Saturday, December 29, 2007

Quick-Step Cooking

You may remember how I always save the chicken wings when jointing a chicken, first removing the pointed wing tips. Collected up, on their own, they do make very good chicken stock, with some cooked flesh to use for a pie. On the other hand, they also make a good dish in their own right, served with rice, which can be extended (without the rice) to a pile-high plateful of party nibbles.
Spicy Tender Chicken Wings: serves 4
8 large chicken wings OR 16 small ones
4 fl oz (125ml) sweet chili sauce
1 tblsp lemon juice
1 tblsp molasses or black treacle
1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp chili powder
pinch salt
3 drops Tabasco sauce
If the chicken wings are large, cut in half across the joint. In a karge bowl mix together the remaining ingredients and add the chicken pieces. Stir to coat each piece. Place the chicken in a slow cooker, pouring over the remaining marinade. Cover and cook on low for 8 (longer won't hurt) hours or until chicken is tender.

Next comes a retro dish, now back in favour. The 'Marie-Rose' sauce (ketchup and mayo) can have yogurt added to give a sharper texture, or - as seen done recently on TV, a spoonful of whisky added to give even more flavour. This is another version with limes giving added flavour.
Although this is speedy to make, if using frozen prawns, allow time for them to thaw:
Prawn Cocktail with and Asian flavour: serves 4
2 Little Gem lettuces
9 oz (250g) cooked, peeled, tiger prawns
3 tblsp mayonnaise
1 tblsp tomato ketchup
zest and juice of 1 lime
desiccated coconut (optional)
Pull the lettuces apart, using the paler inner leaves (save the outer leaves to add to a mixed leaf salad). Use some of the larger leaves to line 4 serving glasses, and shred the rest of the leaves, dividing between the dishes. Divide half the prawns between each serving, scattering over a little desiccated coconut if wished.
In a bowl, mix together the mayo, ketchup (a little Greek yogurt if using) and some of the lime juice, adding all of it only if you need it (taste as you go).
Spoon half the dressing over the prawns in the dishes, top with the rest of the prawns and drizzle the remaining dressing on the top. Garnish with a sprinkle of lime zest. Chill for half an hour before serving.

The final recipe, a dessert as almost promised, is a classic and always desired. Because the sauce is inside the pud, and not served outside, I have given it my own special name:
Inside Out Chocolate Pudding: serves 6
5 oz (150g) dark chocolate
5 oz (150g) butter
3 large eggs
5 oz (150g) caster sugar
2 oz (50g) plain flour
Break up the chocolate into chunks, and dice the butter. Put both into a bowl standing over simmering water. Stir from time to time until both have melted and combined.
Line the interiors of greased individual pudding basins or ramekin dishes with baking parchment.
Put the eggs and sugar into a bowl and beat lightly to break up the eggs, then add the flour and beat well together until smooth. Add the melted chocolate mixture and mix thoroughly, then pour into the prepared containers placing them on a baking sheet. Bake at 200C, 400F, gas 6 for 12 - 14 minutes until the top is quite firm - and it will be cracked.
Turn each pudding out onto its serving plate, very carefully removing the paper. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or creme fraiche at the side. As you break into the puds, the chocolate sauce will appear. Eat and enjoy.