RANCH CHICKEN QUESADILLA FOLD OVERS aka STACKED TACOS

I’d been making something similar to Ree Drummond’s version of these for several years now that we called stacked tacos. When I saw her recipe in a magazine it reminded me how much we enjoyed these. For some reason they are a cold weather meal for us that we made regularly when we were back east šŸ˜€

RANCH CHICKEN QUESADILLA FOLD OVERS aka STACKED TACOS
6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1-2 cups rotisserie chicken pieces
2 cups of shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 batch Jalapeno ranch dressing
4 (8-10) inch flour tortillas
2 tablespoons butter
Salsa, for dipping
Sour cream, for dipping

  • On each tortilla make a slit from the center to the edge.
  • Spread a dollop of the dressing over the entire tortilla.
  • Toss chicken pieces and green onions with the remaining dressing.
  • Arrange a layer of chicken pieces over one quarter of the tortilla.
  • Fold tortilla over chicken.
  • Add a layer of cheese to the quarter of tortilla that overlaps the chicken.
  • Sprinkle the crumbled bacon over the cheese.
  • Spread a thin layer of salsa on the next layer.
  • Fold last quarter of tortilla over the cheese and bacon layer. You should now have a stacked triangle looking quesadilla.
  • Press down gently to secure the pieces.
  • Heat butter in large skillet or griddle over medium high heat.
  • Grill each quesadilla, carefully flipping to toast and crisp until both sides are golden, the cheese is melted and the chicken is heated through.
  • Serve with salsa and sour cream.

JALAPENO RANCH DRESSING
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon crushed parsley flakes
2 tablespoons Penzeyā€™s California crushed jalapenos
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

  • Whisk all together and chill overnight before serving if you have time. The flavors meld together better with time.

CHICKEN & WILD RICE ~ FAITH & FOOD FRIDAY #15

Iā€™m still featuring my Mary & Martha GRACE meal prayer box on Faith and Food Friday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

THIS WEEKā€™S PRAYER: Dear God, Thank You for the food You provide, for a loving family side by side, for a warm and cozy place to live, and all the blessings that You give. Amen.

This is one of those recipes that I believe has been floating around in every housewife’s recipe box for years and years, handed down through the generations – ESPECIALLY in the midwest. It also adapts to a slow cooker quite easily and I’ve provided those ingredients and directions below.

CHICKEN & WILD RICE ala Molly ala ANTIQUE RECIPE BOX find

3/4 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 carrots, FINELY chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 LARGE onion, finely chopped
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon FRESH rosemary, chopped
2 sleeves (2 cups) KEEBLER butter crackers, crushed
1 tablespoon avocado oil
4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

  • Preheat the oven to 375Ā°.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the wild rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until al dente, about 30 minutes.
  • Drain the rice and set it aside.
  • In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  • Add the carrots, celery, onion and a pinch of salt and cook until the vegetables are softened, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Add a third of the stock mixture to the pot and cook until thickened slightly, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Stir in another third of the mixture and cook another minute or two.
  • Add the remaining third and cook until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. The soup should coat the back of a spoon.
  • Add the rosemary, black pepper and salt to taste.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
  • Mix the butter crackers and olive oil in a bowl. Set aside.
  • In a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish, spread a third of the soup on the bottom of the dish.
  • Spread half of the rice on top of the soup and follow with half of the shredded chicken spread across the rice.
  • Repeat the layers, then top with the remaining third of the soup mixture.
  • Top with the butter cracker mixture.
  • Bake until bubbly, about 45 minutes.
  • If the cracker topping is getting too browned, cover with foil.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley.

SLOW COOKER INGREDIENTS & DIRECTIONS

2 cups uncooked wild rice
1/2 cup FINELY chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onions
8-12 ounces mushrooms
2 cups bite size chicken breast pieces
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

  • Wash and dry rice.
  • Combine all ingredients in the crock pot, mixing well.
  • Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours or until rice is tender.
  • Do NOT remove lid before 4 hours.

