Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Shells Alfredo with Caramelized Onions #Boursin

Who would not bow down to butter, cream and cheese!  Alfredo di Lelio, after whom this dish was named was a restauranteur in Rome in the early 1900's.  Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, on honeymoon in Rome, dined on this dish every night at Alfredo's restaurant.  

Once you try this recipe, you will never buy pre-made Alfredo sauce again.  This version is a little lighter, but still  totally decadent and off the charts delicious and #Boursin makes it easy!  #Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs has the perfect, mouthwatering recipe in a creamy blend of real cheese, savory herbs with just the right amount of garlic.  You can use traditional fettucine or any pasta.  I chose shells to trap all that delicious sauce!
Ingredients:

3/4 lb. medium shell macaroni
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 large onion, sliced thin
1 5.2 oz. #Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs
1-1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas (optional)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, melt better over medium-high heat.  Add sliced onions and saute until golden brown, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.

Bring 4 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil and add macaroni.  Cook until al dente, according to package directions.  Drain.

Remove onions from saute pan using a slotted spoon, set aside.  Add 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter to same saute pan.  Reduce heat to medium.  When butter has melted, add #Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs and low-sodium chicken broth.  Whisk to combine.  Bring to a gently bubble and add peas (if using).  Simmer 5 minutes.  Add cooked macaroni to pan and simmer an additional 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Sauce will thicken upon standing.  
Top with crispy fried onions and enjoy!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time:  30 minutes
Servings: 4

For more serving ideas to go www.boursincheese.com
Follow Boursin on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest
I have received this product for free from Smiley360 in exchange for my honest review.  You can joing Smiley360 at www.smiley360.com!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Everything Bagel Cheese Ball

Everyone loves a cheese ball to snack during the Holidays. Round, fun and tasty, cheese balls were born to party!  They are also one of the easiest cold appetizers to prepare.  If anything goes, then you'll love this Everything Bagel Cheese Ball, loaded with seeds, garlic and onions.

Ingredients:
  • 1 8-ounce brick cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 cup sharp White Vermont Cheddar, shredded
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. dehydrated onion
  • 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. dried garlic flakes
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Bagel chips, for serving
Preparation:

In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, sour cream, horseradish, cheddar, scallions and bacon.  Form the cheese mixture into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap to chill for at least 1 hours.

On a small plate, mix together the onion, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic flakes, salt and pepper.  Once cheese ball has set, roll the cheese ball in the everything bagel seasoning mix and plate with some bagel chips alongside.

~Adapted from Rachel Ray

Friday, December 19, 2014

Easy Homemade Sauerkraut

I've searched the internet for ways to make homemade sauerkraut the old-fashioned way - in a fermenting crock.  Frankly, I don't have the patience to wait!  It was hard enough waiting for my Naturally Fermented "Crock" Garlic Dill Pickles to be ready!  This recipe is so simple - there is some waiting time - but I think it's worth it.  The kraut is not as crispy as the bagged kraut from the supermarket, but it has the same great "pucker".  I've been eating this straight from the jar.  You can make one jar or 50!
Ingredients:
Cabbage
Canning Salt
Sugar
White Vinegar
Pint or Quart Ball Jars
You'll want to be sure that your jars and lids are sterilized so I always begin by washing and scalding them in boiling water or run them through the dishwasher.
Next, set your water on to boil.  How much water you need depends on how many jars of sauerkraut you are preparing
While the water is boiling, coarsely chop the cabbage.
Pack the chopped cabbage into the prepared jars.  You want the cabbage to be in there tight but leave an inch or two of head room.  Don't pack the cabbage too tight because you need the water to filter through the cabbage.  
Add 1/2 tsp. canning salt, 1/2 tsp. sugar and 1 Tbsp. white vinegar to each jar.
Pour boiling water into jar within 1/2" of the top.  Push down cabbage with a wooden spoon to remove any air bubbles.  Wipe off rim of jar with a clean, damp cloth.
FOR QUART JARS, DOUBLE INGREDIENTS.
Place heated lids on top of jar and seal.  Place in a cool dark place for 7-14 days.  Some juice may leak out of the top, but this is ok.  Place the jars on a small tray if you have one. 
Cabbage will turn from green to a whitish-yellow.  Once kraut is ready, process in water bath for 20 minutes.  Kraut will be ready to eat in two weeks.
Refrigerate after opening.
~Adapted from Aunt Genny's Sauerkraut
Note:  There seems to be some question as to whether this is pickled cabbage or fermented sauerkraut.  According to the dictionary, "Fermentation is the conversion of a carbohydrate such as sugar into acid"  With this definition, this recipe is the fermentation that occurs when you set the jars aside for the 7-14 days.  The combination of the cabbage, sugar, vinegar, salt and hot water causes the reaction, the same reaction you get in a crock, just on a smaller scale. ~The Country Farm Home

