PEACH PINEAPPLE JALAPENO CHICKEN ~ BLOG 366.201

I adapted this recipe for Strawberry-Jalapeño Chicken from DELISH

This one is for sweet-and-spicy lovers. When I found this recipe it was for a strawberry jalapeño chicken. It sounded intriguing to me, but everyone I cook for turned their noses up at the idea UNTIL I converted it to either peach, apricot or pineapple. Or better yet a combination of all three flavors.

Start well seasoned chicken breasts and pan sear them 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown, smother them in your peach or pineapple or apricot chipotle sauce, and topped with FRESH SALSA made from the same flavors to create this scrumptious dish that will leave them begging for more. The sweetness of the fruit coupled with the spicy of the pepper and the smokey of the chiles are a match made in heaven.

PEACH PINEAPPLE JALAPENO CHICKEN Yield: 4 – 6 servings

SALSA
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped cilantro or flat leaf parsely, plus more for serving
1 cup+ chopped FRESH pineapple
3 peaches, chopped

1-3 jalapeños, seeded, chopped, divided (depending on the heat level you want)
2 shallots, FINELY chopped, divided
3-4 tablespoons pineapple balsamic vinegar (or a QUALITY balsamic)
2 tablespoons Frank’s Chile Lime sauce
2 tablespoon QUALITY honey

  • In a small bowl, toss cilantro, peaches, pineapple, jalapeños, shallots, vinegar, and a pinch of salt. 
  • Spoon over chicken or eat with a spoon 🙂
  • Top with cilantro.

1 + 1 tablespoon avocado oil, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil.
  • Pat chicken dry and season both sides with pepper, garlic powder, and 2 teaspoons salt.
  • Add chicken to skillet and cook 5-7 minutes per side, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Top with salsa and Enjoy!

BAKED FIRECRACKER CHICKEN ~ BLOG 366.198

This firecracker chicken recipe is chunks of crispy chicken tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce. An easy dinner option that the whole family will love!

FIRECRACKER CHICKEN serves 4

1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 LARGE eggs beaten
3 tablespoons avocado oil
1/3 cup FRANK’S original hot sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more to taste
1/4 cup sliced green onions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Coat a 9″x13″ baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Place the chicken pieces on a plate and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sprinkle the cornstarch over the chicken and toss to coat evenly.
  • 
Dip each piece of chicken into the beaten eggs.
Heat the oil over high heat in a large pan.
  • Place the chicken in a single layer and cook for 3-4 minutes on ALL sides or until golden brown. You may have to work in batches. DO NOT CROWD PAN!!
  • 
Place the chicken pieces in a single layer in the baking dish.
  • 
In a small bowl, whisk together the buffalo sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar and red pepper flakes.

  • Pour the sauce over the chicken.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, stirring once halfway through to coat the chicken with the sauce.
  • Top with green onions and serve.


CHOCOLATE ANCHO CHILE CUPCAKES with ANCHO CHILE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING ~ BLOG 366.116

A friend and I are making the Cinco de Mayo dinner for the Eagles auxiliary on May 3rd and I have been experimenting with recipes for the dessert. These are dark chocolate cupcakes with a serious bite and are topped with a chili cream cheese frosting that has another back up bite.

CHOCOLATE ANCHO CHILE CUPCAKES with ANCHO CHILE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING yield 18-24 cupcakes

CUPCAKES
1 box devil’s food chocolate cake mix
1 ½ – 2 teaspoons ground ancho chile pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon

1 ¼ cups water
⅓ cup vegetable oil
3 LARGE eggs

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • Whisk together the cake mix, ground ancho chile, cayenne pepper and cinnamon.
  • Beat in water, oil and eggs with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them 2/3 full.
  • Bake 18-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Cool completely before frosting.


FROSTING
1 teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper
⅛ – ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon QUALITY ground cinnamon
1 small, dried red chili, chopped after seeds removed (optional – if you dare)
4 cups powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
½ teaspoon clear PURE vanilla extract, or to taste
24 small dried red chiles (optional)


  • Sift together the ground ancho chile, cayenne pepper and cinnamon with the powdered sugar in a large bowl.
  • Beat in softened cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  • Add vanilla extract.
  • Spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes in attractive swirls.
  • Poke a small dried chile, stem-side up, into frosting as a garnish if desired.

PAN FRIED HALIBUT with TOMATO BURST CHILE SAUCE ~ BLOG 366.102

PAN FRIED HALIBUT with TOMATO BURST CHILE SAUCE

Meaty and mild-flavored, firm-fleshed halibut with a flavorful sauce, made from burst cherry tomatoes, sizzled shallots and toasted garlic gives you a hearty, rib sticking satisfying meal. I had some leftover Mozzarella balls from the salad I made so I added those as I served and YUMMY!

2 + 2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons avocado oil
4 garlic cloves, FINELY minced
1 small shallot, small diced
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
8 ounces tomato sauce
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1¼ pounds halibut cut into 4 equal pieces
½ cup basil leaves, chiffonade

  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter and avocado oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high.
  • Add garlic and shallots, cooking 2 minutes or so until they start to toast and turn light golden brown.
  • Add red-pepper flakes and swirl to toast for a few seconds.
  • Add tomatoes and sauce, simmering until tomato burst and and can easily be swirled into sauce.
  • Add basil chiffonades and blend.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.

  • In another skillet melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
  • Generously season fish fillets with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper on both sides.
  • Add fish to skillet and sear 5-6 minutes per side until fish is cooked through
  • Ladle a small amount of sauce to plate, add fish filet and ladle with more sauce.


