Creamy Buffalo Wings

What’s the most popular food item that can be found at a Super Bowl party? If you guessed wings, you would be wrong. Vegetables are the No. 1 food eaten in homes during the last three Super Bowls, according to the NPD Group market research firm that tracks Americans’ eating habits.

But you’d probably get some argument from fans of the highly popular appetizer. Chicken wings have become a real favorite of sports enthusiasts, perfect finger food for the Super Bowl. And most recipes for wings are very simple to prepare.

Here’s a recipe for Creamy Buffalo Wings from Bravo’s Top Chef Masters winner, Chef Floyd Cardoz. Chef Floyd’s reimagined Buffalo wing recipe will be served at the annual, celebrity-studded Maxim magazine Super Bowl party in Indianapolis for football fans, pro athletes and celebrities alike.

Creamy Buffalo Wings
8 teaspoons Tabasco brand Buffalo Style Hot Sauce
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
Vegetable oil or canola oil
2 dozen chicken wings
¼ cup Wondra flour or rice flour
Combine Tabasco brand Buffalo Style Hot Sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and sugar in a food processor and process until smooth.
Preheat vegetable oil in fryer to 350 degrees.
Remove and discard wing tips from wings. Separate each wing into two pieces at the joint; trim excess fat and skin. Toss chicken wings in a bowl with flour. Fry wings for 10 minutes or until golden and crispy. Remove from fryer; drain and transfer to a bowl. Toss wings with desired amount of Creamy Buffalo sauce.
Yield: 24 chicken wings.

Super Bowl Hero Favorites

What do Brett Favre, Steve Young and Roger Staubach have in common? For one thing, they all have Super Bowl rings — Favre with the Green Bay Packers, Young with the San Francisco 49ers and Staubach with the Dallas Cowboys.

They’ve also contributed recipes to the food editor at Parade magazine for Sunday’s pre-Super Bowl issue. Parade is posting the recipes online, not in the Sunday magazine, and it’s also shared a few of the them with newspaper food editors.

Here’s a look at three of the recipes, Favre’s Jambalaya, Young’s Bean Dip and Staubach’s Family Chili. The other recipes can be found at

Brett Favre’s Family Jambalaya
3 ribs celery, diced
¼ cup chopped green onions
1 green pepper, diced
½ yellow pepper, diced
½ red pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoon olive oil for sauteing
½ pound diced cooked ham
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1 pound sliced chicken breast
¾ pound diced shrimp
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup bay leaf, crumbled
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
¼  cup sugar
1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 cups marinara sauce (store bought or homemade is fine)
3 ounces chicken base (dissolved in 4 cups near boiling water)
8 cups cooked white rice
In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, saute all vegetables in olive oil until tender.
Add meats and shrimp to the pot and cook until the chicken is done.
Add all seasonings, marinara, and dissolved chicken base to the pot; stir well to combine. Simmer for 1 hour over low heat.
Stir in rice and serve.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10.

Steve Young’s Bean Dip
2 11-ounce cans Green Giant Mexicorn (whole-kernel corn with red and green peppers)
2 15.5-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 15.5-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 small bunch green onions, chopped (green parts only)
1 cup red wine vinegar (if desired, add up to ½ cup more to taste)
¾ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
6 tomatoes, diced
2 avocados, diced
Mix corn, black beans, kidney beans, and chopped scallions together in a large bowl.
Add olive oil and red wine vinegar; stir in gently. Marinate in fridge for at least 4 hours. Note from Steve: The longer you marinate it, the better!
When ready to serve, add salt and pepper to taste. Top with freshly diced tomatoes and avocados.
Serve with lime tortilla chips.
Yield: Serves 8 to 12.

Roger Staubach’s Family Chili
1 pound ground beef
½ onion chopped
½ green pepper chopped
1¼ cups ketchup
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp water
2 tablespoon chili powder
1 15-ounce can Ranch Style Beans (if unable to find Ranch Style Beans, use 1 15-ounce can kidney beans)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large oiled saucepan over medium heat, brown ground beef.
Add onion and pepper; cook until onion is translucent and pepper is softened. Drain off fat.
Add ketchup, water, chili powder, beans, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to combine; simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
Spoon into bowls; top with grated Cheddar if desired.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

Macaroni and Cheese with Prosciutto

There’s not much doubt about what constitutes comfort. According to Wikipedia, comfort food is usually traditional, has a nostalgic or sentimental appeal or simply provides an easy-to-eat, easy-to-digest meal rich in calories, nutrients or both. I think most of us can agree with that.

