Wednesday, August 21, 2013

IRONSIDE: Blair Underwood and Dominican Food...can I get a what what...

A new sexy approach to detective work from a wheelchair and we got to fry his chicken...

Whoa. Blair Underwood.

I first worked with Blair Underwood on the set of LA Law.. Is this a kush job or what?

In his IMDB profile it states, and I quote, "Blair Underwood is a smart, confidant, eloquent, exceptionally handsome African-American actor who was born in Tacoma Washington in 1964, the son of an Army man, and, with his family lived all over the world. Trained in musical theater at Carnegie-Mellon, he moved to New York and got his first break on his second day there by winning a part on "The Cosby Show," and later scored the charismatic role of attorney Jonathan Rollins in the hit dramatic series "LA Law"

BUT WAIT.. We were discussing movie food...

We arrived at the "O's Chicken Shack" location in downtown LA (posing as NYC) at 6 am with massive amounts of lime marinated Dominican fried chicken with a mango sauce, creamy cuminy delicious cole slaw, cheesy gooey mac and cheese, spicy fried okra, not to mention a sumptuous island banana pudding with toasted coconut.

The cuisine of the Dominican Republic reflects it's melting pot roots of Taino, European and African cultures with
later additions from Lebanon, Syria, and other communities of the Middle East and Asia. 

Arriving anywhere at 6 am is a challenge, but arriving with food, food warmers, coolers, knives, cutting boards, spray bottles, gloves, microwaves, a tool kit...well you get the picture...

6:30 AM. Interior of O's Chicken Shack with food in place warm and ready to go. 

Once inside and settled in we carved out a space for ourselves and got to work putting together a Dominican buffet behind the "shack" counter. In this industry everyone is constantly jockeying for position, but at the same time being extremely polite and respectful (well most of the time) of each others work. After all there are hairdressers, makeup artists, a wardrobe department, camera crew, sound engineers, grips, video village, electricians, cinematographers, directors, assistant directors, set decorators, property masters.. all who need a place to be, and sometimes in some very tiny locales. One needs to know who to ask the proper questions of, how to quickly get out of their way, and how to set

Picking up his chicken

The scene opens on an actor walking up to the counter to get his chicken. No sooner had we turned around, and he was pushed up against a wall. Cut! 50 chicken legs later that man was fried chickened out.

And apparently Blair Underwood... Also loved the chicken. Now he too is tweeting about the most sought after food stylist in Hollywood

Just kidding.

Recipes for Lime marinated Fried Chicken, Creamy Cumin Cole Slaw and delicious Caribbean Banana Pudding

Creamy Cuminy Coleslaw

1 half a head of purple cabbage and one half head of savoy cabbage thinly shredded
1 small purple onion thinly sliced, slices cut in half
1 each red, yellow, a green pepper julienned
1 carrot thinly shredded
1 tbs. chopped fresh dill
1 tsp. cumin seeds
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup fresh mayonnaise or a good quality store bought variety
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
Zest and juice from 1 lime

Combine first 10 ingredients in a bowl. Whisk coleslaw dressing ingredients together and toss together with cabbage mixture. Serve on white decorative platter or one that depicts the Dominican and Caribbean flavors.

Dominican Lime and Garlic marinated Fried Chicken

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbs. orange juice
2 tbs. lime juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tbs. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 dash ground cloves
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 whole cut up chicken

Place all ingredients in a large glass bowl. Put chicken in the marinade and let cover and set in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours.

Frying the Chicken:

Mix together following ingredients in a glass bowl
1 cup flour
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Drain the chicken of the marinade and dredge it in the flour mixture. Heat 3/4 inch oil in a heavy frying pan (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat, until it gets to 350 degrees F. Use a 2 inch deep pan if possible to reduce splatters. When oil is hot, shake any excess flour off the chicken and add the pieces to the pan a few at a time. Don't allow the pieces to touch in the pan. Fry in batches if your pan won't hold them all with space to spare. Cook the chicken pieces from about 10 minutes per side. Regulate the heat as the chicken cooks, keeping the oil temperature below 375 degrees - use a deep-frying thermometer to check the temperature.

Caribbean Banana Pudding

4 bananas sliced
1 tbs. unsalted good quality butter
1/2 pound almond cookies (or any of your favorite cookie such as vanilla wafers, biscotti, etc.)
2 cups vanilla pudding mixed with 2 tsp. Meyers Rum
1/4 cup carmel sauce- homemade or store bought
2 cups freshly whipped cream with 2 tsp. sugar
1/2 package coconut (toasted)

Make vanilla pudding from scratch or use good quality vanilla pudding mix. You can use fresh sliced bananas or choose to saute them in a little fresh butter and a pinch of sugar so they caramelize a bit. I like it either way. Make a carmel sauce or buy carmel ice cream topping..yummm could eat it by the spoonful. Whip 2 cups heavy cream. Cut the cookies up in small pieces (I like vanilla wafers, crispy biscotti, or waffle wafers with cream inside. Toast the coconut in the oven to a perfect golden brown. You are ready to assemble!


Take a Martini glass, wine glass, or any decorative glass bowl so you can see the layers. Add 1/4 cup of pudding. Add a small handful of the crumbled cookies. Add a layer of the sauteed bananas. Add 1 tbs. of the carmel sauce. Add another layer of bananas and pudding. Top with freshly whipped cream and toasted coconut.

Hey Everyone,
What's more comforting then a plate of perfectly fried chicken? Tart, here in Los Angeles, has not only great fried chicken, but also all of the amazing sides you crave to go along with it. The mac and cheese is to die for.. it's made with white cheddar and has the most delicious garlic cream sauce. The fried brussel sprouts are perfectly crisp and delicious. Tart not only has incredible food, but also a wonderful atmosphere and great service... it also doesn't hurt that they serve $15 bottomless mimosas every day.

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