Celebrate National Fried Chicken Day with this crispy rendition

Fried chicken to remember. Autry's secret: a dip in lemony buttermilk. (Thomas Cordy/ Palm Beach Post)
Fried bird to remember. Autry’s secret: a dip in lemony buttermilk. (Thomas Cordy/ Palm Beach Post)

The realization that today is National Fried Chicken Day sparked a craving for a favorite recipe: Lindsay Autry’s addictive rendition of the Southern classic.

The North Carolina-born chef, who plans to open The Regional Kitchen & Public House restaurant in West Palm Beach this summer, gives her bird a nice, long bath in a zesty buttermilk marinade before dusting with a flour-cornstarch mixture, then frying.

Southern-born Chef Lindsay Autry at work. (Thomas Cordy/ Palm Beach Post)
Southern-born Chef Lindsay Autry at work. (Thomas Cordy/ Palm Beach Post)

Here’s the recipe: http://sp/cox/web/html_writer_shared.jshttp://sp/cox/web/html_writer.js //

LINDSAY AUTRY’S FRIED CHICKEN
    Serves 42 cups buttermilk
2 lemons, zest only (reserve juice for another use)
1 tablespoon dried Greek oregano or fresh oregano
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

    1 whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces: 2 wings, 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 breasts cut in half (or 10 pieces of your favorite cuts of chicken)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 quart pure canola oil for frying
    FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE:
1/2 cup Florida honey
2 tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce (we used sriracha)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped roughly1. In a blender, combine the buttermilk, lemon zest, oregano, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, black pepper and thyme. Blend until well combined. Place all the chicken pieces in a large resealable plastic bag and pour buttermilk mixture over chicken. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight to get the best flavor. Remove chicken from the buttermilk brine, drain well, and discard the liquid.
2. In a large bowl combine the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, kosher salt and pepper. Use a whisk or fork to combine well. Place the chicken into the flour mixture and press into the flour, making sure to coat well. Allow the chicken to sit in the flour mixture while the oil is preheating.
3. Preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat with the canola oil until it reaches 315°. Shake off the excess flour from the chicken pieces, and gently place in the skillet.
4. Fry the chicken for 4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Use a thermometer to test the internal temperature of the chicken, making sure it is at 165°.
5. Drain the chicken on a rack or paper towels, seasoning with kosher salt as they come out of the fryer. While the chicken is cooling, combine all of the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Step away from the lard. Frying in canola oil yields decadent fried chicken. (Thomas Cordy/ Palm Beach Post)
Never mind the lard. Frying in canola oil yields decadent chicken. (Thomas Cordy/ Palm Beach Post)

   

Note: A small deep fryer can be used for frying the chicken, but using a large cast-iron skillet will give you better results.

 

Glorious gazpacho: coolest cure for sweltering days

You know it’s gazpacho season when a walk around the block feels like a month in the steam room.

Gazpacho not only has magical, swelter-zapping properties, it’s a diverse dish. Sip it smooth or chunky, from a bowl or glass.

GAZPACHO WITH GUSTO — SEE MORE RECIPES HERE!

You won’t need a blender for this chunky rendition. It’s a gazpacho that takes tangy notes from grapefruit. The recipe comes courtesy of our test kitchen consultant, Lenore Pinello, a catering chef and cooking instructor who owns Tequesta’s In the Kitchen cook shop.

When she suggested we make a grapefruit gazpacho for a story several years ago, I puckered at the thought. But her blend of ingredients, gently combined by hand, set the grapefruit in the sweet and spicy company of tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and Tabasco.

Chef Lenore 'supremes' grapefruit. (Palm Beach Post file)
Chef Lenore ‘supremes’ grapefruit segments for her gazpacho. (Palm Beach Post file)

The result was not only delicious, but it looked gorgeous in the bowl, all the colors of summer brightly garnished with cilantro.
  

Tequesta test kitchen: Chef Lenore Pinello gathers ingredients for a killer gazpacho. (Palm Beach Post file)
Tequesta test kitchen: Chef Pinello gathers ingredients for a killer gazpacho. (Palm Beach Post file) 

Chunky Grapefruit Gazpacho

Recipe by Chef Lenore Pinello, In The Kitchen, 389 Tequesta Dr., Tequesta; 561-747-7117.

Serves: 4

1 grapefruit, sectioned
2 oranges, sectioned
1 cup tomato, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons purple onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup tomato juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Coarsely chop grapefruit and orange sections and place in a large bowl.

