Sunday, January 31, 2010

Taste: Lemon Pepper Dry-Rubbed BBQ Chicken Wings

Just in time for the Super Bowl, I was introduced to a new way of making some serious, kick-ass grilled chicken wings. My boy, Mr. Hand, wanted to flaunt his grilling skills and I let him go at it. I must say, as a self-proclaimed amateur grillmaster, the wings were top notch, possibly some of the best I've ever had.

He first applied a lemon-pepper dry rub to the wings and let them marinade for about 30 minutes. Once grilled with a nice crust, he basted them on low heat for another 30 minutes. (Seemingly long, it was perfect on the inside, crispy and sticky on the outside). Though he made it with both chicken wings and regular thighs, the wings-style BBQ wings taste the best (less meat, more sauce). We decided to pair this with some of T&J's Mac and Cheese and simple salad to balance it all out. It's time to grill and chill.

Lemon Pepper Dry-Rubbed BBQ Chicken Wings

Prep Time: 30 Mins.
Cooking Time: 30 Mins.
Serves: 4

3 lbs. chicken wings
3 tbsp of lemon-pepper seasoning
1/4 cup honey
3 cups Mr. Stubbs BBQ Sauce

Rinse the wings under cold water and pat dry. *NOTE: You want to make sure that the chicken is very dry before you add anything to it as this will ensure you a crispy outside skin. Place the chicken wings in a large plastic bag and add the lemon-pepper seasoning. Close the bag and shake, getting the wings nicely coated with all the seasoning. Place in the fridge and let it marinade for at least 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the honey-BBQ sauce by heating the 1/4 cup of honey in a microwave for 10-15 seconds. What you're trying to do here is to make the honey easier to mix into the BBQ sauce. Once heated, combine the honey and BBQ sauce and set aside.

Once your chicken has marinated, preheat the grill on high. Once your grill is ready to go, reduce the heat to medium-low and place the wings on the grill, skin side down. Grill for about 3-5 minutes, or until the skin side has a nice crust on it. Flip the wings and baste the wings. You'll repeat the flip and baste process for about 20 more minutes.

Serve the wings hot off the grill with a side of the T&J's Mac and Cheese and salad. And throw in a nicely poured Guinness or glass of your favorite wine.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tinker: The iPad - Apple's newest toy

It's finally been released. And you can get one soon starting at only $499.00. Check it out!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tinker: You Play To Win The Game

My boy, Alfredo, forwarded this to me and I had to post it. We've all seen Coors Light commercials during football season with the coaches' post-game interviews...hilarious. I have to admit that football is probably my favorite American sport. As a die hard Steeler fan, I was hoping for a Colts vs. Vikings Super Bowl, but I'll take the Saints to win their 1st ring. In honor of the finale of the NFL season: You Play To Win The Game.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Taste: Roasted Bone-In Chicken with Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Roasted chicken can be one of those meals where you royally **** up and it comes out tasting like cardboard, or even worse, undercooked. But after dozens of times making roasted chicken, I've realized it's really simple to make perfectly cooked and amazingly juicy roasted chicken. It really comes down to cooking time and, in my opinion, the cast iron skillet. Pair this with old school, simple mashed potatoes, and you've got yourself a killer meal with very little effort.

*NOTE: Mashed potatoes are courtesy of my good friend-to-be, Tyler Florence.

Roasted Chicken with Rosemary and Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 60 Mins.
Cooking Time: 35 Mins.
Serves: 2

2 Bone-in chicken breast with skin
3 russet potatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 lemon, halved
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
2 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Bay leaf
2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Trim the chicken of any unwanted fat, but leave the skin on. Rinse under cold water and pat dry. *NOTE: You want to make sure that the chicken is very dry before you add anything to it as this will ensure you a crispy outside skin. Drizzle the chicken breasts on both sides with the extra virgin olive oil making sure you rub them to lightly coat them. Generously sprinkle the chicken with the fresh rosemary, juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper, rubbing them again to get a good coating all over. Set aside and let it marinade for at least 1 hour (optional, however).

