Ladies and Gentlemen happy Friday! This week we decided to change things up a little bit and focus more on some of the slightly complex techniques that we've used in recipe videos in the last year or so. Today, we'll be looking specifically at the kibbeh, grape leaves, and baked teriyaki tenders recipes.
In the video below I'll have a slower, more in depth description to match with recording but in this post I'll describe it again! Let's look at the Kibbeh; this food has a tendency to stick to your hands and, because it's kind of fragile, will tear apart. To stop this from happening we'll dip our hands into ice water as a kind of lubricant. The water won't mix with anything more than the outside of the meat so it shouldn't cause any problems during frying. This technique works well most kinds of formed meat recipes, but it's not always necessary. The next part from this recipe is the hollowing out of the kibbeh. It seems simple, and it mostly is, but you need to be cautious at first to make sure that you don't tear the kibbeh apart while you form the cavity. Once that's done and the filling is inserted just pinch the hole closed and gently roll until it's back into a neat little football shape. The gentle nature of this technique doesn't take long to get comfortable with and it'll help with the next technique as well.
That technique being grape leaf rolling. These are slightly more difficult to get used to mostly because of the form factor. I would suggest starting with the larger grape leaves and then moving to the smaller ones once you've got a better understanding of the motions. Take a small amount of meat, usually a little smaller than you think you'll need, and place it just above where the stem would be. Form it into a link and then tightly, but gently, wrap the left and right side of the leaf around the meat. We need to try and prevent tearing as much as possible. Because this food is boiled any small tears can lead to the grape leaves tearing apart. From there, you wrap the bottom of the leaf up around the meat and tightly roll it like a tiny burrito. All of this is to try and prevent the grape leaf from unraveling while cooking. From there it's just repeating this process until you run our of meat or leaves. Stay vigilant with these, they take a long time to make but they're easily my favorite food of all time!
Finally we've the chicken tenders. Now, this is for any breaded chicken that you make, whether it be panko or other breading. Make sure that you pat the chicken dry regardless of if it was marinated. It's simple but it makes the best baked chicken tenders I've ever had. They're crispy and crunchy without being dry and they perfectly absorb whatever sauce you serve it with. Also, while breading make sure to have a "dry" hand and a "wet" hand. This means that one hand handles only the dry ingredients, like the panko or breadcrumbs, and the other dips the chicken into the egg and sets it into the breading. This really helps with clean up and getting a consistent breading across the whole chicken, and this should be done regardless of what you're breading, chicken or otherwise.
And that's it! It's as easy as that, these things take practice but with a little patience you'll be making some of the best home cooked meals you and your family will have ever had. To see a visualization of these tips, check out the vid below.