Tuesday, June 1, 2010

spinach pancakes and "fried" chicken wings

chicken wings and spinach pancakes

My friend Becky came over for dinner a couple of weeks ago, and we made my mom's toaster oven chicken wings and some Mark Bittman pancakes by way of some food blog. We rounded things off with a little salad with grape tomatoes and my fast-becoming-standard red wine vinegar dressing. You should really give this a shot— According to Mario Batali, "a great salad dressing has great olive oil and an inexpensive red-wine vinegar."

Anyway. The pancakes were the most labor intensive part of the meal, which was pretty damn easy overall. We trimmed and washed ten ounces of spinach, and briefly sauteed it with a little garlic and oil. Then we squeezed out the water, chopped the spinach up, and mixed it into the pancake batter. This consisted of one and a half cups buttermilk, two beaten eggs and 2 tablespoons melted butter, which we mixed together and then stirred into the dry ingredients: 2 cups flour, a tablespoon of sugar, half a teaspoon each of baking soda and salt, and a dash of nutmeg. Finally, we added the spinach.

We fried the pancakes up with butter over medium high heat until crisp and golden on both sides. A good rule of thumb for flipping pancakes is to wait until the surface is full of little bubbles. Becky handled our pancakes, and did a bang up job. They were great. We served them with sour cream mixed with lemon zest and some shredded parmesan. Dee-licious.

Before we started cooking the pancakes we prepared our chicken wings and stuck them in the toaster oven. I grew up eating these chicken wings, and they are so good. Crispy and moist with a delicious breading... as a kid, this seemed like perfection, and even now I think its pretty wonderful, especially since they're so easy. Obviously, these are baked, but as a kid I always assumed they were fried, and I don't think I stopped thinking of them as such until a few years ago. They are that damn good.

First, season some breadcrumbs. I generally buy a canister of plain ones at the grocery store and jazz them up with some garlic powder, black pepper, grated romano cheese, dried basil, oregano and parsley. I like to keep a container of these in the fridge for making scrambled eggs or breading pork chops, chicken cutlets or eggplant. They really do come in handy.

Once your breadcrumbs are ready, spread some out on a sheet of wax paper. Then you want to coat your wings with a little bit of mayo and then roll them in the breadcrumbs. This bit is a little gross, because your hands wind up covered in raw chicken, mayo and breadcrumbs, but once you're through it, you're basically done. Pop those wings into the toaster oven on a little tray, and cook them at 350° for about 50 minutes. So easy!

After enjoying our delicious supper, Becky and I also made ourselves a strawberry shortcake for dessert. I'm not sure if it was because we slightly undercooked it or if the recipe was just a dud, but the cake had a slightly unpleasant doughiness to it, or something. I suspect it may have been our fault as over eager cake eaters, but ultimately, it was not that good. Becky is supposed to guest blog the recipe, so stay tuned for that. Until then, I leave you with this parting shot of the two of us with our just desserts.

strawberry shortcake cream on top, tell me the name of your sweet heart


  1. Do you think the wings could be made in the regular oven?

  2. Becky asked me that too. I don't see it being a problem, although they might cook faster. I think my mom always did them in the toaster oven so she didn't have to wait for the whole oven to heat up.

  3. Made the spinach pancakes tonight. As you say, deeee-lish!