 

ANTIPASTO SALAD ~ FAITH & FOOD FRIDAY #9

Iā€™m still featuring my Mary & Martha GRACE meal prayer box on Faith and Food Friday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

THIS WEEKā€™S PRAYER:

Oh, the Lord is good to me. And so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need. The sun and the rain and the apple seed. The Lord is good to me. Amen.

ANTIPASTO SALAD adapted from Valerie Bertinelli

VINAIGRETTE
2 tablespoons QUALITY red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustardĀ  (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Calabrian chile paste, crushed red pepper flakes or srirachaĀ 
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoningĀ 
1/2 small shallot, mincedĀ 
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper
3 tablespoons avocado oilĀ 

  • Whisk the vinegar, mustard if using, chile paste, Italian seasoning, shallot and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a small bowl.
  • Gradually whisk in the avocado oil.
  • Pour into a cruet and shake.

SALAD
4 radishes, thinly sliced (watermelon OR yellow radishes if you can find them)
2 celery heart ribs, thinly slicedĀ 
1 romaine heart, cut into 1/2-inch-wide stripsĀ 
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 1/2-inch-wide stripsĀ 
1/4 pound provolone, cut into 1/4-inch cubesĀ 
1/4 pound mozzarella balls
1/4 pound Genoa salami, cut into 1/4-inch cubesĀ 
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halvedĀ 
3 tablespoons sliced pickled pepperoncinis
3 tablespoons sliced pickled cherry peppers

  • Combine the radishes, celery, romaine, iceberg, provolone, salami, tomatoes, pepperoncinis and cherry peppers in a large salad bowl.
  • Toss with the vinaigrette and serve immediately.

NOTE:

  • I like to add a generous drizzle of a QUALITY balsamic glaze.
  • I also like to refer to this as a kitchen sink salad because I use up whatever is in my crisper bins and deli drawer šŸ˜€

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE with PINK PEPPERCORN CARAMEL

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE with PINK PEPPERCORN CARAMEL adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli

CAKE
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large pineapple, skinned, cored and cut into eight or nine 3/4-inch-thick slicesĀ  OR 1 LARGE can of pineapple slices or crushed works too
3/4 cup dark brown sugarĀ 
1/2 cup WHOLE buttermilkĀ  (do NOT use light or reduced fat)
1 teaspoon PURE vanillaĀ extract
2 LARGE eggs, lightly beatenĀ 
1 cup all-purpose flourĀ 
3/4 cup granulated sugarĀ 
1 teaspoon kosher saltĀ 
3/4 teaspoon baking powderĀ 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Maraschino cherriesĀ 

  • Preheat the oven to 350Ā°.
  • Heat a cast iron 9-inch skillet over medium heat and melt 2 tablespoons butter.
  • Add the slices of pineapple in a single layer and sprinkle the brown sugar over the fruit.
  • Add a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring.
  • Cook until the pineapple browns slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pineapple slices. Turn off the heat and keep warm.
  • Whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, eggs and the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a medium bowl until smooth.
  • Use a rubber spatula to stir in the flour, granulated sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda until completely smooth. (The batter will be fairly stiff)
  • Pour the batter over the pineapple.
  • Transfer the skillet to the center of the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake emerges clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Cool for about 10 minutes before carefully inverting onto a serving platter. Cooling any longer may make cake stick. If you cool too much, quickly heat the bottom of the skillet before inverting.

CARAMEL
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrupĀ 
Juice from 1 LARGE limeĀ 
1/4 cup COLD water
2 teaspoons (pink) peppercornsĀ 

  • Combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, lime juice and 1/4 cup cold water in a medium stainless saucepan.
  • Stir in the pink peppercorns and bring to a gentle simmer, cooking until the sugar is dissolved, and then cooking 10 minutes more.
  • Pour through sieve to remove large pepper pieces.
  • Set aside to cool slightly.
  • After cake is inverted pour the caramel over the cake.

