Recipe for Buffalo Wings

Buffalo Wings
Anchor Bar Buffalo Wing Sauce
Anchor Bar Buffalo Wing Sauce

In recent years, my sister and I have decided to exchange a couple of small themed gifts with a $25 limit for the holidays instead of the usual barrage of presents. We both have two kids each and Christmas is really for them so the adult gifts aren’t as important. We came up with the idea to try to save a little money but it’s become one of my favorite gifts to buy and receive each Christmas. It’s a lot more fun to come up with a creative gift on a budget. This year the theme was where we live. We had to choose gifts that had something to do with where we lived which for me is New Jersey and for her is Buffalo, NY.

Now I hope she enjoys her The Sopranos Family Cookbook: As Compiled by Artie Bucco and that package of Taylor Ham but the bottle of Hot Wing sauce from the Anchor Bar that she bought was one of the tastiest gifts I’ve ever received.

Wings are a quick and easy meal in my house. We make a marinade of Franks Hot sauce and butter and we either buy wingettes or I’ll cut the wings up myself. The butter part of the recipe was something I learned from my brother-in-law. He’s a professional New York Giants Tailgater who packs a turkey fryer and a sofa into a truck for every Sunday home game. Apparently butter and the deep fryer is part of the standard recipe for buffalo wings while in the parking lot of Giants Stadium but I’ll pass on the fryer and use the BBQ.

Recipe For Buffalo Wings
Buffalo Wings on the BBQ

The hot sauce to butter ratio is about 3 or 4 to 1. Let the wings marinate at least an hour. Overnight would be best but who wants to cut up chicken wings before going to sleep at night. I’m lucky if I have time to pack a sandwich for work the next day, getting out the cutting board and some raw chicken usually isn’t high on my list of things to things to do after the kids go to bed.

After tasting wings made with Anchor Bar Buffalo Wing Sauce, I may never buy another bottle of Franks hot sauce again. This is what wings are supposed to taste like. We served our authentic New Jersey Buffalo Wings with small bowls of hot sauce and blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Since this year’s gifts were so great, maybe next year the theme should be something to do with food. We seem to buy each other food anyway.

Bacardi Bat Logo

As a big fan of rum, I’ve probably spent way too much time looking at bottles of Bacardi. It’s just something you do when drinking rum punch or a hurricane. But have you ever noticed the Bacardi Bat Logo on the bottle? After a little bit of research I discovered the reason why Bacardi uses a bat logo for it’s rum.

Bacardi Bat Logo
Bacardi Bat Logo

Legend has it that when the founder of Bacardi was looking for a factory to start a distillery, he found a building that had fruit bats living up in the roof. This was considered to be a good omen so he bought the factory.

And then when he was ready to start selling Bacardi Rum, it was his wife who suggested using the bat logo because it was easily recognizable. And since many of their customers were illiterate (this was in Cuba in the late 1800s), it would be easier for them to pick out the bottle that contained, “el ron de murcielagos”, the rum of the bats.

 

Jalapeno Pepper Roaster

Jalapeno Pepper Roaster
Jalapeno Pepper Roaster

Have you ever wondered how to make stuffed jalapeno peppers without all of the stuffing oozing out in the oven or on the BBQ. Well, I did and cleaning up oozed cheese out of a toaster oven was not fun. But once I found this cool Jalapeno Pepper Roaster, I know how it’s done.

Now if you’ve ever had those deep fried breaded jalapeno poppers that you get at restaurants you know they’re delicious but not very healthy. I like to put them in the “You can’t eat them everyday” category. But if you make them roasted style, you can eliminate the deep fryer and the breading.

It’s actually very easy to make roasted jalapeno poppers with this pepper roaster. And it even comes with a tool to help you core the peppers. Just slice off the tops (the side with the stem) and use the corer to dig out the seedy insides.

Now all you have to do is stuff it with something. Cheese is always good but why not live it up a little bit and chop up some onions and sausage to go with it. Bacon is another great ingredient for your stuffing mixture. Be sure to try Cheddar, Monterey Jack or even Mozzarella cheese.

One thing to pay attention to is the size of the holes in this jalapeno pepper roaster. Don’t try to jam giant peppers into these little holes or else they won’t stay in the upright position while you cook them. If you’re picking jalapeno peppers right from your garden then make your selections based on the size. If you let your peppers grow too big, they won’t fit into the holes. The same is true if you’re buying them at the market.

Once you’ve got the peppers stuffed, just pop them into the roaster. It’s made from stainless steel so it’s safe for the grill, the oven or even a smoker. And there’s holes for 36 jalapenos, so invite some friends over.

Monte Cristo Panini

Monte Cristo Panini
Serve the Monte Cristo Panini with Maple Syrup on the side

The Monte Cristo is another great sandwich recipe that you can easily convert into a panini.  I used to love ordering a Monte Cristo as a late night snack at my local diner.  The combination of the sweet French Toast style bread and saltiness of the Ham and Swiss Cheese is great at any time of the day.

Monte Cristo Panini

Ingredients

  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • Pinch Cinnamon
  • 2 slices  Bread
  • 3 slices  Swiss Cheese
  • 3 slices  Ham

Cooking Directions

  1. In a bowl, add the egg, milk, vanilla & cinnamon. Whisk until well mixed. Arrange the Swiss Cheese and Ham on a the two slices of bread to create a sandwich. Dunk the entire sandwich into the egg mixture to coat the bread slices.
  2. Place onto a preheated panini grill and close the lid. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with a bowl of maple syrup for dunking or a serving of fruit jelly.

The Count of Monte Cristo is a classic book that was written by Alexandre Dumas and he had absolutely nothing to do with the Monte Cristo Sandwich.  But if I was locked up in prison for years, the first thing I’d do when I got out would be to fire up the panini grill and make a Monte Cristo Panini.

As usual, there are lots of options when making a Monte Cristo.  Starting with the choice of bread.  Since the bread will basically become French Toast you might way to try a nice egg bread like you’d get on Easter.  Or to make it heartier, go with a sour dough loaf and slice it thick.

Now it’s time for the sandwich part.  Ham and Swiss Cheese are the usual ingredients but it can also be made with Turkey.  Sometimes I have leftover gruyere from when I go on a fondue bender and so I’ll use that for Monte Cristo Panini the next day.  Gruyere is even better than regular Swiss.

Here’s the tricky part about making this sandwich in a panini press.  You can follow the instructions above to coat the entire sandwich with the egg mixture or you can coat one slice of bread and place it on the hot panini grill.  Then quickly add the ham and cheese and then coat the top piece of bread and place it on top. Cook it until it looks nice and crispy.

You can follow this Monte Cristo Recipe or come up with your own.  Either way, it’ll be great.