Comfort Food and Easy Entertaining

As a private chef, caterer and cooking instructor I am often asked "What do you enjoy cooking when you're at home on a weeknight or entertaining guests at your table?" I started this blog to answer that question. Here I will share with all of you the recipes that I find delicious and comforting. Many of the recipes are my own versions of classic dishes, some are contemporary twists on old ideas, and some are discoveries I made while perusing my grandmother’s vast collection of cookbooks dating back to the early 1900’s. Please enjoy these videos. I have also included links to some of the published articles I have written recently. Please feel free to comment here or email me directly with any questions, comments or general thoughts. My email address and information on my catering, private chef and private cooking classes can be found on my website:

Thai Chicken Wings

If you love good Thai food this one is for you. Serve it with my recipe for Glass Noodle Salad (found in the column of recipes to your left) and with cool cucumber sticks and cilantro leaves to tame the heat.

• sea salt and fresh ground pepper
• 1 cup fish sauce
• 1 cup maple syrup
• 1/2 cup orange juice
• 8 garlic cloves, minced (divided)
• 3 pounds chicken wings
• 3 tablespoons butter
• zest and juice of 1 orange
• 1/4 cup sambal oelek chili paste (more or less to taste)
• oil for frying
• 1-2 Thai chilis, finely minced (optional, for additional heat)
• 1 cup chopped cilantro, garnish

1. Season the wings with a pinch of sea salt and a crank of fresh ground pepper. In a large bowl whisk together the fish sauce, maple syrup, orange juice, and half of the garlic cloves. Add the wings and toss to coat. Transfer the wings and marinade to a plastic bag and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight (I’d go overnight or as long as you can).
2. Drain the wings over a medium bowl to reserve the marinade. Heat the butter over medium heat until melted and add the remaining garlic; cook until the garlic is golden brown, being careful not to allow it to burn. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the reserved marinade, orange zest and juice, chili paste, and minced Thai chili if using. Continue to cook the dressing until it reduces to a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes, and then remove it from the heat. Place the warm sauce in a large bowl.
3. Heat the oil to 350F. Working in batches, fry the wings until crispy, about 5 minutes per batch. Drain on a cooling rack set over paper towels, allowing the oil to drip off. When all of the wings have been fried, toss them in the dressing (you may need to work in batches). Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

*After the frying step you may also hold the wings in a warm oven–this helps if you are doing large batches. Just be aware of drying out the wings or losing crispness if held for a long period of time.

**For additional sweetness in the sauce, palm sugar may be added to taste.

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