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(Insert Clever Wrap/Rap Pun Here)

It’s a weeknight. Specifically the middle of the week. I made a boring-ass dinner. In the sense  that anything that is delicious can be boring, anyway.  It’s made like this: chop some garlic, peel some carrots, brown some onions, tomatoes, blah blah blah blah dinner. Chickpeas, carrots, potatoes, lots of garlic, some broth. Delicious but, hey, I’m still trying to woo readers. I just gave you *&$! FRIED CHICKEN and now I’m going to tell you about healthy boring vegetarian weeknight dinners? Please.

So I give you the item that takes this from boring to, oh hey, you’re interesting. And pretty, can I buy you a drink? And that is: wraps. Yeah. Because then I  take that dinner and stuff it in a soft, warm, homemade wrap and throw a bunch of tzatziki on it and suddenly my mouth isn’t just happy it is HAPPY. If you know what I mean, wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more.

Wraps are one of those things that if someone a year or so ago had said, Redhead, wraps/tortillas/whatever are easy and you will make them all the time because they are delicious I would have slapped them for being so ridiculous. But they are pretty awesome. There are all manner of wraps. Apparently they’re a thing that people get really in to. But I love this recipe because it’s stupid simple and it generally makes between 5-6 medium wraps with a minimum of ingredients. Redhead: 1, Ridiculous Wrap Recipes: 0. Victory.

It’s flour and salt and baking powder and a little bit of oil and water. So basically you whisk your dry and you add water until it makes a dough. Ta-daaaa! A monkey could do this. You’ll see that mine are green, that’s because I got all fancy-pants and added some fresh oregano from my herb patch. Add spinach. Add other herbs. Add dry herbs. Add nothing.

Divide in to however many wraps you want. This next part seems obvious but for some reason my brain never processes it correctly. The thinner you roll them, the thinner they will be. So if you want them kind of puffy, maybe don’t roll them wafer thin. Sometimes when I get the rolling pin in my hand I lose sight of puffy wraps and instead get really, really excited by how thin they’re getting.

Then they get cooked on a hot skillet. On the stove. So crazy! Also the first time you do this make sure you’re not rushing it. It’s fast, I promise, but rolling them out the first time can feel really daunting. They take about a minute per side to cook too, so factor that in. I find that if I’m doing a “throw stuff in a pot” dinner, by the time these are rolled out and cooked, the stuff in the pot is done. Hey! It’s like magic!

I find it’s tempting to start shoving these in my mouth as soon as they’re off the skillet. This is good, because they are warm and soft and really tasty like that. But it’s bad because then I would have nothing to wrap around my boring-ass dinner. Which I apparently didn’t get any pictures of, I was too busy eating it with a warm wrap.

Wraps

Recipe adapted from Frugalzeitgeist.com

2 cups flour – usually a mix of white/wheat

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 cup lukewarm water

Just like I said, mix the dry ingredients. Toss in the olive oil. Add the water slowly until it looks like a dough. Not too sticky but not too dry. Divide in to balls, roll out, cook on a hot skillet ~1 minute per side. Don’t be afraid to use too much flour. Enjoy!

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Fried Chicken & Waffles & Hey there

This is the chicken with hot sauce and honey. SO AMAZING.

So, a couple weeks ago I made fried chicken and waffles. I’ll get to that. Talking about it with friends, someone said, Redhead, why don’t you write about the stuff you make? And I said, pshaw, because it’s nothing! And they contradicted me. Then ANOTHER friend told me I should write about this stuff. Then even ANOTHER friend told me I should write about this so here I am.

The actual cooking in this is a few weeks old already but I feel like … the truth is that fried chicken and waffles is the dish that makes everyone go kind of crazy. Because folks. It is fried chicken. And then it is a waffle.

The Archaeologist left for Greece about a week and a half ago,  so he had his last home-cooked, non-Greek food meal for a month on a Wednesday. Dude knows his stuff because he requested fried chicken. And not just fried chicken but fried chicken and waffles.  But… on a weeknight? Then I remembered the whole leaving for Greece thing.

I generally use the fried chicken “recipe” from The Kitchn. I worked it out about 2 years ago when I decided to go crazy and fry 4-5 chickens for my 30th birthday party. It was epic. That recipe says things like “use Crisco” and “don’t put any seasoning in the flour” and that? It is all lies. I made it that way the first time and it was good. I mean, that recipe is awesome, so don’t misunderstand. But there are improvements to be made … like in the egg wash, throw in hot sauce. Oh yes. And don’t skimp at all. I use Louisiana hot sauce for this but I was thinking about using some Siracha sauce the next time I do it and honestly if you don’t like hot sauce then don’t do it, I don’t care. It just gives it a nice oomph.

So if you’re fancy and not doing this last minute, you can either brine or soak your chicken in buttermilk the night before. Sometimes you just have to make fried chicken on a Wednesday night though, so you deal with it. That’s life. Suck it up, and move on. And then put your chicken in a pan and throw a little bit of buttermilk on top of it while you get your dredging stations up.Does this make a difference? Scientifically, maybe not. Mentally? Maybe.

So the next step is obviously frying it. This is a terribly imprecise process and you can get ridiculous about it and start poking your meat thermometer in your chicken while it’s frying and whatever. Stick your floured pieces in hot oil. Enjoy the sizzling sound. Wait at least 5 minutes and then flip them. Wait again and flip them again. Then I just start watching them for color. If you’re concerned about salmonella and keeping your chicken hot, after you drain the oil off them pop ‘em in the oven at 350-400 until everything is done frying.

Then you eat the chicken. This is like a treatise on frying chicken but I love it so damn much. I am passionate about fried chicken. Which is utterly ridiculous, I know. Oh right, I almost forgot. Make waffles. Just plain old waffles. You do this while the chicken is frying. And then make some vegetables or something so you don’t just have meat and carbs for dinner. I made gravy for this because the Archaeologist requested it but next time NO GRAVY and put hot sauce and honey on your fried chicken and die from the orgasm that your mouth is going to give you.

Waffle recipe I used is below.  You could add stuff but don’t. You think it’s a good idea but it’s not. Unless the stuff you’re adding is mashed potatoes, cheese and green onion but that is a different story altogether.

Also this post feels like a lie because I am like 90-95% vegetarian these days for various reasons so don’t expect that every day around here is going to be fried chicken and waffles or sausages and unicorn steaks. Next up: uh, no idea. Yet.

WAFFLES

For the record I have no idea where I got this recipe. I’ve been using this one for years now.

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups buttermilk

2 eggs

2 Tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon vanilla (omitted for this recipe, replaced with garlic powder!)

Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Whisk your dry. Now whisk your wet. Now! Combine them! Augh! Don’t over-mix it! Now remember that it is time to turn on your waffle iron and realize you could have done this while you were mixing your stuff. (Don’t tell me you already turned it on. You did, didn’t you?)

Put some batter in that hot waffle iron. Mine beeps at me when it’s done. So convenient! But if yours doesn’t, it’s usually between 3-5 minutes. You can smell them, I promise.

Keep them warm if you want. They’re best eaten immediately out of the waffle iron. True story. But if you feel like you have to keep them warm or something, put them in the oven at around 250. Otherwise let them get cool and just pop them in the toaster before you eat them. These freeze, so don’t worry that it will make too many!