Buttermilk Fried Chicken – Extra Crispy

Let me start off by saying “If I can make this incredible crispy fried chicken recipe than so can you”.  Why do I say it like that?  Because I’ve never really deep fried anything before this recipe.  Buttermilk fried chicken, something my husband and I pine over, is reserved to once or twice a year at a restaurant that specializes in it.  I stay away from it more from fear of botching it up than anything else.  But I read so many fantastic reviews of the buttermilk fried chicken recipe from Chef Thomas Keller (of the famous French Laundry restaurant in CA and Ad Hoc in NYC) that I decided I had to give it a try.  And it is everything people have raved about and more!  In a word? OUTSTANDING!

Yes – the recipe seems long and that’s because of the brine.  But don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients for the brine or you don’t want to buy them all (it can get a bit expensive with the bay leaves and herbs).  I have made it using only a couple of bay leaves, half the lemons and just the rosemary and it is still just as delicious as ever.  Also – the recipe below is for basically two whole chickens but it can easily be cut in half (the brine as well as the batter ingredients).

Keys to success for this recipe: 1) You can’t skip the brine.  That’s what keeps the chicken so incredibly moist and flavors the chicken.  Although it seems like a lot of work it really isn’t.  You basically throw the ingredients in a pot, boil them for a minute and then chill before using.  2) You should start this a day ahead to make the brine.  If you are making this for an evening meal you won’t put the chicken in until the day you are going to cook it – but the brine, once made, takes quite a bit of time too cool.  Definitely easier to do it a day ahead. 3)  Make the brine in a pot large enough to hold the chicken – that’s a time saver and less dishes to wash.  4) Do include all the ingredients in the batter mixture – it gives that crispy crust SO much flavor. 5) Do set up the dipping station (it will consist of three bowls – two for the flour mixture and one for the buttermilk) – it will make things so much easier!

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Easy Hollandaise Sauce Recipe – Soooo good!

This easy Hollandaise Sauce recipe seems to good to be true – but it really is easy and *fabulous*.  I made it last night to serve with roasted asparagus (drizzle olive oil over asparagus, roast in a 425 F. for 10 minutes) and it took me less than 5 minutes to make it.  The result? A rich, luscious sauce that was every bit as good as any Hollandaise sauce that I’ve had in a restaurant (and better than many).
The secret to the wonderful recipe?  It’s a blender Hollandaise Sauce.  Which means the strength of the blender does a beautiful job of emulsifying the sauce.  In seconds.  Oh…and did I mention this recipe is easy:)

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Orange Glazed Salmon with Carmelized Onions

We had this orange glazed salmon last night and it was a feast for the eyes and mouth!  The caramelized onions, which sit atop the crispy fish, are so easy to make as well as the perfect accompaniment for the fish.  Although easy enough for weeknight fare, I know this will fast become one of my ‘company dishes’.

This recipe, from 2008, came from a magazine called Cooking Pleasures.  The recipe needed a few changes to give the glaze more sticking power and deeper flavor.  The recipe below is the one I’ve adapted.

Keys to success for this glazed salmon recipe:  1) Caramelized onions are sweeter than sauteed because of the caramelization process which brings out an ingredient’s natural sugars.  Sweet onions will work best in this recipe because of their naturally higher sugar content.  But you can use regular cooking onions too. Simply taste it after they’ve been cooked and if they aren’t sweet enough add 1 tsp. of brown sugar to the pan, stir and cook for another minute or two, and then taste again.  2) Reducing the sauce is important, otherwise it will not be thick enough to adhere well to the fish.  Reducing, like caramelization, is another technique to concentrate flavors.

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Luscious Lemon Frosting Recipe for Cupcakes & Cakes

This lemon frosting recipe is a breeze to make and tastes absolutely scrumptious.  It’s got a double dose of lemon, first from fresh lemon juice and then from lemon zest. The cream cheese adds another flavor note that works beautifully with lemon.

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Also… super cute is the new Single Cupcake Box – you can even order them with personalized labels.  The scallop insert that holds the cupcake in place comes in white, pink, blue or chocolate brown.  Matching satin ribbon is included too!

Lemon Frosting Recipe (adapted from Allrecipes.com)

  • 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar (powdered)

Beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, zest and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy.  Add confectioners’ sugar in two additions.  Beat until creamy.  Add more sugar if you prefer a stiffer frosting.  Makes approximately 3 1/2 cups.