Gochujang Chicken Wings and the Folly of Sticking our Heads in the Sand

On my sister’s suggestion, I have decided to try bullet journaling.  I needed help with getting better organised and following through with projects and ideas.  Including getting back on a schedule for blogging.  So I bought a journal and got the supplies to start it this month, which I did on Sunday.  I designated Mondays as blog post days.  That was the plan, but when the first thing you hear when you wake up to the radio is about the massacre in Las Vegas, the joy goes out of the day.  A cheery post seemed too jarring as the news unfolded.

It’s a sad state when you start losing track of how many times you sit down with your kids and discuss these tragedies as they occur.  When your kids realise that probably nothing will be done as these get worse and worse, you start wondering what the tipping point will actually have to be.  To not be able to reassure your kids that this will stop is depressing.  It seems mind boggling to me that common sense doesn’t prevail and have this country follow the rest of the developed world.

I just hope some day soon this stops.

Gochujang chicken wings 1 2017

Awhile back Chef Mimi of chefmimiblog.com mentioned using an ingredient called gochujang which is a fermented chili paste.  It sounded really interesting and lo and behold our co-op had some.  When I cleaned out the freezer I realised there were a lot of chicken wings to use.  I kept putting it off because my husband isn’t a fan of wings but neither of us like to waste food so I thought it would be a good time to try out gochujang.

Gochujang chicken wings 2 2017

This is a very easy dish to throw together.  In a bowl add a couple of tablespoons of peanut oil and a tablespoon or so of lime juice.  I finely chopped 3 cloves of garlic and snipped 3 chives.  Add a couple of large dollops of the gochujang.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  Mix well.

Gochujang chicken wings 3 2017

Taste and adjust the flavours as needed.  The more of the gochujang you add the more heat there will be.  Pour the marinade into a large ziploc bag and add the chicken wings. Toss to coat the wings.  The longer you marinate the more intense the flavours will be.

Gochujang chicken wings 4 2017

Grill on medium heat until the chicken wings are cooked through.

Gochujang chicken wings 5 2017

Because we were still in the middle of a heat wave I served the wings on top of a salad to keep things light.  I really like this ingredient.  I did use it again for a quick stir fry as my husband had a bad cold.  I added a habanero pepper to it.  Let me tell you I may never have a cold again given the heat of those two ingredients!  Wowza.

Maple Miso Stir Fry

Well we weren’t lucky enough for the storm to shift this time.  Nothing historic but we got what they said we would.  Fortunately it was the dry fluffy stuff so it’s not hard to shift.  It was the bitter cold this morning that was a bit much.  It was -8F/-22C.

You get warm shovelling!  There was an article last week that suggested exercises to do while shovelling.  I’m guessing the author has never shovelled in their life.  Never mind they suggest people over 60 be careful because it increases your chance of heart attacks.  Simple shovelling raises the heart rate and it’s hard work!  I’m not doing deep knee bends and lunges while I shift the stuff.  I mean, really.

Here is our front garden after a week of snow.

Maple miso stir fry 8 2015

In one of the cooking competitions some one mentioned a maple miso glaze which intrigued me.  The problem with these competitions they throw out ideas but don’t tell you what they do so with just the inspiration I thought it would be fun to try with a stir fry and roasted chicken.

In a dish mix about 2 tablespoons of maple syrup with miso.  I used about 4 tablespoons of miso but it was incorporated about a tablespoon at a time.  Add a teaspoon or two of amino acids and a couple of tablespoons of peanut oil.

Maple miso stir fry 1 2015

Add a handful of chopped scallion and 3-4 cloves of garlic finely chopped.

Maple miso stir fry 2 2015

Stir well.  Marinate the chicken for at least an hour.

Maple miso stir fry 3 2015

Roast the chicken in an oven at 350F/175C until done or mostly done.  When the chicken is on the bone it might not be cooked all they way through once the glazed skin is done.  That’s ok because the chicken will be stir fried.

Maple miso stir fry 4 2014

Heat up a couple of tablespoons of peanut oil in a wok.  Add the chicken first to cook through.