NOTE: COD or FLUKE make a great substitution.

SOUTHWEST BLACK EYED PEAS ~ BLOG 366.89

SOUTHWEST BLACK EYED PEAS
1 pound black eyed peas, sorted and rinsed
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, chopped
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 ounces pork belly, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can chopped green chiles, drained
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
1 tablespoon FRESH minced thyme
4 cups homemade chicken stock
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 ham hocks

  • Place peas in a large dutch oven. Add water and cover by 2 inches.
  • Bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, cover and let stand 1-2 hours.
  • Drain and rinse peas. Set aside.
  • In the dutch oven heat oil over medium heat.
  • Add onion, sauteing until tender.
  • Add pork, garlic, green chiles, thyme, pepper flakes, FRESH ground salt and pepper, cooking 1 minute more.
  • Add the broth, peas and ham hocks.
  • Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered 35-40 minutes or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally and adding more broth as necessary.
  • Remove ham hocks, cool and remove meat from bone.
  • Finely chop meat and return to the pan.
  • Discard bones.

HAM & POTATO SOUP ~ BLOG 366.88

HAM & POTATO SOUP
1 3/4 pounds golden potatoes, peeled and large diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
3 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 cups WHOLE milk
2 cups diced cooked ham steak
FRESH chopped Italian parsley
Shredded cheese (optional)

  • In a stock pot stir together the broth, potatoes, celery and onions.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and cook 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender.
  • Stir in seasoning, to taste.
  • In another pan melt butter.
  • Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until flour is smooth and golden.
  • Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened.
  • Add in stock mixture, stirring until blended.
  • Add ham pieces and simmer 4-5 minutes.
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish. enjoy

BLUE CHEESE RANCH WEDGE with SWEET & SPICY BACON

With all the recent E. Coli scares with Romaine lettuce I decided to go back to good old iceburg lettuce.  A change in lettuce brings with it a change in dressing. Here is a favorite from Damaris Phillips with very few changes. This is a PERFECT recipe for us – hubby loves blue cheese more than I do so it’s a compromise that works. I love to top it with my swwet & spicy bacon – YUMMY!

BLUE CHEESE RANCH WEDGE with SWEET & SPICY BACON
DRESSING
1 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup FRESH basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup FRESH parsley leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons sliced FRESH chives
1 teaspoon FRESH thyme leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (ALSO great with Gorgonzola)
FRESH coarsely ground sea salt black pepper
FRESH coarsely ground black pepper

  • Combine the creme fraiche, buttermilk, basil, parsley, chives, thyme, garlic, lemon juice and onion powder with a whisk in a medium bowl.
  • Fold in the blue cheese, season with salt and pepper.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

SALAD
1 head iceberg lettuce, quartered and core removed
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar

  • Divide the lettuce wedges among 4 plates.
  • Top each with 1/4 cup of the dressing, the tomatoes, sliced green onions, sweet and spicy bacon.
  • Serve the remaining dressing on the side.
  • Eat right away!

SWEET & SPICY BACON adapted from GIADA
1 pound slab bacon, cut into 1-by-1/2-inch pieces **
1/4 cup PURE maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons FRANK’S original hot sauce

  • Place the bacon in an even layer in a large skillet.
  • Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often with spatula until the bacon is light golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  • Whisk together the maple syrup, black pepper and Frank’s in a small bowl.
  • Pour off some of the rendered bacon fat, leaving just a small amount.
  • Return the skillet to the heat and pour the maple syrup mixture over the bacon.
  • Braise gently until the syrup thickens and glazes the bacon and the bacon is deep golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  • Serve warm.

BUFFALO CHICKEN PULL APART BREAD

I found this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Pull-Apart Bread on Facebook, you know one of those that they show you in video form in 30 seconds or less AND looks really scrumptious?  I was thinking of making it as an appetizer when our son and family are here at Christmas time, but needed to test it first. Well, it was HUGE success and I now make it more regularly.

Well, this recipe did not disappoint.  I made some of my homemade Farmhouse Buttermilk Dressing to go with it and the combination was addicting! Instead of an appetizer we added a salad and made it a meal.

BUFFALO CHICKEN PULL-APART BREAD
2 packages Pillsbury pizza dough (I used 1 recipe of my homemade pizza dough)
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (I used original recipe Costco Rotisserie chicken)
1 cup Buffalo sauce (I used Frank’s Original Hot Sauce)
1/4 cup scallions, chopped (I used more, about double – we like onions)
2 1/2 cups grated pepper jack cheese (I used regular jack cheese)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 jalapeno, sliced (OPTIONAL – I didn’t use)
Ranch dressing for dipping (I used a batch of Farmhouse Buttermilk Dressing)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a bowl toss together the chicken, buffalo sauce, green onions and half the cheese.
  • Roll out dough and cut into 3×3 inch squares (about 30 squares total). **SEE NOTE
  • Brush each square with the melted butter.
  • Top each square with a spoonful of chicken mixtures and then a sprinkling of the remaining cheese.
  • Brush loaf pan with butter.
  • Stack each square on top of each other in your loaf pan with the chicken side up.
  • Brush top of bread with remaining butter.
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 40-50 minutes until golden and set.

NOTE:  The original recipe had you doing each square one at a time, but I found it much easier to do them all at once and then stack them in the loaf pan while it was standing on end for a more even and less messy build.

SHARING with FOODIE FRIDAY and TASTY THURSDAY.