The dish ‘Chicken and Waffles’ is popping up on menus all over the country. If you’re familiar with Los Angeles, then you undoubtedly know of Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, who pioneered this savory and sweet combination with their famous restaurant chain throughout Southern California. Chrystal and I are always looking for new bite-sized treats to serve up at food gatherings. It was my mission to create an original appetizer-friendly dish featuring one of Alexia’s wonderful frozen products. I have always been drawn to their Seasoned Waffle Cut Fries. Regular fries are awesome, but there’s something about waffle cut ones that take french fries to a special level. That’s when genius struck! I connected the “waffle” in waffle fries with fried chicken; and thus, this fried chicken and “waffles” dish was born.
It may be obvious to you, but if not, it should go without saying that Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday! A whole day devoted to eating specialty dishes, family recipes, and seasonal foods—how could this not be the best day ever? Just hearing the word “Thanksgiving” brings to the surface memories of specific smells, table settings, and, most prominently, tastes. For us, different childhood memories pop-up of nibbling on the “crusty” edges of mom’s baked mac and cheese, or licking the wire beaters from the electric mixer clean after they whipped together the sweet potato casserole. Of course, equally important as the food is the company. On this glorious holiday, you not only get to devour a massive meal, but you get to do it with the people you love. Again, it just may be the best day ever!
There’s something about canning that has an air of nostalgia to it. Perhaps your grandparents were the ones who first introduced you to this idea. Or, your parents perhaps. Neither one of us comes from a family of canners, but we do have interest. It’s the perfect way to preserve seasonal freshness of fruits or vegetables when they are at their peak. Almost anything can be canned–tomatoes, beans, peaches, rinds and seeds. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to have food at the tips of your fingers when their season for availability may be far off. Sometimes, though, you just can to can. Not because you necessarily want summer corn in the dead of winter, but just because you want something to break through the boredom of a slow Saturday afternoon. Unequipped with tongs and mason jars, you can still pull off a means of veggie preservation. You can always find a way around an obstacle.
One Sunday afternoon at our local farmer’s market, we came across a vendor selling grassfed bison meat. We were intrigued. For one, bison meat is stellar! It’s leaner than beef, pork, turkey—even chicken. We like that it doesn’t have that “gamey” taste like many proteins not found in chain grocery stores (i.e. goat, venison, moose, etc). Plus, most suspecting people wouldn’t be able to distinguish it between beef. Bison = okay with us! What got us even more fired up for bison was all the cool things we could do with it. The farmer suggested we try corning it for corned beef or pastrami. Apparently it’s pretty easy, super-rewardingly delicious, and “it’ll be ready just in time for St. Paddy’s Day,”–his exact words. Hmm? Yes! We took one brisket and went merrily on our way with his recipe.