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Friday, November 20

Crispy wok-fried chile chicken

Egg white, beaten
1 large
Cornstarch
1/3 cup
Soy sauce
2 teaspoons
Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
2 teaspoons
Oil, toasted sesame
1 teaspoon
Salt, kosher
1 ¾ teaspoons
Chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, cut into ¾-inch pieces
1 pound
Flour, white rice
1 cup
Oil, canola
2 cups
Chiles, dried red Chinese
1 ½ ounces
Peppercorns, Sichuan
1 tablespoon
Ginger, peeled, minced
2 teaspoons
Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon
Scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
8
Sugar
1 teaspoon
Baby spinach & arugula leaves
1 cup
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the egg white, cornstarch, soy sauce, wine, oil, and 1-teaspoon salt. 
  2. Add the chicken, turn to coat, and let stand for 15 minutes. 
  3. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and transfer to a large bowl. 
  4. Add the flour, and toss to coat, separating the pieces of chicken as necessary. 
  5. Transfer the chicken to a colander, and shake well to remove any excess flour. 
  6. In a wok, heat the oil to 300°F. 
  7. Add the chiles, and fry until bring red and plump, about 15 seconds. 
  8. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chiles to another large bowl. 
  9. Heat the oil to 350°F. 
  10. Add half of the chicken, and fry over high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, crisp, and cooked through, about 4 minutes. 
  11. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to the bowl with the chiles. 
  12. Repeat with the remaining chicken. 
  13. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons oil from the wok. 
  14. Add the peppercorns, ginger, and garlic, and stir-fry over moderate heat until softened but not browned, about 30 seconds. 
  15. Add the scallions, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. 
  16. Add the chicken, chiles, sugar, and ¾-teaspoon salt, and stir-fry until hot, about 1 to 2 minutes. 
  17. Stir in the spinach and arugula leaves until wilted, then transfer to a bowl; serve immediately. 
Recipe mildly adapted from Food&Wine Magazine, December 2015

Triple-layer sour cream chocolate cake

Cake
Flour, cake
3 cups +
Chocolate, unsweetened, finely chopped
9 ounces
Tea*, strong black, freshly brewed
2 cups
Vanilla extract
1 tablespoon
Eggs, room temperature
4 large
Oil, canola
1 cup
Sour cream, room temperature
1 cup
Sugar, granulated
3 cups
Baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons
Cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon
Salt, fine sea
1 teaspoon
Ganache
Cream, heavy
1 ½ cups
Butter, unsalted, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 ½ cups
Sugar
½ cup
Salt, fine sea
½ teaspoon
Chocolate, semisweet, finely chopped
1 ½ pounds
Tea, strong black, freshly brewed
1/3 cup
Vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons
Cranberries
Cranberries, fresh
1 cup
Water
½ cup
Sugar, granulated
½ cup +
Cake
  1. Preheat to 375°F, and position the racks in the center and lower thirds. 
  2. Butter three 9-by-2-inch round cake pans, and line with parchment paper. 
  3. Butter the paper, and dust the pans with flour; tap out excess flour. 
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate with the tea and vanilla; let stand for 2 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is melted. 
  5. In another medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil until pale yellow, then whisk in the sour cream. 
  6. Gradually whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth. 
  7. In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the flour with the sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; mix well. 
  8. At medium speed, beat in the wet ingredients in three batches until just incorporated. 
  9. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat until the batter is smooth. 
  10. Pour the batter evenly into the pans; gently tap the pans on the counter to release any air bubbles. 
  11. Bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; shift the pans halfway through baking. 
  12. Let the cakes cool completely, then carefully invert onto a rack, and peel off the parchment paper. 
Ganache
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, butter, sugar, and salt just to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. 
  2. Remove from heat, and add the chocolate; let stand for 2 minutes, then stir smooth. 
  3. Stir in the tea and vanilla. 
  4. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Transfer one cake to a cake stand. 
  6. Spoon one-fourth of the ganache on top and spread in an even layer. 
  7. Top with another cake and one-fourth of the ganache. 
  8. Cover with the third cake, and spread the remaining ganache over the top and side of the cake. 
Cranberries
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar, and bring to a boil; cover and set aside to cool completely. 
  2. Toss the cranberries in the simple syrup, drain, and then chill for about 15 minutes. 
  3. Roll the cranberries in the some sugar to coat, spread out on a plate, and then chill for an hour before serving. 
* For my brisk brew, I used 6 tablespoons of PGTips with 1200ml water.
Recipe adapted from Food&Wine Magazine, December 2015