We're about to get a major dose of nostalgia on an upcoming episode of Tiffani Thiessen’s cooking show, “Dinner at Tiffani’s.” The second season airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Cooking Channel, starting Feb. 3.
“I can promise you some really fun people are reappearing on the show and a lot of new guests as well,” Thiessen says. “Probably the most anticipated guest is my old co-star from ‘Saved by the Bell’ Mark-Paul Gosselaar, along with his beautiful wife. We have a great episode of double-dating with my husband. I do a lobster boil, which was super fun.”
Gosselaar isn’t the only co-star she keeps in touch with. Last season, Elizabeth Berkley (Jessie Spano) and Mario Lopez (A.C. Slater) swung by, too. That’s the whole premise of her show — Thiessen invites celebrity pals over for dinner parties.
Her dream dinner party
When asked who she’d invite to her dream dinner party, she goes for a combo of classy and comedy. “I think how amazing it would be to have the President and the First Lady in your house, cooking for them. I’d probably be pretty nervous,” she admits. Besides the Obamas, she would pick Jimmy Fallon, who she dubs “the ultimate party guest.”
The key to a good burger
The season premiere — featuring Eric Close, Matthew Lillard, and Thiessen’s husband, Brady Smith — is all about burgers and beer. When asked the key to a good hamburger, Thiessen advises, “Not overdoing your meat.” As for the toppings, she says it’s a personal choice.
As for her favorite thing to cook, Thiessen can’t decide. “I think you’ve just asked the impossible question,” she says with a laugh. “I like to cook everything and I am always up for a challenge.” She does share one of her favorite recipes with us, though! The star compares her honey-ginger chicken wings to potato chips — you can’t eat just one.
Tiffani Thiessen's Honey-Ginger Chicken Wings
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 9 hours 35 minutes (includes bringing to room temperature and marinating time)
1/2 cup honey, preferably wildflower or mesquite
1/4 cup lime juice plus 1 tablespoon grated lime zest, plus more zest, for garnish
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced (about 3 tablespoons)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 chicken wings (about 4 pounds), tips removed, drumettes and flats separated
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, lime juice and zest, tamari, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, scallions, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Reserve 3/4 cup of the marinade for later use.
2. Pour the remaining marinade into a 2-gallon ziptop bag. Add the chicken and seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible; massage to distribute the marinade. Marinate, refrigerated, for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
3. Remove the chicken wings from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. Put the wings skin-side down on the baking sheet and spoon the marinade from the bag over the wings. Cook for 20 minutes, then flip the wings, baste with the pan drippings, rotate the pan and cook until the honey has caramelized and the skin is a dark amber, an additional 20 to 25 minutes.
6. Pour the reserved 3/4 cup marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the liquid is thick and syrupy and turns into a glaze, about 4 minutes. Coat the wings with the thickened marinade. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with lime zest.