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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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I’m not sure why I haven’t thought about hooking up pork with buffalo sauce before.
IMGP5243 I absolutely LOVE buffalo sauce, and I ♥ good, lean pulled pork. You know, the little crispy pieces that get a little too done. Not sure why, but I’ve always been that way.

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Recently, my cousin – well, you might as well call her my sister – Meighan got married. It was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever been a part of. They were married at a very picturesque restored home here in Birmingham. This wedding was straight out of Pinterest. Aren’t they the cutest?
meg2 I’m so happy for her. I cried waayyy too much.

For the reception, Meighan and Ben chose a BBQ buffet – which is sooo them. They’re die hard Bama fans (Roll Tide), and Southern through and through. All of their plans in the fall are based on when/where/what time SEC games are (specifically Bama, of course). Meighan definitely gets it honest. Let me just give you an example. Before the wedding the guys, of course, were in the groom’s suite watching the game and drinking beer. So, us girls were in the bridal suite doing makeup, etc. and my uncle knocked on the door to deliver snacks. My aunt just could NOT help herself. She said in a low voice, “Honey… real quick, just tell me – is there anything at all about the game I need to know? Has anybody scored yet? Tell me!”. Meighan said, “MOM I heard you- stop it damnit! I told you dad would let us know if something major happened!!!”.

That’s football in Alabama. And it’s serious shit. It didn’t take my New Yorker husband long to figure all that out. Now he participates, bless his heart.

Anyway, Mark DJ’d (he came out of DJ retirement for this), and even broke out his ‘N Sync dance moves. Yes, he loves ‘N Sync.
mark We had SO.MUCH.FUN.

So, at the end of the night there was a hella ton of leftover pulled pork and chicken – I mean seriously enough to feed two armies. Who took it home? Moi, of course.

For a couple of days we had chicken sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, I made BBQ wontons (post will come soon), etc. However, this was my favorite project àla leftovers - Buffalo Pulled Pork Fettuccine.

It’s kinda like buffalo chicken, but it’s pork. And it’s kinda like pizza, but it’s pasta. In a skillet.
IMGP5220 And baked.
IMGP5286 It’s actually pretty easy, and different. I’m always into different. If you don’t have convenient leftover pulled pork on hand, here’s a good recipe from myrecipes.com, which I included in the printable below just for you.

See the Moore’s Buffalo Sauce in the background there? It’s my favorite. I could drink it. And cuddle with it.
IMGP5350 Here’s your printable-

Buffalo Pulled Pork Fettuccine

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb pulled pork (leftover is easiest, or go here for an easy recipe)
  • 1/2 lb fettuccine pasta
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup buffalo sauce (like Moore's)
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles (a little goes a long way, so you may want to test it first using a tbsp at a time)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
  • Melt cream cheese in a sauce pan over medium heat, add the rest of the ingredients and whisk to combine.
  • Turn heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't scorch, for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat; add the sauce and pork to a large mixing bowl and combine thoroughly using tongs.
  • Pour into a prepared cast iron skillet (a casserole dish will work fine you don't have one), sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake for 20-25 minutes; until bubbly. Top with parsley.
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I just have to tell you. I love hummus.
IM4739 Regular ass hummus is good – but this is special. Let’s just call it special ass hummus.

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It’s roasted poblano pepper and corn hummus – and it’s so.good. The poblano gives it a smokiness, and the corn is just a teensy bit sweet, but not too much.

IMG741 I remember the first time I tasted hummus. It was at a little Mediterranean restaurant in Homewood (a suburb of Birmingham) called Naji’s that I went to with my long time friend, Lauren.  We would drive about 30 miles from Helena to Homewood to get this addictive bean dip. Their pita bread is so fresh. Naji’s is the reason that I absolutely fell in love with these Mediterranean dishes:

Hummus – Crack in mush form. No other words are required here. My crazy rendition is below.

Tabbouleh – This salad is made with fresh parsley, tomatoes, barley, lemon and garlic is one of the freshest salads/dips to ever eat.  One of my favorites. I love scooping it up with pita bread or chips. As much as I make it, I should have already posted it, but I haven’t. I have no excuse. I’m taking responsibility for the non-posting. Don’t judge; it’s on my list.

Baba Ganoush- This is a luscious ass eggplant dip that most people act like they know what it is until they actually taste it. Have I made it with photos and posted it? No. And yes, I  need to do that. Hold me accountable. I’m counting on you to do that.

This hummus is a little nontraditional.
IMGP4687 I roasted a poblano pepper and pureed it with the rest of my nontraditional hummus ingredients. I know this isn’t very pretty but you have to blister the hell out of it. Let it cool a few minutes…
20141002_132728 Then all you have to do is squeeze the liquid out, pat it with a paper towel and dice it.
IMGP4771

Roasted Poblano and Corn Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 15 oz can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup yellow corn
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Drizzle pepper with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 2-3 minutes on both sides, until blistered. Let poblano cool and dice.
  • Put all ingredients in a food processor, pulse until smooth.
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