Flavor Of Repast: Family Meal in Wilmington, NC

*Scroll to the bottom of this post for contest details*

I hope you've been reading my adventures during the Flavor of the Past Tour
in Wilmington, NC this week. If not, that's OK. You can catch up HERE for Part 1 and HERE for Part 2. To make sure you NEVER miss a post, sign up for Nik Snacks email updates.

My one day tour of Wilmington turned into a four-day vacation. I hadn't been able to take a vacation all summer long. I didn't even get to go to the pool! If work wasn't calling me away, it was the bank shaking its head at my checkbook. I'm so glad I was able to get away and call it a beach vacation.

I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with my friend Oak and his family. They moved from Winston-Salem to Wilmington recently. They have a four-year old daughter, Ryan and just had baby Riley, 6 months ago. It was so gracious of them to welcome me into their home and eat their food!

Buffalo Chicken Wings
adapted from Good Eats episode: The Wing and I
(feel free to double and triple this recipe. We did.)

12 whole chicken wings
3 oz garlic-infused oil (or other flavor)
3 ounces unsalted butter
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup Texas Pete hot sauce

Place a 6-quart saucepan with a steamer basket and 1-inch of water in the bottom, over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.
Remove the tips of the wings and discard. Using kitchen shears, or a knife, separate the wings at the joint. Place the wings into the steamer basket, cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam for 10 minutes. Alternatively, use a rice cooker to steam the chicken wings for 10 minutes.

Remove the wings from the basket and carefully pat dry. Lay the wings out on a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. The wings can be layered or stacked on the pan loosely.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Replace the paper towels with parchment paper. Brush wings with garlic-infused oil. Roast on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and brush alternate side with garlic-infused oil. Cook another 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.

While the chicken is roasting, melt the butter in a small bowl along with the garlic and red pepper flakes. Pour this along with hot sauce into a bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken and stir to combine.

Remove the wings from the oven and transfer to the bowl and toss with the sauce. Serve warm.

I don't care what portion of the world you live in, this is the best hot sauce ever. Ok, it doesn't beat Sriracha, but it's the only hot sauce I let touch my food purely as a condiment. It's more flavorful than it is spicy, and it doesn't mask food's flavor with a crazy capsicum-laden film.

It's manufactured in my city, Winston-Salem, by the T.W. Garner Co. and they produce other products like hot dog chili, seafood cocktail sauce and honey mustard. Pete is a staple in the South. It brings joy to the cockles of my heart when I see Texas Pete hot sauce packets in a restaurant. It means you should eat there. They know what's up.

The beginnings of the 'itis. Oh. My. Goodness. I had to take off my jewelry to make sure I could get into my wings without interruption.

So, Oak is Thai and his wife is...well, I know she's not Thai but she's Asian, too. They eat a lot of Indian, Thai, and Chinese food. They've introduced me to a lot of new and good things. They're the ones that told me it was OK to go to the Asian grocery in the city. I'd seen it, but never went inside. Now, I go there every week. I can't stay away.

Edamame. Our snack. Nice and salty.

Kim chee soup. Add water and cook. It smelled like something was dying,

but it tasted wonderful.

Steamed buns. These are red bean paste (azuki) and taro root filled ones. The red bean ones were infinitely more tasty than the taro. It was like, "Oh, tare-NO!" I fed mine to the dog.

OK, so if you leave a comment at the end of this post, you will be entered in a drawing to win a Texas Pete prize package. I'm giving Pete away because I want to spread his goodness somewhere in the world. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell your fellow bloggers and foodie friends. Comments will be closed September 12 at 8:00 PM EST. The winner will be selected at random though the random number generator.

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

Leave a reply

  1. Nikki, I made steamed buns (filled with red bean paste) once and it took forever-- how nice that you have friends who will make them for you! :)

    On the subject of hot sauce, my favorite is called Ortego Sauce, made in Ville Platte, LA. I would call an auto parts store, talk to a guy with a thick Cajun accent, give him my order and address, and a couple of weeks later a box of 24 bottles would arrive, COD, at my house. I have no idea who made the stuff, but I can't find it any more! I have 4 remaining bottles which I am hoarding... :)


  2. Steamed buns and wings. Oh yeah! My type of eating. I want to try this Texas Petes.

  3. Oh how I remember the smell of kim chee when I was in the Army. They buried the cabbage first.

    I have to respectfully dissent from the Texas Pete assertion. I am a Franks man all the way when it comes to my hot wings.

    I'll be sure to link to this post when I post about my wings!

  4. I see this Texas Pete so often on blogs and so wish I could get a bottle here. We love our spicy food but you just can't buy a decent hot sauce here. They all have too much vinegar in them and we don't like that.

  5. That is my favorite sauce for hot wings...you've got me craving some now!

  6. Nikki,

    OOh OOh, free stuff. Im all over that. And a new chicken wing method to boot. I will make it your way and try it, not much differant ingredients, cept I would add about one tablespoon of sugar in the sauce. Steamin um seems like a good idea.

