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/This chicken. ””””””””””””

IMGP5786 I ♥ lemon.

I have always had a special little place in my heart that tart little fruit. Want a couple of examples? Go here and here. I especially love it paired with bold saltiness like olives or capers.

Bold is always good. Always.

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IMGP5848 And the addition of artichokes hearts? I just have no words. The deliciousness is off the charts. Like, literally.

If you’ve ever had Chicken Scaloppine, this is very similar, give or take a few things, and it’s definitely not as heavy as a chain Italian restaurant would serve full of rich ass cheese and dripping with oil and butter.

With the exception of Joe’s Italian and Nino’s, that are two locally owned Italian restaurants here that I love, I don’t like going out for Italian. I would much rather make my own.

IMGP5825opy I highly, highly encourage you to serve this chicken over couscous – it just rounds it out perfectly. I’m not talking about Israeli couscous, which you could do if you wanted to, but those pearls are just too big and fat. It’s the little couscous’ies that soak up all the juice.

IMGP5871 You can totally customize it based on your preference. For example, if you’re not into really tangy just scale back on the lemon juice, if you’re not into saltiness then just use less capers. I wouldn’t, but of course I love a TON of flavor. Keep in mind that a few capers go a long way, and just a few wouldn’t be overwhelming. It definitely adds to the flavor of the chicken.

I’ve actually considered breading and frying lemon slices. I’m not kidding, it’s on my never ending list of shit to make.

Here’s your printable-

Chicken with Artichokes and Lemon

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of flour, plus 1 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coarse pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced (or about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 stick salted butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts (14 ounces), drained
  • Fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

Instructions

  • Pound chicken breasts thin, or slice vertically.
  • Combine 1 cup of flour with salt and pepper.
  • Dredge chicken in flour mixture; set aside.
  • Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add chicken. Cook each side about 4-5 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through; remove from heat and cover. (Don't rinse the pan).
  • Add lemon juice, butter, wine and chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
  • Whisk the tablespoon of flour with the water until smooth; add to lemon juice mixture in the pan and whisk until thickened; about 2 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low and add capers and artichokes, stirring to combine and simmer for about a minute, then cover and turn the heat off.
  • Serve chicken with sauce over couscous or rice and sprinkle with fresh parsley.
  • Optional - lemon slices on top to garnish. I poured the sauce over my chicken, placed a few lemon slices on top and put under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, then put over the couscous.
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This, my internet BFF’s, is an appetizer inspired by Taco Bell‘s bean burrito.

IMGP5575 For no other reason than I ♥ the hell out of them. And, I obviously love appetizers and finger foods.

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If someone were to ask me what my favorite fast food guilty pleasure is, I would probably say bean burritos; they hold a special place in my heart. They rank right up there with Milo’s cheeseburgers. But see, Milo’s doesn’t really count because that would fall into the fast food burger category. So, the bean burritos would technically fall into the fast food Mexican category. And, yes, there’s a category for everything. This is food we’re talking about, you can’t just throw it all in one big group. Absolutely not where I’m concerned.

IMGP30

Yes, I used whole beans but you could use two cans of refried beans if you wanted to.

IMGP5662

Thinking about those bean burritos takes me back to being 14, and being in summer school. That’s the year I fell in love with them. There was a Taco Bell very close to the high school and obviously that was our go to lunch. (It didn’t hurt that it was cheap). And God forbid they leave off the onions. Damnit – then it’s not even worth eating. They always find a way to screw it up when you’re craving it the most.

This dip is the epitome of that burrito – AND I topped it with Frito’s that I seasoned. We all know what a love affair I have with those.

Why did I top this dip off with Frito’s when you’re gonna dip them with tortilla chips anyway?

IMGP5649 Because I can.

Here’s your printable -

Frito Topped Bean Burrito Dip

Frito Topped Bean Burrito Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 cans pinto beans, (15 oz each) rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans enchilada sauce (10 oz each)
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 2 cups Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • Fritos
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Put the beans in a casserole dish, cover with enchilada sauce, onions and cheese.
  • Top with Fritos.
  • Combine cumin, chili powder and seasoned salt and sprinkle on top of Fritos.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly.
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Yep.

