Talk Food Festival: Edward Lee

Posted on Oct 16, 2013 10:45am

Chef and owner of MilkWood in Louisville, Kentucky Edward Lee  joined the ladies for The Talk Food Festival.  He made one of his favorite recipes that melds Asian and Southern techniques in one dish, Adobo Fried Chicken and Waffles, from his cookbook "Smoke and Pickles." Here are all of the recipes from the show!


Adobo Fried Chicken and Waffles
Feeds 6


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons melted butter

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

Dipping Sauce

¼ cup water

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 thai chili bird peppers, thinly slices

Adobo Broth

2 1/2 cups white vinegar

1 1/2 cup water

3 garlic cloves, minced fine

4 bay leaves

1/2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

½ teaspoon chili flakes

1 teaspoon salt

Fried chicken

2 pounds various chicken parts, thighs, drumsticks and wings (do not use breasts)

4 teaspoons salt

2 cups buttermilk

1 cup all-purpose flour for coating

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 quarts peanut oil for frying

Extra salt for seasoning


Preheat your waffle maker and lightly oil it. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, paprika and black pepper. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs and buttermilk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients a little at a time while whisking. Cook the waffles according to your waffle maker's instructions. Cut the waffles into 2 inch shards and reserve on a plate at room temperature or in a low oven until ready to serve.


For the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Transfer to a jar with a tight fitting lid and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.


Make the Adobo broth next. In a medium-sized sauce pot, combine all the ingredients for adobo and cover with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let simmer for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down as low as it will go.


Arrange your chicken pieces on a work surface and judiciously season them with salt. Add the chicken pieces to the gently simmering liquid. Cover with the lid and poach the chicken for 15 minutes, turning once halfway through. You want the chicken to poach and stay moist while picking up the flavor of the broth so make sure the liquid does not get hotter than a gentle simmer. Turn off the heat and allow the chicken pieces to cool in the liquid with the lid still on, about 20 minutes.


Remove the chicken pieces from the adobo broth and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Pat the chickens dry.


Pour the buttermilk into a bowl, and in a separate bowl, combine the flour with the salt, paprika and black pepper.


Dip each chicken piece in the buttermilk, then shake off any excess liquid. Immediately dredge in the flour mixture and transfer to a plate. Repeat this step with the remaining pieces of chicken. Leave all the dredged chicken pieces on a plate at room temperature for 15 minutes. The floured surface will turn a little soft--that's a good thing.


Meanwhile, fill a large cast-iron skillet about half full with peanut oil. Heat the oil to 365° F. Cook the chicken pieces 2 or 3 at a time for 8 to10 minutes, turning it every minute, depending on how thick the cut of chicken is. Wings will cook faster and drumsticks will take the longest.

Be careful to keep the oil temperature at around 350 to 365° F. The chicken is cooked when the internal temperature of it reaches at least 165° F.


Using tongs, lift the chicken out of the oil and drain the pieces immediately on paper towels. Season again with a little salt, and transfer to a platter. Serve the fried chicken with the waffle pieces. Just before serving, pour the dipping sauce over the chicken. Eat it hot!


Kabocha Squash Mac'n'Cheese with Pork Rind Crust
Feeds 8 to 10 as a side dish

1 small kabocha squash, roughly a pound and a half

2 tablespoons olive oil

¾ pound elbow macaroni

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup chicken stock

3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

3 ounces Colby cheese, grated

3 ounces pecorino cheese, grated

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon coarse salt

¾ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

3 tablespoons crushed pork rinds

2 teaspoons black sesame seeds


Preheat the oven to 375° F.


Peel and de-seed the butternut squash. Cut into cubes about an inch thick and lay them onto a baking sheet. Toss with the olive oil, season with a little salt and pepper, and bake for about 25 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.


Meanwhile bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the elbow macaroni in the boiling water for about 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through but still with a slight resistance to it. Drain the macaroni and cool it off under running cold water. Keep aside until ready to use.


