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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Simple Recipes

Sometimes the simple recipes are just as fabulous as the complicated ones.  The chicken wings we made for the ARC of Indiana fundraiser.  Or the tomato, zucchini, yellow squash gratin I made to use up extra produce. 

Let's start with the chicken wings.  For years I made La Brea Tar Pit Chicken Wings.  They are fabulous.  Then, I found A Taste of Palm Springs and a wing recipe with sherry, brown sugar and soy sauce.  Our grandkids were coming over for a weekend.  I knew son David would want to watch football so I did an appetizer bar for lunch.  Everyone devoured the wings.  Since then I've made them half a dozen times.  My brother's mother-in-law declared she had never eaten a chicken wing and promptly demolished half a dozen.  They're that good.  The last time I made them was for a fund raiser.  You take 75-100 bites and folks wander around and nibble.  We sold out in 15 minutes.  Yup, 15 minutes. 

Next up is the gratin.  There's a produce stand down the road.  They have a $1 per basket close out shelf.  That's where I start.  I went in looking for tomatoes and wound up spending $4.  Six large tomatoes, eight yellow squash, seven peaches plus four plums and the most overloaded basket EVER - with seventeen bananas.  Yes, you read that correctly.  SEVENTEEN.  In addition to the jalapenos, goat cheese and cherry tomatoes to use up, I now had a full bag of other produce.  Research time., New York Times, recipes I've scanned in at home, recipes I've scanned in at the office.  Some really great recipes.  But, what to make for an actual dinner in an hour?  Had to be quick.  Gourmet's Quick Kitchen had this wonderful gratin recipe.  It called for grated parmesan on top.  But, my elbow hurt from all of the work on the computer at the office.  So, I chopped off a piece about 1" long and 1/2" square.  And, proceeded to chop the heck out of it.  That turned out to be the difference between a four and a five.  Remember, we score dishes one thru five.  This one was a five. 

Bananas.  Still had that mountain of bananas to work my way through.  And, I'd gotten some apples from our Imperfect Produce box.  There was a recipe for a banana, apple, walnut Waldorf salad.  Sounded perfect. 

Still needed a protein since I'd not had any all day.  Shrimp poached in white wine would be perfect.

Here are the recipes...

Taste of Palm Springs Chicken Wings

5 lbs chicken wings (fyi - the Costco wings are pre-cut but there are only 12 per pack with three packs for 5 lbs - the recipe says it makes 50-60 pieces.  It does not.)
1 c brown sugar, packed
3/4 c sherry
1/2 t dry mustard
1 c soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced

Separate the wings into two pieces after you've cut off the tips.  Bake the wings at 350 for thirty minutes.  I usually use a piece of aluminum foil on the half sheet so the clean up is easier!  While the wings are starting, heat the sauce ingredients.  Pour the sauce over the wings and bake for another two hours.  You want the wings to be totally glazed.  There may be a bit of sauce left but there shouldn't be much.

Tomato Zucchini Gratin

1 large tomato
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
6 large leaves basil
1 t minced garlic
2 T olive oil
2 T freshly grated parmesan cheese


Cut the zucchini and yellow squash into 1/4" slices.  I got about 11-12 slices from each.  Cut the tomato into 1/4" slices then cut those in half.  Drizzle one tablespoon of the olive oil in a 9" pie plate.  Top that with the garlic.  Then layer over the vegetables.  The recipe called for one layer but I already had a baking dish for two so that's what I did.  On the first layer, sprinkle half the basil and half the parmesan.  Ditto the second.  Then drizzle the gratin with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Bake at 425 for 35 minutes. 

Apple Banana Waldorf Salad


1 t orange zest
1 T seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 c mayonnaise
dash of nutmeg
1 apple, cored and diced
1 banana, peeled and sliced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted

Mix the orange zest, vinegar, mayonnaise and nutmeg.  Either toss everything together or make a deconstructed version like I did.