Monday, December 15, 2014

Salted Caramel Brownie Brittle with Nestle Toll House DelightFulls

Are you a brownie lover that loves those crispy bits on the edges and corners?
These brownies are a crispy and crunchy wafer that gives you those edges and corners in each bit.
#DelightFulls Filled Baking Morsels bring you a new and exciting way to bake! Their innovative technology provides the same great Nestle Toll House Chocolate you know and love, now filled with 4 delicious flavors. Slightly larger than a regular morsel, these morsels allow you to put a special twist on traditional recipes like a cookie or a brownie, or open up a variety of new fun recipes to try! The DelighFulls filled morsels hold their shape when they bake, and can be used whole, cut in half, or coarsely chopped for a surprising delight of flavor and color in a baked good (not to mention popping them in your mouth right out of the bag!)
It's the hottest new snack!  I thought these would be perfect for these crispy brownies and I'm going to try all the flavors to change up these sweet treats.  Besides the Milk Chocolate with Caramel, they have Milk Chocolate with Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate with Mint and Dark Chocolate with Cherry!  Any of these would be great for this Nestle Toll House Holiday Recipe
I added walnuts and a sprinkling of coarse sea salt.
Ingredients

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. espresso powder
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. dry milk powder
1/3 cup Nestle Toll House Milk Chocolate Morsels with Caramel Filling
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Coarse sea salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a jelly roll pan or baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy.
Add the sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, oil and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
Whisk in the milk powder and flour and beat until smooth.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Spread the batter on the parchment paper using a spoon or spatula to spread it as thin as possible.
Sprinkle with walnuts and sea salt.
Bake the brittle for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cut into squares using a pizza wheel or knife. 
 Do not separate the squares.  Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan.  When the brittle is cool, break into pieces.  
For some Deliciously New Holiday DelightFull Recipes and product information visit Nestle Toll House
 Today’s post is sponsored by Nestle Toll House, but my love for their DelightFulls filled morsels is all my own!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Shredded Pork Soft Tacos #CrockPot

Weeknight tacos usually consist of quick-cooking fillings like ground beef, packaged taco seasoning and some hard taco shells.  It's all good for a quick dinner.

These tacos don't need any cheddar cheese or lettuce or even taco sauce!  
If you are craving some South of the Border flavor, you have come to the right place.

Ingredients:

1 3 lb. boneless pork butt roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup water
1/2 large onion, peeled and halved through root end, plus chopped onion for serving
1 Tbsp. minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 orange, halved
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
10-12 corn tortillas, warmed*
Fresh cilantro leaves
Thinly sliced radishes

Directions:

Combine pork, water, onion quarters, chipotle, oregano, sugar, cumin, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper and bay leaf in slow cooker pot.  Juice orange into bowl and remove any seeds.  Add juice from orange halves into pot, then add spent halves.  Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours.  This can also be done in the pressure cooker and cooked for 35 minutes.