But because not all people have the same tastes, comfort food can include things such as grilled cheese, tuna casserole, meatloaf, mashed potatoes and beef stroganoff, for example. (For more, see

Another food that ranks high according to a reader’s poll conducted by the website about com is macaroni and cheese. I like a good mac ‘n’ cheese recipe, so if a new one comes to my attention, there’s a good chance we might have it for dinner in the near future.

That’s the case with following recipe, courtesy of Noelle Carter of the Los Angeles Times. It’s adapted from a recipe she obtained from Palazzio in Santa Barbara, Calif. The recipe for this classic comfort food includes no less than three kinds of cheese as well as some prosciutto “for a little extra love.”

Macaroni and Cheese with Prosciutto
2 pounds penne pasta
2 cups heavy cream
4 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
4 cups shredded smoked mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
3 ounces prosciutto, diced
5 eggs, lightly beaten
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and bring a large pot of water to boil.
Add the pasta to the water and cook to al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Drain.
While the pasta is cooking, in a large bowl combine the heavy cream with 3 cups each of the Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, the Gorgonzola cheese, the prosciutto and the eggs.
After draining the pasta, turn it into a large bowl and toss with the cheese mixture to coat evenly. Spread the pasta into a 13-by-9-inch greased baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses over the pasta to top.
Cover the baking dish tightly with a greased layer of foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the topping is lightly browned, an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and cool slightly before serving.
Yield: Serves 12.
Approximate nutritional analysis per servings: 725 calories, 37 grams protein, 60 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 38 grams fat; (22 grams saturated), 199 milligrams cholesterol, 4 grams sugar, 1,037 milligrams sodium.

Orange-Glazed Salmon

Many New Year’s resolutions center on food. Perhaps the most common one is a vow to eat less. But the one that might be at the top of the list is to eat healthier.

One of my goals for 2012 was to prepare a meal of fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids at least once a week. So far, I’ve been successful. Up until now, Therese and I have had a couple of meals of salmon and one of cod to kick off the new year.

Omega-3s, also found in flaxseed, olive oil and walnuts, are referred to as “good” fats because they reduce bad cholesterol and can help increase good cholesterol.

A couple of groups recommend eating fish on a weekly basis. The American Heart Association recommends consuming two servings of baked or grilled fish a week, while eating a variety of seafood is also a key recommendation in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

About the easiest fish to prepare is salmon. It can be easily fixed in all sorts of manners, including baking, grilling and poaching.

I’m a fan of the wild-caught salmon, which usually is available at my local supermarket. In fact, it has a variety of wild-caught species for sale. The cod that we ate last week was wild-caught in Alaska.

I’m always looking for new recipes for salmon. I recently came across one that pairs salmon with orange slices and an orange glaze. From the looks of it, the recipe is a tasty combination that doesn’t require a lot of prep work or ingredients.

Orange-Glazed Salmon
4 cups water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1¼ pounds salmon fillet, skin removed
¼ cup orange marmalade or apricot preserves
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 oranges, peeled, cut horizontally into ¼-inch slices
1 teaspoon citrus blend seasoning such as Mrs. Dash
Baby spinach leaves for serving (optional)
Mix together the water, salt and sugar. Place the salmon fillet in a large sealable bag. Pour water mixture over it. Seal bag and refrigerate 2 hours.
When ready to cook, remove salmon from the brine and rinse well under cold water. Place salmon on a plate and pat dry. Cut into 4 equal servings.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together the preserves, orange juice and Dijon until smooth and melted.
Place 3 slices of orange on the baking sheet. Top with one serving of salmon. Repeat with remaining salmon and orange slices. Divide the sauce in half; set aside one half. Brush each salmon fillet with some of the sauce and sprinkle with the seasoning.
Bake for about 12 minutes, depending on thickness, or until just cooked through. Remove from the oven. Brush each salmon fillet with the remaining sauce. If using spinach, place some on each serving plate. Using a spatula, carefully place salmon fillet with the orange slices on top of the spinach. Serve with steamed vegetables and rice pilaf if desired.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 379 calories, 42 percent of calories from fat, 18 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 22 grams carbohydrates, 32 grams protein, 412 milligrams sodium, 89 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams fiber.