 

PEA & BACON SALAD with FRENCH DRESSING

PEA & BACON SALAD with FRENCH DRESSING adapted from Molly Yeh DRESSING
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/3 cup champagne vinegarĀ 
1 cup FRESH sliced mushrooms (optional)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustardĀ  (optional)
1 tablespoon sugarĀ 
1 teaspoon paprikaĀ 
1/2 small onion, coarsely choppedĀ 
FRESH gound sea salt

  • Blend together the ketchup, yogurt, vinegar, mustard, sugar, paprika, onion and salt to taste into a high-speed blender.
  • Puree until smooth.
  • Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

SALAD
4 slices bacon
6 ounces sugar snap peas, stringed and cut on the bias (about 3 cups)Ā 
2 cups diced rotisserie chicken pieces (optional)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 SMALL head butter lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
2 cups bite size torn romaine lettuce pieces
1/4 cup FRESH chopped Italian parsley leaves
Wedge of Parmesan, for gratingĀ 

  • Put the bacon in a large cold skillet and cook over medium heat until crisp, 5-7 minutes.
  • Drain on a paper towel-lined plate, and set aside.
  • Add the peas to the bacon fat, then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until they get a slight color, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside.

ASSEMBLY

  • Scatter the peas and herbs onto a bed of butter lettuce leaves.
  • Crumble the bacon and scatter over the pea layer.
  • Finish with a grating of Parmesan and a drizzle of dressing.
  • Serve with more dressing on the side.

NOTE: This salad is another “kitchen sink” salad that allows for substitutions, deletions or additions to clean out the crisper drawer or leftover chicken.

CHICKEN THIGH FRICASSEE

Fricassee is a weird sounding word, but it’s also a fun sounding word. It’s French and literally means to lightly brown, stew and serve a meat, especially chicken or veal in a sauce made with its own stock. I saw this recipe on an episode of Guy’s Ranch Kitchen and Aaron May made this wonderful dish. I made very few changes to his recipe.Ā  My changes are in red. šŸ˜€

CHICKEN THIGH FRICASSEE adapted from ala Aaron May

2 tablespoons olive oil (avocado oil)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 Vidalia onion, diced
4 stalks celery hearts, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
2 cups chopped fresh tomato (grape tomatoes, halved)
1/2 cup Vermouth dry sherry
2 quarts chicken broth (I used homemade bone broth)
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
2 cups roasted red peppers, julienned
1 roasted pasilla or ancho pepper

  • Heat the avocado oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over high heat.
  • Add the chicken a few pieces at a time and brown on all sides. As they brown, sprinkle with salt and pepper and transfer to a platter.
  • Add the onions to the pot and cook over medium heat to soften.
  • Add the celery and garlic and cook until they turn a rich brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes.
  • Deglaze with dry sherry, then add the chicken broth and thyme.
  • Return the chicken to the pot and bring to a simmer.
  • Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Add the roasted peppers and peppers, then cover and cook until the chicken is fork-tender and the thigh bones are loose, an additional 30 minutes.

BETTY WHITE’S CHICKEN WINGS

I ran across an article about celebrity recipes and the one that stuck out to me was BETTY WHITE’S CHICKEN WINGS. They claim this recipe went viral before viral was a “thing”. Well, I LOVE Betty White, so I had to try them. šŸ˜€ I altered them very little. The biggest alteration was eliminating the “death to me” allergy ingredient of dry mustard. Hubby said in his opinion, it wasn’t even necessary. The other alterations I made were substituting Bragg’s liquid aminos for the soy sauce because it reduces the sodium A LOT and decreasing the water which made them stickier and in my opinion tastier! Anytime I make wings I start them in a buttermilk soak to plump them also. That said, these wings were AMAZING!

