Anybody who likes cooking and also likes their fair share of comedy has probably already seen ‘Something’s Burning’ with Bert Kreischer. Bert is a stand up comedian best know as ‘The Machine’ and a famous accessory to theft for the Russian mafia. Seriously, google it. He is a hilarious comic and if you aren’t aware of the show mentioned above it is a YouTube based platform for Bert to welcome a variety of famous faces into his (studio) kitchen to cook with largely hilarious results.
I love Bert. He loves life and his brand of party hard comedy is something that doesn’t usually rear it’s head in the UK due to our generally vanilla attitude to brash, vibrant personas. I just feel like people such as him see the joy in things and make everything fun, I mean the path he chose in life is to literally spread joy. So much so that I would watch 20 minutes of him just making toast talking to Brian Callen or Bill Burr let alone something like Nashville Hot Chicken, which is what the latest episode gave us featuring his wife and musician Wheeler Walker Jr. It’s a really easy watch and I fully recommend it, check it out below.
If you are in the UK and have never been to the USA I’m guessing like me, you have never heard of Nashville Hot Chicken. After watching the above episode I started googling and did a bit of research and I found it to be right up my street, as it is essentially fried chicken with a seriously spicy kick. So naturally I made my own version but I have never been a fan of deep frying at home so decided it best to do a breaded version to save the mess and hassle. Thanks for the inspiration Bert.
This was the result:
Would be rude to not leave you with the recipe I guess… Serves 2.
What you will need:
- 4 boneless chicken thighs
- 250g flour
- 250g breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp. Paprika
- pinch salt and pepper
- 3 eggs
- Hot sauce (just choose your level… I’m not taking responsibility if you melt your face)
- Pastry brush
- 3 clean, shallow bowls
- Preheat oven to 175C (Fan)
- Bowl 1 -Flour, Cayenne, Paprika and Salt/ pepper, Bowl 2 – beat the eggs, Bowl 3 – Breadcrumbs
- Roll the chicken thighs in the flour mixture, then dip in the egg and hit the breadcrumbs.
- Bake for 30 minutes, turn over then bake again for another 30
- Remove from the oven and turn again, brush the now crispy chicken with hot sauce and place in the oven for a final 5 minutes
- Mix 3 parts hot sauce with 4 parts Mayonnaise.
- Serve. Devour. Enjoy.
A fruity hop forward golden ale such as Kona Brewing Co’s Big Wave
As you might guess from the title this one is a big recipe for me as it takes one of my favourite dishes and elevates it to a whole new level. A level in which a simple lasagne becomes an experience that warms the soul and soothes whatever worries you may well have… sounds dramatic right? wait until you try it! Beef that melts away from the fork in a rich tomato sauce paired with enough cheese to give a cartoon mouse a migraine and a silky bechamel sauce to glue it all together.
The problem is it all sounds a little run of the mill in terms of lasagne as lets be fair, that’s what they all have going for them and it is the reason everybody tends to love it. The thing that differentiates this lasagne from any old chucked together pasta dish is the ragu… a 12 hour labour of love that makes all the difference!
What you’ll need:
- 1kg beef brisket/ roasting joint
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 jar of red pesto
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 4 smoked streaky bacon rashers, diced
- Large handful of basil, roughly chopped or torn
- 2 mozzarella balls, diced
- 100g grated red Leicester
- 100g grated strong cheddar
- 16 lasagne sheets (I use wholemeal but not essential!)
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
and for the white sauce:
- 25g butter
- 30g tbsp plain flour
- 1 pint milk
- Salt and pepper
- First of all prep the beef by removing any string or packaging and preheating your slow cooker on low. (You can use your oven on a low equivalent temperature but a slow cooker uses less energy and is so much easier to monitor)
- Put the beef in the slow cooker and add the stock and dried oregano… walk away and leave it for 12 hours.
- After 12 hours remove the beef. In a tray or bowl, gently tear the meat apart with two forks until it is all shredded. Leave to stand for a minute.
- Preheat a pan on a medium/low heat with the olive oil and add the bacon. Fry until browned then add the garlic, celery and onion and keep on a low heat until softened.
- Add the beef to the pan with the tomatoes, tomato puree and 2-3 ladles of the cooking broth from the slow cooker, making sure the ragu doesn’t get too loose then stir to combine, turn the heat up slightly and simmer for 10 minutes. If the mixture starts to dry up add more cooking broth.
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees or gas mark 4 and in your chosen lasagne dish spread your pesto evenly across the bottom and layer your first four lasagne sheets across the bottom of the dish.
- Put another saucepan on the hob on a low/medium heat and add the butter, when it just starts to melt shake in the flour and whisk well until it comes together completely (it will look a bit lumpy but don’t worry) then slowly start to add the milk, about a quarter at a time until it thickens then add more. Once it has all combined season to taste but I would recommend plenty of pepper!
- Take the now bubbling molten ragu and put a thin layer all the way across the pasta. Sprinkle a few little bits of the red Leicester and cheddar across it and drizzle the bechamel evenly to create a thin quilting across the meat. Repeat this to create four even layers and finish off with the last of the white sauce and scatter all of the cheese across the top of the lasagne. Put into the oven for 45 minutes or until the cheese has browned and the pasta has cooked through.
- Eat it and forget about any kind of calorie counting for the duration of the meal! I recommend serving with a glass of red wine, a few slices of garlic bread or like I did with some baked stuffed gnocchi and a salad.
Serving suggestion: Lots of garlic bread, some baked filled gnocchi and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.