Buffalo Chicken Skillet Pizza

Oh, Dear.

Give me a couple of days off work and besides pinning my ass off, this is what I do. And I’m sick! For some reason, here lately, I notice if I’m sleep deprived or don’t feel good I’m extra hungry.

Kids are back at school and  husband at work, so, at 9 this morning I was coughing, drowning in phlegm (snot), miserable… and craving buffalo chicken.

Only me.

After a nice little nap and some Dayquil, I found my way to the kitchen because, obviously, what else would I do?

The laundry can do itself.

Buffalo Chicken Skillet Pizza

Dough:

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 tsp active dry yeast

Olive oil, to drizzle

Sprinkle yeast over the warm water.

In a stand mixer, combine the flour and salt running with the paddle on low. Add the olive oil, mix for about 15 seconds, then pour in the water/yeast mixture. Mix on low until a ball forms. Drizzle a large aluminum bowl with olive oil and add the dough, tossing to coat with oil. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

The Other Goodness:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts,  grilled, boiled, broiled – your choice – just make sure they’re done and shredded

Olive oil

1/2 onion, sliced

1tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup Buffalo sauce

1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

1/4 cup Bleu cheese

Dried parsley flakes

Bleu cheese dressing

Preheat oven to 500°.

Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat and add the onions; sprinkle with sugar and salt and stir. When they start turning translucent, turn the heat down to medium low. Saute for about 7-10 minutes or until nice and caramelized; remove from heat.

Mix the shredded chicken with the buffalo sauce (you could add more if it doesn’t seem hot enough) . I didn’t put a measure on this because I like to burn my tongue off.

Generously grease a cast iron skillet with olive oil.  Using about half of the pizza dough, spread it with your fingers in the skillet, pushing up on the sides. This is kinda sorta deep dish. Drizzle first more olive oil, then buffalo sauce (I used a spoon to spread it out evenly), then caramelized onions, chicken, and then cheeses. Sprinkle with parsley and throw it in the oven for about 12-15 minutes. OR whenever cheese is bubbling enough to make you happy.

Dip, dip, dip in bleu cheese dressing.

Store the remaining pizza dough in the refrigerator, covered, up to a week. By the way, I used an 8″ skillet and the dough was perfect – not too thick but sturdy.

I also drizzled more buffalo sauce on top. Oh, and the caramelized onions are fantastic.

Your belly just called; it’s asking if you’ll make this.

xoxo

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Candied Bacon and Gouda Scones

This is a first for Yours Truly.

Well, maybe not a FIRST. But I just don’t completely love all this baking stuff.

Ok, listen, it is not a secret that I’m not a big baker. I just don’t like the precision of all that. I mean, seriously. Measuring? Using a freakin’ scale?

I just don’t have that kind of time. Or maybe patience is the word I’m looking for. Yeah, that’s it.

Ok, fine I measure. I just don’t like to have to do it absolutely perfectly. How much fun is getting all dirty in the kitchen – handling meat, spices, peppers (yes!), veggies or whatever and changing your mind about something at last second? I need the ability to throw caution to the wind and add an extra pinch or two of whatever.

Is that crazy?

Maybe.

I’ve been called worse.

There have been so many times that I’ve made some outstanding off-the-cuff recipes just by toying around with food. Last night I made a fantastic dip that disappeared before I could get a single shot.

That makes me cuss, but that’s part of it. I am still a classy girl, I promise.

These scones made me proud; I’m not a great baker. I cross my fingers everytime I throw something in the oven hoping it will rise/do whatever bread/yeasty things are supposed to do. The more I bake, the more I learn and I’m getting better!

Candied Bacon and Gouda Scones

Makes 8 Scones

1/2 lb. bacon

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 cups flour

4 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp dried parsley

1 tsp onion powder

1 egg, whisked

3/4 cup whole milk

4 oz. Gouda cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400°.  Arrange bacon flat on a baking sheet; sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until done and crispy. Let cool, then crumble.

Add the flour, butter, baking powder, salt, parsley and onion powder to a food processor. Pulse until it looks pretty coarse and the butter is evenly distributed. Dump this into a large mixing bowl and add the egg and milk, stirring by hand to combine. Gently fold in the bacon and cheese.

Using floured hands (unless you want to play peel-the-sticky-dough-off-your-fingers for 25 minutes) transfer the dough from the bowl onto a floured work surface. Lightly knead just a couple of times, then roll out into a flat circle. It should be a little smaller than a medium size pizza. Round the edges with your fingers. I actually did all this with my hands and it came out fine; but I know some people rely on their rolling pins. Either way will work.

