Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Game Day Food

Or, Catastrophe!!!

It's football season! Not that I care about this, lol... the only way I know it's football season is because all my guy friends on Facebook start posting game-related statuses. :)

I'm not a huge sports fan. I like to watch soccer, and I can even stand the rare basketball game, but football? Eh. However, one thing about football season does make me happy - wings! For some reason I've been craving hot wings lately, so I decided to make Wednesday night "game night" and indulge everyone!

I should add that when Allen, my bro, found out what I was planning to do, he was overjoyed. He can't understand why I don't make Crockpot French Dip every Wednesday - he likes it that much - and it's been a few weeks since I've made it, so I'd promised him that it would be coming up soon, but even he was willing to wait another week if wings were on the menu. :)

Okay. I had a plan. But you know, sometimes a plan goes completely off the track, falls into a lake, sinks to the bottom, and you have to dig it out. Today was one of those times.

Monday night I made a batch of the most amazing barbecue sauce EVER and stuck it in the fridge to meld. :)

On Tuesday night, I poured two packages of mixed wingettes/drumsticks into one crockpot, added the sauce, tossed, and let it marinate in the fridge overnight.

I loaded a second crockpot with mixed wingettes and drumsticks, and the most amazing hot sauce ever - 2 cups Frank's Red Hot with a roux of 4 TBS margarine and 4 TBS flour blended in to thicken it. I seriously considered trying Simply Scratch's recipe for hot sauce but in the end decided to make my own. I used to work at a place that made absolutely killer wings, and the owner always insisted that they were great cuz they were simple. :)

The next morning, my sister stuck the pot in the crockpot and and turned on low for the next 8 hours.

At 2 PM, she called me. The chicken wasn't cooking. The crockpot was "warm" despite the fact that it was cranked up on high. What to do?

I told her to leave it, since I figured she might be overreacting, and I knew if push came to shove, I could dump them out into a pan on the stove and get them cooked through.

I got home, and the chicken wasn't cooked, and the crockpot wasn't hot. I putter around, puzzled, and then I notice that the light on the front isn't on. Investigating this, I discover that the strain of having two crockpots running has tripped the breaker (who knows when this happened?!) and that's why nothing is ready.

I decide that this is the least of my problems, and I get busy mixing up dessert (Key Lime Olive Oil Cake).

Actually, because everyone in my family EXCEPT my dad can have duck eggs, but my dad CAN'T have duck eggs (though he can have chicken eggs), and he and two other people are gluten-intolerant (this is like one of those logic puzzles you did in school, right?!?), I made three - one big cake with regular flour and duck eggs for the family in general, one cake with duck eggs but no flour for the two gluten-intolerant-but-can-still-have-duck-eggs people, and one for my dad, with no gluten but WITH chicken eggs. Yes, it was complicated, but they all turned out well, so it was worth it.

Next I mix up a batch of faux blue cheese dressing. Originally I wasn't even going to try to include this, but after I saw that recipes for non-dairy blue cheese dressing are a dime a dozen, I decided to go ahead. Cuz, after all, half the fun of wings is dipping them in blue cheese. :)

This ended up being the. best. blue. cheese. dressing. ever. Even my mom, a former blue cheese afficionado, loved it. Here's the recipe (for my file): Blend one cup mayo with 1/3 cup vegan sour cream, add salt, pepper, 2 TBS apple cider vinegar, a good dash of thyme (or dill - I kind of preferred it with the thyme though), a good dash of garlic powder, and give it a good whisking, then crumble in 1/4 of a block of extra- or super-firm tofu. Let it sit before serving - the tofu will absorb some of the liquid and the flavors meld and ho boy! Good stuff. :)

I fixed easy wedge salads: one head of romaine lettuce chopped into wedges, sprinkled with sliced grapetomatoes, bacon bits, chopped red onion, and drizzled with extra-garlicky blue cheese dressing. :)

I stuck the salad in the fridge, asked Liz to start a pot of rice, and turned the crockpots of wings into cast-iron frying pans and started pan frying, tossing frequently to keep the sauce on the meat.

Results: Wings? Amazing. The barbecue wings were sticky and thick, sweet with a bit of tang and just the slightest hint of garlic, just the way you'd want them to be. The hot wings had the perfect blend of spice; the sauce wasn't quite as thick, but it was flavorful and coated the wings nicely. The rice was a nice tame companion, and the salad was amazing. We all raved about it to each other, and that amazing blue cheese dressing.

So, all's well that ends well... No more dual-wielding crockpots for me, though! :)

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