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Stein's Week Of Cooking Madness

I took a few days off from the station and ran wild in the kitchen last week.   I made pizza, steamed ribs, roast duck, duck soup, bagels, rye bread, an ill-fated lambstrami, and a glorious batch of supercrisp oven baked wings. Recipes and a notes below.

First the pizza.  I use the dough blend from Brooklyn's famed Roberta's as disclosed in the NY Times.   And the home pizza "secret weapon" I mention in the caption to the picture above?  A pizza steel.   It's a plate of food-grade steel (whatever that may be) about 1/4 inch thick.  Pre-heat it at 550 degrees for at least an hour, and you'll get the very most from your home oven.  If you're at all serious about home pizza, the steel is a great investment. 

I started the week with two recipes, one for pastrami and one for beer-roasted duck, both from Mandy Lee's wonderful ladysandpups website. 

I had a piece of leg of lamb I thought I'd pastrami-cize.  I followed her beef pastrami recipe but neglected to take into account that the lamb weighed a lot less than the 5-lb. brisket her method calls for.  After 12 hours in the oven and an hour in the steamer the lamb was tasteless damp cardboard.  Well, at least I still had the New York rye I'd baked off for lambstrami sandwiches.  I just had to sub baloney for the 'stram.

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It had its heart set on pastrami but settled for baloney and cheese.

Mandy's beer-roasted duck?  Ahhh... and it wasn't even hard to do.  Read the recipe.  Even if you have no intention of cooking it, her writing is so much fun to read.

I wrapped up the week with a Serious Eats recipe for oven baked wings.  There's a whole section with many wing recipes there this week.  I went with the X'ian style. 

Oven-baked wings as crispy as fried?  Yes, I scoffed too, but these were terrific.  The secret is rubbing them with a salt/baking powder mixture and then letting them sit uncovered in the fridge for 24 hours to dry out the skin.  I only gave them eight hours and they were still crispy and great.  After 24, I bet you could hear them crunch.  Here are the three stages. 

BEFORE

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Cut into drumettes and rubbed with salt and baking powder. Let sit eight to 24 hours uncovered in fridge.

AFTER

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A total of about 45 minutes in a very hot oven. Way crispier than they look. Seriously.

HOW GOOD WERE THEY?

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This good.

These would be great to make for a Superbowl party this week.  Don't want the X'ian spice blend? Just bake 'em off and have with whatever wing sauce you like.

I won't be watching the Superbowl this week.  But I will be in a card room playing Hold 'Em with people who are watching the big screens.  It's often profitable to play with the distracted. 

Philly native Nancy "Go Iggles" Leson says a deserted Costco is the place to be on the day of the Big Game.  The superbowl offers opportunity even to the non-sports fan, and for that I honor it.

"Gluttony is not a secret vice." – Orson Welles

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.
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