Friday, April 13, 2012

The Hockey Play-Offs Have Begun...And Great Finger Food Has Arrived !

Since the first play-off puck officially dropped this week, I had to put together a new repertoire of Guy Food to satisfy the palettes of the group that congregates at our house several times a week during the play-offs. Between Hubs, our two teenagers, and their friends we usually have 8-10 spectators crowded around the Big Screen TV to watch Canada's beloved game...

A good number of us enjoys a few 'brewskies' while cheering on our favourite team, so my plan is to lay out the perfect complementary platter of goodies: what goes better with beer than the proverbial chicken wing?

I am fortunate that this group of guys has a keen appreciation for my cooking and thus I can put pretty much anything I have created in front of them and they will happily gobble it up.

Gotta love...Guys...

My first recipe features Thai Chicken Drummettes (drummettes are larger than chicken wings) that have first been marinated in a spicy Thai marinade, then coated in a crispy Panko breading and convection-baked in the oven. Served with a Thai peanut sauce for dipping, this finger food is a real hit. I'll let you in on a secret about the dip...I have discovered this great brand of Asian and Indian mixes (curries and dips) by Asian Home Gourmet. I use these if I am in a pinch and don't have the ingredients or the time to make a sauce or dip from scratch. They are not only free of preservatives, MSG and artificial colours, but they are a really good, tasty substitute.

Unlike hot wings, or any chicken wing in a sauce these crispy babies are not messy to eat, but they do have a little bite to them, so keep some refreshing drinks on hand, beer or otherwise...

This recipe coats 10-12 drummettes, so if you are serving a larger group, just double or triple the recipe. I estimate about 4-5 drummettes per person, if accompanied by other finger food. I had a group of 8 this past game night and prepared 3 dozen drummettes. 

Another guy food favourite is Potato Skins. I used to work at the Keg Restaurant years ago and one of the most popular appetizer menu items were these delicious spud snacks. I have prepared a slightly lighter version of these goodies, but feel free to pile on as much cheese as you deem appropriate for a group of hungry guys...

My favourite dip for potato skins is apple sauce. Maybe its because I am used to eating it on my potato pancakes. In any case, I feel its a great complement to this appy and always offer it on the side for those who wish to add it. The second  sauce I made is a garlic chive dip - chives go well with baked potatoes and the dip includes sour cream, so it makes the skins taste a bit like a traditional baked potato...yum!

For our group I baked 12 small to medium sized potatoes, which yielded 24 skins. 

The crispy skin of the potato, topped with bacon, cheese and chives finished with a delicious dollop of apple sauce or garlic chive dip is a delectable, satisfying, super easy to make no-mess finger food! 

I served a large tossed green salad as well, because I like to add in greens wherever possible. A Caesar salad would also be a great addition to this menu. 

Thai Chicken Drummettes: (single recipe-can be doubled or tripled)
1 dozen chicken drummettes (I use medication-free chicken)

For the marinade:
1 Tbsp lemongrass puree (available in the fresh herb section at the supermarket)
1 Tbsp Thai fish sauce (it has no artificial colour or preservatives)
1 Tbsp oyster sauce (no MSG variety)
1 tsp Bragg's soy sauce
4 Tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce

For the crust;
1-1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 Tsp garlic pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup unbleached flour (or gluten free flour)
pinch sea salt

1.Whisk marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Rinse and dry chicken drummettes and place in a large freezer bag. Add marinade and toss to coat. Marinate in fridge for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, flipping often.
2. Using three pie plates, place flour and salt in the first plate, beaten egg in the second plate and Panko crumbs, garlic pepper and sea salt in the third plate. Remove drummettes from the marinade and roll each one first in flour, coating evenly, then in egg, then in Panko crumbs. Place on a rack on a cookie sheet (this will keep the crust crispy). Convection bake at  350 F for about 30 minutes, or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced.

Thai Peanut Sauce
1/2 package Asian Home Gourmet Thai Peanut Sauce Mix
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
Dash sesame oil
1 Tbsp chopped scallions

Blend all ingredients well. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Potato Skins
12 small to medium potatoes, baked, halved and 2/3 of the pulp scooped
 out (save for another recipe)
1 250g package of grated cheese, any variety (I used low fat cheddar and mozzarella)
5 slices naturally smoked nitrate free bacon, chopped and fried until crispy, then drained on a paper towel
4 scallions, sliced

1 small jar unsweetened apple sauce

1. Place potato skins on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon bits. Bake in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes, until cheese has melted and skins are heated through. Remove from oven and sprinkle with scallions. Serve immediately.

Garlic Chive Dip
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch scallions, washed and trimmed
3 sprigs fresh parsley

1. Place scallions, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, mayonnaise and 1/2 the sour cream in a small blender (I use the magic bullet). Blend until smooth.
2. Whisk in remaining sour cream. Refrigerate until ready to use.


1 comment:

  1. Wow! Your finger foods looks amazing! But among the two, the chicken drummettes would have to be my favorite. It’s just so easy to prepare, and its spicy kick makes for a great companion with a drink or two. Cheers!

    Alysa Sliter