biscuits and such | Blog
southern food blog
10088
paged,page-template,page-template-blog-large-image-whole-post,page-template-blog-large-image-whole-post-php,page,page-id-10088,paged-76,page-paged-76,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,select-theme-ver-2.8,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.3.5,vc_responsive
 

Honey Chipotle Wings

chipotle wings 3 There are many things I adore about my college roommate Charlotte, but her unabashed love for chicken wings is high on the list. Charlotte loves wings like I love pie. When we eat out with her it is a givein that we’ll be getting wings, and she’s spent a lot of time recently trying to convince her fiance Gordon that wings are just the perfect food for a fall wedding reception. I have Char to thank for my love of wings, and for the fact that I’ve been trying to perfect my wings recipe in the hopes that her other bridesmaids will agree to a wings themed bridal shower.

chipotle wings 2

This week I whipped up a batch of honey chipotle wings using Tabasco Chipotle Hot Sauce and local honeycomb, a combination that was sweet and had a low, simmering spice. The solution for those times when you’re tired of the old hat buffalo sauce, your palate doesn’t feel up to the five alarm sauce that needs to be served with a gallon of milk, and you’re in the mood for something a little on the sweet side. These wings will definitely be on the menu at Charlotte’s wingstravaganza.

chipotle wings 1

Later this month I’ll be heading to Avery Island, Louisiana, to visit the Tabasco headquarters, learn about the process of making their favorite hot sauces, and hopefully eat a lot of delicious food. As it were hot sauce makes up a significant portion of my diet, so I’m feeling pretty confident this may be one of my favorite trips this decade.

chipotle wings 4 This post is sponsored by Tabasco. The words, thoughts, and opinions are my own.

Honey Chipotle Hot Wings

12 chicken wings & drumsticks

2 sticks butter

2 bottles chipotle hot sauce

1 4-5″ honeycomb OR 1/4 cup honey

1 cup flour

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp red pepper flakes

2 eggs

Peanut oil to fry

blue cheese dressing:

3 tbsp mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

1/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

In a large and deep pot, heat enough oil to submerge wings. Oil temperature should be 375F.

In a saucepan melt butter, honeycomb, and hot sauce. Simmer until completely incorporated.

Mix together flour, panko, and spices in a medium size bowl. In another bowl whisk eggs.

Pat wings down and dip first in eggs, then in flour mixture. Drop in oil and fry 4-6 minutes each or until golden brown. Immediately dunk them in the sauce, soaking both sides evenly. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Repeat with remaining wings.

Mix together all ingredients for blue cheese dressing.

Serve wings hot with blue cheese dressing.

Read More

7/100: New Hanover County Watermelon Kefir

watermelon kefir 2

In the 1840’s a man named John Kwiatkowski immigrated from Poland to the United States, coming through New York City. After settling in and changing his name to John Rosemond (Kwiatkowski meant “man of the flower” in Polish) he hopped on a boat heading to Mexico, ready to fight for his new country in the Mexican- American war. Unfortunately John, along with many other new recruits, suffered from terrible seasickness, and couldn’t hack the long trip. These men were dropped off in the port of Wilmington, where they made a new life. John opened a small business, married a woman named Sarah Pleasants, and eventually moved his family to Hillsborough, where Rosemonds can be found to this day. John had a son named Jerome, who had a wife named Mary Parker and a son named James, who had a wife named Sybil Walker and a son named Kenneth, who had a wife named Barbara Ballenger and a son named James who had a wife named Cathy Waldron and a daughter named Elena, who has recently found herself living right back where it all started, in New Hanover County.

watermelon kefir 1

Before I moved to Wilmington I hadn’t spent much time in New Hanover County. When we beached we headed to Morehead City, where the Rosemonds have had a family home since the 1950’s (the Swamp House), and had only visited Wilmington once or twice in high school and college. It is an understatement to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of life and culture that this town is brimming with. Thanks to a thriving film industry (thanks to North Carolina’s tax incentives for film) and a large University, Wilmington draws people from all over the world, all walks of life, who have changed this small port city into a diverse and fascinating place. New Hanover County is located in the Southeastern part of the state, and was formed in 1729. It is one of the original port cities in North Carolina and played a vital role in the development of the state and the colonial USA. It is surrounded by Pender County to the North and Brunswick County to the South.

watermelon kefir 3

I was particularly amazed to find a rich food culture in Wilmington that went far beyond your expected coastal fare. There is a community of people focused on eating and making real food, with an emphasis on whole, local, and responsible eating, things that I am personally commited to and passionate about. Organizations like Feast Down East and Down East Connect help local farmers and community members connect to bring fresh seasonal food into kitchen’s without a middleman. The local co-op Tidal Creek just finished a month long challenge motivating and helping people to eat a month of local food. And one woman, Ryanna Battiste, is helping people change their relationship with food through a small business called GRUB.

