Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fall Shmall

I’m having a hard time getting into fall this year. I’m usually a sucker for the crisp air, red and orange leaves, new boot collections, and comforting fall food, but this year I just can’t seem to get over summer. Summer was far too short and the weather, well… it sucked. I didn’t get my fill of long days and vitamin D, and suddenly—before I even had a chance think about buying brightly colored open-toe wedges—it was 6pm and already dark outside, and pumpkins starting popping up in the grocery store.

I’m trying to get into it though. I mean, I really do love wearing scarves and baking crisps and crumbles, and who doesn’t like a big pot of chili or soup on a cool fall day? Luckily two of my favorite fall things are helping me (slowly but surely) come around to the turning season: football and new TV shows! Ok, that’s maybe the dorkiest thing I’ve ever said on this blog…but I’m not kidding… I’m kind of obsessed with some TV shows right now. And the football thing… well, that’s just for the food.

Amanda and I recently went to a Husky tailgate with some of her friends (who happen to be UW athlete alums), and it was amazing. The game sucked, we got stomped, but the tailgate party was ah-may-zing! The group brings a big flat screen and satellite dish so we could watch the game right there in the parking lot. And the food… so good! Every tailgate they do is themed on the opposing team, so in a game against the cornhuskers, the food theme was corn. Amanda and I made sure all of our corny contributions were purple and gold, so no one would be confused about our loyalties.

Ever since then, I’ve been inspired by fun purple and gold football food ideas, and came up with the most perfect thing. It would be absolutely perfect for a Husky game…but I didn’t test it out at a football game. I tested it out for the premier of Law and Order: SVU! I love SVU like no one’s business. I even made Evan create an SVU theme song remix for me… it’s pretty rad. It feels kind of lame but also awesome to be madly in love with a network TV cop drama. But I mean… c’mon, Stabler’s a babe. And if you don’t believe me, ask Amanda—she’s obsessed too.

Anyway, for the big SVU premier, Amanda came over for… chicken wings! Purple and gold ones! I made Sticky Blackberry Honey Hot Wings. They were sweet and smoky, sticky and finger-lickin good. Flecked with (gold) shards of orange zest, the purple glazed wings were a UW football fan’s dream come true. They were also pretty damn good for Law and Order night.

As long as I have fall TV shows and football food, I suppose I’ll survive the short days and crisp air. With these wings, maybe I’ll even start getting into the season a little.

Sticky Blackberry Honey Hot Wings
24 chicken wings

2.5 cups blackberries
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/4 cup orange juice
1.5 tablespoons chipotle tabasco (or more to your liking..and you can use hot sauce of your choice plus a sprinkle of chipotle powder)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 pinch ground black pepper
1/4 cup melted butter
zest from 1 orange

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and put wings in for 40-50 minutes (until cooked through). While wings are baking, make sauce: puree berries, honey, ketchup, orange juice, hot sauce, brown sugar, and balsamic until smooth. If you dislike the seeds, strain (I like to leave them in). Mix puree with melted butter. Set aside.

After wings have cooked for 40-50 minutes, drain juices. Pour sauce over wings and coat evenly (you might have sauce leftover). Stick back in the 400 degree oven for 10 more minutes, turning often. About half way through, sprinkle a little more brown sugar on top, and mix in, sprinkle orange zest on top. For last few minutes of cooking, turn on broiler.

Reserve remaining sauce for dipping, or for another use (like eating with a spoon or dipping tortilla chips into or basting on salmon).
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