Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Grilled Corn on the Cob

1 pound chicken breasts, cut into pieces big enough to fit on a slider bun

1 package Sara Lee rolls

Buffalo sauce – use as much or little as you can stand.  I drenched my chicken in it but after it was grilled – Mr. Dixie could tolerate it – but I had to add more sauce to mine.

1 bag slaw mix – i used angel hair without the carrots

1 shallot, chopped

1/2 – 1 cup mayo  <—–  I’m guessing here because I really didn’t measure

1 splash apple cider vinegar

Salt and Pepper

About 1/4 to 1/2 packet of dry ranch dressing powder

2 stalks of celery, diced

4 fresh (or frozen, but thawed) ears of corn

3 tablespoons of butter, softened

1 handful parmesan cheese (NOT the powdery-kind!)

Heat grill to medium high heat. In a shallow dish, combine the chicken with the buffalo sauce – don’t be stingy with it if you like heat. 

Set aside.  In a small bowl combine the butter and parm.  Spread each ear of corn with the butter mixture and wrap in aluminum foil.  (the green you see is a last minute decision to throw in some fresh basil I had in the fridge – I love basil – its up to you).

In a large mixing bowl, mix the slaw mix, mayo, vinegar, ranch powder, celery and shallots.  Salt and pepper to taste; cover and refrigerate.  Put the chicken and corn on the grill, checking after a few minutes.  Grill the chicken about 5-7 minutes on each side.  The corn should take about 15-20 minutes so you’ll more than likely pull the chicken off the grill before the corn is done.  Open the foil and pierce with a fork to make sure its good.

Or, you could use common sense (like I didn’t) and throw it on there a little before the chicken and they can be ready at the same time!!

Now carefully tear open those wittle bitty dinner rolls.  Layer a chicken piece on the bottom, and top it off with a spoonful of slaw. 

~Serve with the corn~

Of course I had to have more of the hotness 😉

Cheers-

Dixie Chik

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Poblano Peppers stuffed with Shrimp, Mango and Roma Tomatoes (Poblanos Rellenos Camarón)

This is good.  So, so, so good.  It’s Mexican-y, seafood-y, a little spicy and a teensy bit sweet.  And the vinaigrette that is drizzled on top of the peppers..OH  MY…I had to dunk several naked shrimp in the vinaigrette while I was making this because I couldn’t get enough of it. I even thought about tipping the bowl up one time to get a good swig of it.  

Ok – so I know it’s fall but in my heart it’s eternally summer – and anyway, mangos are nice and ripe and available almost year ’round.  Did you know that?  I didn’t until the nice little Publix produce man told me today.  He also told me I look like Erica Kane.  (??) 

Every element to this is very important – the blending of the flavors is what’s so great about it.  First, make the vinaigrette.  And please disregard all that you see in the background of this picture.  Me and Photoshop had an argument today and I let it win. 

Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1 handful (about 1/4 cup or so) roughly chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon cumin

1/2 chipotle cube (Knorr) – I just recently found these at my local Wal-Mart in the International section.  If you can’t find these, use 2 tsp of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, which you can find on the aisle where the typical mexican fare is…As a matter of fact those are awesome and if you like spicy/mexican type food you will have endless options in using them.  Try it the next time you make tacos – throw one or two in the taco meat or chicken (depending on how hot you like it), or in your soup or chili.

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp salt

Combine the vinegar and orange juice in a small sauce pan; bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to about med-low and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Let it cool off the burner for about 20 minutes.  Add the mayo, whisk until dissolved, and then add the remaining ingredients.  Set aside. 

For the Poblanos:

1 pound fresh large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 Poblano peppers

1 mango, click here for fantastic instructions on how to cut a mango

2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

2 shallots, diced

1/2 lime, juiced

1 tsp chopped cilantro

1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon

2 tablespoons salted butter

1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

Preheat oven to 400, and spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. 

Combine the mango, shallots, cilantro, tomatoes and lime in a small mixing bowl; set aside.

Wash and slice the peppers down the center, halving them longways and remove all seeds.  Place the pepper halves on the sheet, along with the shrimp; all spread out and not touching. 

In the microwave melt the butter and Old Bay. 

Coat the shrimp with the melted butter using a pastry brush, then in the oven it goes.   (This is the point where I threw  my bacon in the microwave.)

Save these little shrimpy shells!  

Did you know that you could throw them in a little freezer bag and later you can boil them and make seafood broth – OR you could go ahead and make seafood broth, pour it into those old-fashioned ice trays and have them on hand in the freezer to use for sauces, soups, etc. 

Check on the shrimp after about 5-8 minutes.  You might need to remove them from the pan before the peppers are done; if so just set them aside. 

Combine the shrimp with the mango/tomato/shallot mixture. 

The peppers should be done after about 15 minutes – they should have just slight brown edges.  Stuff the peppers with the shrimp mixture and pop back in the oven for about 3-5 minutes; remove.  Drizzle the vinaigrette over the peppers and top with the bacon crumbles.