Pumpkin-Roasted Red Pepper Chili

Chili is one of those dishes whose popularity defies description. And one of the reasons is that there are so many variations of it that it’s hard not to like it.

course, there are two distinct camps when it comes to chili. In one is those who use beans. In the other, legumes are a no-no.

I’m one of those people who likes both. In fact, I’m game to try just about any kind of chili, no matter what’s in it.

That’s why a recipe that was sent to me by a co-worker, Chris Bieri, has been printed out and is sitting on my kitchen counter, awaiting a trial run.

After a little research, I discovered the recipe originally came from Associated Press food writer J.M Hirsch. I’ve always been a fan of Hirsch’s recipes, which are part of our AP wire service.

This recipe for chili is a pretty traditional one (without beans) that contains pumpkin puree as well as roasted red peppers. Hirsch says the pumpkin is very subtle, and it creates a wonderfully creamy texture to the chili. (The meat is bison and pork.)

Besides adding a sweet nutty flavor to dishes, pumpkin is a ready source of vitamin A, which boosts the nutrition content of this offbeat chili.

Pumpkin-Roasted Red Pepper Chili
2 medium yellow onions, quartered
16-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
15-ounce can pumpkin puree
6-ounce can tomato paste
2 pounds ground bison
1 pound boneless pork ribs, roughly chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon chili powder
Salt and ground black pepper
In a blender or food processor, combine the onions, roasted red peppers, pumpkin and tomato paste. Puree until smooth. Set aside.
Heat a large stockpot over medium-high. Add the bison and pork and cook until starting to brown, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Add the pumpkin mixture and the broth, then stir well. Add the garlic powder, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, smoked paprika and chili powder.
Bring to a simmer then partially cover the pot to prevent splattering but allow steam to escape. Simmer for 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Note: Chris said he might dump in a bottle or two of a good seasonal fall beer.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 650 calories, 60 percent of  calories from fat; 43 grams fat (17 grams saturated, no trans fats), 170 milligrams cholesterol, 20 grams carbohydrates, 44 grams protein, 5 grams fiber, 1,170 milligrams sodium.

Chicken Sliders

The holidays have come and gone — and so are all of the goodies associated with them. But there is a good chance that some of those extra pounds that were picked up eating turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy at Christmas Day feast and all of those New Year’s Eve party appetizers are still around.

Many people have resolved to get back into shape. Exercise and healthy eating are to two to accomplish this goal.

While I can’t go to the gym for you, it’s in power to share some healthy recipes, such as the following for chicken sliders.

Made with lean ground chicken breast, spinach, cherries and cheese, these sliders are spiced up with a Dijon mustard mayonnaise mixture.

Chicken Sliders
½ cup frozen leaf spinach, thawed, squeezed of excess water
16 ounces ground chicken or turkey breast
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon or other tangy mustard
1 teaspoon garlic-and-herb seasoning blend
1/3 cup dried tart cherries (optional)
1/3 cup shredded Italian-blend cheese
3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
8 mini thin 100 percent whole-wheat sandwich buns
Bibb lettuce
Thinly sliced red onion (optional)
Preheat the broiler.
In a large bowl, combine spinach, chicken or turkey breast, mustard, seasoning and dried cherries, if using. Mix well. Shape into 8 patties about ½-inch thick.
Place the patties on a broiler pan and broil 6 inches from the heat, about 6 minutes per side or until thoroughly cooked. The sliders are done when an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees.
Sprinkle 1 heaping teaspoon of shredded cheese on each burger. Broil 1 to 2 minutes more or until the cheese melts.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and mustard.
To assemble, lightly toast the buns, if desired. Place lettuce on the bottom of each bun. Top with a slider, some red onions slices if desired and a dollop of the mayonnaise mixture. Place the other bun half on top and serve.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 173 calories, 22 percent of calories from fat, 4 grams fat (1 gram saturatedt), 13 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams protein, 234 milligrams sodium, 52 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams fiber.

Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is one of those desserts that people almost always associate with cream cheese frosting. In fact, there are those who think it wouldn’t quite be right to have the former without the latter.

