Buttermilk Fried Chicken

On September 28, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I want a deep fryer. In fact, I’ve wanted one for a number of years.  Not because I want to fry everything. I don’t.  But when it comes to fries and tempura and some other cooking efforts that work better with food submerged in oil than in a 1-inch puddle of oil, a deep fryer would be very helpful.

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So without a proper deep fryer in the kitchen, I have often skipped making fried chicken.  Oh and the reason there is no deep fryer is because I’m told having one will cause our family to deep fry things and well that’s not a healthy way to cook, so why let that temptation enter the kitchen?  I get it. I really do, so I pick my battles and having a deep fryer isn’t that important.

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Buttermilk fried chicken recipes are some of my favorites and I ran across one from the Jo Cooks website on Pinterest a few weeks back that I wanted to tryout.

I cut the recipe ingredients in half since I was only making two large bone-in chicken breasts.

The batter is simple to make and the process of dredging in flour first and then dipping into the wet mixture and finally dredging in flour again makes for a thick crust.

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The breasts I bought from Whole Foods were Heirloom Organic Mary’s Chicken and were really big.  Too big in my opinion since they took quite a long time to cook the meat through and this caused the batter to get too brown, not burnt, but not as golden as I wanted. So my advice is to make sure you use smaller chicken breasts and also use a paring knife to cup into the breast so it cooks fully through.

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You also want to make sure the pan isn’t crowded like it is in the photo above.

In the end, the recipe made some good pan fried chicken.  I’d like a bit more flavor from the batter so I will likely play around more with this recipe or try another to see what else is possible.  If you have a favorite fried chicken recipe, please feel free to share it in the comments.

For the Recipe: [Jo’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken

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Sous-vide Carne Asada Street Tacos

On June 24, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I make a lot of vegetarian dishes during the week, mostly because anything with meat takes too long to cook from the time I get home from work. One of the ways to make using meat easier and ready when I walk through the door is to use a style of cooking called sous-vide. It is a French style of cooking a vacuum-packed meat or vegetable slowly in a water bath.

Unlike a crockpot where you don’t want to overcook too much, sous-vide allows for a wide range of time for when the meat is ready. In the case of this recipe, the meat can be removed from the water bath anytime between 7 to 24 hours. That means if I’m running late or early from work, it doesn’t really matter.

The green tortillas in the photo are cactus corn tortillas I bought at Super A Foods. You can use any tortilla you like.

I use a Sous-vide Supreme, but there are other sous-vide products on the market.

Sous-vide Carne Asada Street Tacos
Makes 12-16 tacos

1 lb flank steak
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 red onion, diced
corn tortillas
vegetable oil
2 limes, quartered
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
hot sauce

Season the flank steak with cumin, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro. Reserve remaining cilantro. Place seasoned flank steak in a vacuum sealed bag. Seal bag and place in sous-vide water bath. Cook at 145 degree temperature for 7 to 24 hours.

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Heat outdoor grill on high. After you have cooked the flank steak, remove from vacuum sealed bag and dispose of any liquid marinade.  Place steak on grill and grill for 5 minutes on each side (300 degree temperature.)

Meanwhile, heat oil in saute pan. When hot add a corn tortilla and heat for a few seconds on each side flipping using tongs.  Place finished tortillas on paper towel.  Pad off excess grease with paper towel. Continue until finished heating all tortillas.

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Chop onions and cilantro and mix together. Slice flank steak and rough chop into small chunks. Assemble tacos adding meat, onions, and cilantro to each tortilla.  Serve with a sliced limes and hot sauce.

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Taco Truck Tacos… Simple and Great

On March 3, 2009, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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When I lived in South Pasadena, California I used to stop by a taco truck in Pasadena along Fair Oaks Boulevard. It was a big yellow truck parked in an empty parking lot that sat there in the late hours of the night. We would usually get some tacos there around midnight, or later, after having some fun. The tacos were simple. They were like no taco I had ever had before. There was no shredded cheese. No shredded lettuce. No sour cream. All it was were small corn tortillas with diced onions, chopped cilantro, hot sauce, a slice of lime, and chopped beef (though you could order brains or intestines if you wanted, I was never so daring.)

I created a very similar taco at home. Here is the recipe. Hope you enjoy it. It’s not exactly taco truck, but it is pretty damn close. Also, if you like a nice economical meal, it is a cheap dinner for the family that is quick and easy to make. Let me know what you think!

Taco Truck Tacos
Serves 4
Makes 12 tacos

1 1/4 lb ground beef
1 tablespoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 red onion, finely diced
1 cilantro bunch, chopped
corn tortillas
vegetable oil for frying

3 limes
your favorite hot sauce

Heat the ground beef in a medium high pan. Add cumin and salt and pepper to taste the ground beef, continue to brown for about 5-8 minutes. Once cooked all the way turn heat down to lowest setting to keep warm. While the beef is cooking, chop the red onion and cilantro and mix the two together. Set aside.

Heat oil on medium-high in saute pan. Add enough oil, about a 1/2 inch, to dip corn tortillas into turning each side to cook 5 seconds on each side. Remove each tortilla quickly and set on paper towels. Continue until all tortillas are cooked (should be soft after cooking in oil, you don’t want them crispy.)

Assemble tacos by placing spoonful of beef atop tortillas then spoon cilantro and red onion mixture over beef. Add some hot sauce and serve with sliced limes. Squeeze lime slices over tacos and enjoy.

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