2. Gently fold in remaining ingredients and chill for 4 hours. Serve chilled.

Big bowl of sunshine: Chunky Grapefruit Gazpacho. (Palm Beach post file)
Big bowl of sunshine: Chunky Grapefruit Gazpacho. (Palm Beach post file)

   

A dreamy recipe to celebrate National Mousse Day

Daisy Martinez's “Sweet Earth” chocolate mousse cups with chocolate cookie crumbles are topped with edible flowers. (Photo: Joseph De Leo)
Tierrita Dulce: Daisy Martinez’s “Sweet Earth” chocolate mousse cups. (Photo: Joseph De Leo)

Got chocolate mousse on the brain? No wonder: Today is National Mousse Day. Here’s a yummy rendition, created by Daisy Martinez, the talented chef, cookbook author and culinary TV star.

‘TIERRITA DULCE’

(Sweet Earth)

Chocolate Mousse with Chocolate Cookie Crumbles

(Serves 6 to 8, depending on size of pots)

INGREDIENTS:

One 12-ounce bag bittersweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons dark rum

1¼ tablespoons instant espresso powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

3 extra-large eggs, separated

3⁄4 cup sugar

1 cup heavy cream, well chilled

2 packages Oreo Thin Crisps chocolate cookies or 1¼ cups crushed Famous Chocolate Wafers

6 to 8 edible flowers, with stems if possible, or candy flowers (from a bakery supply shop)

TO MAKE:

 

1. Mix the chocolate chips, rum, espresso powder, vanilla, salt, and ¼ cup water in a large heatproof bowl. Set over a pot of simmering water and whisk until the chocolate is melted. Set aside.

2. Using a hand mixer, beat the egg yolks with ¼ cup of the sugar in a medium bowl until they are pale yellow and fluffy and you can see the bottom of the bowl as you beat, about 2 minutes. Fold about one-third of the chocolate mixture into the yolks with a rubber spatula, then fold the yolk mixture into the chocolate remaining in the bowl. Set aside.

3. Wash the beaters and bowl thoroughly and dry them. Beat the egg whites with the remaining ½ cup sugar in a medium bowl until they hold soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Fold one-third of the whites into the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Once they are incorporated, fold in the remaining whites.

4. Beat the cream in a clean bowl until it holds firm peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold the cream into the chocolate mixture one-third at a time. Divide the mousse among 6 to 8 food-safe flowerpots (see Note) or dessert cups. Chill for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.

5. Put the cookies in a heavy resealable plastic bag. Whack them with a rolling pin into coarse pieces, then roll until fine crumbs. Top each dish of mousse with crumbled chocolate cookies to resemble soil. Finish with the edible flowers, standing them straight up by inserting the stems into the mousse.

NOTE: Food-safe flowerpots are available in specialty bakeware shops, or feel free to use ramekins.

(Prep time: 45 minutes, plus 2 to 24 hours chilling time)

Recipe from “Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night — Bringing Your Family Together with Everyday Latin Dishes” (Atria Books). 

 

Tot-ally different St. Patrick’s Day shepherd’s pie

Farmette's Tater Tot Shepherd's Pie. (Photo credit: Imen McDonnell)
Behold Farmette’s Tater Tot Shepherd’s Pie! (Photo credit: Imen McDonnell)

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, a tale from the Irish countryside:

Before she was a farmer’s wife, Imen McDonnell lived the fast-paced life of an American broadcast producer in major U.S. cities.

The forces of love and Ireland changed all that. Nearly six years ago, those forces transformed McDonnell into the voice of “Farmette,” the popular lifestyle blog inspired by her daily life at an ancient, family-owned farm in County Limerick.

FarmetteCoverFood lovers and vicarious travelers everywhere have reaped the benefits of McDonnell’s lushly photographed culinary inspirations as she put her American city spin on Irish country fare.

Today, as evidenced in her newly released book, “The Farmette Cookbook,” she has stacks of stellar recipes to show for her kitchen experiments that include boldly hybrid dishes such as Tater Tot Shepherd’s Pie. (For which she makes her own tots.)

Related: Best Irish pubs to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Palm Beach County

Dear St. Patrick’s Day revelers, what goes better with a pint of Guinness than shepherd’s pie? Perhaps a better rhetorical question is: What goes better with a big, frosty mug of green beer than shepherd’s pie topped with crispy tots?

Here’s McDonnell’s recipe. You’re welcome!

Read the full story on Farmette’s new book in The Post’s Food & Dining.

TATER TOT SHEPHERD’S PIE

“Shepherd’s pie was one of my first forays into the basics of Irish country cooking… More recently, I began experimenting with ways to reinvent this classic pie. Inspired by craving a tater-tot hotdish (a Midwestern American casserole), I lined the top of my shepherd’s pie with homemade tots, and it was much more fun than standard mash.”