When ready, remove onion quarters, orange halves and bay leaf from cooking liquid.  Using a large spoon, skim excess fat from surface of sauce.  Increase setting to HIGH and simmer, breaking up meat into bite size pieces with wooden spoon until cooking liquid has thickened, about 15 minutes.  Stir in lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with warm tortillas, chopped onion, cilantro, radishes and lime wedges.

*Warming the torillas up before serving is crucial for both their flavor and texture.  Toast tortillas, one at a time, directly on cooking grate over medium gas flame, until slightly charred around edges, about 30 seconds per side.  Or toast tortillas, one at a time, in dry skillet over medium-high heat until softened and speckled brown, 20-30 seconds.  Wrap in clean dish towel to keep them warm and soft until serving time.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Easy, Buttery Garlic Knots

Super easy, fool-proof garlic knots.  Biscuit dough makes them fluffy and tender and practically melt in your mouth!  You can also use pizza dough if you have some in your freezer.  I keep two portions of pizza dough in my freezer at all times since I make homemade pizza once a week.  Try them both ways!  The garlic mixture is not overwhelming like some garlic knots can be, and I have even made the mixture to sprinkle on top of my pizza!
Ingredients
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits or pizza dough
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly oil a baking sheet, or coat with non-stick spray.  You can also use parchment paper or foil and lightly spray.
  • In a small saucepan, melt butter and add Parmesan, garlic powder, oregano, parsley and salt.  Set aside.
  • Halve each of the biscuits, making 16 pieces.  Roll each piece into a 5-inch rope and tie into a knot, tucking in the ends.  If using pizza dough, follow the same procedure.
  • Place knots onto the prepared baking sheet and brush each knot with half of the butter mixture.  Place into oven and bake until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and brush with remaining butter mixture.  Serve immediately with warm marinara sauce or as an alternative to garlic bread with any Italian meal.


Enjoy!
~Adapted from Comfort of Cooking

Chicken Tortilla Soup + #Healthy Solutions Spice Blends Giveaway!

Did you know?

The natural salt in food accounts for about 10 percent of total intake, on average according to the FDA.  The salt we add at the table or while cooking adds another 5 to 10 percent.  About 75 percent of our total salt intake comes from salt added to processed foods by manufacturers and salt that cooks add to foods at restaurants and fast food.
Healthy Solutions Spice Blends are made using only the highest quality spices and have no fillers or preservatives, no MSG, and are low in carbohydrates.  Most blends are made with no salt or sugar.

It's difficult to cook without salt!  Food needs salt to taste good!  But if you put together the right combination of spices, you add flavor and Healthy Solutions makes it easy!  There are so many delicious blends to choose from such as Hearty Beef Stew, Italian Meatballs, Perfect Steak, Ultimate Burger, Cajun Seafood, Shrimp Scampi and more!  The packages contain plenty of product and can be used for several meals.  Follow and 'Like' Healthy Solutions Spice Blends for more recipes for the Holidays and everyday meals.



I used the Authentic Chili/Tacos Spice Blend for my Chicken Tortilla Soup.  I have made several recipes using this blend since my family loves Mexican Food!  It's not overly spicy and gives any Mexican dish a great flavor.
Ingredients:

3 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 large ripe tomatoes
1 clove garlic
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 Tbsp. Healthy Solutions Authentic Chili/Tacos Spice Blend
1 Tbsp. canola oil (plus 4 Tbsp. for frying tortilla strips)
1 cup onion, chopped
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 can low-sodium cream of chicken soup
1 cup half & half
1 10 oz. package frozen corn
1 small can chopped green chilies
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
3 corn tortillas, divided

For Garnish:
1 ripe avocado, cubed or sliced
Fresh cilantro
Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Fried tortilla strips

Directions:
Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Sprinkle chicken breasts with about 1 Tbsp. of Authentic Chili/Tacos Blend and a drizzle of olive oil.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked through.  Prepare soup base.

