In the kitchen with Phlip... "Inviting over some friends" edition

You know what?
I just noticed that I have not cooked for you wonderful folks since a week before the Superbowl. Not that I have forgotten about you, or that I have not cooked at least 3-4 times a week since then -- as is my habit.
It's just more or less that it has become second nature and I am usually waiting on The Katie to get home from work so we can eat before I think "damn, I should have posted this."

Oops...

Well anyway, in route to continuing a more healthy future for My Katie and I, I have not deep fried anything since the week of the last time I cooked and posted anything here. In the course of spring cleaning, we rediscovered the grill and it gets used twice a week or more, adding grilled chicken or turkey to our usual vegetables and/or rice affairs.
As many of you know -- or could click here and surmise -- I am a fan of basketball before any other sport. The same would inform you that I am absolutely on the hook for the Los Angeles Lakers. Excitement about them making the finals drove me to have The Katie invite a couple friends over to watch at least one game of the finals on the 42" with the promise that I would cook a few things for them to enjoy. Given that she is off on Friday and Saturdays, as are those on her team, I decided that if there was a Friday or Saturday game, to invite them over. She, being smarter than me, offered Thursday as an option as well, as they won't have to worry about dragging in on Friday and I generally get by fine without a lot anyway.

Thursday it shall be.

Decision made is that I would make some hot wings, grill up a few turkey legs, make some cheese and turkey sausage dip and potato wedges.

"But Phlip, I thought you said you weren't frying anything?"

Yes, absolutely that I did, and that is where this will get interesting...
Back in January, I happened upon a post on LifeHacker in my RSS feeds where the idea was to bake the wings instead of frying them, using a little baking powder to aid in the crisping of them in the oven.
[link]

Remaining true to not frying anything right now (not to mention a lack of supplies with which to do so), I decided that now would be the time to go in. We will come to that last, being the star of today's show and all.
I will start with the dip, as that is among the easiest things to do.


***#1 - Sausage/Cheese Dip***

1 pound, turkey Italian sausage...

Remove casing and brown as you would ground beef or any other sausage:


(in fact, you COULD use any other sausage or soy crumbles for this as well if you fancy, but we do not do red meat in my house)


In your crock put, cube one package -- flavor of your choosing -- of Velveeta and one can of Hot Rotel diced tomatoes:


(or mild if you're a puss)

Company is scheduled to be here in about 2.5-3ish hours, so set the crock pot to medium to get it melted, stay on stirring it though. Don't set it to hot because you don't want to scorch it.
And that's it. By the time everyone comes, it should be ready for you to serve, just get some chips and employ your method of dipping.



***#2 - Phlip's roasted potato wedges***
[Phlip note - this is among one of Katie's favorite side items that I do]
This one is simple...
Start with 3 large russet potatoes:



**SECRET WEAPON**
Apple corer that has never seen an apple
(makes perfect wedges -- and one cylindrical piece -- every time)

Cut potatoes in half, then work the apple corer and you will have this:


(told you)

Once you have all 3 potatoes cut and wedged, put them in a bowl and shake them up in some olive (or vegetable, if you use that) oil, then spread into the bottom of foil-lined (for ease of cleanup) pan(s), and sprinkle with seasoning(s) of your choosing, then put into the oven at 400°. They will be there for a LONG time, until they're desired color, texture and are cooked through, tested with the poke of a knife or fork.
All done now:


(very nice)




***#3 - Grilled Turkey Legs***
This is so easy that it has become something I do at least once a week, sometimes even twice... Go to the grill, set the coals across the bottom, cover in lighter fluid, wait a couple minutes to soak in it and then set it on fire:


(FIRE, FIRE!!! HEH, HEH!)

In about 10-15ish minutes the coals should be ashen and hot enough to cook on, some glowing red on them. Earlier on, you should have thawed and seasoned your turkey, perhaps even a bit of sauteing has taken place as well. As for me, I bagged them the night before with some lemon pepper seasoning, chili powder and onion powder, with a dash of white wine vinegar.
Now you put the turkey on the grill and sprinkle whatever OTHER seasonings you will choose to use on them:


(yeah, that easy)

Be prepared, now, to keep an eye on these and turn them over every few minutes to keep them from sticking and to ensure they have properly cooked all the way through. I will be saucing them with slightly altered barbecue sauce. These will have to cook for about an hour and a half or so, with the size of this grill and the shared real estate on it. Plenty of time for everything else to get and be done, and me take a shower in the meantime.
All done?
Not yet, but we're working on it...
See:


(looking damned tasty, if I might say so myself!)


And now, the star of the show...
***#4 - Phlip wings - baked and buffalo'd***
This is an "all damned day" thing... I woke at 6:45am and ran to the store to get the wings and some baking powder, came home with em:



Then then shook them up in baking powder and salt, spreading them on a foil-lined pan with my normal gamut of seasonings:



Then I put the to-remain-open pans in the fridge:



Then I took a shower and went on to work. The recipe as linked above says that they should be that way for about 8 hours, but some people said they leave theirs longer. I figure leaving the house at 8:25am and returning at 6:30 is long enough.
Once home, the wings go into a 400° oven for 20 minutes, flip them and give them 15-25 more minutes.
While those are in the oven is the perfect time to make your sauce...
As with before, this is easy...

  • 1ish cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2-3 dashes of balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 pats of butter
  • 2-3 dashes of worsteshorstershire sauce
  • Cayenne pepper/other seasons to taste/bravery level, and perhaps a little garlic as well
As I had been informed that company is into things that are hot like I am, I went a LITTLE heavy on the cayenne this time out, but in the interest of being a little different this time, I added a couple extra dashes of the Worcestershire, and a couple spoons of barbecue sauce as well.
Let the sauce simmer and butter melt into it, and remove from heat:


(in progress, of course)

Now the wings are out of the oven:




Now all you need to do is wait on the wings to come out of the oven, put them in the big mixing bowl and shake them up in the sauce, then present for serving.

At this point, I have been cooking LITERALLY since I walked in the house tonight, and pretty much have been all day, if you factor in my early-morning jaunt to the store to get started on this thing.
While I named these items all in order, I have been working on every element of the meal as simultaneously as possible, meaning the only way I wouldn't be doing 2, 3 -- hell 5 things at a time is if I absolutely needed a space that something was situated in at that moment.
Wanna see how it comes off in the end?



Again, as I type this, I have not tasted a single wing or anything else shown above for that matter, as I am waiting on company and my woman to arrive now, but my house very much smells like someone has been cooking in it and I hope that they enjoy the effort and outcome of my work here.

[Phlip note - Well, technically... as I type this, it is 12:12 Tuesday afternoon and all I will need to do is add pictures of stuff as I finish it, but you wouldn't have known that]

At the end of it all, I love to cook creatively and have had my hands in several different things in the time that I have been away from you folks. As it were, many of those things will not be shown again until the weather breaks again. In such, there will be quite a bit more grill lighting and use of the microwave or Hulk Hogan Foreman Grill use in the interest of not heating the house all to high hell in the 90°+ NC spring/summer evenings and nights. Either that or cold foods will be the order of the day.
Now to watch what remains of this game.
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