queue the Doors, Mr. Mojo Risin sending a message to his beautiful friend, all that… yup, finally, a little over a year after starting this adventure, it is finally over… i am actually typing this post in the international concourse of Incheon Airport in Seoul, waiting to board my plane in a little under an hour. yup, it is most certainly over. well, the seclusion of the 48 feasts, this particular project… but, as i mentioned, the journey continues in my follow-up project, Forever Feasting!
Ok, get ready… here is the lesson that i learned over the last year, the one thing that cooking these 48 feasts has taught me… ready? suspense is killing me, i’ll tell you that quite honestly. here it is. The food is not the most important thing. i know, crazy talk, considering this is a cooking blog but the overwhelming lesson that i have learned is that no matter how perfect the ingredient, no matter how flawless the cooking technique, regardless of the precision timing of the preparation, none of it really matters without the people you care about. meals are just empty calories that keep you alive without the company of others. the meals, at the end of it all, are more about the people than they are about the food.
and so, for the capstone to this project, i decided to go with a twin bookend to the feast before the feast, the first meal documented in this blog… that meal was prepared for friends and family as a farewell on my departure to korea. now, a year and a bit later, i decided the most appropriate messure was to cater my own going away party, one last little treat for the girls of the VIP club and a bit of mindless self indulgence for me…
The menu is a bit varied on this one, two primary reasons… firstly, i was cupboard cleaning, trying to maximize use of what was in the cabinets to prevent avoidable waste. secondly, being the nice guy that i am, i asked the girls at the VIP what they would like me to cook, no limits, whatever, just name it… you can imagine my disappointment when the first request was for fried rice. a bit pedestrian for my tastes and being in korea, not exactly exotic. with some pushing, i managed to also get a request for hotwings, pasta and broccoli cheese soup. i added to those three type of bread (gotta use up that flour!) and there you have it, a full days cooking and quite a meal.
pausing for plane ride from Seoul to Tokyo, will continue to update this after i get network access again, enjoy the work in progress and ignore the rough notesw before, since i am in transit, i need to keep things somewhere…
Chicken Wings are one of my absolute favorite “bar foods”. they are convenient, easy to make and have an infinite variety of flavor possibilities. i owe a great debt to Alton Brown for my chicken wing prep method, it was he that first showed me the method of steaming the wings to defat them prior to the roasting step. because of my space limitations in my far away kitchen, i used a roasting pan with a rack elevated over an inch or so of water for the first cooking step. this method works admirably well and even given the options of stove top steaming, i am likely to continue doing it this way. For this meal, i made ten pounds of wings with two different flavor options. i decided on doing a mango pepper wing and a traditional Tabasco flavored wing. the first step for both is obviously the same, steam the wings in the aforementioned roasting pan in batches in a hot oven for about 30 minutes per batch. cool the wings. For the actual cooking stage, roast them in a dry pan at 375 for about 20 minutes, turning once. if they aren’t browning up to your satisfaction, well, cook them a bit longer
The Mango Pepper wings: this recipe resulted in my absolute favorite quote of the year. overheard after someone got their first taste of these fiery treats: “Those wings are a violation of the Geneva Convention…”. ok, i did go out of my way to make them a bit on the hot side. to my credit, almost all of them were gone by the end of the evening so they must have had some redeeming qualities. it was a source of constant amusement to see people’s reactions when the first taste gave them a little sweetness and then the fire kicked in and they rushed for bread or beverage. yes, i am easily amused.
(still updating, give me a break, back with my family and actually have a life again… i promise to complete the final entries in the next 48 hours)
-Black Olive and Pepper
-Jalapeno and Tomato
-Black Forest Ham and Gruyere