Well, in my never-ending search for things to do, i have became the captain of a pool team for a local bar. We aren’t that good, truth to be told but we enjoy playing and there is a bit of beer involved. As such, i have spent a bit of time in our home bar, the VIP club. I like it there because it is devoid of the constant pressure that is prevalent in most other places downtown. They have girls that work there but they are friendly without being overbearing and they respect the fact that we are there to drink beer and play pool, not to chase after them. However, being a frequent flyers at the VIP, Eddie and i have established a friendly relationship with the owner and the employees. and how better to show your appreciation for good service and friendly attitude than to make a bit of food.
At some point, i believe that i really need to get Alton Brown a fruit basket. I know that i have a lot to learn but it seems like every time i turn around i am using a technique that i learned from Alton off of his excellent program, Good Eats. Please, if anyone bumps into him, let him know that my hat is off and he has my appreciation. For this particular meal, as i was focused on bar food, i chose the quintessential bar food, chicken wings. The lesson learned from Alton is that if you steam the wings first, you cook out enough of the fat that you won’t end up with a smoking mess when you try to broil them to crisp them up. It’s a valuable lesson and i have used it to very good effect several times now. I have my limitations here as mentioned in the past so given my lack of steamer pot, i went out on a limb and used that ever so useful tool of the bain marie and they still turned out great. same basic principle but the wings did dry out just a tad more than they would in a steamer pot. not enough to stress about so if you happen to be stuck in south korea without a steamer pot, feel free to give it a shot.
I decided to make three different types of wings because it’s dirt simple to make multiple sauces and just toss a portion of the cooked wings with it. It would be almost lazy to make a single sauce but if that’s your thing, go for it. You can make just about any flavor combination you like, just cook it down to a slightly thickened sauce and toss the wings in the sauce after broiling them, i use a large tupperware container because its nice and contained and i can shake the hell out of it to coat the wings. Today i opted for Sesame Ginger, Mango Habenero and traditional Tabasco and Garlic. In a slight change, i am not posting any pictures of the food itself but instead interweaving pictures of the people who ate the food. I hope you enjoy the slight deviation. Eric, Brad, Yoon and Eddie shoot on the VIP team with me. Not pictured are Rob and Jon, Rob went home to early and Jon didn’t come out because of prior engagements.
i cheated a little and used a mango habanero sauce i found on the net with slight modifications. i upped the habaneros to 4 because i wanted just a little (ok alot) more kick. i also upped the garlic to 4 cloves because garlic is good and good for you.
Mango Habanero Barbecue Sauce
Source: Recipesecret / Kitchenwitch
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 habanero pepper, diced with seeds and ribs removed
1 teaspoon diced garlic
2 cups diced mango
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Place a 1-quart saucepan over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and habanero pepper and cook until the onions are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with the lime juice and vinegar. Bring the pan to a boil then reduce the heat to medium. Add the sugar, mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt to the pan. Continue to cook the barbeque sauce until the mangoes are very soft, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the sauce to cool for about 15 minutes. You can leave the sauce chunky like this, or puree the contents of the pan in a blender on low speed for 1 minute, if desired. Reserve the sauce until ready to use. Sauce will keep up to 10 days in a non-reactive air-tight container in the refrigerator.
For the Sesame Ginger Sauce, i mixed and cooked down the following ingredients until it was slightly syrupy. after pouring the sauce over the wings, i sprinkled on about a 1/4 cup of toasted white sesame seed (dry toast them in a hot pan until they start to brown and smell nutty).
1 cup Soy sauce
1/2 cup White distilled vinegar
3 tablespoons Honey
thumb sized piece of ginger, finely minced
2 tablespoons Oriental sesame oil
For the traditional Style, i melted 4 tbsp butter in a pan and added 6 cloves of minced garlic. pour in 1 cup of Tabasco and cook down just a bit. Toss with the wings. a twist or two of black pepper is nice to finish them off.
as i was worried about the wings being hot when i got them to the bar, i sealed them in disposable aluminum cake pans with foil and left them in a 275 degree oven until just before i was ready to leave. this both kept them warm and cooked the sauce into the wings a bit.
I stand by the fact that one of the nicest things you can do for people is to feed them. Good food is made better by the sharing and it was nice to see everyone happy and well fed. i don’t want to spoil them so i won’t do it too often (stray cats and all that) but i will definitely make some food for the bar at some point in the future.