Score a taste touchdown with three winning recipes
Snack attack: Sure, you can go out and pick up bags of chips and jars of dips, salsas or spreads. But why not call an audible and make your own? (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
Cook: 40 minutes
Makes: 36 pieces
Note: Adapted from a recipe by chef Phillip Lopez published in "New Orleans Chef's Table" (Lyons, $24.95) by Lorin Gaudin. Melt the pepper jelly over low heat in a saucepan; sweet Thai chili sauce can sub in.
2 stalks lemongrass
5 cloves garlic, whole
1 cup soy sauce
1 piece (3 inches long) ginger, sliced
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup salt
18 jumbo chicken wings, tips removed, cut into 2 sections
2 cups nonglutinous rice flour
Peanut oil for deep frying
3/4 cup (6 ounces) jarred pepper jelly, melted or sweet Thai chili sauce
1 tablespoon each: toasted sesame seeds, chopped chives
1. Heat a large stockpot of water to a boil over high heat. Add lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, lime juice and salt. Cook, 5-8 minutes. Turn down to a simmer. Add chicken wings; blanch, 3 minutes only. (This will release some fat from the skin and make the skin tighter for frying.) Remove with slotted spoon; shock in ice water. Dry; tamp dry with paper towels.
2. Toss the wings in rice flour to coat well. Submerge wings, in batches, in hot oil at 350 degrees; fry until fully cooked inside, about 7 minutes. (Alternatively, place wings on a baking sheet and roast in a 375 degree oven, rotating the pan halfway through, 15-20 minutes.)
3. Place hot wings in a bowl; add melted pepper jelly or chili sauce. Stir to coat wings. Arrange wings on serving platter; sprinkle with the sesame seeds and chives.