Well, I’m here to say that not only can you have carrot cake without cream cheese frosting but that it’s actually quite delicious. The proof is sitting right on the counter in my kitchen.

I used the following recipe, which is loaded with carrots. The only change I made was using carrots from my garden (about 10 or so) instead of the shredded ones.

Give it a try and decide for yourself.

P.S. The author of this recipe says her family loves with a roast dinner.

Carrot Cake
1½ cups shortening
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 10-ounce bags shredded carrots
2½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon each: baking powder, ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Process the shortening and brown sugar in a food processor; add the eggs, juice and orange zest. Process until smooth; pulse in the carrot shreds just to combine. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Stir into the carrot mixture just until combined. Transfer batter into a greased 10-cup bundt pan or mold. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack, about 25 minutes before removing from pan.
Yield: Serves 12.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 417 calories, 55 percent of calories from fat, 25 grams fat (9 grams saturated), 35 milligrams cholesterol, 43 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 292 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Wine-Poached Cod

Nearly everyone loves walleye fillets that have a crisp, golden coating after being cooked in oil. Fish cooked this was is especially  popular during the Lenten season, which is just around the corner.

I’m like most people. I love deep-fried fish. But fish doesn’t have to be deep-fried to be good.

The past several years, whenever we have fish at home, no matter if it’s fresh-water fare as walleye, northern or crappie, or a salt-water variety like salmon, halibut or roughie, it’s either baked, grilled or poached.

Most people are familiar with baking and grilling fish, but poaching isn’t quite as popular. However, it is a very nice and healthy way to fix fish.

Here’s a recipe in which cod fillets are poached in a wine sauce. The fish cooks up in minutes, it’s full of flavor and has a texture that’s just about perfect.

Wine-Poached Cod
1 pound cod fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 shallots minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup white wine
¼ teaspoon dried dill
1/8 teaspoon each black pepper and salt
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Heat oil in saute pan. Add shallots and garlic. Saute for one minute. Add wine, dill and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add sole. Baste sole with liquid. Poach 2 to 3 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with a fork. It is not necessary to turn the fish. Remove fish to serving plate. Turn heat to high. Reduce liquid by half. Spoon liquid over fillets.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 121 calories, 3 grams protein, 3 grams fat, 36 milligrams cholesterol, 109 milligrams sodium.

Mona Brundin’s Banana Bread

Banana bread recipes are a dime a dozen. Just about every cook has one or more, and they all think that theirs is the best.

In all honesty, I can say that my favorite banana bread recipe isn’t my own. It’s Mona Brundin’s.

Mona, of Grand Forks, is the mother of a friend of mine, Gary Brundin. Several years ago, she put together a cookbook that contains the favorite recipes and memories of she and her husband, Don.

I’ve had the pleasure of trying a handful of them, since Gary gave me a copy of the cookbook, and have not once been disappointed. Among my favorites are ones for hot pepper mustard and tuna noodle casserole. And there are numerous other recipes that I still want to try.

But the recipe I like the best (so far) is for banana bread. It is the best I’ve ever come across. In fact, Therese says it’s even better than hers, and that is a compliment of the highest order.

If you don’t believe me, here’s the recipe. You be the judge.

Mona Brundin’s Banana Bread
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
4 eggs
1 cup milk
6 bananas, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs, milk and bananas. Mix well.
Add flour, salt and baking soda.
Pour into 6 floured and greased miniloave pans or two large loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

All-American Chili

So, you’re going to host an informal get-together for a bunch of your friends and family to watch some pro football playoff games, but you don’t know what to serve. A safe and easy option is chili. That was one of my favorites.

And there is nothing more satisfying than a bowl of hot chili, especially when the temperatures are below the freezing mark.

Here is a recipe from the folks at McCormick that is easy to make and not too spicy for those  who  like their chili on the mild side.

All-American Chili
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1½ teaspoons garlic salt
½ teaspoon oregano leaves
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained
1 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
Cook ground beef and onion in large skillet on medium-high heat until beef is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Drain fat, if needed.
Stir in spices and remaining ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and chopped onion, if desired.
Yield: Serves 5.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 310 calories, 14 grams fat, 23 grams carbohydrates, 57 milligrams cholesterol, 1,366 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber, 23 grams protein.