Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lamb Chops with Spicy Rub

You have two hours before your guests arrive. You want to make something spectacular, but you're starting from scratch. Don't panic! It take minutes to make this simple marinade. rub it on the shops and set them aside, ready to be grilled just before serving them. Add a salad, mashed potatoes, or Crusty Russet Potatoes with Coriander, and you'll have an elegant meal. Then go arrange the flowers or sit down with a glass of wine, happy in the knowledge that your dinner guests will be properly impressed.

Serves 4

1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger (about 2-inch piece)
1 teaspoon finely grated garlic (about 2 large cloves)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, finely ground teaspoon coriander seeds, finely ground
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
8 Iamb rib chops (about 1 pound 4 ounces)
3 tablespoons canola oil

In a bowl large enough to hold the chops, mix together the ginger, garlic, salt, cayenne, cumin, coriander, and turmeric to form a thick, slightly dry paste. Rub the chops well with this mixture and set aside to marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Sear the lamb chops to the desired doneness, 4 to 5 minutes on each side for rare. You may also grill these chops on an outdoor BBQ grill over high heat. Let rest briefly before serving.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Bon Ton-style Fried Chicken

Gourmet | July 2000

We had this over at Mank and CDR's house this weekend, they said their friend Anne found the recipe online at The recipe seemed pretty simple, and the results were delicious. The best fried chicken! It also doubles as an excellent recipe for kara-age.

Bilko's spice mix is a closely guarded secret, but Donna King shared with us its fundamental ingredients as well as the basic technique — a long marination, at least 24 hours. This results in some of the juiciest chicken we've ever eaten. The chicken must also rest five or ten minutes after being dredged in the seasoned flour to, as King told us, "get doughy." The Bon Ton recipe calls for Ac'cent (monosodium glutamate) in both the marinade and the dredging mixture. We tested it with and without, and the chicken mainly tasted saltier with the Ac'cent, which some people preferred.

Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 25 hr

Makes 4 servings.

For marinade
1 qt water
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons cayenne
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

4 chicken breast halves, 4 thighs, and 4 drumsticks (all with skin and bones; 4 to 4 1/2 lb total)

For frying
About 12 cups vegetable oil

For dredging
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon white pepper

Marinate chicken: Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a large bowl.Add chicken, making sure it is covered with marinade. Chill, covered, stirring twice, about 24 hours.

Dredge and fry chicken:
Heat 2 inches oil in a wide 8- to 9 1/2-quart pot over moderately high heat until a deep-fat thermometer registers 365 to 375°F.

We took the chicken out and rested the pieces on racks to allow them to finish cooking and drip off excess grease.

The chicken was succulent and juicy with an ethereally crisped crust. Delicious!