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Probiotic Salad

A probiotic salad of sauerkraut, dill pickles, and a yogurt dressing.

The recipes I share here on Food With Legs vary along a spectrum that runs from Old Favourites straight to What the Hell Experiments. This one happens to fall much closer to the latter end than the former. I was having friends over for dinner, had plans for rich and meaty pasta and main courses and wanted to start with a salad. I figured I could lay down an acid base and get everyone salivating for what was up next. And that’s how the “probiotic salad” that combines both my wild-fermented dill pickles and spicy Sichuan sauerkraut was conceived.

I am being a bit tongue-in-cheek by using that word “probiotic” in the title. Yogurt companies have adopted it–along with belly-dancing models and stomach-shapes lines–to make a back-handed claim about their products’ health benefits. The connection between live bacteria in food and the digestive health of those who eat hasn’t been definitely established, but I’m willing place a tentative bet that it will pan out–especially when the probiotic food is cultured with more than just a yogurt companies patented strains of lactobacilli. (more…)

Murkey Recipe for Christmas

Adapted from Ruth Goodman's recipe on Wartime Farm my recipe for Murkey.

Alton Brown taught us that stuffing is evil. He awkwardly and half-heartedly rescinded the blanket prohibition against putting bread inside your bird with a well-if-you-really-must episode that involved a pre-roasting turn in the microwave and then a cloth bag and then in to the cavity. That doesn’t sound fun to me, does it sound fun to you? (more…)

Oscars Party Food

Bacon Caramel Corn cooling.

It’s Oscars time and I don’t always do seasonal posts but this time (for whatever reason) I felt the inspiration. I considered doing a list of recipes that are each shoe-horned into representing one of the nominees for the Best Picture Academy Awards.

After I finished chuckling at the thought of the outrage at War Horse Tartare I put this idea aside. If that’s your thing though see the Serious Eats Punny Oscars Menu for 2012 (it’s horsemeat free).

Instead I’ve compiled some ideas from previous posts for what you should bring to the Oscars party you’re going to tonight.

  • Buffalo Chicken Dip: I made this one originally for a Super Bowl party but I think it would stand up just as well in the hoitier toitier gatherings.
  • Deep-Fried Pickles with Cheese and Bacon: Along the same lines, these will be at home at all but black tie affairs.
  • Beer Cooler Chili: The timing is running tight on this one for tonight but any food table for a large gathering is well-served when anchored with chili. My recipe cooks the meat in a beer cooler (naturally).
  • Punch: Is the first and the last word on party drinks. This recipe is stiff enough that no one will be tempted to spike it.
  • Bacon Blondies: A Food With Legs classic these will definitely cover the dessert category.

All great ideas I’d say but this year I’m slightly working another old FWL recipe. With some minor adjustments I’m making Porky Pop, or bacon caramel corn, this time with peanuts and walnut pieces. (more…)

Pancakes with Kentucky Fried Chicken

Bits of fried chicken skin in a stack of pancakes.

Fried chicken and waffles, like they do it at The Stockyards, are a classic duo that I wanted to see if I could improve upon. It’s pancake Tuesday this week and waffles would be a fine stand-in–whether as a last indulgence before the deprivation of Lent or just for the breakfast-for-dinner thrill–but I’m not sure they’re an ideal pair. Perhaps weekly eaters of fried chicken and waffles have developed some especially delicate approach. I haven’t and halfway through the meal it looks like a toddler has had an especially vigorous food tantrum.

Also waffles are light and crisp and need to be eaten quickly. Fried chicken has bones and is a finger food and that doesn’t match well with waffle’s buddy syrup.

Not only do I think pancakes would be a better match but I wanted to find a way to make fried chicken (of all things) more indulgent. Why not take the work out of it and focus on the best part by crusting and frying only the skin? A gluttonous version of popcorn chicken. (more…)

Tofu Spanakopita

Spanakopita stuffed with tofu, feta cheese, and eggs.

I’d like to say that I have a mixed history with tofu, but that’s just not true. I can’t think of a single time that I’ve thought “wow, I’m glad that was tofu.” From the weird chew when it’s grilled to the sacrum-shaking (not in a good way) wobble when it’s served in liquid, I can’t take tofu.

But it’s healthy and a complete protein and cheap and it was never a cuddly-wuddly animal. I know, I know. Those are all (in vastly varying degrees) why I keep giving tofu another shot. This recipe makes delicious spanakopita and the tofu bulk them out, add health benefits, and because you use less feta cut the saltiness.

You could use fresh spinach but generally any time spinach is stuffing I prefer to use frozen and let someone else do all of the early steps. If you use fresh cut the boiling time for that step by at least five minutes. (more…)