BUFFALO CHICKEN TENDER SLIDERS

BUFFALO CHICKEN SLIDERS

2/3 cup Frank’s hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
4 cups shredded chicken**
12 KING’s Hawaiian sweet rolls
1/3 cup Ken’s Sweet Vidalia Onion dressing
Green leaf lettuce or cabbage mix, optional
Thinly sliced Mozzarella cheese

  • In a large sauce pan combine the hot pepper sauce, butter, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a SLOW boil, removing from heat as soon as it bubbles.
  • Add the chicken and stir to coat.
  • Spread a layer of the dressing on each roll or better yet make a slaw with the dressing and a cabbage mix or the lettuce.
  • Top with a slice of mozzarella cheese, lettuce if using and a scoop of the chicken mixture.
  • Serve and enjoy!

NOTES: **A rotisserie chicken works great when you’re in a time crunch! I prefer to pan sear a few breasts for shredding when I have time.

BACON WRAPPED JALAPENO CHICKEN BITES

Chicken and cream cheese spread stuffed into jalapenos, rolled and wrapped with bacon and then grilled. YUMMY!

BACON WRAPPED JALAPENO CHICKEN BITES adapted from Trisha Yearwood

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3-ounce package cream cheese (I use herbed cream cheese spread), softened
8 LARGE jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded
8 slices bacon

  • Generously season chicken thighs with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Saute chicken pieces until browned and cooked through.
  • Move chicken to cutting board and dice small or shred.
  • Stir chicken pieces into softened cream cheese.
  • Wrap each roll with one piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. (These look a bit odd today because I only had half slices of bacon).
  • Grill until bacon is brown and crispy on both sides.

NOTE: Be sure to wear plastic gloves when handling fresh jalapenos. The oil will attach itself to your hands and is not easily washed away. Even an inadvertent swipe of the hand close to your eyes could be a VERY unforgettable and unwelcome experience.

COWBOY SMOOCHES

Whether you use a grill or the oven these are a HUGE hit with the guys and a perfect appetizer for ANY sporting event!  They are quick, easy and can easily be prepared in advance!  If you want something with a little less punch try my COWGIRL KISSES with their raspberry chipotle sauce.

COWBOY SMOOCHES

8 ounces chive and green onion cream cheese
2 tablespoons Frank’s Hot Sauce
4 slices bacon, diced and browned crisp
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Jalapeno Peppers

  • Mix cream cheese and hot sauce until well blended.
  • Fold in half of the cheese.
  • Clean and remove seeds from peppers.
  • Fill peppers with cream cheese mixtures.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bacon pieces.
  • Bake or grill over low heat 15-20 minutes.

or try my COWGIRL KISSES

BUFFALO CHICKEN PINWHEELS

Need a great recipe to take to the SUPER BOWL party? Love buffalo wings? If you do, you’ll love these! Wings have been ANY sports favorite for as long as I can remember. I’ve made pounds and pounds of chicken wings and even made Buffalo Chicken Dip many a time, but was ecstatic when I ran across a recipe for the same flavors in a wrap cut into pinwheels by Brandie over at HOME COOKING MEMORIES. This is the perfect and delicious party food with all the flavors of buffalo wings plus the blue cheese, but without sticky fingers. Personally, I don’t care for Bleu cheese so I substitute Gorgonzola. I also use rotisserie chicken which adds a a little extra flavor and I decreased the hot size just slightly.

BUFFALO CHICKEN PINWHEELS
8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/3 cup Frank’s original hot sauce
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 cup Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
1/4 cup green onions, finely minced
1 pound FINELY CHOPPED rotisserie chicken pieces
5 large 10 inch flour tortillas

  • In a bowl, beat cream cheese on low.
  • Add in hot sauce, Gorgonzola and Colby-Jack cheeses.
  • Add green onions, mixing until blended.
  • Fold in shredded chicken into mixture by hand.
  • Spread approximately 3/4 cup of mixture on top of one of the tortillas. Roll up tortilla TIGHTLY.
  • Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  • Place rolled tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
  • Remove from refrigerator and unwrap.
  • Slice each rolled tortillas in half and then each half into 3 slices, discarding ends.
  • Place pinwheel slices on serving plate or tray.

