Bread Twists for me, started when I was a young man. I would camp with some friends near a reservoir we would boat and fish on, and we would twist canned biscuit dough around our Hot dog and Marsh mellow skewers to make “Bread Twists”! Now I don’t now if this is something everyone else does elsewhere, but I’ve never seen anyone else do it since. However, there is a local Pizza Joint here, that shall remain nameless, that has branded their very existence around them. They are so good, I thought I’d share a real simple way to make these yourself at home.
Instead of going through a whole dough recipe and having to worry about the yeast and what not, do yourself a favor and pick up a frozen bag of dinner rolls. I used these Texas Rolls made by Rhodes because they are 50% larger than the average dinner roll, so it gave me more Twist to work with. The great thing about a pre-made dinner roll is that they’ve taken all the guess work out of making a fluffy light bread, which is the key to making perfect Bread Twists. It is critical, however, to follow the thawing instructions and let the dough rise properly. Once you’ve done that, roll them out with some flour into a long cylinder shape that you can then roll flat with a rolling pin. Then using a Shish Kabob Skewer, pierce the tip on one end of the dough, then slide the dough to the bottom of the skewer and twist the dough to the end of the skewer and stab the tip of the remaining twist. It’s important to let them rise back up again before baking so they remain fluffy when they cook. I use a cake pan when I lay the Bread Twists Side ways in order for the bread to swell and cook down as well as out in every direction. This also helps to brush the Garlic and herb seasoned butter over the top.
Mix all the Butter Topping ingredients together and brush the twists on all sides before and after baking. The twists do tend to come unraveled during the handling, but they twist back just as easily. Shake Parmesan Over the top after they’ve been basted and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes or until Golden Brown. Because oven temperatures may vary, the time will too so watch them carefully because they cook faster when the dough has been rolled out and flattened for twists. Bread Twists are great with Italian Pasta, Pizza or just Dipping in Marinara, Alfredo or Garlic and Olive Oil.
Preparing an Artichoke is no big deal. You just need a sharp knife, and I mean Chef sharp! An Artichoke is a very tough budding flower from an extraordinary plant so you have to bust through the meaty exterior to get to that wholesome tender center. Not to mention that the leaves have thorns at their tips. So, the first thing you want to do, after you get your seasoned water boiling, is cut through the base and sever the stem, and then expose all of the pedals by cutting the leaf tips. This Allows the seasoned boiling water to penetrate through the entire Artichoke when it’s fully submerged, thus tenderizing the heart and making the leaves eatable. Boil for approximately 8 minutes then serve an Artichoke with melted butter and mayonnaise.
Artichoke Recipe Favorites
My Favorite ways to eat an Artichoke usually involves the hearts. And, because I’m lazy, I’ll just break down and by a jar of pickled or marinated Artichoke hearts and incorporate them into my recipes.
For most people, making Tender Calamari is not an easy chore. Even restaurants struggle with it. When you get it in rings, it’s slices of the body on those six inch squid, so it tends to be very chewy. When you get all eight of the legs and tentacles, you are just getting the lower half of the same squid. Understand? Top and Bottom. No matter what you do, Cooking Calamari like this isn’t ever going to make it any less chewy, and tenderizing them with a mallet is just ridiculous. So you need another solution, and here it is; Calamari Steaks!
This isn’t just a good alternative; it’s the best way to turn out Tender Calamari. It’s not chewy this way at all. It’s soft yet Crispy and very flavorful. In fact I can eat an entire plate of it cooked this way, and you will to if you haven’t already. Oh, and if you can’t find it at your local grocery or seafood market, tell them to order it for you. How do you think I got these? Smith’s Food and Drug just pitches me a phone call when ever anything I ask them to order arrives. No extra cost to me, and they get exactly what I want, when I want it. It’s sweet!
Anyway, the Salt and Pepper Calamari recipe can be found at various restaurants around the globe. I think the most popular menus include P.F. Chang’s Salt and Pepper Calamari (my personal favorite), and Typhoon’s, which I don’t like at all. So today I’m going to model P.F. Chang’s. If you’ve ever had their recipe, you know it’s to die for. So let’s dive right in to this Tender Calamari recipe and get started.
Tender Salt and Pepper Calamari Ingredients:
2-4 Calamari Steaks Thawed and sliced 1-2 Green Onions thinly sliced 2 Pinches of Margarita Salt and Pepper
1 egg white 2 tbsp canola oil (any oil is fine) 1 pinch of Garlic Powder 1 pinch of Ginger Powder (Curry powder isn’t bad either) ½ tsp Soy Sauce ½ cup of Corn Starch
Calamari Dipping Sauce:
1 pt Hoisin Sauce ½ pt Black Bean Garlic Sauce (or Bean Curd) 1 pt Orange Chili Sauce You can also add a little bit of sugar soy and vinegar if you’d like.
After ½ hour of marinating the Tender Calamari, dredge the slices through Potato starch, or cornstarch until it is evenly coated, then fry at 375 degrees for 1 ½ minutes. Be sure to separate each piece with a spider or a slotted spoon while frying. Then toss the Tender Calamari in a bowl with Slices of Green Onion and season with Salt and Pepper to your taste.