Roasted Witches Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce

(reposted from 2009)

Trick or treat?  Treat for a Halloween dinner party, or family meal!

roasted witches fingers with honey mustard sauce

roasted witches fingers with honey mustard sauce photo by vsimon

And a treat when you use the non scary version of this recipe throughout the year- oven baked chicken tenders.

Do take it easy on yourself.  Once the hands are acquired, you can prep the fingers the day before and quickly roast, just before serving.

The honey mustard sauce can be made anytime.  It keeps in the fridge for weeks.  It is good as a salad dressing or on all kinds of cooked veggies too. 

We used grainy mustard here.  You can use any kind, even yellow.  That would look way cool on a black plate.

Roasted Witches Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce

Serves 6 metric measures
Fingers  
1 ¼ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast 600 gm
2 tablespoons oil 30 ml
1 cup tortilla chip crumbs, see note below 150 gm
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes 10 gm
2 teaspoons paprika 4 gm
½ teaspoon thyme 1 gm
¼ teaspoon black pepper .5 gm
15 black olives, sliced in half the long way 15
Sauce  
½ cup honey 120 ml
½ cup mustard 120 ml

Butterfly the chicken breasts so you have six portions.  “Butterfly” means to slice the breasts horizontally in half.  The halves will be thin and open like two pages in a book.  Cut each breast through, separating the pages.

Cut each butterflied breast so they look like hands with fingers. Butterflies, breasts, pages, hands, fingers.  Are you still with me?  Good thing there is a picture.

If you are making this on any given weeknight, cut the fingers all the way through.  So no scary hands.

Massage oil onto all the surfaces, including between the fingers.

Mix tortilla chip crumbs, dried onion flakes, paprika, thyme, and black pepper on a shallow plate.

Dip fingers in the crumb mixture until all surfaces are covered.

To make clean up easier, line a sheet pan with nonstick foil or parchment paper.  Arrange fingers on top.   You can get 3D results of you scrunch foil to balls and drape the fingers over them.

Add a black olive half for each fingernail, omit for regular chicken fingers.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to roast.

You need a blazing hot oven to crisp these quickly.  So at least a half an hour before cooking, preheat oven to 425.  You could even heat to 450.

I can’t because that makes my smoke detector go off.  The oven is clean, the smoke detector just doesn’t like the heat.

Cook for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, or anytime, stir honey and mustard together.  Pour into a small serving bowl.

Note: you can easily make your own tortilla crumbs.  Pulse them in a food processor for just a few minutes.  Be sure to buy gluten free tortilla chips.

Southern Home-style Corn Flake Crumbs are gluten free, convenient, and tasty.  You might be able to buy them at your grocery store. Or you can order online.

I have done both, made my own, and used the premade gluten free crumbs.  Each works well.

Serve with  Foamy Bug Juice and eerie background music.

My costume is still undecided.  I have been a witch (not good this year), Marge Simpson with big blue hair (not good this year), a giant black spider (bug juice-also not good this year).   What are you dressing as this Halloween?

Foamy Black Bug Juice

[Reposted from 2009.]

I hope you are planning your Halloween dinner menu. How about starting the evening with Foamy Black Black Bug Juice?

foamy black bug juice

Foamy Black Bug Juice photo by vsimon

Foamy Black Bug Juice

Sweet, tasty, fragrant. Spicy fragrance, not icky stinky. And just gross enough in a clear glass. Make this right before serving for maximum foam. You can spike it with ETOH (alcohol) for the adults if you like.

serves 6 metric measures
1 tablespoon honey 15 ml
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 gm
2 tablespoons dark raisins 15 gm
1 cup grape juice concentrate 240 ml
1/3 cup orange juice concentrate 80 ml
5 cups sparkling water 1.200 liters

In a small bowl, stir cinnamon into the honey. Drizzle honey mixture around the inside rim of the glass. You will have sticky fingers if it gets on the outside. And that isn’t always a bad thing.

Add a few raisins to each glass.

Carefully add juice concentrates to a tall glass pitcher. Try to be neat and not to get it on the side of the pitcher. Or be messy, it just adds to the eeewww factor.

Add the sparking water and watch it foam.

Pour into prepared glasses. Garnish with lots of foam. It will sparkle in your nose.

Stay tuned for the entree.

How to make an Airlock Cap

start

This was the start of my first airlock cap attempt.

I new that I was not satisfied with our fermenting set up.  Not the antique 2 gallon crock nor the one gallon glass jar with glass lid.  The mold and scum, while expected, was not acceptable.  Internet research had turned up fermenting systems that used an airlock but I was unwilling to spend what they where asking.  So we set out to make our own airlock system.

I started by buying a half dozen, half gallon, wide mouth, Ball mason jars.   3capsThen I found a local beer making supply house that sold airlocks.   So my first airlocks where constructed using the standard wide mouth two piece canning lids,  a couple of varieties of airlocks and some tight fitting o-rings to seal the airlock to the lids.   I also used one piece metal lids saved from grocery store products that fit standard Ball canning jars.

From these first tries I found that the o-rings did not seal well enough by themselves.  And the 2 piece canning lids where not convenient to use during fermentation.   All the metal lids tended to develop rust spots after repeated usage.   And the one piece “S” shape airlocks where too difficult to clean.

 

final

That brings me to my present, and very acceptable, airlock cap system.   The o-rings have been replaced with 100% silicone sealant.   This needs to be food grade silicone,  no kitchen and bathroom silicones with mildewcides.   Most, easily found, aquarium 100% silicone sealants are food grade.  But check the ingredient list.

 

ballcapThen there was the rusty metal lids.  These have been replaced with plastic lids made by Ball.

They come in wide mouth and standard mouth sizes.  I found them at my local grocery store along with the other canning supplies for about $3 per box of 8 caps.   These are also very handy to use to cap the fermentation jars after they are done fermenting and need to be stored in the refrigerator.  If not found locally, they are available on EBay.

airlockAnd for the airlock itself, I have settled on the 3 piece design made by Buon Vino Mfg.- Canada.   It is inexpensive and the unit comes apart for cleaning.   These cylinder airlock units are carried by most beer and wine making supply stores.   I have also seen them for sale on EBay, just search for “airlock”.   Locally they cost me $1 each.

 

 

 

The actual construction of the cap system involves drilling a hole in the center of the plastic cap.  The three piece airlock shaft has a slight tapper, so the hole is sized such that the airlock fits snuggly when inserted to a depth of about half an inch.

outsidebeadinsidebead

A bead of silicone is then applied around the shaft both on top of the cap and then on the underside as well.   Wait a couple of days for the silicone to completely cure before using the cap.

And that is the airlock cap design I am presently using.

Future design changes:  grommetMy next version will incorporate a grommet seal instead of the silicone sealant.   I hadn’t already gone this route because of the cost of the grommets in small quantities and the fact that I could not find the correct size locally.   I’ll post pictures when that design change is made, but until then I’m satisfied with the performance of my current airlock caps.

 

Final design upgrade using rubber grommet.

UPDATE:  

 I just made my final design change incorporating a rubber grommet to hold and seal the air-lock into the plastic cap.  Picture shows completed design with an extra grommet on edge. 

Found an online site that sells them in small quantities for a reasonable price.

Love this design.