Cooking with Ty

31 Mar

That’s the title of a new show we propose to the Food Network. According to Sauza, “It could be a cooking show where people randomly jump onto the set to steal the food and Ty has to fight them off by kicking them repeatedly.”

But last Saturday the only kicking Ty did was to kick off a cooking party with a bunch of Next House peeps to celebrate their helping her move to Next. As there was a large but uncertain number of confirmed guests, we scrambled to come up with a ton of different veggie dishes to complement Ty’s favorite curry. We only had one meat dish (my chicken drumsticks) and the rest of the food was still so filling and satisfying that you couldn’t tell.

Christine made a delicious and simple cauliflower bake. I haven’t eaten cauliflower in a long time and I think the simplicity of this dish makes it even more appealing.

Cheese Crusted Baked Cauliflower

2 heads cauliflower
1 cup grated cheese
salt and pepper

Line a baking tray or cake pan with aluminum foil. Preheat oven to 375. Cut cauliflower head into small chunks, about bite sized individual branches of cauliflower. Spread the cauliflower over the pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top, then sprinkle a thin layer of cheese. For a regular 8×12 cake pan, there will be more than enough to cover the bottom of the tray twice, so season one layer before putting the second layer on.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake until the cauliflower is tender but not mushy.

Time procrastinated: 30 minutes
To prolong procrastination: bake further until mushy, then mash into mashed cauliflower. Use as a mashed potato substitute.

I’ve recently been reading one article in GQ magazine over and over. It’s one of those “10 things you need to know” lists, but it has to do with all the essentials in the kitchen. One of them is how to make stock, and I’ve pretty much taken every bone leftover from chicken dinners and saved it to make stock. The other is how to use onion, celery, and carrots, the “trinity of home cooked flavor”, to flavor everything. The last is how to braise meat. And so I wanted to experiment with all of these things for the chicken drumsticks. Because if you don’t make drumsticks interesting, they just turn out to be boring, cheap drumsticks. But I made a dish of beautiful, improv, open braised drumsticks.

Red wine and thyme braised chicken drumsticks

1 pack of drumsticks (about 6 or 7)
1 onion
1/2 package celery heart
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup red wine
Garlic powder
Sea salt
Pepper from a peppercorn grinder
Adobo seasoning
Dried Thyme
Olive oil

Heat a baking pan on the stove with a generous drizzling of olive oil. When oil is hot, place the drumsticks in the pan side by side. They should almost cover the bottom but not be overcrowded.

Season the drumsticks as they are cooking by grinding sea salt and pepper directly on top. Also add garlic powder, adobo seasoning (optional), and thyme. Turn each drumstick so the seasoned side cooks, and season the other side.

Cook each side for a few minutes until the chicken is slightly brown and cooked on the surface. Then drizzle red wine over the chicken and let it fry on the pan for another minute.

Preheat the oven to 325. Cut and peel the onion and celery into rough chunks, and toss into the baking pan with the chicken. Pour in the cup of stock and move the whole pan into the oven. Leave the chicken uncovered, braising for about 1.5 hours.

When serving, place the drumsticks onto a plate, then if you wish you can use the drippings in the pan (along with the rest of the veggies) to top the chicken as a glaze. They can also be saved to use in future chicken stock.

Time to procrastinate: 2 hours
To prolong procrastination: Take the remaining bones and drippings and make more chicken stock.

Other pictures of the cooking can be seen at my photo blog:

Next House Dinner Photos

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