Cut into 8 triangles, transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

See the Gouda oozing – Yum. I love the whole sweet/salty/cheesy combo.

Tip: I used my food processor to crumble the bacon and the cheese, which worked fabulously. Less work for me!!

xoxo

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Potato Salad – But Not Just Any

This, kids, is potato salad made with real tastebuds in mind.

You know those little plastic tubs you can get in the grocery store with the big chunks of potato and weird mayo/mustard mixture, maybe some pickles, but no taste? I really think some people out there think that’s all there is to potato salad.

I respectfully call them misinformed.

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I have discovered over the years that the potato salad I grew up on isn’t necessarily what everybody else is making for their cookouts, or to take to Aunt Ruth’s Easter get together potluck. No, I don’t have an Aunt Ruth; example, y’all! And I have no idea the last time I attended a potluck.

Anyway, the main premise of this recipe came from my mother – I grew up on this and it was a staple at every single Thanksgiving (definitely), most Christmas get togethers, and anytime in between I asked her to make it. By the way…have I told y’all the story of the “family dressing”. Dressing – as in Thanksgiving (If you’re from the North, I’m talking about stuffing, which is actually nothing like dressing).

From the time I was little, when my family would get together for Thanksgiving or Christmas, some years both, my mother, my aunt and my Nanny (grandmother) would all make dressing at the same time. This was an unspoken competition. Family members would get all panicky about who to compliment the most, because you knew damn well they were all waiting on the comments.

THEN, I would always get the phone call after I got home from Mother, “Tell me the truth, was mine better? Well, no don’t say that, Nanny’s was. Wait…Bootie’s (my aunt – it’s a nickname – let’s hope to God she doesn’t kill me if she reads this) was extra moist this time.”

“Mother, can you hang on just a sec, I dropped my Xanax.”

Truth is, they all make fantastic dressing. I, however, have not nailed making it. The three of them make it with their eyes closed and it comes out perfect every time. One of the great things about being southern.

So, back to the potato salad. I naturally adapted my mom’s recipe (loosely because she never measured – therefore going off of memory and pure taste) and just here lately decided, as delicious as it is, I want to play around and tweak it for fun.

Ok, fine, and to add some heat.

Would you expect anything else?

Potato Salad – But Not Just Any

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds red potatoes, washed and cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 block cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp horseradish sauce (not prepared, but the sauce you find near the mayo)
  • 1/4 Vidalia (yellow) onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup hamburger sliced pickles, diced
  • 1/4 cup green olives, diced
  • 1/4 cup jarred pickled jalapeno slices, diced
  • 4 bacon slices, crumbled (feel free to use more if you're a bacon lover)
  • 3 sprigs fresh Rosemary - stems removed
  • 3 sprigs fresh Thyme - stems removed

Instructions

  • Bring a dutch oven to a boil over high heat, drizzle with olive oil and add the potatoes. Boil until fork tender. If you have a stand mixer, it will definitely come in handy right now.
  • If not, use a large mixing bowl with a big ass wooden spoon.
  • Drain the potatoes and dump into the mixer (or bowl). Add the rest of the ingredients and combine on “stir” for just a minute or two – we don’t want mashed potatoes.
  • Salt and pepper to taste – do not leave this part out.
http://www.dixiechikcooks.com/potato-salad-but-not-just-any/

The combination of mayonnaise, cream cheese and horseradish sauce definitely makes this a creamy dish.

I LOVE the fresh herbs in this; the woodsiness of the Rosemary stands out, and since the Thyme is fresh, it’s much less pungent than its dried counterpart and can really go well with all my spiciness.

And, seriously, you have to love the bacon.

Make it crispy!

xoxo

~Dixie Chik~

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Sesame Orechiette with Edamame

When you think pasta….what comes to mind?

Is it automatically linked in your mind to heavy Italian dishes, laden with enough cheese to kill a horse? Maybe you tend to think of cold pasta salads that are great with grilled chicken in the summer. Or, maybe just a side of penne or ziti to soak up sauce from Chicken Parm.

I have realized, here lately, that over time my family has become the “buttered noodles” family. All three of them would be completely content with a big, fat bowl of spaghetti noodles drenched in melted butter, sprinkled with salt and pepper pretty much any night of the week for dinner. I mean, don’t get me wrong. This really takes some pressure off of me the days that I work.

But, seriously. How do you find contentment in that?

This is a conversation that took place just about a week ago between my husband and me –

Me: “Hey, what do you want for dinner tonight?” (me being in full blown culinary mode when I want to put together something complicated and possibly blog-worthy, of course.)

Mark: “Would you mind if I just boiled some spaghetti? I think the kids would be fine with that too. I’m tired and I just don’t feel like waiting. I just want to eat right now.”

