Summer Wedge! Grilled Hot Wings! TWO FOR ONE
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This video started as a simple summer wedge (no bacon, yes tomatoes, so many herbs) but it was feeling lonely. It was feeling like it needed….a friend. A wingman, if you will. Sorry, I’m exhausted. Anyway, since the wedge gets a nice creamy, garlicky dressing loaded with scallions, it felt like that sort of ranch energy was ideal for a hot wing situation, and I sort of felt like it would be a missed opportunity to NOT make both. So here we are, the ideal summer patio bbq party meal, meant to be enjoyed with whatever cold beverage you’re feeling this year with extra ice to suck on once the drink is done.
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The Home Movies summer of bangers continues with two more true classics. Think of this duo as the ideal summer dinner party menu—easy to throw together quickly, in between sips of beer on ice, ideally eaten in a yard, for a few people or for a crowd.
The summer wedge takes all the familiar favorites of our favorite steakhouse salad order—crunchy iceberg, creamy, tangy dressing, sharp blue cheese, herbs, and sweet tomatoes—and makes a few improvements to make it more summer-friendly. We love crispy, thick-cut bacon of course, but that’s more of a winter wedge vibe (stay tuned for that one, in the winter, obvs).
The summer wedge is about letting gorgeous in-season tomatoes and herbs shine. The dressing is a little brighter and tangier, the curly scallion slivers are simply delightful, the herbs are plentiful, and the tomatoes are juicy, sweet, and marinated in a vinegar and grated garlic dressing (which then gets drizzled over the whole salad, which is already sitting on a bed of sour cream dressing). It’s hefty enough to qualify as a Dinner Salad, AKA the go-to meal for when it’s so hot you couldn’t even imagine turning on the oven.
The grilled hot wings? Well, think of them as a Home Movies bonus track—seemed like the wedge salad was lonely and needed a friend that would also enjoy that garlicky scallion-y dressing. Like the smashburger, they aren’t a reinvention of the wheel, simply a showing of the wheel. Make them separately without the wedge, make them together with the wedge, make them all summer long. Read more about them here.
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If you want to put your own spin on things, you already know we welcome and actually celebrate that here at HM HQ. See below for some substitution ideas, and as always, if you have any questions, drop them in the comments.
For the wedge dressing, you can use greek yogurt or sour cream cut with buttermilk. Vegan or lactose-intolerant? Go with something like Lactaid or Good Karma’s versions, or whatever your dairy-free yogurt/sour cream of choice is.
If you don’t have buttermilk, use all sour cream but be sure to thin it out with a little water.
This recipe makes quite a bit of dressing, and that is a very good thing, because it’s great with leftover roast chicken, on any salad, as a dip for raw or roasted vegetables, on potatoes, and especially with hot wings and celery sticks.
If you don’t have scallions, use chives. If you don’t have dill, go with some more parsley. The herb situation here is very flexible.
Prioritize seasoning over viscosity when making the dressing—get the dressing to where you want it seasoning-wise, then adjust the thickness with buttermilk, water, or lemon.
If you really want blue cheese in your dressing, who are we to stop you? We would never. Just add it in at the end.
For the dressing:
1 cup sour cream or full fat greek yogurt
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or white distilled vinegar, plus more
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts finely chopped (set aside the dark green parts for the salad)
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
1 pint small, ripe tomatoes, halved or sliced ¼ inch thick
1 clove garlic, finely grated or chopped
2 tablespoons white distilled or white wine vinegar
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
4–6 ounces blue cheese, depending on your preference
½ large head iceberg lettuce
2 cups mixed herbs, such as coarsely chopped chives, parsley and dill
1. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, buttermilk, lemon juice, grated garlic, and finely chopped scallions. Season with salt, pepper and more lemon juice if needed.
2. Assemble the salad: Cut the dark green scallion tops into 2” pieces. Thinly slice them lengthwise (or on a strong bias). Set aside (they’re good to go) or, put them in a small bowl of ice water to give them that curly, perky, frilly vibe (it’s fun! Try it).
3. Add tomatoes to a small bowl along with grated garlic, vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate until ready to serve.
4. When ready to serve, cut the iceberg into wedges and pull apart the leaves ever so slightly to give them some space between for the dressing to settle. Spoon some sour cream dressing onto the bottom of a large plate or platter, then arrange the iceberg wedges on top.
5. Dress the lettuce with the juices from the bowl of tomatoes, then top with tomatoes, blue cheese, curly scallion tops, and herbs. Drizzle with olive oil before serving.
DO AHEAD: Dressing can be made 5 days ahead, know that the garlic flavor will intensify with time.
Tangy Grilled Hot Wings
When grilling your wings, the goal isn’t hot and fast, it’s more low and slow, to give the chance the skin on the wings (famously flabby if not done well) the opportunity to render and crisp up. The wings, are, of course, the best part of a roasted chicken, and doing them on the grill this way actually recreates that energy a bit (lower flame, lid on rather than high flame, open air).
The sauce itself, I’m sorry– or, depending on how you look at it, pleased– to report is unabashedly classic. Hot sauce, butter, salt, pepper. Yes, I’ve added white distilled vinegar for additional tang, but that’s hardly a revelation. Regarding hot sauces, Frank’s RedHot is the best to ever do it, but I do enjoy employing an alternative hot sauce for additional flavor and more or less heat, depending on the brand you go for. I’m Valentina all the way, and recently discovering their extra-hot variety has changed me as a person for the best. Be sure to thin out the sauce with that white distilled vinegar for tang and proper wing-coating consistency (use water if you want to skip the extra tang).
2 pounds wings, a mix of the wingette and drumette, also known as PARTY WINGS
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Frank’s RedHot hot sauce
¼ cup Valentina or other hot sauce of your choosing
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
1–2 tablespoons canola, vegetable or grapeseed oil
Leftover wedge salad dressing, for dipping
Celery sticks, for fun
1. Make the buffalo sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the Frank’s, Valentina, and butter, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the butter is melted and the sauce is well-combined. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding a little white distilled vinegar if you like them extra tangy (use water if you prefer them less tangy)
2. To grill the wings: If using a gas grill, turn it on medium heat or if you’re using charcoal, build a medium hot grill. Place the top on either way and let the grill get as hot as it can be.
3. Season wings in a large bowl with salt and pepper and toss with 1–2 tablespoons oil. Place them skin side-down directly on the grates, close the top and grill until they easily release from the grates and are nicely golden brown with a few spots of char, 8–10 minutes. Flip them, and continue cooking until they are equally golden brown on the other side with a nice crispy skin and completely cooked through, another 8–10 minutes.
While you wait for them to grill, wash out the bowl so you can toss them in the sauce once they’re ready.
To do the wings in the oven:
Preheat oven to 450°. Season wings with salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet (I never line with anything, but you can if you like) and toss with 2 tablespoons of oil. Roast until wings are golden brown and starting to sizzle
4. Transfer the wings to that large bowl you washed out (or a large bowl if you roasted), and toss them with about half of the buffalo sauce, until they are dressed and glazed but not too saucy.
5. Serve wings with more sauce (and wedge dressing) on the side for dipping, and celery sticks for fun.