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Bring-Your-Own-Lunch Recipes: Coconut Crunch Chicken Strips #BYOL

By Fausto Mendez

    Every week, we suggest a fascinating, unique and delicious dish that is easy to reheat at your office lunchroom. This week’s #BYOL recipe: Coconut Crunch Chicken Strips with Honey-Mango Dipping Sauce.

    Technically, this style of chicken is an appetizer, according to The Cozy Apron. But as an avid fan of chicken strips, I have to disagree. This will be my main course during my in-office lunch on Friday. Coupled with some of my favorite gourmet chips, this is an exceptional meal that will have my co-workers staring in my direction for hours.  

    The recipe reminds me of coconut crunch shrimp, a similar and very delicious idea. If you prefer shrimp, I imagine it would be rather easy to adapt the recipe, but enough talk. Let’s start by revving up your deep-frying oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The Grocery List for the Chicken Strips

+ One deep fryer (or pot) & enough veggie oil to fill it

+ Two (skinless) chicken breasts sliced into sixteen total strips total

+ Spices: Pinch of curry powder, pinch of Cayenne pepper, and enough salt + pepper to fill your heart’s desire.

+ Half cup of flour

+ Two eggs

+ Two cups of sweetened, shredded coconut

+ One Tablespoon of chives

The Grocery List for the Honey-Mango Dipping Sauce

+ Half cup of mayo

+ Half cup of frozen mango chunks, thawed

+ Two tablespoons of fresh cilantro

+ One tablespoon of honey

+ Small pinch of curry powder

+ Three to Four drops of Sriracha sauce (and more if you prefer spicier flavors)

+ Half teaspoon of FRESH lemon juice

 Step 1 - The Spices

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+ Add all chicken strips to a bowl, and mix in the curry powder, a few pinches of salt & pepper, and finally a large pinch of Cayenne pepper. Toss it like a salad until you’ve thoroughly coated the strips.

Step 2 - The Outer Coat

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+ In a larger bowl, add flour, a couple pinches of salt & pepper, and a large pinch of the cayenne pepper. Mix and mix some more. In a new and clean bowl, add the eggs, and beat them silly. In another new and clean bowl, add the coconut. 

+ One by one, dip each chicken strip into each bowl in the following order. Start with the flour bowl. Make sure the chicken strips are covered in the white powder; then, move them to the egg bowl. Finally, roll them around in the coconut bowl until the chicken is thoroughly covered in deliciousness. 

+ Hold all the finished strips on a separate plate until you’re ready to start cooking.

Step 3 - The Fry

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+ Add a comfortable number of chicken strips to your deep fryer or pot. Don’t overcrowd the chicken strips in order to achieve the best result.

+ Fry each batch for about 90 seconds to 120 seconds. Move them around every 30 seconds or so. They should be a nice, golden color when they’re done.

+ Sprinkle a pinch of salt & pepper over each batch before allowing them to cool. Once cool, sprinkle chives over the strips for the final touch.

Step 4 - The Dipping Sauce

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 + Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

+ Serve immediately, or store the sauce in an airtight container inside your refrigerator.

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Recipes to Boost Focus in Meetings: Slutty Brownies #RBFM

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By Fausto Mendez

    Pitching to a hungry audience is shooting yourself in the foot, so bring along some tasty treats - preferably sugary stuff - to boost client focus and mood. It WILL make a significant difference in the success or productivity of your meeting. This week’s #RBFM sugar spell: Slutty Brownies!

    Who doesn’t love a well-made dessert smashed into some Oreos, which is then smashed into another delicious, delicious dessert? If you don’t love that, I suggest you leave now because we’re about Frakenstein a brownie, a blondie and some Oreos into one amazing concoction, otherwise known as the “Slutty Brownie.” Let’s start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 0 - What You’ll Need for 15 to 20 Slutty Brownies

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+ The blondie mix: 8 tablespoons butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, pinch of salt, 1/2 cup chocolate chips (add more chocolate chips, if you want). 

+ The brownie mix: 1 1/2 cup sugar, 3/4 cup cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 2/3 cup butter, 1/2 boiling water, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 eggs, 1 cup flour, pinch of salt, 1/2 cup chocolate chips (add more chocolate chips, if you want). 

+ One package of Oreo cookies

+ One 9” x 9” brownie pan

Step 1 -  Make the Blondie and Brownie Layers (No Baking Yet)

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+ The Blondie mix: Add melted butter and brown sugar into a bowl. Beat that mix until she’s smooth and ready. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Beat some more. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Next, mix both mixtures together. Stir in your chocolate chips. 

+ The brownie mix: Add sugar, cocoa, baking soda to a clean, empty bowl. Then, slowly mix in the melted butter. Add the boiling water. Stir, stir, stir. Next, add the vanilla and eggs. Stir some more. Add the flour and salt. Keep stirring. Finally, add the chocolate mix.

Step 2 - Stack the Layers in the Baking Pan

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+ Line the baking pan with aluminum foil, which you’ll grease with baking spray.

+ Slutty brownies are, of course, made of three layers. Start with the blondie mix at the bottom of the baking pan. The middle layer is just cracked and broken Oreos, and you can use as many cookies as you prefer. The top layer is the brownie batter. If you’re feeling extra sinful, add another layer of Oreos at the top of the brownie batter. 

Step 3 - Let’s Get Baked

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+ Bake the dessert for 35 minutes. The key is underbaking in order to achieve a soft, almost gooey texture, so be careful not to overbake. 

+ Eat your masterpiece. Then, take a nap. Wake up. Repeat until all Slutty Brownies have been vanquished. 

+ I conveniently forgot that we made these brownies for an upcoming meeting or pitch. You may need to make another batch if you took my above advice to eat all the brownies. 

+ Thank Julia’s Album for the original recipe!

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Bring Your Own Lunch Recipe: Sweet “Chick-Fil-A-Style” Nuggets #BYOL

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    Every week, we suggest a fascinating, unique and delicious dish that is easy to reheat at your office lunchroom. This week’s #BYOL recipe: Sweet “Chick-fil-A-Style” Nuggets.

    There’s no interesting backstory to this recipe. Apparently, Amy at My Name is Snicker Doodle has a deep love for nuggets that come from a certain fast food chain that does not sell cow meat, and she also loves to reverse engineer recipes for fun. Now, let’s get started on this week’s #BYOL recipe.

Step 0 - Gather Your Ingredients

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+ Skinless and boneless chicken breasts

+ 1 cup milk

+ 1 egg

+ 1 1/4 cups of flour

+ 2 tbsp powdered sugar

+ 2 tsp salt

+ 1 tsp pepper

+ Peanut oil

Step 1 - Cut & Marinate those Nuggets

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+ Whisk the egg and milk in a bowl.

+ Slice the chicken into bit-size cubes.

+ Place chicken in milk mixture. Let the chicken marinate for 2-4 hours inside your refrigerator. 

Step 2 - Flavor Infuse those Nuggets

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+ Mix the flour, powdered sugar, pepper and salt in a large (gallon-size) zip-lock bag. Throw the chicken into the bag, and shake it up. 

Step 3 - Fry those Nuggets

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+ Heat up two inches of oil in a medium pot over a medium-high flame. The oil will be ready at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

+ Cook up to eight nuggets (or whatever fits comfortably) at a time. Turn them when they’re half done. You’ll know when they’re half done when the edge of the chicken whitens. You only need about a minute for each side, but double check each batch by cutting a nugget to find any pink (under-cooked) meat.

Step 4 - Eat & Enjoy

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