Set a skillet over medium heat.  Once it is hot, toast the chiles for about a minute per side.  In a medium saucepan, place the toasted guajillos, tomatoes and garlic clove and cover with water.  Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes are cooked and mushy and the guajillos have rehydrated and plumped up, about 15 minutes.

Place the guajillos, tomatoes, garlic, onion and 1 Tablespoon Authentic Chili/Tacos Blend, along with the simmering liquid.  Puree until completely smooth.  
In a soup pot, heat 2 Tbsp. canola oil over medium high heat. Once hot, pout in the tomato puree.  Cook until slightly thickened and puree turns a deep red, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken stock, cream of chicken soup, half and half, corn, green chilies and beans.  Bring to a simmer.  Tear up one corn tortilla and add to soup.  Simmer to blend flavor, about 30 minutes.  Stir in shredded chicken.

For Tortilla Crisps:

Heat 4 Tbsp. oil in a small skillet.  Stack two corn tortillas and cut into thin strips.  Fry in hot oil until lightly brown and crisp, about 2 minutes.  Place on paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle lightly with salt and Authentic Chili/Tacos Blend

Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, cheese of your choice and fresh avocado cubes or sliced.  Add a handful of tortilla strips.

Makes about 2 quarts.  Fry additional tortilla strips to garnish.
Guajillo chiles can be found in most supermarkets in the Latin section.

Enter below and choose your favorite blend!
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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Easy Weeknight Dinners #3

The colder weather is slowly creeping in on us.  Most of these meals can be prepped ahead of time!  Even if you just choose one for any night of the week, it will save you time and not have to worry about "What's for Dinner"?
Monday:  Spinach-Bacon Mac & Cheese - Tired of the same old mac & cheese?  Crisp applewood smoked bacon and chopped spinach really adds another dimension to our comfort food favorite.
Tuesday:  Fried Onion Burgers -  A hot skillet makes a great burger with crispy edges and caramelized onion flavor!
 
Wednesday:  Easy Salmon Cakes -  It's a great way to use canned (or leftover salmon).

Thursday:  Coconut Chicken Tenders - Coat the tenders in coconut, fry and pair with a sweet and sassy sauce for a combination of sweet, spicy, cold and crispy.
Make extra sauce - because they will be double dipping!

Friday:  Wendy's Style Chili - Hopefully you made a big batch and can take a quart out of the freezer!

SUNDAY BONUS:  Mom's Old Fashioned Rice Pudding
Have a great week and keep on cookin! 

Featured on NOWJERSEY.com

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Shrimp Salad Rolls with Tarragon

This salad - creamy in texture with crunchy bits of celery and plump shrimp is a nice change from tuna or chicken salad - and we can't all afford lobster.
Tarragon adds a warm, aromatic flavor with a peppery bite!
Warm, toasty buttered rolls make the sandwich!


Ingredients

2 lbs. large shrimp (easy-peel frozen)
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives
1 Tbsp. finely chopped tarragon
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and Pepper
Old Bay Seasoning
6 Hot Dog Rolls, New England Style split top preferably
  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until the shrimp begin to float to the top.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Drain in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking.  Shell the shrimp and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
  • In a large bowl, stir the celery, mayonnaise, chives, tarragon, lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
  • Spread sides of rolls with softened butter.  Heat in a non-stick skillet and until browned on both ends.
  • Spoon the shrimp salad into the rolls and sprinkle with Old Bay Seasoning.

Serves 6
~Adapted from Fine Cooking

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Easy Weeknight Dinners Week #2

 Our lives are busy now and it's sometimes difficult to have a quick meal that satisfies and keeps you going!  

Please the whole family with these quick and delicious weeknight dinners.
Monday:   Cauliflower Mac & Cheese -  Instead of macaroni alone, add lots of cauliflower that is loaded with lots of vitamins and minerals. 

Tuesday:  Classic Sloppy Joes - Grated Carrots makes sure kids get some extra veggies!

