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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Homemade Imitation Crab

I really like mock crab and lobster. Since I couldn't find a recipe to make my own online, I made my own using facts I know about the mock crab I get at the grocery store:
1. It's made of whitefish.
2. It's firm, sweet, and buttery. 
3. Mock lobster and crab are interchangeable. 

I used cod, I suppose you could use just about any mild white fish. I used a little food coloring to give it 'the look':

It's not exactly the same, but it's great for recipes like crab rangoon or lobster mac n' cheese. You could probably even mix it with some mayo and throw it on a bun for a makeshift lobster roll. 

Mock Imitation Crab

1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt 
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp vinegar
3-5 drops red food coloring
6oz whitefish

Combine water, sugar, salt, butter, vinegar, and food coloring in a small baking dish. You should have enough liquid to cover the bottom of the dish, adjust as needed. Place fish in dish and cover. Bake at 300 for 45 minutes, 60 if frozen. Do not flip at any time -- you want the pink-to-white gradient. 
Transfer the cooked fish to a plate, discard liquid and allow fish to cool. Flake it with your hands into desired pieces. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Must Have Hot Wings

I love a nice plate of chicken wings. Everyone has their preference; some like the whole wing, some like non traditional sauces, some bake, some fry, fresh, frozen, ranch, blue cheese...
I like wing parts. I like traditional buffalo sauce and lots of it. I like my wings crispy and thoroughly cooked. I don't want to do a lot of work, and I do want a lot of flavor. This is how I do mine. 
(Note: When you cook frozen wings for this length of time, they shrink a lot, about 50%. I like to cook them for a good long time so there's no greasy/gummy surprises. The butter in the sauce more than makes up for the lost fat.) 
Start with a bag of frozen wing sections. They're about $10 at the grocery store, and a bag holds 40-50, so it's a good deal.
You'll also need:
A baking sheet
Cooking spray
Garlic powder
A microwave/oven safe dish, like Pyrex
Hot pepper sauce, like Frank's Red Hot
Celery and ranch or blue cheese, if desired

Preheat the oven to 400, maybe 425. My oven runs hot, so I set to 400. 
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Arrange desired amount of wings evenly, I can easily eat a dozen by myself... ;)
Spray the wings with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bake the frozen seasoned wings for 40 minutes.
While the wings are baking, microwave equal parts hot sauce and butter until the butter is melted. For a dozen wings, 1/4 cup each is a good amount. Stir and set aside. 
Transfer cooked wings to dish of sauce, stir to coat, and pop the dish in the oven for 10 minutes. If you have the patience, flip them and cook in the sauce for another ten minutes. Serve with celery and ranch or blue cheese if you like. 
And, lots of paper towels.
We're not fancy here. :)