Tex-Mex Chicken Soup

This soup is a chicken tortilla soup, of sorts. This has two kinds of beans – black eyed peas, no less – and dry ranch dressing. As much as I’m a cook that naturally wants to add her own ingredients without the help of a mix; I can’t help it. The packet of dry Ranch dressing just makes this soup awesome. I’ve tried it other ways.

Keep in mind there are so many variations on this you can make. Switch up the beans – I mean, how many are there to choose from?? Pinto, kidney, white, chickpeas, fava, etc….Hey, edamame if you’re adventerous.

It’s September, which here in the good ol’ deep South, means nothing besides school is back in but it’s still hot as 20 hells. I’m not kidding – you never know – it could turn cool by beginning of October, or may hold out until Christmas. So, what’s winter like there, you say? 

Oh, well that would be the same unpredictable hot mess!

This past year we had 70’s starting in February and Mother Nature never looked back. She didn’t give a damn if she killed off all those spiders that found a way into our homes.

But, for the rest of the country (ok, some of it) Fall has begun. That means soups and chowders, sweaters, and the discontinuation of AC.

Not here, people, not here. AC is blowing full blast as I type this on a comfortable 71 – it was on 73 when I got home from work. Mark better not touch it again.

{You see, he likes to change it and burn my ass up.}

Don’t get me wrong, please. I love hot weather and wouldn’t have it any other way, but when the retail industry completely contradicts the weather outside….it sux for us. We can’t completely relish in your Fall Festival having’, sweater wearing, fire-having fall. Because honestly, we don’t even have winters like that!

Nevertheless – it will get cool soon…and I love eating this soup any time of the year because it’s so fabulous.

And it includes jalapenos.

Tex-Mex Chicken Soup

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

1 can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can petite diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can shoepeg corn

1 can chopped green chiles

1 packet dry ranch dressing

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Fritos

Sour cream

Jalapeno slices

Hot sauce – I love Cholula

Combine chicken through broth in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes.

Serve with cheese, Fritos, sour cream, jalapenos and hot sauce.

Repeat.

Repeat? Yes.

You’re gonna want another bowl.

But…

Please don’t forget these guys.

XOXO

P.S.  – I’m off to Dallas this weekend for the Gluten Free Food Expo to hang out with Sunny of And Love It Too! and Genet of Raised On A Roux! I’ll be posting about it – stay tuned!

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Greek Spinach Dip

Peek a boo.

I have a new dip for you.

Isn’t she pretty??

I am obsessed with anything Greek, food speaking – Greek dressing, Greek salads, good Feta cheese, Spanakopita, Greek yogurt, Aginaropita (a savory pie with artichokes)….you get the picture.  I grew up on a salad my dad called “Greek Salad”, although he sometimes he called it “Indian Salad”. I have no idea why. I’m from Alabama; there’s no explaining a whole lot of things.

But, nevertheless I loved it. I can remember being young and looking forward to it because I was sooo in love with the sharpness of the feta cheese and how it contrasted so well with the black olives.

Oh dear.  Even as a child I was a food whore.

He always, always made it with his fried shrimp – which was truly sinfully delicious. I have never been able to replicate it, but it’s one of the things my dad made that stands out in my mind the most. I have no recipe, only tastebud memories, but one day I will!

This recipe is something that, I will be honest with you, was born out of a need to use a bag of fresh spinach. I’m going back to work tomorrow after a 5 day break, and, let’s be honest, unless I found something to do with it – it would very quickly turning into nasty brown spinach in a bag.  So – time to put it to use.

Wait, what have we here in the fridge? A batch of hummus that was made two days ago?

{Mind starts working}

OK…and….DONE!  I have a great idea! Ok, ok…fine, damn, an hour or so passed.

Give me a break, jeez.

Anyway, this is fresh spinach, hummus, Gouda (yes, kids, Gouda) and Feta, baked, then topped with freshly diced Greek style salad and MORE Feta.

It’s just so very sexy.

Greek Spinach Dip

1/4 white onion, diced

1/2 cucumber, diced

1/2 tomato, diced

3 oz can black pitted olives, diced

2 cups hummus (chickpea dip)

5 oz Fresh spinach leaves, washed and chopped – or ran through food processor

1/4 cup Gouda cheese, shredded

1 cup Feta cheese, crumbled and divided in half

In a large bowl mix together the onion through olives; put in the fridge ’till the rest is done.

Preheat oven to 375 °.  Combine the hummus, spinach and Gouda in an oven safe bowl; top with half of the Feta. Bake for 12 minutes. (You can use your judgment here; I baked it until the feta began to very slightly brown). Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. If serving now, spoon the salad on top of the dip.

Add the rest of the Feta.

Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, pita bread, whatever you can get your hands on.

What the hell…

If you have none of the above just use some cardboard.

I won’t judge.

Just go make it-

xoxo

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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.
https://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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