NOTES

  • IF using different sized tortillas, adjust amount of buffalo chicken mixture you add to each tortilla.
  • BEST results happen after chilling the rolled tortillas before slicing,

JALAPENO BBQ MEATBALLS aka TANGY SMOKEY MEATBALLS

JALAPENO BBQ MEATBALLS aka TANGY SMOKEY MEATBALLS

MEATBALLS
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 LARGE egg, beaten
1 cup quick cooking oats
6 ounce can evaporated milk
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Line a large jelly roll pan with foil. Use 2 pans if necessary.
  • Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

 

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • In a large bowl combine eggs, oats, milk, onion, salt, pepper and garlic powder until well blended.
  • Add the ground beef and mix thoroughly.
  • Shape meat into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet 1 inch apart.
  • Bake uncovered 25-30 minutes.
  • While baking, prepare sauce.
  • At 30 minutes, pour off grease and combine meatballs onto a single tray.
  • Pour sauce over meatballs, turning balls to coat.
  • Return pan to oven and bake another 20 minutes.

SAUCE
1 cup jalapeño ketchup
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • In a saucepan whisk together sauce ingredients.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Simmer 5 minutes.

BUFFALO MAC & CHEESE NESTS

BUFFALO MAC & CHEESE NESTS
2 cups elbow pasta
2 cups small chopped rotisserie chicken pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/3 cup BBQ sauce or Frank’s Original hot sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
3/4 cup milk
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
slices thin provolone cheese
finely chopped red onion for garnish (optional)
finely minced crumbled crisp bacon for garnish (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Cook pasta al dente’ per package directions.
  • Spray mini-muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray.

 

  • In a saucepan melt butter.
  • Add Wondra and combine until golden.
  • Whisk in milk until smooth.
  • Add Colby Jack cheese and stir until smooth.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Add pasta and stir to coat.
  • Press 2 tablespoons into each muffin tin.

 

  • In a mixing bowl combine chicken, garlic, shallot and BBQ sauce.
  • Spoon a small amount over each pasta mound.
  • Add a small thin slice of provolone over each mound.
  • Bake until golden, 12-15 minutes.

SAUCE
2 tablespoons BBQ sauce or Frank’s original Hot sauce
1 cup bleu cheese dressing
2 tablespoons half and half

  • Blend all together a dribble over each prepared nest.


NOTE: When using a soft cheese like Mozzarella in a recipe of this type there is a secret to keep it from just melting into a GLOB of gooey mess in your pasta.  The secret?  Cut it into very small pieces and freeze it for 30 minutes before adding it to your sauce.  It will incorporate into your pasta perfectly after that.

I have MANY MANY versions of mac & cheese.  One for every mood 😀

ALTERNATIVE FLAVORS for the MAC & CHEESE:

CAJUN MAC & CHEESE slow cooker version – serves 8
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs*
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (I like Slap your MAMA)
1/2 teaspoon Frank’s original hot sauce
1/2 pound andouille sausage, halved and sliced into half moons
1 small red pepper, seeded, stemmed and diced
1 LARGE shallot, diced
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 1/2 cups bowtie pasta
1/2 cup shredded gouda cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
+/- 1/3 cup milk

  • Combine chicken, Cajun seasoning and hot sauce in slow cooker, tossing to coat chicken well.
  • Add sausage, red pepper, shallot and broth, stirring to combine.
  • Cover and cook on low 6 hours or high 3 hours.
  • Stir in pasta Cover and cook 20 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
  • Turn off slow cooker and remove insert from heat.
  • Top with cheeses (DO NOT STIR IT IN), recover and let sit 5 minutes until melted.
  • Add milk and stir to desired consistency.

NOTE:

  • 2 cups diced rotisserie chicken can easily be substituted for the chicken thighs. If using rotisserie chicken, add pieces at the same time as the pasta.