Wednesday:  Baked Fresh Cod with Gremolata Breadcrumbs - The best thing about this dish is that you mix all the ingredients in the baking pan.

Thursday:  Oven BBQ Asian Chicken - Served with steamed rice or salad for a Asian-inspired weeknight meal. 

Friday:  Eat out!

SUNDAY BONUS:  Unstuffed Cabbage - All the flavor of regular cabbage rolls, but alot less bother to make.
Enjoy and have a great week!
Keep on cookin!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Savory Salisbury Steak

Can you picture it now?  Two oval ground beef patties swimming in brown gravy in their own compartment to prevent the gravy from mixing onto a section of mashed potatoes and maybe some corn or peas and carrots.  A frozen meal for a kid from the 70's who might have thought it was a treat to have a TV Dinner.

This is a great weeknight option - if you stay out of the Frozen Food aisle.  
Ingredients:

1/2 cup milk
7 Tbsp. instant potato flakes 
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 cup onion, minced
2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
1 egg
1 Tbsp. beefy-onion soup mix
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 onion, halved and sliced thin
1 lb. white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1-3/4 cup beef broth
1/4 cup dry red wine
Directions:

  1. Whisk milk and potato flakes in a large bowl.  Add beef, salt and pepper to taste, minced onion, parsley, egg, beefy-onion soup mix and Worcestershire sauce and mix until combined.  Shape into four 1/2-inch oval patties and transfer to plate.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  2. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook patties until well browned on each side, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to plate.
  3. Add onion and remaining 3 Tbsp. butter to now-empty skillet and cook until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook until liquid has evaporated, about 7 minutes.  Stir in tomato paste and flour and cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Slowly stir in broth and wine and bring to a simmer.  Return patties to skillet, cover, and simmer over medium low heat until cooked through, 15-20 minutes.  Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve with mashed potatoes, buttered egg noodles or rice.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Easy Weeknight Dinners + Sunday Bonus Recipe!

Stumped on what to make for dinner every night?

Embrace the cool weather with cozy Fall meals.  These comfort foods will soon become your go-to weeknight recipes.
Monday:  Beefaroni
Tuesday:  Rotisserie Crescent Chicken Pot Pie
Wednesday:  Sauerkraut Pierogi Skillet
Thursday:  Bean & Barley Soup
Friday:  Take-out or Eat out!

Sunday Bonus:  French Onion Meatloaf

Friday, October 17, 2014

We're Having Beefaroni!

I don't know what kid - or grown up does not like some sort of Beefaroni!  AKA as goulash or American Chop Suey,  it's always a favorite.

When I was growing up, my Aunt used to make this for us for lunch - minus the ground beef.  Just elbow macaroni in tomato soup - Well I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread!  Mom would have it ready for us when we came back from Trick-or-Treating so I grew up with fond memories of this simple dish and I still make the "simple version" when I want some comfort food.  If you grew up on the soup in the red and white can (which I still love) be prepared to be blown away by this light, yet creamy version.


Classic Tomato Soup (recipe follows)
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 lb. elbow macaroni (anything you have on hand will do)
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Classic Tomato Soup 

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 28-oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes (with their juice) pureed
2 tsp. sugar
1 sprig fresh thyme
3 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a 3-quart saucepan until the butter melts.  Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 8 minutes.  Add the flour and stir to coat the onion and garlic.
  2. Add the broth, pureed tomatoes, sugar, thyme about 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat while stirring to make sure that the flour doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.
  3. Get your salted water boiling and cook macaroni to desired tenderness.  Drain.  In the same pot, brown ground beef.  Drain any excess fat.
  4. Let soup cool briefly.  Discard the thyme spring.  Puree in 2 batches in a blender or food processor.  Return the soup to the pot.  Add cooked macaroni and ground beef.  Stir in 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter and Parmesan cheese.  Bring all ingredients back to a simmer and serve immediately!  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

If you have had Chef-Boy-R-Dee Beefaroni, you know that it's very "saucy".  You may want to add additional Parmesan cheese to really come close to the canned version.  The Beefaroni noodles are very hard to find, but Barilla makes a line of small versions of all sorts of pasta.  If you can find it, buy the small ziti.

