Champagne and what?

When a monk named Dom Perignon was making wine in 1693 and couldn’t get rid of the bubbles he reportedly tasted it and exclaimed “Come Quickly, I am drinking the stars!” he probably wouldn’t have imagined that 300 years later on a continent that hadn’t been discovered yet it would be poured as a pairing to fried chicken.

Yep, that’s not a typo.  Champagne and fried chicken.  An odd but yet delicious pairing with the chicken crust matched with bubbles.  Delicious.  So this has become a favorite indulgence and thanks to the addition of a Sous Vide stick from Sansaire and our growing collection of fantastic grower champagnes from Somm Select (they offer some amazing wines, new every day and well worth checking out) it’s become even easier to make an amazing feast.

Why Sous Vide?  Well I’m lazy, ok not really but I do like cooking off all the chicken in advance and Sous Vide is a great method for that.  Just season and bag up the chicken, drop it in a water bath for a few hours and go about your day.  Then when it comes time to fry all you’re really doing is re-heating the chicken and setting the crust.  This makes it easy to cook off a large batch of chicken quickly and consistently without having to worry about undercooking.

There are no shortage of recipes available for Sous Vide chicken or fried chicken but not as many that deal with Sous Vide Fried Chicken so I did some hunting around through the internet and our collection of cookbooks and came up with a method combining a few different recipes.

I really like Thomas Kellers Ad Hoc cookbook and many of the meat recipes involve brining in advance of cooking.  His fried chicken recipe is no different BUT I was in a hurry in this instance and didn’t have time to brine the chicken in advance so I tried to infuse some of the flavors from his chicken brine into the chicken during the sous vide cooking.  In this case I added sage, rosemary, lemon and some thyme into each bag of 3-4 pieces of chicken.  I seasoned fairly heavily, and in the end, result it worked pretty well, not as good as the brine but the chicken had some nice citrus and herbal undertones.

For the breading, I used a combination of flour with some onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and baking soda.  The chicken was already cooked so it was just a matter of dredging the chicken in the flour, then a dunk in buttermilk, then flour again before a quick fry of around 2.5 to 3 minutes at around 350 degrees.

Served warm with some great champagne and there you have it.  A delicious meal and fantastic yet unexpected wine pairing.

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The Art of the Brick

The Art of the Brick

KMJ travels

Every once in awhile it’s fun to play “Tourist in Your Town” and the new exhibit at the Pacific Science Center proved a great opportunity.

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BK loves legos, so we took advantage of my membership to check it out – it is pretty amazing what artist Nathan Sawaya has created out of a bunch of tiny plastic bricks.

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My favorite was the Easter Island recreation:

13423970_10208525094020469_8529875364697180161_nIt is not a cheap exhibit to visit if you don’t have a membership, but at least your admission fees are going to a good cause!  Be sure to visit before September 11th!

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Spanish Table class

It may seem like the only place we go anymore is The Pantry, and you may be right – but everything we’ve done there is so good!  so, we keep going back – last night was Spanish Table and it definitely met our expectations.

grilled green onions dipped in garlic Hazelnut romesco – this dish was fun to make because we got to go outside and use the big grill, enjoying our appetizer in the frsh air with a glass of wine thanks to the well-timed sunbreak.

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honey and red wine-braised chorizo with manchego and crusty bread – and easy yummy upgrade to the usual bread & cheese platter.  This will definitely join the rotation for summer.

roasted rice with rabbit, chickpeas, and grilled lemons – fresh off his lam butchery class, BK dismantled one of the rabbits for class.

and cinnamon-cream cheese crème Catalan-similar to flan, but with some cream cheese to add some extra body, and using maple syrup to make it easy.

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Ceviche class

For BK’s birthday we booked a Ceviche class over at the Pantry with M & JJ and it did not disappoint.   The class was well-organized and every recipe seems like one we could easily recreate at home – perfect timing for summer in Seattle!

First, we mixed up the Ceviche Verde so it could sit and “cook” while we worked on everything else – this one was made with Yellowtail and is traditionally served with saltine crackers.

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Then we started pulling together pieces for all the others –

Aguachile de Callo de Hacha (aka scallops)

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Tostadas de Atun

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and Hearts of Palm Ceviche (vegetarian)

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I really liked all them fairly equally – the hearts of Palm version makes a nice appetizer/summer side dish.  The scallop one was light, the Ceviche Verde was so fresh, and the tostadas were yummy with the avocado, chipotle mayo and fried leeks.  Can’t wait to try all these at home!

Staycation Day 11

I made it!  Last day of staycation and it went pretty great – who knew I could fall into lazy life so easily?   As you saw, we did manage to tackle some key projects around the house, but we did also manage to rarely get out of bed before 10:00am (lesson learned:  it takes about a week to sleep train the cats…)

Today consisted of eating some leftovers while watching football,

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taking down the Xmas tree

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and watching it snow.  WHAT?  yep, it started snowing, leaving us all with dreams of a snow day to continue staycation, but alas it didn’t accumulate…

One last fancy meal at home, and then back to the real world.  It’s been fun house…

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