Chicken, Cheese, and Tamales. Oh MY!

Chicken, Cheese, and Tamales are an odd combination for a post.

About the Chicken

Indeed!  I was intrigued by Chef Michael Symon’s recent appearance on Good Morning America where he shared his recipe for making that now infamous Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich.  So much so that I made it, and then made it again tweaking it slightly.  I then shared them with patrons at our local craft brewery Fetch.  They are a huge hit.  Thank you Chef Michael!  In the final recipe I settled on (see end of this post for full recipe) you see my notes for some of what I changed.  Essentially I adjusted the flour, some seasonings, and added onion powder to the mix.  You can click the recipe link above to see his recipe.

Cheese!

A lot of you may already know that I love to make my own cheese.  I also teach cheesemaking at my Art of Cookery cooking school.  Making Soft Cheeses such as Mozzarella and Sour Cream/Crème Fraiche is one class that is popular.  On rare occasions over the years I have taught a hard cheese class by private request.  Currently, I am considering making it a class that is on our calendar schedule.

Feedback Request

I am hoping for feedback from you. 

Making cheddar is a time commitment.  Here is the schedule.

On day 1 we start the class around noon.  The day is over about 6 to 7 hours later.  It will definitely be 7 if we use the cheddar’s whey to make ricotta. There are downtimes, such as 45 minute waits here and there but it is a process that moves forward all afternoon.

Next, on day 2 there is a 1 hour session pulling the cheese out of the press.  It can be a little more if we are using the ricotta to make Ziergerkase Cheese (DEFINITELY worth it).  If making the Zierrgerkase, there is a 1 hour class 24 hours after putting it in the cheesepress.  That day would be skipped if not making that second cheese.

Then, 3 days after taking the cheddar out of the press, the last class is about 1 hour long and covers waxing and aging the cheese.

Ziergerkase is soaked for up to four days in a bring of Cabernet and Tarragon. Delicious!

So, it is about a 10 hour class time commitment, broken up over a few days.  That is followed by the students themselves aging the cheese.  That entails turning it over a couple times a week and storing it in a dark cool place.

Questions to help me with:

  • I would have to charge $100 per person.  Do you believe it is worth the time and money?
  • I think it is a great way for someone to decide they want to go into cheesemaking without the costly equipment purchase (For instance, a cheese press alone is not cheap!)  Do you agree?
  • The participant(s) would have to commit to keeping the schedule.  Do you believe it is a doable schedule?  Any other questions or feedback?

Tamales – Yum

Rita and her husband with John Gonzales of Michigan’s Best.

I like to teach a lot of various cuisines.  As a result, some of my cooking classes are involved in making some Asian, Moroccan, and Mexican dishes for example.  One topic I have never approached but always wanted to is Tamales.  I love them but know they can be a failure for many reasons if you don’t know the secrets.

Recently, I reached out to Rita Rodriguez, owner of Two Hot Tamales in neighboring Newaygo County and asked if she would be interested in being a guest chef at Art of Cookery and teach a Tamale class with me as her sous chef.  She Said YES!  As a result, we have settled on December 8, 2019 at 1 pm.  This special event will take place at 1 pm and last approximately 2 hours.  However, stay tuned, pricing has not yet been set.

So here is what I am asking:

Are you interested?  We’d like to have a number for planning purposes.  Responding that you are interested doesn’t mean you are committed or registered, just interested.  Please comment below, and/or send an email to ICan@artcookery.com.  You can private message on our facebook page too.  Or just look for the even on our facebook page and click on interested.

And now for that Chicken Sandwich recipe

Ingredients

·        2, 10 to 12-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 4 small ones)

·        1 cup buttermilk

·        1 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

·        1 teaspoon garlic powder

·        1 tsp onion powder

·        1 1/4 teaspoon table salt

·        1 teaspoon black pepper

·        1 ½ TBSP Hot Sauce (Chef Michael suggests Louisiana brand but use what you have.  Increase to 2 tablespoons if making the spicy version)

·        3/4 cup flour (I use a blend of one part “00” flour, 1 part extra fancy Durum semolina and 2 parts unbleached all-purpose flour.  All all-purpose will work just fine, in fact it’s what Chef Symon used, but in my opinion, the flour blend gives a better coating and crunchier result.)

