Award winning food

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Last week I focused on the healthy side of life. To counter that I must now focus on the delicious-zero-regard-for-health side of life.

Here in Colorado we’ve had the warmest spring on record in years. And last weekend our neighbors hosted a ‘Fry’ party. The invite let us know there would be two deep fryers going and there would be an award for the best “tastes like chicken” offering. Awesome! I love a good challenge and this is my favorite kind of friendly competition — food focused.

The husband and I talked over all our ideas and came up with three things to make for the party. I took on the fried tater tots. Take thick sliced bacon and slice them in half. Slice jalapenos, warm the tater tots just slightly so you can skewer them and grab the wooden toothpicks. Place a tater tot and slice of jalapeno at one end of the half bacon slice, roll up and secure with a toothpick. That’s it. When ready, toss them a few at a time into the fryer and pull them out when the bacon reaches your desired crispiness.

The husband decided to make spicy buffalo wings. He mixed together Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, some soy sauce and some El Scorcho habanero sauce we had in the fridge. He put this in a large Ziploc with the wings and marinated them in the fridge for four days. These you drain off the liquid and then fry in batches until they are cooked through.

We just happened to have some alligator in our freezer so we pulled this out and thawed it. I then tossed all the gator in a Ziploc with some olive oil and  some Mr. Brown’s rub from the Smoke & Spice book I’ve mentioned a million times. I mixed it all together and let it marinate in the fridge for a couple hours. I then tossed together four cups of all purpose flour, a TBSP or two of kosher salt, black pepper, chili powder and a dash or two of onion salt and crushed red pepper all in a large plastic bowl that has a lid. I shook up the mixture well and added in the gator. I then shook it again to make sure the gator was well coated. You then fry these in batches until they float and are golden brown.

We loaded the bikes with our bowls and headed to the party. The afternoon couldn’t have been nicer and it was so fun to show up and find the entire front yard full of bicycles of all sizes with tagalongs and bike trailers too.

The party was in full swing when we got there as we can never seem to be on time for anything. Pretty quickly the gator went down in the fryer and every little while some of the tater tots and lastly the chicken wings. I just happened to be around for a batch of gator and one of tater tots when they were pulled from the fryer. It was a good thing too, because they didn’t last but a few minutes before they were gone.

When it was all said and done, I am please to report our trio won the grand prize for the day and the gator WAS the best “tastes most like chicken” option of the evening.

Now I just need to find the gal who made the avocado egg rolls and get that recipe to try at home. Those were amazing.

About the author


Is a west coast gal who has settled down in Colorado. She loves to write, cook and play outdoors. If you don’t find her at work, she’ll probably be out riding her bicycle, at the pool with her kids or curled up on her couch with her face buried in a book.

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