BETTY WHITE’S CHICKEN WINGS
3 pounds plump chicken wings
1/2 cup butter
1 quart buttermilk
1 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Arrange wings in shallow baking pan or 2 as necessary for a single layer.
  • Pour buttermilk over top and refrigerate 2 hours.
  • Drain off buttermilk and rinse wings. Let them drain while you prepare the marinade.
  • Return wings to baking dish(es) in a single layer.
  • In a large sauce pan combine the butter, liquid aminos, water, garlic powder and brown sugar whisking to combine until butter melts and sugar dissolves.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Turn off heat and cool 15 minutes.
  • Pour marinade over wings and refrigerate 2 hours.
  • Remove pan from refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Bake 75-90 minutes depending on plumpness.

F3 ~ FAITH & FOOD FRIDAY #2 ~ AVOCADO & PICKLED RED ONION SALAD

I decided to feature my Mary & Martha GRACE meal prayer box for the next several weeks on Faith and Food Friday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. These prayers just seemed apropos for the topic šŸ˜€

This week’s prayer:

In a world where so many are hungry, May we eat this food with humble hearts; In a world where so many are lonely, May we share this friendship with joyful hearts. Amen

AVOCADO & PICKLED RED ONION SALAD
2 RIPE avocados,Ā sliced
1 LARGE beefsteak tomato, sliced thick
1/2 small red onion,Ā thinly slicedĀ 
1/4 cupĀ freshĀ cilantro,Ā coarsely choppedĀ 
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup apple cider vinegarĀ 
1 LARGE lime,Ā juicedĀ 

  • Pour apple cider vinegar over the onion slices and set aside for 15-30 minutes while you prep the remaining ingredients.
  • Make a single layer of tomatoes on the serving platter.
  • Generously season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Place theĀ avocado slices on top of tomatoes.
  • Evenly pour lime juice over avocado slices and generously season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Drain onion slices of excess vinegar and arrange over avocados.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and lime slices.

ORANGE CHILE CHICKEN

ORANGE CHILE CHICKEN

SAUCE
1/2 cup oyster sauce
1/2 cup sugar
3 ounces orange juice
3 ounces rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed into the rice wine vinegar as a slurry
2 tablespoons BRAGGā€™S liquid aminos
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 drop red food coloring, optionalĀ 

  • Add the oyster sauce, sugar, orange juice, vinegar-cornstarch slurry, liquid aminos, hoisin sauce, paprika and food coloring into a 1-quart saucepan, bring the heat up to medium.
  • Whisk gently as it comes to a simmer.
  • Allow to simmer, keep whisking for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  • Remove from heat and reserve.

CHICKEN
1 1/2 quarts neutral oil, for deep frying
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 1/2 cups tempura flourĀ Ā 

  • Heat the oil in a 4-quart Dutch oven to 375Ā°.
  • Rinse the chicken in cold water and pat dry.
  • Sprinkle 1 cup tempura flour over the chicken cubes and toss to lightly dredge, shaking off the excess.
  • Mix the remaining 1 1/2 cups of tempura flour with 1 cup cold water to make a thin batter, it should look like pancake batter.
  • Coat dredged chicken pieces in batter.
  • Fry in batches until golden brown and crispy, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Drain on paper towels.Ā 

ASSEMBLY
2 tablespoons neutral oil, I use avocado
3-4 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons minced, peeled fresh ginger
Fried chicken pieces, from above
2 to 3 scallions, cut on the bias into 2-inch lengths
1/2 yellow onion, cut into large dice
Orange Chicken Sauce, from above
Fried Rice, recipe follows, or steamed rice, for serving

  • Heat a large skillet to high and add the oil.
  • When you see the first wisps of white smoke, stir in the garlic, ginger and chicken pieces, cooking and stirring for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the scallions, onion and reserved sauce turning to coat and simmer to heat through, about 2 minutes.
  • Serve over chow mien or fried rice or steamed rice.Ā 

GRANDMA WARE’S SKILLET CORN BREAD or DUFF GOLDMAN’S SWEET SOUTHERN CORNBREAD

GRANDMA WARE’S SKILLET CORN BREAD
1 cup white corn meal or half white and half yellow
1 heaping teaspoon flour
1 rounded teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 LARGE egg
1 tablespoon bacon grease