When he says “spaghetti”, I know what that means. Carbs. Butter. Salt and maybe pepper. Not spaghetti with bolognese sauce sprinkled with fresh Parmesan with a side of crusty bread.

Me: “Of course not.”

I don’t get it. If I’m starving I would not be happy with such simplicity. I need taste! If I’m so tired that I can’t throw something together, I will admit that Frito’s and cottage cheese would make me a happy girl.

Now that it’s summer and the kids are home, I frequently come home to sauce pans in the sink with remnants of boiling pasta. Don’t they see all the food that’s stocked in the pantry and fridge? So many things they could make –  sandwiches, paninis, salads, fruits.

See, if we’re talking pasta – I’m going to need a little more excitement going on than butter. At least throw something in there to set my mouth on fire.

Something.

Here’s a pasta recipe that didn’t set my mouth on fire…but definitely made my taste buds happy. The sesame oil alone is intoxicating. I could smell it all day long.

Next time I will be adding wasabi so my mouth will have the opportunity to be set on fire.

Sesame Orechiette with Edamame

1 lb. Orechiette, cooked and drained

1 1/2 cup Edamame peas, shelled and cooked

1/2 cup canola oil

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp sesame oil

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 tbsp white sugar

1 tbsp sriracha (optional)

Toss the pasta with peas.

Whisk together the oil through sriracha and combine with pasta.

Don’t you just love edamame?

Serve, or refrigerate for a while to soak in the flavors.

Sorry those little edamame’s are hiding under the orechiette.

They must be camera shy.

TGIF!

~Dixie Chik~

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Shrimp Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls

Are you thinking this sounds crazy?? It’s not.

I promise. I wouldn’t lie to you about such things. Jalapeños are involved, after all.

It’s an egg roll, just not in the traditional sense. It’s filled with the makings of a jalapeno popper – cream cheese, bacon and jalapeños – with shrimp thrown in the mix.

Fantastic?
Yes.

And…they’re baked. So, if you sub the whole fat cream cheese for reduced fat and the bacon for turkey bacon, then you’ve got yourself a brand new low cal snack.

Or lunch. Depends on how many you eat.

Although this is the recipe I decided on after playing around with it, I want you to taste the filling before you make your egg rolls so you can tweak it based on your taste. Some of you may want more jalapeno (usually me), maybe more bacon, or more shrimp. You might even want a heavier cream cheese base. Just make the base filling, and adjust as you go.

Shrimp Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls

Ingredients

    For the Egg Rolls:
  • 8 oz. small shrimp, cooked and chopped
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 slices of bacon, cooked (I microwaved mine until crispy)
  • 4 jalapeño peppers, diced (remember to remove the seeds if you're a wuss)
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers
  • 1 small bowl of water
  • For the Apricot Dipping Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp apricot preserves
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400° and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine the shrimp through peppers in a mixing bowl thoroughly. Here's when you need to use those taste buds and tweak it if you need to.
  • To assemble, get out an egg roll wrapper, keeping the others covered with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Dip your finger in the water and run it along the edges of the wrapper to moisten. This is how it sticks together.
  • Facing your workspace, you should be looking at a diamond shape. Put about a little more than a tablespoon of the filling, lengthwise, almost to the edge of the corner closest to you. Fold up the corner edge, then fold in the two side edges. Tightly, but carefully, roll it up until you get to the end and the corner is sealed. Place on baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
http://www.dixiechikcooks.com/shrimp-jalapeno-popper-egg-rolls/

The chili garlic sauce looks like this if you aren’t familiar – BTW a major staple in my kitchen:

This is a remnant of one I felt compelled to bite into immediately when they came out of the oven – just to burn the holy hell out of the roof of my mouth. I’m just curious…What comes over me when I see food that I know has just been removed from a blazing hot oven, but the desire to taste the food suddenly outweighs enduring bodily harm?

I’m 36 years old and, obviously, have yet to learn this important lesson that your average 8 year old has probably nailed.

For the dipping sauce, whisk everything together and refrigerate until ready to use. You may be thinking that the sauce isn’t necessary, but I thought it was a great addition to the whole popper-cream cheese-bacony taste. Although it had a tiny kick to it by itself, the apricot was a nice touch to the spiciness of the jalapeños and the creaminess of the cream cheese, plus you could always scale back on the chili garlic sauce if you wanted more sweet than spicy. It kinda had that crab rangoon taste for just a second.

And I like to dip things.

See all that shrimp popper goodness just waiting to be dunked??

If you make these, please try the sauce – I think you’ll love it!

Have a great week!

xoxo

~Dixie Chik~

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