cayenne or mustard powder

*The cheese should be a mixture of melting and flavour, so Edam and Cheddar for example, the quantity does not have to be precise.

  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC and line a sheet pan with non-stick paper.
  • Add half of the flour, all of the butter and cheese to a blender and blitz to a coarse breadcrumb texture, you could do this by hand if you wish.
  • Mix together the remaining flour, spice, salt, baking soda and powder in a bowl. Tip in the blended mix and combine.
  • Make a well in the centre and add the milk. Roughly bring together to form a dough mass, there will still be wet bits an unmixed flour, don't worry.
  • Tip the mixture out on to the bench and pat the mixture into a rough rectangle, fold into thirds, get the dry and unmixed sandwiched between the layers. Pat out again and fold into thirds once more.
  • Pat, and roll the dough out to about 10–15mm thick. Using a 6cm round cutter, cut out circles of dough and place on the sheet pan. roughly push the scraps together so you can cut out the remaining dough.
  • Brush the top of the scones with milk and place in the oven for 10–15 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool when done.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Rough Puff Pastry

I’ve been revisiting pastry recently and making more than my fair share of pies, cheese and chard, custardy bacon and egg, and the most recent a vegetarian pithivier, a round pie made by putting a filling between two pieces of puff pastry. Not one to buy something when I can make it, I set about taking another look at easy at home puff pastry, my previous version was worked by hand to ensure large chunks of butter remained, so when rolled and folded you’d end up with good lamination, I wasn’t completely satisfied with how this pastry turned out, and I figured there had to be an easier way.

Super Simple Rough Puff pastry.
200 Flour
200 Butter
2g Salt
Milk, ice cold
  • Make sure everything is cold before you start.
  • Blitz half of the flour with the butter in a blender until a fine breadcrumb consistency.
  • Tip out into a bowl and add the remaining flour and salt.
  • Adding a splash of milk at a time, work into a dough ball, don’t overwork the dough.
  • Wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • Lightly flour the bench and roll out the dough into a rectangle (about 20x30cm).
  • Fold into thirds and roll out again, repeat and then wrap and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  • Roll and fold the dough 3 more times and refrigerate, repeat this step once more, for a total of 9 folds.
  • Wrap in cling-film and refrigerate until needed.