It’s dip time again.
IM694 copy Remember this dip? Check it out, and if you haven’t tried it, you need to put that on your to-do list.

We love that stuff so much around here, that after making this salsa many times I decided to change it up a little. Well, not a whole lot, but a little.

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This time I added bacon to the whole spicy, creamy hot mess.
IMGP5742 I had a feeling it would be hella good (when is bacon not good?). It adds a smokiness that changes it up just enough to be different. Although this dip is spicy and has a kick (y’all know I like heat), it’s not unbearable. The sour cream definitely balances it out. However, if you like these flavors but are really sensitive to heat, you could always sub the serrano peppers for more jalapenos (deseeded, of course) – or even poblanos which have virtually no heat.

Aside from being a dip for tortilla chips, I’ve drizzled this on tacos and quesadillas.
IMGP5683 Here’s your printable-

Hot Salsa Verde Bacon Dip

Hot Salsa Verde Bacon Dip

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Make the dip as directed with only one change - add the bacon in the food processing step.
  • Continue with the remaining directions.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • P.S. You could also roast the peppers instead of boiling, which I've done and it's fantastic.
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I’m soooo not a candy girl.
IMGP5174 Give me hot, spicy, cheesy beautiful food.

We’ve all seen the stuff on Pinterest about infusing vodka with jolly ranchers, fruit, etc. I’ve been meaning to try something like that for a while – I’m not gonna lie – because it looks like it’s so damn fun –  but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Because, you know, there’s food to be made.

Lots and lots of food.

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So, every October I make a fall arrangement for my dining room table (I use the term “arrangement” loosely- I really, really suck at that kinda thing btw) , which includes my glass pumpkin that I fill with candy corn. I have to continue to refill and refill this thing until Halloween is over because my kids think that three handfuls of candy corn on the way out the door in the morning equals breakfast.

Anyway, the candy corn got me thinking about the whole candy/vodka thing – if Jolly Ranchers dissolve, will candy corn?

IMGP5159 The answer is yep. It’s syrupy as all hell, but it does.

Its the perfect little shot.

The candy corn I used is Smores flavored (Brachs), but of course any candy corn will work. I just used this because I recently bought a big fat bag of it.

Here’s your printable-

Candy Corn Infused Vodka

Candy Corn Infused Vodka

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vodka - I like Pinnacle
  • 1 cup candy corn

Instructions

  • Put the vodka and candy corn in a large mason jar with a fitted lid.
  • Let it infuse for 3-4 hours.
  • Use a strainer to get rid of anything solid and return liquid to the jar.
  • Recover and keep cold (I put my jar in the freezer).
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Cordon Bleu Rice

Oct
2014
13

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You know how sometimes you throw something together, not even meaning to make something spectactular but it just ends up being a straight up rockstar?
IMGP4489 That happened with this rice. Sometimes we make things out of convenience; maybe we have too much of this or that, or maybe we’re just craving something. This was a good combo of both. I love chicken cordon bleu, but I’m not sure if I’ve ever made it, I’m not sure why, it’s just one of those things. I’m not being all judgmental about rice, it’s just that I don’t think too much about it. Sometimes it’s definitely necessary; like when you’re making any kind of chicken or beef.

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However, this little dish ended up being a meal that my son declared “one of the best things he’s ever eaten in his life“. That’s pretty significant, especially given the fact that I included broccoli and he doesn’t typically like broccoli.

IMGP413 This was so good, and can totally stand alone, but if you wanted to serve it as a side dish, it would totally rock chicken or pork.

Basmati rice is the BOMB. Not only is it aromatic, but it just tastes damn good.
IMGP4495 Here’s your printable-

Cordon Bleu Rice

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked rice - this is the rice I used
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced ham, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli, diced
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp Sherry
  • 3 oz Swiss cheese, diced
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • Fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Make rice according to package directions; drain and place over medium heat in a large sauce pan.
  • Add ham, broccoli, milk, Sherry, cheeses and salt and pepper.
  • Stir consistently until thoroughly combined and cheeses are melted.
  • Pour into a casserole dish, drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, until slightly brown and bubbly.
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