Hooray!! For Beefaroni!!
More recipes like this!
Sharing with: Simple Supper Tuesday

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Fingers with Honey Dijon Dipping Sauce

These chicken fingers are not your average.  I used the spices and method from my
Perfect Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe.  Crispy and crunchy with the most delicious dipping sauce!  
For the Dipping Sauce:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
3 Tbsp. Honey
1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the Chicken Fingers:
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into approx. 4" long x 1" wide strips
2 Tbsp. kosher salt, divided
2 tsp. plus 1 Tbsp. black pepper
1-1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
Canola oil (for frying)

Pound chicken strips into 1/2" thickness.
Whisk 1 Tbsp. salt, 2 tsp. black pepper, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder in a small bowl.  Season chicken strips with spices.  Place in a medium bowl and cover and chill for 1 hour. 

Whisk buttermilk, egg and 1/2 cup water in a medium bowl.  Whisk flour, cornstarch, remaining 1 Tbsp. salt and remaining 1 Tbsp. pepper in a shallow bowl.

Pour oil into a 10-12" cast iron skillet to a depth of 1/2".  Heat oven medium-high heat until temperature reaches 350 degrees F.

Dip chicken in buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip back into bowl.  Dredge in flour mixture; shake off excess.  Place 4 or 5 pieces of chicken in skillet.  Fry, turning once until golden brown and chicken is cooked through- approx. 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove chicken and transfer to a cooling rack.

Serve with Honey-Dijon Dipping Sauce
ENJOY!
Coconut Chicken Tenders with Sweet & Sassy Dipping Sauce

Friday, October 3, 2014

Rotisserie Crescent Chicken Pot Pie


Did you know that the first pies were often made from pastry that was intentionally barely edible?  Pastry was used as a method of keeping meats and fillings moist during cooking and also to seal the filling to keep it from spoiling. YUM.  

Many believe the term "pie" has its beginnings from "magpie", a bird that collected a variety of different objects.  

The Chicken Pot Pie was the first frozen pot pie available in the US, developed by the Swanson Company in 1951.  As the saying goes, the rest is history.
With a few store-bought ingredients and some fresh veggies, you can make a delicious home-made chicken pot pie in about 30 minutes.

Rotisserie chicken can be a life-saver for a quick dinner.  It's moist and juicy, and all the work is done for you.  I bought just a whole breast and only used half of it for these four pot pies.  You can double the recipe for a larger family.


INGREDIENTS

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Rotisserie Chicken Breast
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 large potato, diced
1 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tube Crescent Rolls

DIRECTIONS

In a medium saute pan, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, celery and potatoes and saute until onions and potatoes begin to brown slightly, about 5-7 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, parsley and thyme.


Stir in flour and stir to combine.  Cook for 2-3 minutes to cook the raw flour and it begins to smell toasty.  Add chicken stock and peas and carrots and bring to a simmer.  Simmer 5-10 minutes until thickened and vegetables are tender.

 
Remove half of chicken breast and cut into chunks.  Stir into gravy.  Add any accumulated juices left in the container from the chicken.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Divide filling among 4 ramekins and fill them up to the brim!
Remove dough from package.  Roll out and pinch together perforations.  Roll out slightly to measure 8 inches across.  Cut four squares measuring 4 x 4 inches.  Drape over filling, stretching slightly so dough hangs over the edge of the ramekin.  Brush with egg wash and top with Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown and filling is bubbly.



How easy was that?
Let cool slightly before serving.

Makes 4 generous pot pies.

Zucchini & Mushroom Meatloaf

When you are using leaner meats for a healthier meatloaf, you need to bump up the moisture.  Besides being a healthy addition, mushrooms an...