BUFFALO RANCH MAC & CHEESE #2 SLOW COOKER version
1 pound rotini pasta
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 cup Frank’s original hot sauce
1 ounce Hidden Valley Ranch dressing powder
4 cups chicken broth
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
milk

  • Combine the pasta, celery, carrots, onions, hot sauce and ranch dressing mix in the slow cooker.
  • Stir in broth, cover and cook on high 1 1/2-2 hours or until liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Top with cheese DO NOT STIR IT IN)and let sit until melted, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in cheese, adding enough milk to reach desired consistency.

NOTE: Rotisserie chicken makes a nice protein for this dish. Add it during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

TEX MEX MAC & CHEESE serves 4
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
1 small green pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon avocado oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 pound ground beef
2 cusp beef broth
2 cups tomato sauce
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1 small can chopped green chiles
1 can Green Giant shoepeg corn
FRESH ground sea salt & black pepper
2 cups shredded Jack cheese or Mexican blend
2 tablespoons FRESH cilantro

  • Heat oil in large skillet/saute’ pan.
  • Add onion and bell pepper, stirring occasionally and cooking until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and chili powder, cooking until fragrant.
  • Crumble beef into pan, cooking until pink is gone.
  • Add beef broth, tomato sauce and pasta, simmering over medium heat 9-12 minutes until pasta is tender.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in corn, chiles and half the cheese.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sprinkle with remaining cheese, cover and let sit 3-5 minutes until melted.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

CHILI MAC & CHEESE
1 pound ground beef
16 ounces penne or bowtie pasta
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
4 cups beef broth
2 cups salsa
1-2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese

  • In a large skillet brown beef over medium high heat.
  • Drain off fat.
  • Add beef to slow cooker.
  • Sprinkle flour, salt and chili powder over beef and toss to coat.
  • Add pasta.
  • Stir in beef broth, cover and cook 1 1/2-2 hours or until liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally.
  • Stir in salsa.
  • Top with cheese DO NOT STIR IT IN) cover and let sit until cheese is melted.
  • Stir cheese in gently.

NEW ENGLAND STYLE BAKED STUFFED CLAMS

One of the wonderful things about living near the coast is FRESH seafood!!  Start with steamed clams and mix them with the veggies and seasoned crumbs. They bake to perfection every time!

NEW ENGLAND STYLE BAKED STUFFED CLAMS
8 LARGE quahogs or cherry stone clams
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 Vidalia onion, finely diced
1 LARGE clove garlic, minced
1/4 red pepper, finely diced
1 cup FRESH seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons finely minced FRESH parsley
Juice of 2 lemons, divided
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/8 teaspoon sweet Paprika

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Wash the clams free of any grit.
  • Steam clams in around 1 inch of boiling water until they open up, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove clams from the water (reserve a couple tablespoons of clam water).
  • Allow the clams to cool before taking them out of the shell – if the “foot” gets stuck, don’t worry about it since it’s not as tender anyway.
  • Split the shells open and keep 8 of them for stuffing.

 

  • Heat the butter in a skillet over medium high heat until onion is soft.
  • Add the garlic and peppers cooking another minute before adding the breadcrumbs.
Add the bread crumbs and blend well.
  • Add parsley, 1/2 of the lemon juice, Parmesan and paprika mixing well.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of the clam water to bind the mixture.
Divide the mixture between the 8 shells you held back and press it so it holds together.
  • Put them in a baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes until they gently brown on top.
  • Drizzle with lemon juice just before serving.

NOTES:

  • If clams don’t open on steaming, don’t use them, this means they were already dead.
  • When I make the bread crumbs I start with 2-3 slices of buttered sourdough sprinkled with lemon pepper, baked to toast in the oven and then ground in a food processor.

BUTTERMILK RANCH DIP

BUTTERMILK RANCH DIP adapted from Christina Tosi
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup dried chives
3 tablespoons FRESH ground Himalayan Pink sea salt
1 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons Colman’s mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 limes, zested
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk

  • In a small bowlmix together all the dry ingredients.
  • Add lime zest.
  • Whisk together the sour cream and buttermilk in a medium bowl.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients until well blended.
  • Chill at least 4 hours to meld flavors together.

