1 can (~15-oz) garbanzo beans, drained
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tahini
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Blend all ingredients in food processor. Serve with baby carrots and/or pita chips.

Pita Chips

Pita bread
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400F.

Split pita bread in half horizontally, then slice into eight wedges.

Arrange pita triangles on a baking sheet and spray evenly with olive oil. I use a spritzer, but an olive oil cooking spray would probably be fine. Sprinkle with oregano, salt, and pepper.

Bake 10-15 minutes until starting to crisp and brown. Flip pitas, spray, and season the other side. Bake another 10 minutes until crisp.

Stuffed Mushrooms

3/4 lb medium mushrooms (cremini), brushed clean
4 T butter
3 T minced onion (half one small)
1 clove garlic, mashed or pressed
1/4 lb lean ground pork or turkey
fresh ground pepper
3 T bread crumbs
1/2 t brandy, preferably Spanish brandy or Cognac
1 T minced parsley
1 T chopped pine nuts
Separate the mushroom stems and chop finely. Heat butter in medium skillet and saute the onions and garlic slowly until the onion is wilted. Add the meat, salt and pepper and cook until the meat loses its color. Add mushroom stems and cook 3 minutes more. Turn off the heat and stir in the bread brumbs, brandy, parsley, pine nuts, and more seasoning if necessary (it should be very well seasoned).
Pile this mixture into the mushroom caps, forming a smooth dome with the cupped side of a teaspoon. Microplane parmesan cheese over the tops. [May be prepared ahead] Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked and cheese is melted.

Grilled Hot Wings

As difficult as it might sound, grilling is about the best way to cook chicken wings. Grilling allows the fat to drain away and gives you a nice, crispy wing without a lot of excess fat. Of course the real challenge in grilling chicken wings (beside them falling into the fire) is flare-ups and burning. To resolve this keep a medium flame. You don’t want too high of a temperature. You will also need to turn the wings frequently to avoid burning. It will mean standing by the grill, but you can cook a lot of chicken wings in about 15 to 20 minutes.

Since you will need to pay some extra attention to you wings while they grill you can afford to use sauces that could normally cause burning. When it comes to chicken wings it’s best to apply the sauce before or early in the cooking time. Marinades don’t add a lot to wings. When grilling chicken wings you will want to turn the wings every 3 to 4 minutes. It is also a good idea to keep a portion of the grill clear in case of a flare-up that requires you evacuate your chicken wings to another location.

A large batch of wings should be on the grill for about 15 to 20 minutes. As always with poultry overcook, don’t undercook. Test your chicken wings when they are getting close by removing one and cutting it open. There should be no pink inside and any juices should run clear. Wings are best served hot from the grill so plan everything ahead to get it done on time.

Deep fry your wings in 350 degree hot oil for 20 minutes or until desired crispness is achieved. DO NOT BAKE YOUR WINGS. You can tell they are done on the inside when they float, then just make sure the outside meets your crispness standards.

For the sauce, it’s simple. Use 1/2 cup of butter, 1 cup of “Franks Louisianna RedHot Sauce”, a capfull of lemon juice, a capful of vinegar, salt and pepper.

Now, the introduction of the sauce is critical. After you take the wings out of the fryer, pat them off with a paper towel to remove excess grease. Shake salt and pepper over them. Put the wings in a tupperware bowl of some sort. Pour the melted butter over them, put on the lid and shake. Take off the lid and pour the remaining ingredients in (already mixed) and shake again. Now you have some damn good wings.

If you want to spice them up some more, add crushed red pepper, or your favorite suicidal hot hot sauce to your taste.

Serve with Blue Cheese dressing (I prefer Wishbone) NEVER RANCH DRESSING and celrey stalks.

Buffalo Wings

This is from a forum I frequent. I’ve modified the recipe (mostly the amounts) just a bit. This makes a lot, feel free to scale back the recipe.

5 lbs chicken wings (separated at both joints, discard tips) or drummettes only
1/4 cup (11/2 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce (not the “sauce for wings”)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vinegar
salt & pepper

Combine hot sauce, lemon juice, and vinegar and set aside.

Deep fry your wings (a turkey frier is perfect, otherwise you’ll have to fry in batches) at 350 for 10 minutes or until desired crispness is achieved. You can tell they are done on the inside when they float, then just make sure the outside meets your crispness standards.

Remove wings to a paper towel-lined cookie sheet, blot dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Put the wings in a large lidded bowl or tupperware container. Pour the melted butter over them, put on the lid and shake. Take off the lid and pour the sauce in and shake again.

Serve with Blue Cheese dressing and celery stalks.