Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jones Is Thirsty: Vietti "Tre Vigne" Barbera d'Asti

Jones Is Hungry is branching out because Jones Is Thirsty too. 

So in celebration of my new wine column in Cooking Light (beginning in the September issue), I thought I'd begin shooting short, one minute (sometimes slightly more than a minute) wine picks highlighting some of the great, value-minded wines I run across during my research.

This first clip is a little rough around the edges, but they'll get better as we go along (the director and producer is my 11-year-old, digitally-gifted daughter).  We'll mix things up every now and then to keep it interesting.

If there's something I'm missing or must try, let me know.  That's one of the things I most love about wine—it's a big, wide world out there, and a fun new discovery is always just around the corner.

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© Copyright 2011 Jones Is Hungry LLC   All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tortilla Pizza with Tallulah

I cherish the moments I'm able to spend with my girls in the kitchen.  They may not always cook (or eat what I cook!), but our time together usually produces some seriously good fun. Plus, the kitchen is my home turf—it's here that I have all the right moves and can do no wrong (at least in the eyes of my daughters), even when I make a royal mess.

If you follow my blog,  then you already know of my kitchen adventures with my youngest daughter, Augusta (aka the Ravenous Pixie).  But I don't often talk about Tallulah, my oldest, who's most comfortable behind the camera shooting video and taking pictures. (And the child has a true gift for all things digital, which comes in handy for an old-timer like me.)  So when we had the opportunity to shoot a cooking segment together a few weeks back, we, ahem, I couldn't wait to get going.

Here's the setup:  I was scheduled to film a spot for "Daytime Alabama" on Birmingham's Champions for Health initiative.  Tallulah was enjoying her first day of summer, so I enlisted her to take a few behind-the-scene shots of me and "Daytime Alabama" host (and seriously cool dude/dad) David Lamb in action.  When David caught sight of Tallulah, he immediately suggested that she not only join us, but that she also make the pizza.  To say that Tallulah was caught off guard is like saying that Alabama can get hot in the summer.  YEAH!

She rallied like a trooper, however, and powered through the recipe with grace. (Even though to hear her tell it, she was totally unprepared from a wardrobe standpoint.  I beg to differ. I think she looked  adorable.)  Actually, let me back up—she did more than power through the recipe with grace.  As you'll see in the clip, Tallulah held her emotions in (as well as a mouthful of pizza) when others would have screamed out.  That's right, I gave her a piping hot slice of pizza on camera, molten cheese and all.

Tallulah and I are still friends, and she's assured me that we can work together again on camera...so long as I stick to cold desserts!

Below is the recipe prepared on "Daytime Alabama"—it's super-easy for kids to prepare (with an adult working the oven, of course).

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Tortilla Pizza
Prep: 10 min., Bake: 10 min.
Makes 5 servings
I've made this recipe with the Deer Valley Elementary School students for years.  The idea with this recipe is to have fun—switch it up as you and your kids see fit.  NOTE: For best results, don't add too much sauce—too much and the crust will be soggy.  Start with a couple of tablespoons, then add more, if needed.  Also, I prefer to put the pizzas directly onto the middle oven rack—you may want to add heavy-duty aluminum foil or baking sheet to the rack below to catch any dripping cheese or sauce.

5 medium/soft taco-size whole wheat tortillas
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups no-sugar-added pizza or pasta sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded low-fat Italian blend cheese
30 turkey pepperoni slices

Brush top tortillas evenly with olive oil.

Divide pasta sauce, Italian seasoning, cheese, and pepperoni over tortillas.

Bake at 400° for 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

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© Copyright 2011 Jones Is Hungry LLC   All Rights Reserved

Friday, June 17, 2011

Daddy's "slightly" fried chicken

I love fried chicken.  And I love braised chicken too.  Here's an easy-to-make Father's Day special that combines both: Daddy's Slightly Fried Chicken.  

There's so many cool things going on in this recipe.  You can braise the chicken the day before, then bread and fry just before serving (which only takes a few minutes).  You can also bread the braised chicken up to 4 hours ahead, for that matter. 

Switch up the herbs if you like.  I use what's in my garden.  This time around I call for chopped fresh thyme, but you could just as easily use parsley, chives, or rosemary--whatever floats your boat.  You can't go wrong. 

I can just sit and eat these bad boys out of hand with a few lemon wedges, but they're also great between those yummy French hamburger rolls (here in Birmingham, I find the rolls in the deli section at Publix).  I mix up a little mayo-Sriracha sauce, then slather it over the rolls to create one tasty sandwich. (I've done it when the chicken's right out of the fryer, but I've also made the sandwiches with leftovers right out of the fridge.)

Here's a video of me preparing the recipe on "Daytime Alabama" with my buddy David Lamb.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Daddy’s Fried Chicken

Olive oil
1 pack boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 bulb of garlic cut in half horizontally
2 sprigs of rosemary
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 loaf of soft French bread (not a baguette)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. fresh chopped thyme
Vegetable oil
Sea salt or kosher salt
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Heat olive oil in a skillet big enough to hold the chicken in one layer; add salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, wine, and chicken broth.

Put a lid on the skillet, and simmer for 45 minutes or until thighs are cooked through (check at 30 minutes-add more broth if needed to cover the chicken). Allow chicken to cool at least 15 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, process bread in a food processor with 1/2 cup of cheese to make fine bread crumbs (may need to do this in 2 batches).

In three shallow bowls: add flour into one, and season it with salt and pepper; put the beaten eggs in second; combine bread crumb mixture, remaining 1/2 cup of cheese, and thyme in third bowl.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pat dry and toss in flour, dusting off any excess flour.  Place chicken into the beaten eggs, making sure to coat well.  Place chicken into breadcrumb mixture; roll and pat mix onto chicken pieces. Put them on a tray and refrigerate until ready to fry (can prepare up to 4 hours ahead – allow chicken to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before frying).

Heat vegetable oil to 350˚ in a Dutch oven or deep fat fryer (Dutch oven or fryer should be no more than 3/4 full).  Add the chicken a piece or two at a time, frying 45 seconds to 1 minute or until golden brown and crisp. Take out and drain well on paper towels.

Sprinkle with sea salt; squeeze a wedge of fresh lemon over chicken.

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