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. I like to drizzle some extra virgin olive oil in the pan and wipe it with a paper towel. A good way to see if the pan is hot enough is to flick some water on it and it should sizzle. Start cooking the chicken breasts by placing them skin side down for approximately 10 minutes. In the end, what you are looking for is a nice, golden brown skin. Turn the chicken over, cook for another 3 minutes, and then place in the oven for 30 minutes or until the it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

In the meantime, peel and cut the potatoes into 2-inch cubes and place in a pot with water. Salt the water and place the bay leaf in the water. Boil the potatoes until soft and then drain well. Mash the potatoes with the heavy cream and butter. Fold in the chives once mashed and set aside.

Once the chicken is done, take it out of the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Plate the chicken with the mashed potatoes and serve with a simple salad and glass of wine...or two.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tinker: Got Groupons?

Let's face it, the economy has sucked for what seems like an eternity now, and we're always looking for bargains (at least I am). Even if I don't use them, it's still fun to find them and pass them on to your friends. Welcome and embrace: Groupon.

Groupon features 1 deal each day in every city. You can buy the Groupon that day if enough people buy the deal (hence, collective buying power). If enough people buy the Groupon that day, then everyone who wants it, gets it. But if enough people don't buy it, then the Groupon falls through. It's a great way for businesses to get customers through the door, even if they're selling their service or product at such a deep discount because the probably of some customers returning is high. As long as they break even, everyone wins. Check it out - you and your friends are bound to score an awesome deal.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Listen: La Blogotheque

Peter, a good buddy of mine who seems to always find some serious hidden gems, recently introduced me to La Blogotheque's Take Away Shows (check it out here). One of the coolest sites I've ever visited, I can get lost in here for days. Basically, you find yourself watching these impromptu performances by great indie bands on the streets of Paris. What really strikes me, though, is the unique quality of videos that these are shot in; it truly is a work of art. Some of my favorites bands and performers such as Jose Gonzalez, Phoenix, Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire and Cold War Kids (recently enlightened by Butter My Jammy) totally rock the streets and it's a spectacle. Although not a huge fan, I must say I really enjoyed Jason Mraz's performance of "Live High". Check it out, listen and enjoy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Taste: Kogi's taking a left turn - look out!

If you haven't had a Kogi taco before, then you've certainly heard of it. If neither applies to you, then you've probably been living under a rock. Kogi, the highly-proclaimed food truck that took the novelty of "food trucks" to a whole new level and made it hip, has amassed tens of thousands of Twitter followers tracking down their lunch & dinner destinations for the day. Essentially, Kogi has been able to blend the food-service industry with cutting-edge Web 2.0 technology beautifully to really modernize how we eat. Personally, I don't follow Kogi on Twitter (sorry Kogi), but rather, stumble upon it randomly at times. I won't wait in line if it's ridiculously long (which it usually is), but I guess the handful of times when I've had it the food gods were just on my side. Nonetheless, it's great Mexican-Korean fusion food that you must try at least once if your visiting or live in L.A.

Anyways, I stumbled upon this article on and thought I'd share it with you. Kogi is taking a left turn and going from food trucks to the traditional Brick and Mortar (B&M) establishment. There's no hard open date set, nor a name for the restaurant, but it's not going to have the name "Kogi" in it. It'll be interesting to see whether or not patrons will embrace it as they have with Kogi, given that "Kogi" is a known brand name. Seemingly they'll still operate the 4 Kogi trucks which have brought them the success thus far, and in my opinion, certainly should. The cool thing is that Kogi's added a 5th car, which Scion custom-made for them, fully stocked with a grill, sink and fridge. Oh, and Scion footed the bill for it. Check it out - pretty cool.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tinker: Make an iPhone App? No Problem

You've read about it before - a guy develops an iPhone game called Trism in his spare time, sells it through the App Store and banks $250,000. I don't know about you, but I've spent countless hours trying to come up with an iPhone app. Believe it or not, I have a legitimate list, too, though not long by any means. In the end, it's always come down to 2 things: who the hell will develop this and how much will it cost me?

There's a great source out there now that allows you to achieve this. It's really cool and it's called AppMakr. As long as you have your idea and website content, a few graphic files and $199, you'll be quickly on your techie way in having your own iPhone app that can be sold through iTunes. Have your own iPhone App AND make some dough? Way too cool.