Sunday, August 10, 2008

White Trash Wedding Canapes

This is a recipe I invented while I was at culinary school.  If yer some kind of resaurant owner/cookbook author, don't jack it.  Feel free to make it and give it to people but I better not catch you trying to make any money off of it.  Knowlege is free!  

Be safe, have fun, eat well:


Go buy:

1lb (cooked) orzo pasta
2 cups heavy cream
various cheeses (see the section on "Béchamel/Mornay")
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups plain breadcrumbs
enough vegetable oil to load up a deep-fryer, or at least fill up a skillet enough to submerge a 3/4"-thick chunk of mac-and-cheese
2 skinless/boneless breasts of chicken
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
3 cups barbeque sauce, thickened with 1/2 cup sour cream, and then whipped 'til stiff
1 six-pack of Mickey’s Fine Malt Liquor 

I suggest spreading this recipe out over two afternoons, because the pasta needs to sit in a fridge for at least 4 hours before you try to deep-fry it. If you wake up early enough, you could probably get MORNING/AFTERNOON 1 out of the way before lunch, and then just plan to work hard for the hour that precedes the party where you're going to blow the minds of everyone you've ever met.

First of all: we're going to call this Mac-And-Cheese in spite of the fact that it actually uses Orzo. The reason we do this is because people know what Mac-and-Cheese is, and many of these same people think Orzo is rice.

Decide you've got the balls for this recipe. This should take around 30 minutes, and I’ve found that a couple Mickeys makes this step much easier. Go ahead and crack a hand grenade, then make the BBQ sauce described at this website:
It’s delicious. It’ll make quite a lot, but it lasts forever, and it’ll give you a great reason to have BBQ for a few weeks. Now put it in the fridge till your ready for:


Break out a Mickeys.

You need to make about 4 cups of Béchamel sauce, which I'm not going to go into here. If you don't know how to do this, use the 'tronic, or any cookbook printed after the 17th century. Seriously, it's one of the mother sauces. You can do it. Now, make a mornay sauce. Don’t freak out, mornay is just Béchamel with cheese. I like to use a mild cheddar as the main cheese in the sauce, but I also add 1 salty hard cheese (parm, pecorino, asiago, it's your call) and 2 creamy cheeses (one is just a dash for flavor (gorgonzola, or some other blue), the other is for consistency/texture (fontina, a mild brie, even havarti, DO NOT use mozzarella, seriously)(also, don't use dill havarti)(it's just entirely the wrong flavor profile, people just think they gotta use it on everything)(farmers)). MORNAY PRO TIP: DON'T ADD THE HARD CHEESE UNTIL THE VERY END, AFTER YOU'VE TAKEN THE SAUCE OFF THE HEAT. "FINISH" THE MORNAY WITH YOUR HARD CHEESE.

You'll also need to prepare a pound of cooked Orzo. Do that now, or if you're some kind of Béchamel/Mornay wizard, prep it while you're working up the sauce.

As soon as the sauce is ready, mix it with the Orzo in a large bowl. You'll probably have more sauce than you need to get to the flavor that you're going for, so don't be afraid to leave some in the saucepan.

Now, cover the surface of the largest sheetpan that will fit inside your fridge with parchment paper. This is going to make it possible to remove the mac-and-cheese from your sheetpan after it sets up. Lay your "mac"-and-cheese mixture out on the sheetpan to a thickness of about 3/4 of an inch. You can use one of those little spatula kinda things to flatten it out, like with rice krispie treats. You want it to be a uniform thickness. Put it in the fridge for 4 hours, or overnight if you're serious about guaranteeing success.

Go snag a Mickeys and watch some Venture Bros.

Marinate 2 breasts of chicken in teriyaki sauce, or whatever you think is going to be delicious on a bed of deep-fried mac-and-cheese (hint: you can't really screw this part up). Throw it in the fridge. Get hyped, crack a Mickeys. 


Bust out your chicken breasts, and while yer in the fridge, grab a hand grenade. Sear them in a lightly oiled pan at smoking-pan heat. They need to make a lot of noise when they go in, or it's not hot enough. 15 seconds on a side. Then pass them into a glass baking dish (or whatever) and put them in an oven at 350 degrees for 20 min or so, and keep checking on them until they're cooked.  They should feel roughly like the meat of your palm when you touch your thumb to your ring finger. Seriously. During those first 20 minutes, tho, you need to be doing THIS:

Bust out your sheetpan of solidified "mac"-and-cheese. AS SOON AS THESE LEAVE THE FRIDGE, THE STICKINESS CLOCK IS TICKING. Use your bench scraper or a crap knife to cut the mass up into 1.5"x1.5" squares while it's still in the pan.

A word about breading for deep-frying: You have two hands. One is wet, the other is dry. Wet hand will only be dealing with the egg, while dry hand will only be dealing with the flour and the breadcrumbs. This is going to make your life so easy. And your wet hand will look hilarious.

Set up 3 bowls, in the following order: flour (all-purpose), egg (4, beaten), breadcrumbs (plain). Now, use your dry hand to drop a "mac"-and-cheese square into the flour and work it around until it's coated. Then drop it into the egg, where your WET hand will pick it up and drop it into the breadcrumbs. Use your DRY hand to agitate the breadcrumb bowl and get a good coat on the square. If you do it right, you should be able to use your dry hand to pull it out of the breadcrumbs and pass it over to the ready-to-fry plate. Don't feel bad if you accidentally use your wet hand though, keeping yer wet hand wet and yer dry hand dry is a lot harder than it sounds.

Repeat this process for all your squares. Then deep-fry them in vegetable oil at 450 degrees until they look fucking delicious (n00bs refer to this look as "golden brown"), for as many batches as it takes! Move the fried squares to a drying rack.

At this point, our canapé base is done. Now we can work on the body. And the garnish. OH, YOU'RE GETTING SLEEPY? FORGOT TO READ THE WHOLE RECIPE BEFORE YOU STARTED OUT? YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENS?

Chicken should done and out of the oven by now. Note: by this point, you're 10 minutes from service AT THE MOST, more like 5, and you need to be busting ass to get the rest of this stuff done. What you're going to do, is slice that chicken into fans. Whatever dude, FIGURE IT OUT.

Just kidding. Kidding about figuring it out, at least; I'ma tell you how to do that shit. But we're still cutting that chicken into fans. Lay it down on your cutting board so that the length is pointing away from you. Slice it lengthwise into 1/4" strips with the sharpest knife you have. The strips should now be significantly more thick than they are wide. Lay them down on the thick side. You're going to be cutting each strip into 3 or 4 fans. The cut looks like a swooping diagonal parabola from one side of the strip to the other. Because of the grain of the chicken, it's going to let you pry the fibers apart along the cut line, and it'll come out looking all spiny. It's really cool. Good luck with that. YOU'VE COME SO FAR, YOU CAN DO THIS!

Pipe some little florets of your BBQ sauce mixture onto the squares. You want the sauce to be pretty stiff, because you're going to be propping up your little chicken fans in it. So, do that to all your squares. And then sprinkle some chopped parsley on top!


And the best part?  You still got a Mickeys in the fridge.  Go celebrate.


spaceman said...

Dude awesome recipe but you forgot one thing... The second six pack of hand grenades needed to even start reading the recipe. After that everything makes much more sense and doesn't seem like some kinda insane culinary journey towards 3rd degree burns.

LOuis said...

I wish all my cookbooks were written like this...and included more instructions to "get hyped and grab a Mickeys".

Catsoup said...

But what if I want Guinness?

Catsoup said...

Thanks. You're so sweet. :)