  • Preheat oven to 350Ā°.
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
  • Whisk egg and buttermilk together.
  • Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients JUST until belnded.
  • Grease cast iron skillet with bacon grease.
  • Pour batter into skillet and level.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

SWEET SOUTHERN CORNBREAD ala Duff Goldman

Level: Easy Total: 45 min Active: 10 min Yield: 12 mini loaves

1 cup finely-ground yellow cornmeal
6 tablespoons cake flour
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 LARGE eggs
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
Nonstick cooking spray

  • Preheat the oven to 375Ā°.
  • Place an 8-cavity mini loaf pan in the oven to heat up.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, cake flour, sugar and baking powder.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, oil, eggs and salt to a uniform color.
  • Quickly but gently fold the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. It should be a loose batter, not a dough.
  • Carefully remove the loaf pans from the oven and quickly spray with cooking spray.
  • Divide the batter evenly among 6 cavities of the loaf pan and bake until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 28 to 30 minutes. Rotate the pans 180Ā° halfway through baking.
  • Immediately turn the cornbread loaves out of the pans onto a cooling rack to cool. This will also ensure they build a crisp crust.

SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS

SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS adapted from Tyler Florence
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
4 pork chops, 3/4-inch thick, bone-in
1/4 cup avocado oil
1 cup beef bone broth
1/2 cup buttermilk
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

  • Pat pork chops dry to remove excess moisture.
  • Generously season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Combine the flour, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne in a shallow bowl for a dredge.
  • Dredge pork chops in the seasoned flour; shaking off the excess.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat and coat with avocado oil.
  • Place the pork chops in the pan in a single layer and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  • Remove the pork chops from the pan and add 1-2 tablespoons of the seasoned flour to the pan drippings.
  • Whisk the flour into the fat to dissolve and then pour in the broth. Let the liquid cook down for 3-5 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly.
  • Whisk in the buttermilk to make a creamy gravy and return the pork chops to the pan, covering them with the sauce.
  • Simmer for 3-5 minutes until the pork is cooked through.
  • Adjust seasoning and garnish before serving.

REFRIED BEAN BOWLS & HOMEMADE TORTILLAS

REFRIED BEAN & RICE BOWLS adapted from MOLLY YEH

1/2 pound ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 ounces canned diced green chiles
14-ounce cans seasoned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white shoepeg corn, drained
2 limes, juiced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 cups cooked white rice
1 cup (4 ounces) grated white Cheddar or Cotija cheese
1/2 bunch green onions, trimmed and sliced
Salsa of choice
1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
FRESH cilantro, for garnish

  • Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-low heat, rendering all of the fat until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Drain, reserving fat and set aside.
  • Increase the heat to medium and add the onions to rendered fat. Stir, then cook until soft, translucent and lightly brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the chili powder and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the green chiles and black beans.
  • Stir and continue cooking to heat through, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and mash with a fork, potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon. Or, for a smooth consistency, puree in a food processor, add 2 to 4 tablespoons water to the puree if it seems too dry.
  • Stir in corn and ground beef.
  • Stir in the juice of 1 lime and season with salt.
    To serve, fill one side of a serving bowl with refried beans. Fill the other side with cooked rice.
  • Garnish with cheese, salsa and scallions.
  • Scatter the jalapeno slices and cilantro on top.

HOMEMADE TORTILLAS adapted from Molly Yeh

2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup avocado oil

  • Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a medium bowl.
  • Add the oil and mix until coarse and mealy.
  • Stir in 3/4 cup water to form a dough.
  • Turn it out onto a surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until a smooth, slightly sticky dough is formed, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a towel and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a dry skillet over medium heat.
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll them out on a lightly-floured surface until they’re really thin, keeping the remaining dough balls covered. I like a 1/16- or 1/8-inch thickness but wouldn’t turn down a 3/16-inch-thick one.
  • Cook them in the skillet on both sides until they’re just starting to show some brown spots, 45 seconds to 1 minute per side.
  • Keep warm in a towel until ready to serve.