Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Last night's dinner #2: Garlic Chicken Wings, Corn salad and Espresso Granita

  • Pickled Mango & Red Onions with Grilled Corn Mixed Green Salad
  • Black Pepper and Garlic Chicken Wings
  • Espresso Granita
ATTENTION: I have to say that last night's dinner was not a complete success. I would categorize it as a semi-disaster, but even disasters need to be shared. So I'm outlining the issues and my suggestions on how to fix each one.

SALAD (Pickled Mango & Red Onions with Grilled Corn Mixed Green Salad):
Ing: 1 Mango cut into thin strips, 1 C of corn (I used frozen) grilled in the oven, 1C grape tomatoes, 1/2 red onion cut into thin slices and mixed greens.

Preheat oven to 450.
I decided to pickle (1/2 C of white vinegar and cider vinegar, 1/2C of brown sugar, 1/2 tsp black pepper, pinch of salt) both the mango slices and onions for an hour or so. Mistake #1. The mangos ended up being way too acidic. Next time, I would add another 1/2 C or more of sugar to cut down the acidity of the vinegar. I would even consider using a different type of vinegar, something milder (maybe Sherry or Rice?). I would also just pickle the onions and decrease the time to 20 mins. The mangos don't need to be pickled unless you're lucky enough to have the hard green sour kind. In the meantime, bake thawed corn for about 15-20 mins. I left 1/4 of the corn in the oven longer to brown a bit more for presentation-purposes (I think it looks better when you get bits of caramelized kernels).

Dressing: I used 1/2 C of the pickling mixture and added 1/4C olive oil, tsp of sugar and a pinch of fleur de sel (sea salt). Mistake #2. The dressing was way too acidic. Again, the white/cider vinegar was too harsh. I would suggest Rice wine vinegar or White wine vinegar. But more importantly, I didn't add enough oil. Rule of thumb for vinaigrettes - 3 to 4 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. Adding Dijon mustard is also common.

Toss greens and dressing then add tomatoes, mangos, onions and corn. Make sure the salad is nice and cold before serving. It just tastes better! I chill my plates/bowls in the freezer before I plate the salad to help keep the salad nice and cold.

CHICKEN (Black Pepper and Garlic Chicken Wings):
Recipe courtesy of Hostess with the Mostess

The flavor was good but as you can see, my version looks very different from the original. I'm not sure if it's my oven, but the wings just didn't brown as much as I'd have liked. It's hard to believe that you could get the wings to crisp up like that in the oven. I even ended up brushing them with some oil midway through because I wasn't getting the color that I wanted. The only thing I can think of was that my wings didn't have enough space to cook and brown properly. Mistake #3. Make sure you space the wings out. I would also increase the amount of sugar and honey.

DESSERT (Espresso Granita):

I remember making "granita" with Coke when I was a kid but I just referred to it as frozen coke not Coke Granita. Make 2 Cups of espresso and add 1/2 C of sugar. Taste it and make sure that it's almost too sweet. Mistake #4. I made my espresso too strong. Cool it in the fridge before putting it into the freezer. Pour mixture in a pyrex glass bakepan and freeze. Give it about 20 mins or so and scrape the ice crystals as they form with a fork. Keep checking every 20 mins and scrape newly formed crystals. It should take a total of 2 hours or so. Whip up some whipping cream (1C heavy cream and sugar to taste). Spoon slush into cups and add a dollop of cream on top. Sprinkle a bit of espresso powder on top for good measure!

With mistakes come new lessons =)


Karen said...

damn...who eats like this EVERY night!?!?! geez...i'd be lucky if i had a popsicle for dessert!

Jea Evangelista said...

wow that looks really good tita =]

Marichelle said...

- That's why some of us have to go the gym ;)

- Thanks J!!