Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mastering the art of almost cooking

I like to think of myself as a decent cook. I have to be, giving that my lovely and talented wife doesn't list "cooking" as one of her favorites. :P (I loved you Steph!!!) So anyway, I sometimes idle over various things on the interweb that inspire some strange creation in the kitchen. One of my best creations was taken from a recipe by Rocko Dispirito (fully encourage anyone and EVERYONE to check out his creations over at his A & E. I was first introduced to his cooking on a Saturday morning where there was some stupid presidential thing in the states on, so I had to resort to reality and cooking channels for entertainment. He created a Vegetarian Pizza for a kid who wouldn't eat vegetables (right up my alley!). The secret ingredient? Red wine! Amazing. Anyway, I pulled a few recipes off of the website and managed to keep my wife in great food for weeks. Recently, I used his cookbook, "Now Eat This", to create a hamburger with only 350 calories! Amazing. Again.

Here is a recipe for "Unfried" chicken for the hungry reader.

Rocco DiSpirito

Fried Chicken, Macaroni 'n' cheese, Brownies, and 147 Other Favorite Dishes You Thought You Could Never Eat Again

- All Under 350 Calories

Ballantine Books | Spring 2010

"Un-Fried" Chicken

Fat Grams , Calories

Serves 4

3 cups chicken broth


4 skinless chicken thighs

2 quarts grapeseed oil

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups lowfat buttermilk

1. In a medium saucepot, over high heat add the chicken broth and season it well with salt. Add the chicken thighs to the pot and bring the broth to a simmer. Cover the the pot with a lid, reduce the heat to low and gently simmer the chicken thighs for 40 minutes or until they are tender. Remove thighs from liquid, pat them dry and set them aside, covered to keep them warm.

2. Meanwhile, over high heat, bring the grapeseed oil to 400? in a large pot with high sides. In a baking dish, combine the whole wheat flour with the paprika, celery salt, black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and cayenne and mix the ingredients together well. In a large bowl combine warm chicken thighs with buttermilk to coat. Next, dredge thighs in the flour mixture. Repeat process one more time to double coat the chicken. Shake off the excess flour.

3. Fry the chicken, 2 pieces at a time, for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until they are a deep golden brown. Drain the chicken on a roasting rack or on paper towels. Serve immediately.

Before: 549 cals, 30 g fat

Un-Fried Chicken:
Calories: 213
Protein (g): 17
Carbs (g): 14
Fat (g): 10.2
Cholest (mg): 58
Fiber (g): 3
Sodium (mg): 1168


So anyway, the art of almost cooking. I am a decent cook, but definitely not a chef. I wouldn't want to offend anyone who actually is a chef out there. On my own without the aid of cookbook recipes I can handle pretty much anything run of the mill in lasagnas, goulashes, spaghettis, porks, chickens, beefs, bbq's, etc. With a recipe I can be dangerous. :P But the past week we were looking for something different to throw on the bbq. We found these beef strips for stewing and stirfries, so what I did was marinate them in an olive oil/ pepper mix, not long, enough to get the pepper stuck to the beef and to make sure the beef would singe a little. I then put the beef carefully on the bbq grill and let the flames to their magic. We needed something with it, so we had a caesar salad with Spinach subbed in for the lettuce. Back on the grill, I COATED the beef with more black pepper, letting whatever fell off go. With the oil on the beef singing the edges, it managed to retain a natural juiciness while still cooking. Not long cooking either, around 10 minutes start to finish.

Anyone else have cooking ideas? Let me know so I can try them, I'll even cook for you! :D


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