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
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.
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.
SWEET GLAZED CHICKEN THIGHS serves 4-6
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup pineapple juice (I use a pineapple orange mix)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 1/2-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Whisk together the melted butter, pineapple juice, liquid aminos and brown sugar until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Generously season both sides of the chicken thighs with the salt and pepper.
- Lightly grease baking dish.
- Place chicken thighs in a single layer in the bottom of the baking dish.
- Pour pineapple juice mixture over the chicken.
- Cover and cook 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove chicken with a slotted spoon, keep warm.
- Pour pineapple mixture from baking dish into a stove top safe saucepan.
- Whisk together the water and cornstarch.
- Add cornstarch mixture to saucepan, whisking constantly until thickens.
- Plate chicken pieces and spoon sauce over chicken pieces.
- Serve immediately.
SWEET and SOUR CHICKEN
1/3 cup apricot pineapple jam**
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
scant 1/4 cup grated onion
pinch red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon chili sauce
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
8 ounce can crushed pineapple, WELL drained (reserve juice)
1/2 teaspoon molasses
splash grenadine (for color)
1/4 cup pineapple juice
Fresh ground salt and black pepper, to taste
2-3 pounds chicken thighs##
Sliced scallions for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Line a shallow roasting pan with foil and spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
- Whisk together the jam, vinegar, chili sauce, brown sugar, grenadine, pineapple juice, molasses, garlic, all but 1/4 cup of the crushed pineapple and onion.
- Cook over a low heat to heat sauce through.
- Place chicken skin side up on baking sheet, generously seasoning with fresh ground salt and pepper.
- Roast chicken 15 minutes.
- Brush glaze onto chicken pieces (about 1/3 of the glaze).
- Roast another 10-15 minutes until juices run clear and chicken is cooked through (170°).
- Turn oven to broil and raise rack to 5 inches below broiler.
- Brush chicken again with glaze and return to oven, broiling until crisp and golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Heat any remaining glaze in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Serve over buttered rice.
- Garnish with scallion greens.
NOTE ** In many places in this country you can’t buy apricot pineapple jam, but I usually buy a jar of apricot and a jar of pineapple and make my own when I can’t find it already made.
NOTE ## You can use mixed chicken parts just as easily, I just prefer thighs. You can also use boneless chicken, JUST BE SURE to adjust cooking times. Also remember that there won’t be any skin to crisp so chicken will dry out some as well as cook faster. IF USING BONELESS PIECES, I brown them in avocado oil in a skillet before adding and tossing with the sauce.
NOTE:@@ To make scallion rice, I substitute a combination of mainly chicken broth with a little pineapple juice for the water in any rice recipe. I then add 1 tablespoon butter, the scallion whites of the onions and 1/4 cup of the crushed pineapple and then cook per package directions.