Serves 4

1 tablespoon sunflower or canola oil, plus more for frying

1 large onion, chopped

2 to 3 medium carrots, chopped

1 pound ground lamb

2 tablespoons tomato purée

Splash of Worcestershire sauce

2 cups lamb or beef stock

For the tots:

4 large russet potatoes, baked and cooled

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons fine salt

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then cook the onion and carrots for about 10 minutes, until softened. Turn up the heat, crumble in the lamb, and brown, pouring off any excess fat. Add the tomato purée and Worcestershire sauce; fry for a few more minutes until browned. Pour in the stock, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for another 20 minutes to reduce the liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and shred them on the large holes of a box grater. Transfer to a large bowl, sprinkle in the flour and salt, and gently mix until combined.
  3. Scoop 1½ tablespoons of the potato mixture into a short cylinder, about 1½ inches long and ¾ inch wide. Press the mixture in tightly and then press the tots onto a baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining potato mixture.
  4. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels; set aside. Pour ¼ inch of oil into a large frying pan and set over medium-high heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Fry the tots in batches of 8 to 10 pieces (do not overcrowd the pan), turning once, until light golden brown on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tots to the paper-towel-lined baking sheet, and season with salt. Repeat for all the tots.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  6. Put the meat mixture into an ovenproof dish. Top with the tots to completely cover the meat. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tots are starting to turn golden brown and the mince is bubbling through at the edges. Serve with a salad of crisp garden greens.

Scullery Notes: You can freeze tater tots for future use: Let the fried tots cool, then transfer them to an airtight container or ziplock bag. Arrange them in a single layer in the container or bag and place them in the freezer. You can also just pile the shredded potato on top of the filling and bake as directed.

This recipe and the author intro are reprinted from “The Farmette Cookbook,” by Imen McDonnell, with the permission of Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications Inc., Boulder, Colo.

Read the full story on Farmette’s new book in The Post’s Food & Dining.

Rich, creamy and dreamy: ‘The Cuban Table’s’ flan de leche

"The trick to a great Flan de Leche begins and ends with the caramelo," the caramel syrup, writes author Ana Sofia Pelaez in her debut cookbook, "The Cuban Table." (Photo by Ellen Silverman reprinted by permission of St. Martin's Press)
“The trick to a great Flan de Leche begins and ends with the caramelo,” the caramel syrup, writes author Ana Sofia Pelaez in her debut 2014 cookbook, “The Cuban Table.” (Photo by Ellen Silverman reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press)

This dessert is silky and velvety at once. It’s a caramelo dream, proof that not all “love” desserts have to be made of chocolate.

FLAN DE LECHE
Milk Flan

This recipe is reprinted from the 2014 cookbook “The Cuban Table” (St. Martin’s Press, $35), by writer Ana Sofia Pelaez and photographer Ellen Silverman.

“The trick to a great Flan de Leche begins and ends with the caramelo – the sugar heated slowly over a steady flame until it reaches just the right amber hue without becoming bitter.” – Ana Sofia Pelaez, author and creator of the Hungry Sofia blog.

Serves 8 to 10

3/4 cup sugar
For the custard
2 1/2 cups whole milk
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 whole cinnamon stick
1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 lemon peel, white pith removed
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large eggs

Special equipment:

7- to 8-inch flanera or round metal cake pan (preferably 3 inches deep)

CubanTableBookJacket

Make the flan:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Pour 3/4 cup of sugar into a flanera or metal mold. Place the mold over medium heat and move constantly, without stirring, until the sugar melts and takes on a deep amber hue, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the mold from the heat and swirl the caramel so that the bottom and sides are lightly covered. The caramel will be very hot and should be handled carefully. Set aside.

Combine the whole milk, evaporated milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean, lemon peel and salt in a heavy 4-quart saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the spices to steep until the milk is cooled to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Discard the cinnamon, vanilla bean, and lemon peel.

Combine the cooled milk mixture and eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Carefully pour the custard into the prepared mold. Close the lid of the flanera, if using, or cover the mold with aluminum foil.

Prepare a baño de María: Place the filled mold in a larger roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan so that it comes about halfway up the sides of the mold.

Carefully place both pans in the oven and bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the custard to cool completely then refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight.

To unmold, run a thin knife along the side of the mold. Gently shake the mold to loosen the flan.

Place a large plate over the flan and quickly invert the mold in one motion.

The flan will gently drop onto the plate and the caramel will flow out.

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