The Kitchenless Cook
By Bill Knutson
Because I write this column, many of my friends look to me as their personal food expert. I’ve had to field questions from where to eat to how long to cook a lobster. One friend asked me to plan her menus for a three-day camping trip. Another recently texted me his shopping list from the farmers’ market and asked what I would do with it for dinner.
I look forward to these questions with relish because they challenge me and often provide the creative spark to try something new. But, a couple of months ago, a friend stumped me when he asked, “I need to bring appetizers to a party in Houston – what do you suggest?” As I racked my brain for something fun and delicious, I realized that I didn’t have any appetizers in my repertoire. I started thinking about those I like, and decided to focus on two that I truly enjoy – deviled eggs and chicken wings.
My approach to the deviled egg was to find an ingredient or two that could elevate the egg to a new level. I started with the basic ingredient, a hard-boiled egg, and thought that the first thing we all add to an egg is, of course, salt. But, instead of getting the shaker out, I chose to use two ingredients that would provide that special saltiness I desired – anchovies and caviar.
After stumbling upon pomegranate molasses in a Indian food store a couple of years ago, I have been experimenting with it as a sweetener for a barbecue sauce and have found it works really well with poultry. For the wings, I combined it with harissa paste for a tangy, sweet and slightly spicy glaze.
Deviled Eggs with Anchovies and Caviar
3 cured anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon caviar
Put eggs in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover by one inch. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Cover pan and let stand for 11 minutes. Cool in a bowl of ice water. Peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Carefully remove yolks and place them in a mixing bowl. Refrigerate the egg whites. Finely chop anchovy fillets and add to yolks along with mayonnaise and olive oil. Mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place egg whites on a serving platter, and add a spoonful of yolk mixture to each, and top with a pinch of caviar. Refrigerate for at least an hour to let flavors meld before serving.
Pomegranate-Glazed Chicken Wings
4 tablespoons pomegranate
4 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons pomegranate
2 tablespoons harissa sauce
5 pounds chicken wings
salt and pepper
Combine the molasses, ketchup, vinegar, and harissa sauce. Mix well and set aside. Salt and pepper the chicken wings. Grill chicken over medium heat for 20 minutes, turning over halfway through. Using a brush, baste with sauce. Grill an additional 5 minutes, turn and baste other side. Cook 5 more minutes and serve.
If you don’t have a grill, place chicken in a shallow baking dish and bake in a oven preheated to 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Baste with glaze and bake for an additional 10 minutes and serve.