NOTE: DO NOT USE lowfat anything in this recipe!!

SPAM & TATERS – REVISITED & UPDATED

SO WHILE cleaning out the refrigerator the other evening hubby created a BETTER version of this dish.  He took a spoonful of SPAM & Taters and covered with with a spoonful of chili, topped it with chopped onions and more cheese and VOILE’ a better recipe is created! 

This is not the prettiest of pictures, but I guarantee you that your hubby won’t care what it looks like!  Super flavorful and rib sticking casserole dish for race or football day.

SPAM & TATERS
1 pound YUKON potatoes, washed and cubed
1 can spam, cubed
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
3/4 cup milk
FRESH ground black pepper.
1 cup shredded EXTRA sharp cheddar cheese
2 thin slices cheddar cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Lightly grease a 1 quart baking dish.
  • Add spam to hot skillet and cook until browned and crisp.
  • Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  • Boil potatoes in lightly salted water until tender.
  • Drain potatoes and cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss spam and potatoes.
  • Melt butter in saucepan.
  • Whisk in flour and cook until golden.
  • Slowly add milk, stirring constantly until thickens to a creamy texture.
  • Blend in cheese until melted.
  • Pour cheese sauce over and gently toss to coat.
  • Spread into prepared baking dish and top with cheese slices.
  • Bake 20 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden.
  • Serve and enjoy!

PEPPERONI & TOMATO BASIL SQUARES

PEPPERONI & TOMATO BASIL SQUARES

1 batch pizza dough or 10 ounce Pillsbury pizza crust
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated to 2 cups
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup pepperoni pieces
2 tablespoons FRESH basil leaf pieces + a tablespoon or so for garnish
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ROMA tomatoes, thinly sliced

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Roll crust to 12×15 inches on a pizza stone or baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and pepperoni pieces.
  • Arrange tomato slices evenly over top.
  • Combine mayonnaise, basil pieces, Parmesan cheese, garlic and remaining mozzarella cheese until well blended.
  • Top with cheese mixture and spread evenly.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbly.
  • Cut and serve warm.

SAUSAGE BRUNCH PIES

SAUSAGE BRUNCH PIES
1 box frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 pound pork sausage
6 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped dried pineapple
1/2 cup jack grated cheese
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 LARGE egg, lightly beaten

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • On a lightly floured surface, unfold pastry sheets; roll each into a 16×12-in. rectangle.
  • Using a floured cutter, cut twelve 4 inch circles from one sheet.
  • Press each round into the bottom and up sides of ungreased muffin tin.
  • Using a floured cutter, cut twelve 3-1/2-in. circles from remaining sheet. Set aside.
  • Mix sausage, green onions, pineapple pieces, apricots and spices lightly but thoroughly.
  • Place 1/4 cup mixture into each pastry cup.
  • Brush edges of smaller pastry circles with egg; place over pies, pressing edges to seal.
  • Brush with egg.
  • Cut slits in top for venting.
  • Bake until golden brown and a thermometer inserted in filling reads 160°, 30-35 minutes.
  • Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

NOTE: Dried cherries, dates, currants, or golden raisins for the apricots.

SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN WINGS

SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN WINGS
1/3 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup QUALITY sweet honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
3 pounds chicken wing pieces
sesame seeds to garnish
2 green onions, sliced thin for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 475°.
  • In a small saucepan whisk together the liquid aminos, vinegar, honey, garlic and ginger.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until reduced by half and starting to thicken, about 30 minutes.
  • Strain through a sieve and discard solids. You should have about 2/3 cups of sauce.
  • Transfer sauce to large mixing bowl.

 

  • Arrange chicken wing pieces on a jelly roll pan covered in foil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes until golden, crisp and cooked through.
  • Transfer wings to sauce bowl and drain fat from pan.
  • Toss wings until well coated by sauce and most of sauce is absorbed, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions to serve.