Transfer the cooked squash to a blender. Add the milk, chicken stock, the three cheeses, and butter. Puree on high until you get a smooth consistency. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Transfer the squash mixture to a mixing bowl with the elbow macaroni and mix thoroughly.


Transfer the mixture into a 4-inch deep baking dish or casserole that has been rubbed with a little soft butter. Sprinkle the pork rinds and sesame seeds over the top. Cover with foil, and bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil, and continue baking until lightly browned and crisp on top, another 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm with fried chicken.


Roasted Okra and Cumin Cauliflower Salad
Feeds 6 to 8 as a side dish

½ head (about 10 ounces) cauliflower, cut into small florets

8 ounces okra, trimmed and split in half lengthwise

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

5 pieces dried apricot, sliced thin

½ ounces roasted cashews, chopped

Zest of an orange

Juice of ½ an orange


Preheat the oven to 400° F. Using two sheet pans, place the cauliflower in one pan and the okra in the other. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over each pan. Sprinkle ¾ teaspoon of cumin over each pan. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of salt over each pan. Toss the okra and then the cauliflower and place both pans in the oven.


Bake the okra for 10 minutes and the cauliflower for 25 minutes. They will be done when they are soft, slightly shriveled and just a little browned around the edges. Remove them from the oven and combine them in a large mixing bowl.


Toss in the dried apricots, the cashews, the orange zest and juice.


Reserve warm in a 200° F oven until ready to eat. Serve in warm bowls.

Chess Pie with Blackened Pineapple Salsa
Makes 2 pies

Pineapple Salsa:

1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into ½ inch thick rings
1/3 cup peanut oil

Juice and zest of two limes

1 tablespoon dark rum

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

Pie Dough:

2 3/4 cups flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 ½ teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons cold butter cut into small chunks

4 tablespoons cold shortening

4 to 6 tablespoons cold water


6 eggs, plus 3 yolks

3 cups sugar

6 tablespoons melted butter

5 tablespoons fine cornmeal

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare 2 pie pans or tart pans by chilling them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.


For the pineapple salsa, it is best to work in batches. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a heavy skillet on high heat. Fry about two pineapple rings until blackened on both sides, about three minutes each side. Transfer to paper towels. Drain briefly to remove the excess oil. Repeat until all the pineapple rings are blackened.


Chop the blackened pineapple rings into fine chunks and transfer to a bowl. Mix in the lime zest, lime juice, rum and brown sugar. Reserve in the refrigerator until ready to use.


For the dough, make sure your ingredients are very cold. I leave mine in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Combine the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times to mix together. Add the cold butter and shortening cut into ½ inch cubes and pulse 10 to 12 times or for about 10 seconds until mixture is crumbly with butter bits the size of small peas. Add the water a tablespoon at a time while pulsing until a rough dough ball is formed. Stop as soon as the dough gathers into a ball. Divide the dough in half and shape into 2 discs. Wrap each disc with cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.


Once chilled, transfer one disc of dough to a cold work surface dusted with flour. Use a rolling pin, roll the dough to ¼-inch thickness, occasionally lifting the dough and turning it a quarter turn. Dust with more flour underneath if needed. When the dough is large enough to fit the pie pan, lift and drape the dough onto one pie pan, pressing gently into the sides and bottom of the pan. Trim any excess overhang of dough with kitchen scissors or a knife. Chill this prepared pie crust in the refrigerator while you repeat the steps to roll out the other disc of dough.


Whisk all the filling ingredients together in a medium bowl and fill the pie pans three-quarters of the way to the top. Bake the pies next to each other at 350° F for 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out almost clean and a light crust forms on top of the chess pie. Remove from the oven and leave at room temperature until ready to serve.


This pie can be served at room temperature or better yet, slightly warm. Unmold the pies from the pan, slice into six even slices and top with the pineapple salsa.

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