It’s May? I haven’t been on here for awhile. Since I started feeling better, I’ve been catching up with so many things that I wanted to do. And there has been a lot. So many exciting things have been kicking off that I haven’t had as much time to blog, but all of the exciting things relate to the blog in some way (except for one), so I am happy to be able to share all of these things with you now that I am settling into my new routine and adventures. There are about four or five things I want to share over the course of the next few recipes, but I will start with this one: I will be working with Foodsaver to create a 12 recipe series by Afrodite’s Kitchen soon to be available in Foodsaver stores throughout Cyprus, on their website, facebook page and wherever Afrodite’s Kitchen appears (here and on Cypriot & Proud). I hope through the recipes that my ethos comes through: I believe that anyone can cook. I don’t believe in fussy recipes. Or ones that don’t end up working. Just those easily done & tasty. Easily Delicious. So I am very excited about this. One of the main reasons is that Foodsaver has long been known to me as the food store to pick up some fantastic meats and seafood products not found elsewhere on the island: fresh Black Angus beef, whole salmon fillets and even New Zealand lamb, and many more. I have to say that I am excited to be using these Foodsaver ingredients to make some of the international dishes I miss the most that are harder to find in restaurants, etc. in Cyprus. Like sticky, awesome, sweet & spicy chicken wings. Because it is May, and I am already drinking frappes and contemplating the beach, I have started inviting friends over for porch-night casual dinners. I decided to make these chicken-wings with a carob and dried fig barbecue sauce and a savoury blue-cheese dip. They are easy to make and great snack food.
The sauce is tangy. It is both sweet and spicy which I like, but not overwhelmingly spicy. The carob adds a subtle richer flavour to a classic barbecue sauce and the dried figs add a bit of sweetness and help to thicken up the sauce once blended together. I added some salt, pepper and paprika to the chicken wings themselves as they roast for some added flavour. The wings are messy to eat, but just make sure plenty of napkins are on the table.
The blue cheese dip is really great not just with the wings, but with fresh vegetables. So I can imagine it coming in useful for kids’ parties and the like. And serving a side of corn on the cob makes this meal totally come together. Easy, no fuss, and delicious. OK, that’s it from me for now, I hope you enjoy these wings, the great weather and more outdoor get-togethers with friends!
for the chicken wings
1 Pack Foodsaver Toulips (I used 10 pieces and saved the rest for another time)
1 Pack Foodsaver Drumettes (I used 10 pieces and saved the rest for another time)
a little Minerva olive oil (1 tsp to 1 tbs) for frying the onion and garlic cloves
1/2 finely chopped onion
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp grainy Reine de Dijon mustard (available at Foodsaver)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
2 tbs tomato paste (full tablespoons)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dark brown sugar (a little less if you don’t like things sweet)
2 finely chopped small dried figs
1 to 1.5 tsp carob syrup
1 Pack Foodsaver Sweet Corn on the Cob (if you want to serve the wings with an easy-side or as an after-thought)
1. In a saucepan over medium high heat, fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 1 minute. Add the dried figs, mustard seeds, cayenne pepper and paprika and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Then add the dijon mustard, white balsamic vinegar, salt, tomato paste, honey, brown sugar and carob syrup. Let cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and let cool. Then pour the mixture in a food processor and mix until smooth. Will keep in the fridge for a few days.
2. Preheat the oven to 175C. Pat the chicken wings dry with a paper towel to remove any excess liquid. Place on top of the baking sheet on a baking tray. Lightly sprinkle salt, pepper, paprika, and flour on both sides of the chicken wings.
3. Place in the oven for about 25 minutes. Take out and turn each of the chicken wings. Place the turned chicken wings un-coated back in the oven for another 20 minutes until they are crispy. Then remove the wings from the oven, liberally brush them with the thick sauce, and place them back in the oven for another 5 minutes so that the sauce becomes sticky.
4. Remove and brush with any leftover sauce and enjoy.
for the blue cheese dip
1/4 cup Castello blue cheese (Danablu available at Foodsaver)
1/4 cup sour cream
1/8 cup mayonnaise (I used Develey)
1 very small finely chopped garlic
a liberal squeeze of fresh lemon juice
a dash of Worcestershire sauce
1. Mix together all the ingredients in a small bowl and place in the fridge until needed.