BBQ CHICKEN SLIDERS

BBQ CHICKEN SLIDERS

12 King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls OR 6 King’s HAWAIIAN buns
3 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
½ cup Sweet Baby Ray’s original barbecue sauce
½ red onion, thinly sliced
6 slices Baby Swiss or Gruyere cheese
3 ears baby white corn cut from cob or 2 cans white shoepeg corn
2 green onions, minced
FRESH ground salt and pepper
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Bragg’s amino acids
2 +1 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Over medium high heat melt 2 tablespoons butter.
  • Add corn and green onions, generously seasoning with FRESH ground salt and pepper.  Cook until staring to turn golden brown.
  • Add apple cider vinegar and Bragg’s amino acids to the skillet, stirring to combining and cooking JUST until liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Slice the rolls in half lengthwise.
  • Place the bottom half in a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) rimmed baking dish.
  • Combine chicken and BBQ sauce until well mixed.
  • Spread the chicken evenly over the rolls, followed by the red onion, corn and then the sliced cheese.
  • Top with the remaining rolls.
  • Brush the tops with melted butter mixture.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until the bread is golden brown.
  • Slice into individual sliders.
  • Enjoy!

IRISH PUB STYLE POTATO NACHOS

IRISH PUB STYLE POTATO NACHOS serves 4

I had these recently at an Irish Pub and they were SOOO good!.  They are like regular nachos but instead of tortilla chips, they use crispy fried potato slices!

3-4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped bacon
4 green onions, sliced thin
1 large tomato chopped and drained
scant 1/4 cup avocado oil
sour cream

POTATO preparation

  • Slice potatoes in half.
  • Slice each half into 1/4″ thick slices.
  • Place potato slices in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes.
  • Drain WELL and dry potatoes with paper towel.
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Toss potatoes with avocado oil.
  • Place on a parchment lined pan and bake 30-35 minutes or until browned and crispy.
  • Season with FRESH ground sea salt immediately.
Drain on paper towels.
  • While potatoes are baking, cook bacon and render fat.
  • Drain bacon on paper towels.

NACHOS preparation

  • Increase oven to 475°.
In a bowl, combine cheese, most of the bacon and half of the green onions.
  • Layer half of the potatoes in an oven proof skillet or the same baking tray.
  • Top with half of the cheese mixture.
  • Top with another layer of potatoes.
  • Top with remaining cheese mixture.

  • Bake 15 minutes or until cheese is melted through.
  • Remove from oven and top with remaining green onions, bacon and dollops of sour cream.

CHURCH SUPPER RING

I wish I had taken a picture of the “WHOLE” ring, but never even thought about it for some reason. It does make an impressive looking presentation for a church potluck or even impromptu company. The best part is that any leftover filling makes a GREAT cold chicken salad!  Fill a pita and eat on the run 😀
CHURCH SUPPER RING serves 8-12

2 – 8 ounce tubes Pillsbury crescent rolls
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Heinz Chili sauce
1/2 cup chopped mini peppers
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
6 strips bacon, chopped, cooked and crumbled crisp
1 package Good Season’s Italian Salad dressing

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Spray 14 inch pizza pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Unroll crescent dough into 16 triangles.
    place the wide end of the triangle 3 inches from the edge of the pan with the point overhanging the edge of the pan. Repeat overlapping the corners and lightly pressing to secure edges until all pieces are used.
  • In a mixing bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, chili sauce and Italian seasoning mix until well blended.
  • Fold in chicken, cheese, onions, bacon pieces and peppers until mixed well.
  • Spoon chicken mixtures over the wide edges of the dough.
  • Fold tip up over chicken mixture and tuck under the edge pressing lightly to secure the dough.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  • Cut into slices.

SPICY PIMIENTO CHEESE BURGERS – BUNLESS BURGER series #5

When I was a kid I remember driving by McDonalds and seeing their sign claiming how many burgers they had sold. It ALWAYS seemed like an exorbitantly high number to me, but these days I do believe hamburgers are one of the most eaten fast food and BBQ sandwiches.

I’d never really thought about it, but got curious about the origins of the hamburger. It will probably come as no surprise that the hamburger can actually be traced back to Hamburg, Germany. Ironically you almost have to give the credit to Russia though. In the mid 18th century Hamburg was the largest port in Europe and the seaman brought the idea with them of their acquired taste of eating steak tartare from Russia. But, even Russia cannot lay claim as it was the Mongul nomadic warriors that brought steak tartare with them from central Asia to Russia to begin with. The legend claims that the warriors would tenderize their meat by placing it under their saddles during their long rides where the motion of the saddle would tenderize the meat to a pulp and they would then enjoy the meat raw. I can find no mention of who actually decided to cook the meat into a “burger”. But according to my research it was the German immigrants brought the cooked burger to us here in the states.  The first North American restaurant to offer up a hamburger steak on their menu was DelMonico’s in 1834 New York. Strangely enough the hamburger steak sold for 10¢, double the price of roast beef and even veal. Eventually, people became more familiar with hamburgers and the price dropped as it became more a food of the masses when it was placed on a bun with the added condiments, tomatoes, pickles and was sold on horse drawn lunch wagons, at diners and lunch counters instead of the elite.

The one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that a good burger has a good amount of fat to keep the burger moist. LESS is more when preparing a GOOD burger. LESS ingredients and LESS handling – lets the meat speak for itself. 😀

PIMIENTO CHEESE BURGERS
1 – 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
Pimiento cheese (recipe below)
melted butter

  • Preheat grill to high for direct grilling. Lightly spray the grill with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Divide the ground chuck into four equal portions, 4-6 ounces each.
  • Form each portion into a 3/4-inch burger and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb.
  • Brush both sides of the burgers with the butter and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Grill the burgers, turning once until golden brown and slightly charred on both sides and cooked to desired temperature, about 4 minutes each side for medium.
  • During the last minute of cooking, place a dollop of the pimiento cheese mixture on top of each burger and close the grill lid, cooking JUST until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute.
  • Place the burgers on the buns (if desired) and top with the bacon, sliced red onions, sliced tomatoes, your favorite pickles and lettuce as desired.

SPICY PIMIENTO CHEESE
12 ounces softened cream cheese
1 pound SHARP Cheddar cheese, finely grated
3/4 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 large Red Bell Pepper, washed, seeded, roasted and chopped fine
1 teaspoon QUALITY Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Frank’s original Hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, hot sauce and salt until smooth.
  • Blend in grated Cheddar cheese.
  • Fold in bell pepper until well distributed.
  • Chill well.
  • Serve with crackers or on a burger.

BACON WRAPPED SPAM BITES

BACON WRAPPED SPAM BITES

PREP & COOK TIME 30 MINUTES – yields 32 bites

1 pound bacon (16 strips, cut in half)
12 ounce can SPAM, cut into 32 pieces
1/3 cup mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 clove garlic, minced
32 Heavy toothpicks

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Cook bacon until a good deal of the fat is rendered, but bacon is NOT crisp and is still pliable. Drain on paper toweling until cool enough to work with.
  • Wrap a bacon strip around each spam cube, securing with a toothpick. Place 1 inch apart on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Whisk together the mustard, maple syrup and garlic.
  • Drizzle over baked cubes and return to the oven for another 10 minutes until bacon is crisp.

NOTE: If you’re not a SPAM fan, cubes of country ham can easily be substituted.

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.