~Enjoy~

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Chipotle Chicken Chili With Baby Corn Cakes and Lime Cream

I’m so excited! I found something new today that I didn’t even know existed! It’s these little things….

Who knew?   And look how cute.

Just little bitty tiny squares of hot yumminess.  Precious.  My husband hates hot – but ssshhh don’t tell him this….there’s one in his dinner tonight. 

This recipe is a little bit of a spin on white chili with your typical accompaniments.

The Chili: 

1 pound chicken, cooked and chopped or shredded

2 cans white beans (I used one can of white beans and one can Great Northern)

1 onion, chopped  (If you would like a wonderful step-by-step of how to chop an onion go here. )

1 4 oz can chopped green chiles

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp cumin

1 crumbled Knorr chipotle cube (I actually  used about 3/4 of one to make sure it wasn’t too spicy, and it definitely wasn’t)

Approximately 2 1/2-3 cups chicken broth

1 can petite-diced tomatoes

1 Block Monterey Jack cheese, shredded.  (You can throw some in the chili while it’s simmering just for fun; but save most of it for topping it off later.)

Olive oil

Over medium-high heat, coat the bottom of a dutch oven with olive oil.  When the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onions.  Saute for a few minutes until a little transluscent; add the garlic and saute till fragrant.  Add chicken and the rest of the ingredients; bring to a boil and then turn the heat down, cover and simmer for about 35-40 minutes.

For the Lime Cream:

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 lime, juiced

Combine the two about an hour before serving; chill.

For the Baby Cakes (Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food):

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

11 oz can shoepeg corn

1/3 cup whole milk

1 large egg

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 400.  Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  This is my baby girl who’s 11 going on 20.  Isn’t she the cutest?

……then pose with it.  Again, cute, right?

 Now use a cupcake pan or a square bar pan (like I did), evenly distribute 12 baby cakes.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until slightly golden around the edges and the knife test is clean. 

Now…..

In a serving bowl layer a little Baby Cake……

Spoon on some chili…

Then some cheese….

Finally…the lime cream

As Martha would say, “It’s a Good Thing”.

                                                                                                       

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Butternut Squash and Sausage over Barley with Gorgonzola Sauce

When I was at the farmer’s market yesterday I knew I wanted to make something with butternut squash, but couldn’t decide what to make.  After looking through my cookbooks and online, I decided to look through the pantry and use my culinary instincts (sometimes I have them!).  This actually came out very well and all of the components balanced each other.  Turned out to be a great fall dish ~

For the Squash ‘n Sausage:

1 butternut squash, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 package turkey smoked sausage, sliced

1 cup barley

1/2 cup water

For the sauce:

2 oz gorgonzola

1/2 tsp sage

2 tbsp butter

1/2 cup cream

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp flour

Preheat oven to 400.  Place squash and sausage on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Drizzle squash with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast for 20-25 minutes until slightly brown and the squash is tender enough that you can pierce it with a fork with no reisistance.

In a sauce pan, add 1/2 cup water and salt, bring to a boil.   Add the barley and lower heat to low.  Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cook until the barley is tender but still has a slight (slight as in tiny) crunch.

While all of this is cooking, let’s start the cheese sauce…..

Bring the butter, sage, flour, garlic and milk to a boil and reduce heat to medium.  Add the cheese and bring to a slow boil,  then whisk until thickened, about a minute or two. 

Spoon the roasted squash and sausage over a plate of barley, then drizzle the cheese sauce on top.  Keep in mind that gorgonzola is a very strong cheese and you won’t need a lot – don’t go crazy with it! 

Happy Fall 🙂

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Cooking With My Kids

It’s burger night!  I let my 14 year old take the chef hat; he picked the ingredients, spices, etc.  He loves to be in the kitchen; takes after me 😉  

What fun.  I love it when my kids help me cook- I love the fact that they get the experience and we get to spend time together all at the same time.  Tonight we made some yummy burgers that had a tiny bit of heat with all the flavor (’cause we removed all those mean seeds), and also had the bite of jack cheese.   

Stuffed Jalapeno-Jack Burgers

1 pound ground sirloin

Hamburger buns of your choosing – tonight we used Kaiser rolls

2 good squeezes of Heinz 57

1/2 block Monterey Jack cheese

3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped fine

1 egg

spray for grill

Butter

Salt & Pepper

Garlic Salt

Combine the sirloin, Heinz 57, egg, salt and pepper; form into thin patties.  On one patty layer a handful of diced jalapenos, then a handful of jack cheese.  Stack another sirloin burger and press all the sides in to form one patty.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients. 

I love this picture....a little man after my own heart.

Heat grill to medium; add burgers.  Grill for about 6-7 minutes, and then turn.  Grill burgers according to preference.

Slather butter on both sides of 4 buns and sprinkle with garlic salt (or if you made big fat burgers 3) – add to grill and check after about 2-3 minutes.  Remove when butter side is slightly golden.

Serve burgers on buttered buns.

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