·        3/4 cup cornstarch

·        2 tsp sweet paprika

·        1 tablespoon garlic powder

·        1 tsp onion powder

·        2 tsp cayenne powder, optional (if making the spicy version, even more if desired)

·        Oil for frying

·        4 soft brioche hamburger buns

·        unsalted butter

·        Dill pickle chips

·        Miracle Whip or Mayo, for serving (I use Miracle Whip but Hellman’s is ok and Dukes Mayo is the southern standard)

Directions

Lay out your chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken to an even half-inch thickness. Cut each in half to make four.  If your breasts are very large, trim two bun size pieces from each breast and use the two smaller cuts as a pair of bonus chicken slices or make a fifth sandwich from them.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the buttermilk and next six ingredients. Submerge the chicken in the buttermilk and soak.  Chef Symon recommends at overnight or for at least 4 hours I recommend at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

Once the chicken is fully marinated.  Heat a pot of oil or deep-fryer to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour(s), cornstarch and seasonings.

Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the buttermilk marinade into the flour mixture and mix loosely with a fork, creating some small clumps. This will help the chicken achieve a jagged, flakey crunch.

Bread and fry the chicken.

Remove one piece of chicken from the buttermilk, letting the excess drip off. Place it in the flour mixture and turn to coat evenly. Gently press the breading into the chicken and repeat with the remaining pieces.

Deep fry for four to five minutes, until the chicken is crunchy and cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove to a draining rack and season with salt, if desired. I do not salt them. While they rest and cool slightly, finish the sandwich.

Finish and assemble the sandwich.

Heat a skillet or griddle.  Rub a stick of butter on the griddle so there’s a melted smear for each Brioche half.  Place the cut side of the brioche buns over melted butter and lightly toast.  (Chef Symon melts the butter and brushes it over the buns with a pastry brush and then toasts.  My way is easier)

To finish, spread both halves of the buns with generously with Miracle Whip or mayo and add a layer pickle slices to the bottom half. Place a piece of chicken on and top with the other half of the bun.  Serve fresh and hot.

ENJOY

 


Welcome to Art of Cookery!

Hello Food Loving Friends!

Just posting a quick note to thank you for following my blog, I hope you will enjoy learning about a cooking class and/or get some interesting recipes and other good stuff.  There have been many following it in the last few weeks.

Mozzarella cooking class

Did you know we have a class on how to make your own Mozzarella?

I just created a special promotion to those purchasing two tickets for a cooking class or our Delicious Demise events.  There are two more tickets available to the October 19, 2019 Delicious Demise and six still to be claimed for the November 2nd one.

Get 20% off one of the tickets!  Use promocode FALL19 if booking online or mention it when booking offline via telephone or email.  Offer expires November 13, 2019.

A great use of this promotion is to book two classes of equal value and split the discount across both tickets, OR book two separate classes and I will put the discount toward the one with the highest ticket price.  Let me know which you want to do.

Sign up for upcoming cooking class!

FYI, there’s still room in the Venison (meat in general) pressure canning class at noon on Tuesday, 10/15/19 and in the How to Create a Charcuterie Board class the same day at 5:30 pm.  There are a lot of upcoming classes so check them out!  You can find out which days a specific class is offered by going to our registration page and scrolling down to see the list of classes, click on the red link under each class to see the dates and times of a class.  Desire a class on a day/time that fits your schedule?  Send me a note requesting it as I can often accommodate.

Pumpkin pie cooking class

Get ready for the taste of Autumn and the holidays with pumpkin pie!

I am just now adding a seasonal cooking class.  I’d really like your feedback on this new offering.  In the Pumpkin Pie class participants will make a pumpkin pie to take home straight from the pumpkin!  From roasting the pumpkin, to making the pie crust, to making and baking the pie.  That’s right, you will learn how easy and delicious it is to avoid opening cans of milk and pumpkin containing dubious over processed ingredients.  A pie to brag about.

