Sunday, December 6, 2009

Here it comes

I have never been one who waxes lovingly about wintry moments rather it is usually the season when I dream of escape. Pine for the seemingly intolerable heat of August and the irritation of sand brought home from the beach. I suffered the cold terribly, and remember a ski trip as a child that left me degrees from hypothermia, that turned out to be a downhill ice-skating outing that left me grateful to make it to bottom unbroken. Not being a fan of chocolate the ubiquitous hot brew awaiting everyone offered no enticement for this ridiculous exposure. If only they served hot Strawberry Quick.

Though today the sky wore that wooly grey pullover of the cold months, and the air filled with a chill. At first, it was wet spiting than large clumps of frozen confection floated on down, and a gentle wonder and joy overtook me. How queer…how unexpected. As I walked, sufficiently bundled, welcoming this transition I started to dream of the activity this climate allows me to enjoy in my kitchen. In my mind I went through my inventory of canned, pickled and preserved items now allowed to be set free. I have a rule that I will not use any of my preserved spring and summer treasures until the first snow.

My personal contentment with the warmth is not shared with my apartment – even with nine windows for more than cross ventilation the whole place becomes a warming oven. Not the most comfy environment for most folks.

Now, during these months when the days hover at the lower end of the thermometer the tropical atmosphere I inhibit becomes conducive to not only cooking, but also having others over to share the meal – be it a formal sit down or a casual nosh around a movie this is the season to be cooking.

Crisp Miso Chicken Wings – yields 4 servings
1/3- cup white miso paste
2-garlic cloves – crushed to a paste
1-teaspoon hot sauce
1-teaspoon sesame seeds
1/4-cup rice vinegar
1/8-teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 pound chicken wings

In a bowl mix together the miso, garlic, hot sauce, sesame seeds, vinegar and black pepper.

Toss in the chicken wings and coat the chicken well with the miso mixture. Cover, and refrigerate for 8 hours.

Pre-heat the oven 400 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the bowl and place a parchment lined baking tray. Cook the wings for 45 to 60 minutes.

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