Maple miso stir fry 5 2015Then add the chopped veg and the rest of the marinade.  Add a few splashes of lime juice and some chopped fresh cilantro.

Maple miso stir fry 6 2015

Serve with rice noodles and chopped peanuts.

Maple miso stir fry 7 2015

This is a mild stir fry but full of flavour.  And perfect for bunking down during a storm.  🙂

Spicy Aubergine with Roasted Chicken

I could use this hot spicy dish today given how bitter cold it is.  We’re in a deep cold snap and hopefully it won’t last long.  Guinness is not impressed at all.

Rosemary from Cooking in Sens did a post with spicy aubergine and veal a few weeks ago and I loved the flavours that were in the dish.  I had most of the ingredients and two chicken thighs to use up.  Plus our kids were coming back from Florida and I wanted to make them a nice meal to welcome them home.

Spicy aubergine 1 2015

Use a glass bowl big enough to hold the meat you choose to use.  Finely chop a shallot to give you about 1/4 cup.  Add 4-6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped.  Then add 7 tablespoons of peanut oil, 1/8 cup of Sriracha sauce, 1/8 chilli garlic sauce, 1/4 cup of rice vinegar, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Mix well.  Add the chicken and make sure it is well coated.  Cover and set aside for at least and hour in the fridge.

Spicy aubergine 2 2015

When it is time to make dinner heat the oven to 350F/175C.  Bake the chicken thighs turning every 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Spicy aubergine 3 2015

While the chicken is cooking add the rest of the marinade to a skillet.  Add a cup of chicken stock and bring the sauce to a simmer.  Allow it to reduce by about a third or so.  If the sauce is too spicy add more chicken stock.  I had to do this otherwise I think I would have blown the kids out of their seats.

Spicy aubergine 4 2015

While the sauce is simmering, cube a cup and a half of aubergine and slice up the cooked chicken.  Add to the sauce and cook until the aubergine is cooked.  Just at the end add a handful of sliced scallion.

Spicy aubergine 6 2015

Serve with rice noodles or rice.

Spicy aubergine 7 2015

This was very spicy!  This would have a great chance of curing the common cold.  🙂  Which given the season, isn’t a bad thing!

Make Your Taste Buds Stand Up – A Spicy Stir Fry

This morning is much quieter compared to the last 24 hours or so.  A long line of thunderstorms rolled through.  It was like Mother Nature was using a cricket bat to squash an ant and she kept missing and kept trying.  The house shook quite a bit.  Guinness, who normally could care less about storms, looked like he wanted to hide.  He was out of sorts!

A few of my friends faced flooded back gardens and they were keeping an eye out on the reservoir dam above the town.  Fortunately that didn’t overflow as it’s up on a hill and there are a lot of homes below it.  They wouldn’t be destroyed so much as badly damaged and with winter coming it’s something that definitely wants to be avoided.  But despite the crazy storm the town was fine and we’ll dry off at some point.  More rain today.

At the beginning of all on Wednesday I decided to do a spicy stir fry.  That day was extremely hot and humid so all the A/Cs were going and I didn’t want to do a heavy dinner.  As it was just my husband and I a stir fry seemed like a good choice.

A very easy and quick meal to make.  I chose to do a vegetarian dish with hot peppers.

As everything gets cooked at the same time I prepped the rice noodles first.  One way to make them is soak them in hot water for about 8-10 minutes.

Stir fry 1 2013

I then chopped up all the veg I wanted to use.  I love stir fries with all the colours.  The fresh ginger really makes the flavours pop as well.

Stir fry 2 2013

In our wok I heated up some peanut oil and once hot I tossed in all the veg and stirred it.

Stir fry 3 2013

I added two heaping spoonfuls of chili garlic paste, this will wake you up!  A bit of lime juice, soy sauce, and cilantro completes the dish.

Stir fry 4 2013

Once it is nearly finished I toss in the noodles to coat and then serve.

Stir fry 5 2013 Stir fry 6 2013

Garnish with peanuts and hot peppers over and above the hot peppers used in the dish.  Had a great kick to it!