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Apple Brined Fried Chicken

Monday, 05 November 2012 11:40

This recipe is derived from a combination of different sources.  The idea of the cider came from Sunny Anderson's recipe.

Apple brined fried chicken


  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 (4 1/2 to 5-pound) chicken, cut into pieces
  • Water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (Frank's RedHot)
  • 1 Tbs freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs granulated garlic
  • 2 Tbs onion powder
  • 3 Tbs paprika
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 quarts oil, for frying


  • In a large bowl, whisk together cider and 1/4 cup salt until salt dissolves. Add chicken pieces and enough water to coat and soak at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Chicken should be completely submerged in brine.
  • In a large pot, heat vegetable shortening until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 325 degrees F. Line a sheet tray with a wire rack.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, 1/3 cup water, hot sauce a pinch of salt and black pepper.
  • In another bowl mix together flour and cornstarch, 1/2 the garlic, 1/2 the onion powder, 1/2 the paprika, and 1/2 the remaining salt and pepper.
  • Drain chicken from brine and season the chicken with the remaining garlic, onion, paprika and pepper.
  • Dip the chicken first in egg mixture then in flour mixture to coat. Set on wire rack to let coating sit for 10 minutes.
  • Fry chicken until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the piece. Remove from oil to drain on paper towel-lined plate.


  • Place a wire rack on a sheet pan, and preheat the oven to 350.  Keep chicken hot by placing it on the wire rack in the center of the oven while frying the next batch.
  • A little salt to taste when the chicken comes out of the fryer gives it that extra pop of flavor.

Scott Pollacek - about me


Buttermilk Biscuits

Monday, 05 November 2012 11:15

We have tried many different biscuit recipes, and until Brenda's boss told her about Bakewell Cream (we found the Bakewell Cream at Hannaford), nothing came out the way we wanted them.  Using the Bakewell Cream, these are nearly fool proof.  We have even made the dough, and put the unbaked biscuits in the freezer to make at a later time.  They are great!

Buttermilk Biscuits


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Bakewell Cream
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk


  • Preheat the oven to 475°. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the Bakewell Cream, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut in the vegetable shortening until the mixture resembles small peas. Add the buttermilk and stir with a fork until a dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead 3 or 4 times folding the dough over onto itself. Roll out the dough 3/4 inch thick. Using a 2-inch-round biscuit cutter or glass, cut out 12 biscuits. 
  • Transfer the biscuits to a baking sheet, and bake in the bottom third of the oven for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the biscuits sit in the hot oven, without opening the door, for about 10 minutes longer, or until golden and cooked through.
  • Transfer the biscuits to a basket and serve immediately.


  • When cutting the biscuits push the cutter straight down then twist.  Twisting as you push down might keep the biscuits from rising completely.
  • When the biscuit come out of the oven brush the tops with some melted butter for an even better flavor.

Scott Pollacek - about me


French Onion Soup

Saturday, 20 October 2012 14:46

Today Brenda and I took the dogs for a short hike up a nearby mountain.  When we returned we had worked up a pretty good appetite and at this time of the year with the cooler weather there is nothing better than a bowl of French Onion Soup.  Here's the recipe we love:



  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 large onions, sliced and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 Tbs Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts beef broth
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 1/2 pound grated Gruyere or Swiss


  • Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, Italian seasoning, parsley and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes.
  • Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.
  • Add the beef broth, Worcestershire, bouillon and water, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  • When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup in bowls float the baguette slices on top sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere or Swiss and broil until bubbly and golden brown.

Strawberry Tres Leche Shortcake

Friday, 08 June 2012 20:48

Brenda found this recipe for tres leche shortcake last week so we gave it a try.  Wow!  what a difference the super moist tres leche cake makes over a traditionally dry shortcake. This recipe is definitely worth trying.


For the Shortcake:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

For the Tres Leche:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk

strawberry tres leche shortcake


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8 x 8 pan, then line with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients.  Place the softened butter and the sugar in a mixing bowl. Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each until just combined. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk in three stages. Mix until each addition is well incorporated, taking care not to over beat.
  • Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Place on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and the center springs back.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then take it out let it cool some more on a cooling rack.
  • Once completely cool, cut the cake into 9 squares.  Using a wooden skewer, poke holes all over the surface of the cake. This will help the cake absorb the tres leche mixture more evenly.
  • For the tres leche, combine the milk, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk in a bowl. Dip each piece of cake into the tres leche mixture.  Gently flip the cake to make sure that both sides have evenly absorbed the liquid.  If you soak it for too long, the cake will be too soggy and fall apart.  But if you don’t soak it long enough, the cake will not be moist enough.
  • Place the soaked cake onto the baking sheet until you’re ready to assemble the dessert. This step can be done ahead of time, just wrap well and refrigerate.
  • Using a metal spatula, transfer one of the pieces of cake onto a dessert plate.  Pile on sliced strawberries, top with fresh whipped cream and drizzle with some strawberry syrup.

Scott Pollacek - about me


Cinco de Mayo 2012

Saturday, 05 May 2012 12:22

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  of course we are making some new recipes to celebrate.  Isn't that what it's about?  The pico de gallo is all prepped  and chilling in the fridge fo r a little while, the poblanos are roasted, and waiting for their stuffing to become chile rellenos.  Of course there will be some margaritas, and the main course... beef enchiladas.  It's a good day.

pico de gallo prep

roasted poblanos

Scott Pollacek - about me

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