What do you think?  Is it something people would be interested in?

You can send feedback by commenting below, or by emailing me at ICan@artcookery.com

 


Sally’s Sourdough Scones

Sourdough scones are a no-brainer.

But only if you are an avid sourdough mother fermenter!

I started my sourdough ferment decades ago.  I call her Sally and she lives in a half gallon blue Ball jar in my refrigerator.  She has a fantastic depth of flavor and character unique to her due to how I feed her.  At Art of Cookery I teach classes on sourdough so check out our schedule.  Don’t see something you are interested in?  We take requests!

But that’s a different story.

This one is about scones borne of her deliciousness.  I feed Sally weekly, adding to her volume.  However, I don’t always bake bread weekly (especially since we closed our bed and breakfast, removing the need for copious amounts of toast).  Pouring some of her down the drain to make room would be unforgiveable.  So, another use requires development (this means I have been playing in the kitchen, one of my favorite activities).  With Sally, I have recently made:

  • Sourdough pancakes
  • Sourdough chocolate cake
  • Sourdough flour tortillas
  • Sourdough scones

They were all terrific.

But, the scones seemed to have a remarkable height and delicateness that is worthy of taking the time to blog about it.  While I made cherry chocolate chip scones, you can switch it up with any dried or fairly dry fruit.  Examples are dried raisins, currants, figs, pineapple; and, diced rhubarb and apples.  Because I knew I was serving them to a group that included someone who didn’t like chocolate, I chose to top the scones with the dried cherries and mini chocolate chips so that they could be removed.  This recipe suggests you incorporate them.  You can choose either.

Photos are at the bottom so you can see texture and process clues.

Sourdough Country Scones

Prepare.  You need:

  • 2 bowls. Small and medium
  • Pastry Blender (just two knives work if you don’t have a pastry blender) AND Spoon/rubber scraper
  • 1 and ½ cup dry measure; 1 cup liquid measure
  • 1 & ½ teaspoon; 1 tablespoon measures
  • Pastry brush AND knife or bench scraper
  • Baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone mat

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup raisins (or chocolate chips or dried fruit of choice, I like currants or mango/pineapple)
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 TBSP cold butter
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 3 TBSP sour cream
  • 2 TBSP orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or nutmeg)
  • Heavy cream (for patting and brushing scone tops)
  • Additional sugar (optional, for sprinkling on top)
  • Orange zest, optional

 Make:

In medium mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, & salt.  Use a pastry blender to cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

In small bowl, mix sourdough starter, sour cream, orange juice, and vanilla.  Fold wet mixture into dry mixture.  Use a spoon and stir until just moistened.

Add fruit and mix only lightly.   Squeeze and press some with hands to blend fruit.  It will be sticky.  Scrape/Pour onto prepared baking sheet.  With hands wet with cold cream (to help prevent it sticking to your hands), press together and pat dough into a round shape ½ inch thick.  Sprinkle with zest and brush tops with cream and sugar if desired.  Cut dough into 8 or 16 wedges and use a pie server to slightly separate about 1/2 inch apart (or, cut and leave together.  It depends on whether you want a crisper exterior all of the way around, or soft moist sides.

Bake in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.   Makes 8 large or 16 small scones.

Notes:

  • If doing chocolate, omit the cinnamon as the combo may not be to everyone’s tastes.
  • If using rhubarb (which is fantastic) use nutmeg and toss the diced rhubarb in a little extra granulated sugar to coat.
  • If you cut them into 16 or so pieces, they will bake faster than 8 pieces so watch for a golden kiss to tell doneness.
  • If health/weight conscious, reduce the sugar and don’t top with sugar and cream.
  • Greek yogurt works as a substitute for sour cream, lemons/lemonade work just as well as orange/orange juice, and almond (or other extract) works well instead of vanilla.  Make these have YOUR desired flavor profile.

If you make these sourdough scones, please tell me about it!!  Share a picture on our Facebook page Art of Cookery.

Photos of Sourdough Scone Making