    Keep the good stuff coming....

  7. Oooh, I want a Texas Pete prize package! IF it's bettern than Frank's Red Hot I'm in.

    Is Oak's wife Korean? The kimchee soup is Korean.

  8. Wait Texas Pete sauce is made in NC? Do you think as many people would buy it if it was called Carolina Pete? :)

    The wings and everything look delicious. BBQ pork buns are probably my favorite Asian Dim Sum dish EVER. Wait... yup that's my final answer.

  9. Nikki, Great post. We love buffalo wings in our house. Getting ready to make some for the football game tomorrow. Go Miners!

  10. I've never seen a wing recipe where you steam them first. Very interesting. I love wings.

    I'm not sure I've ever tried Texas Pete's. I've done Tabasco and Frank's of course, but now you have me intrigued. Next time I need hot sauce, I'm going to do some experimenting.

  11. I am SO leaving a comment. (See?)
    And if I win, I've got a local (Northern California) jalapeno sauce I'll send you that will knock you silly. Not too hot. Green. Nothing fake.
    BTW, I love sriracha too.
    (Heather, I love Frank's as well.)

  12. Is Texas Pete better than Frank's Red Hot? As a Colorado girl stuck in Godforsaken Texas, I fear trying new things because they may contain fire ants. It's just a thing of mine. If you say it is, and I hope you do, I will attempt to make wings with it and report back. As an ex-Hooters girl (my parents are SO proud), I know shitty wings. As a chef, I know good ones. And now I want some.

  13. Nikki, thanks for the congrats and for coming by my site. I want to be like you when I get young. You are so smart, so creative, an excellent cook, and a TV star. A book is in order. Gloria would be so happy if you bought her book. And I'm sure if you needed any assistance at all she would be more than happy in lending you a hand. Thanks sweetie for coming by.
    Oh BTY, did you see the new Mexican word of the day? Budweiser? Check it out.

  14. Oh Yeah, chicken WAAAANGS!!! Texas Pete has it goin' on, but have you had a chance to try the "Kick Ass" brand? It's just as good, for real.

    The hotter the better, yeah feel the burn, just lets ya know just how alive you are.

    Dammit! Now I'm hungry again!

  15. Texas Pete looks like just the hot sauce I've been looking for! I can't find any good hot sauces up here... Silly Canadians.. :P


  16. Nik, I have to admit I am a Frank's fan so I would love to try the Pete's. I am open to converting!

  17. Vicci: Yeah, they're always nice to me letting me try their favorite foods when I visit them. Hold onto those bottles for deal life, until you can get some more!

    Courtney: I'll have to try to make some buns in the near future. Not today though. Too much work.

    Don: You know, I think Frank's is OK. I really do. But I gotta keep it local ;)

    Rose: I don't like excessively HOT sauces. I'd rather add my own spice (usually in the form of red pepper flakes, wasabi, or even black pepper)

    Aggie: All RIGHT!! A fan! Love it!

    Robert: You have to thank Alton Brown for that one. They came out perfect. No deep frying, which is the part I love best.

    Heather: To be honest, Frank and Pete are neck and neck in my book. But like I said, it's more flavorful than spicy.

    Oh, and yeah, Megan's Korean. Thank you lol

    Adam: You know, I'm sure if the appeal would be as great if he were Carolina Pete. Maybe people would think it was pete, like petemoss or something.

    Teresa: that is the most wonderful, gracious thing anyone has ever said to me. Really. I thank you for being so kind and a great foodie friend.

    Rachel: I ate my weight in wings this weekend. Thank you, professional football. I cannot STAND Tabasco. It's got the proper heat, but the taste...leaves much to be desired.

    CC: I'd love to try a green sauce. That sounds awesome! For real!

    Spiteful: Girl, you are on point. I don't want to endorse shitty wings. I know shitty wings, too. And I can't believe I cursed on my own blog just now. Oh well. I do what I want! Yeah, these are bomb. Texas Pete is bomb. For real.

    complaint mgr: winner winner, chicken dinner!

    Lyra: Oh, you're not a silly Canadian :) I hope to send up some sauce to BC for you and new hubby ;)

    Kimi: Pete is like Frank's nephew or maybe older uncle, but he's someone you'll want to add to your pantry.

  18. Mmmm. Steamed Buns are heaven! Wonder how hot sauce would be on those?...


  19. I love hot wings and I love hot sauce. We don't have a lot of selection in my neck of the woods but I do like Frank's. Cheers.

  20. I would love to try some Texas Pete's so count me in. My two favorite hot sauces are Tabasco Chipotle and Peewee's Green from Louisiana.

  21. How great is "Texas Pete"?.... another hot sauce lover here...I use it on everything.....great on mac/cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, noodles...all of it. Your wings look glorious, and the steamed buns, and even the kim/chee!

  22. Those buns look delicious. How do you make them?