watermelon kefir 6

I met Ryanna through many connections all at once, and it became clear after we moved to Wilmington that Ryanna was someone that I needed to know. Over the past year I’ve attended her workshops, partnered with her, and had long, amazing, compelling conversations over a glass of wine about how food can nourish us, and harm us, and how important it is to commit yourself to learning about what it is you’re putting in your body. One of the things that GRUB is doing that I was immediately intrigued by was promoting a fermented probiotic drink called water kefir, something she describes as an “affordable and bio-available way to deliver healthy bacteria” that produces a “fizzy and delicious fermented soda.” Water kefir, like kombucha or yogurt, introduces probiotics into your system that can help with gut health and over all body health. Since she started selling water kefir kits she’s grown a community of over 400 home-brewers all over the country.

new hanover

After attending a water kefir demo I brought home a kit (you can also order them online: http://thisisgrub.com/projects/water-kefir/) and immediately started brewing. The kefir is flavored with fruit, and since we started brewing we’ve made everything from lemon ginger to mango to our new favorite, watermelon. The brew is light and fizzy, like a soda, and the watermelon kefir is nothing short of incredible. It’s easy to see why so many people in this community are whipping up batches of their own.

watermelon kefir 5

This summer watermelon  has made up around 80% of my diet, leaving me to wonder what else I can do with it. Smoothies? Absolutely. Watermelon vodka tonics? Naturally. Watermelon, mint, and feta salad? Of course. Watermelon and lime jam? Why not! Nothing says summer to me quite like a cold slice of watermelon, so I ask- what are your favorite ways to use this most delicious of fruit?

watermelon kefir 4

Ed note: After I approached Rye about featuring her in this series, she decided to sponsor B&S through a Water Kefir badge in the sidebar. Thanks for the support, Rye!

Watermelon Kefir
makes 1 quart

1/4 cup sugar, cane or brown

3/4 quart filtered water

2 dried figs

1/4 cup kefir culture

1 cup pureed watermelon

In a quart jar combine water, sugar, figs, and the culture. Mix to combine, cap, and store in a dark cabinet for 24-48 hours.

Strain out the grains and discard the figs. Combine the liquid (the kefir after first ferment) and the pureed watermelon in a second jar. Let ferment an additional 24-48 hours. Chill and serve.

Watermelon Lime Jam
makes 1 1/2 pints

2 cups pureed watermelon

4 tbsp instant pectin

1/2 cup sugar

Juice of 4 limes

Stir all ingredients together until thoroughly incorporated, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to half pint jars and let sit 30 minutes. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Read More

Clams on the Grill

grilled clams 1

Last week I was chatting with my grandma on the phone and I made a comment about it being mid-August. No, Elena, she said (laughing) it’s late August. Oops. I lost a few weeks.

grilled clams 4

That’s common this time of year, watching the days and nights and weeks and weekends blur past, particularly because our house has been filled to the brim with guests. Dan and Kaylee are getting a little bit exhausted by the revolving door of friends and loved ones, but I’m soaking it up. This is a perk of living at the beach, right?

grilled clams 10

Last weekend I drove to Richmond to meet my sister in law Megan and pick up our niece, Meredith, who just turned 7. A few years ago we started taking Meredith for visits with us all on her own, and this past week we had the pleasure of hosting her for the first time in North Carolina. We spent the beginning of the week soaking in the sun and sand (Meredith’s two requests were to find shells everyday and take a bubble bath every night. We were happy to try and help her realize that dream), and the Turcottes (Megan, John, and almost three year old Amelie) joined us on Thursday. grilled clams 3

grilled clams 8

Meredith is a bright, sweet, fun, and funny girl, and I absolutely cherished getting to spend the week with her. She came to school with me during our in-service week and it was a delight having the opportunity to watch her in the classroom, talk to her about what she was reading and doing, and explore Wilmington through her eyes. I haven’t been so engrossed in shell hunting since I was 7 myself, and I loved it.

grilled clams 6

grilled clams 7

On Saturday we drove down to Kure Beach to hunt shells and fossils and relax in the sand. It wasn’t a great day for swimming (it was pretty rough and the coquina rocks make it difficult to navigate the water), but it was beautiful and I had a lot of fun sitting in the surf with Amelie. We stopped by Seaview on the way home and picked up a red drum and two dozen Stump Sound clams, as well as a bounty of vegetables from their food stand. That night we feasted on seafood and end-of-summer peppers and beans, rounding it all out with a salted caramel peach pie.

grilled clams 5

grilled clams 9

It was hard saying goodbye to our sweet nieces and their parents this morning, and our house is all the quieter without them. All the reason to start planning for next year’s Auntie Elena & Uncle Dan camp!

grilled clams 2

grilled clams 11

Grilled Clams with Rosemary Butter Sauce

2 dozen top neck clams

2 sticks butter

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 shallot

3 garlic cloves

Salt

In a saucepan melt butter over low heat. Mince garlic and slice shallots and add to the pan, along with rosemary. Simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Scrub clams thoroughly, discarding any that are open. Grill over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until they’ve opened wide. Top with butter sauce and serve immediately.

Read More