Schoolhouse Journals October 2014
By Chef Christopher Dobrowolski
Ahhh… here we are again in the midst of my family’s favorite time of the year. Leaves are changing right along with the weather and in Northern Arizona we are getting our first taste of fall with a slight chill in the air. This month we’re going to talk about a couple of things that have been hot in the food industry and hit close to home at the Schoolhouse.
Upscale comfort food has been growing at an amazing pace. While comfort food itself has been around a long time, chefs are really starting to jazz it up. Mac and cheese just isn’t the same as Mamma made, and there is an ever growing catalog of “what else can we put in it”! At the Schoolhouse we keep it simple by using a little brie and white cheddar and finishing it with some Black Garlic that explodes with Umami (we will discuss this later). Add some five spice braised pot roast and some crispy purple kale and WOW, the flavors explode.
Wings are making a comeback again this year. Chefs are really taking it outside the box. The difference isn’t only with the basic chicken as the wow item, chefs have added duck wings, and yes, pork wings also. Now I know pigs don’t fly, but duck and pork wings are gaining huge ground because of their low cost. You probably won’t see the basic hot, hotter or rip your face off hot, like you did with chicken, since there are so many things you can do with them.
Now to get back to the funny word I used earlier, Umami. You can be mad at your parents and teachers for telling you there were only 4 basic tastes that your taste buds could recognize. Umami is the 5th basic flavor sense your buds recognize and it represents savory taste through glutamate receptors. Umami is naturally found in a number of foods including, shell fish, cured meats, mushrooms, fermented cheeses and some vegetables. Now that you know what it is I’m going to give you a recipe for our Black Garlic~Dr. Pepper Wings so you can experience the true depth of Umami.
Step up your “Wing” Game with Dr. Pepper Black Garlic Wings
- 2 Pounds fresh (not ever frozen) Chicken Wings
- 20oz Dr. Pepper Soda
- ½ Cup Ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Siriracha Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Gluten free Worcestershire
- 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped garlic
- 1 Teaspoon Black pepper
- I Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
- I Sassafras Stick
- 1 Tablespoon Black Garlic Puree (Amazon)
Combine Worcestershire, Ketchup, sriracha, Dr. Pepper, Fresh garlic, black pepper, paprika, sassafras stick, and black garlic puree. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, until it’s thick, about 30-40 minutes. Set sauce aside while you prepare wings. Fry wings at 350 degrees until they are golden brown and cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Drain wings on a few paper towels and then toss wings in cola sauce. Serve with napkins!
Thank you for reading my jabber. I look forward to writing November’s Journal so I can give you a “recipe for success” for your Turkey Day!
Best regards, Chris Dobrowolski, Schoolhouse Restaurant