Thursday, November 12, 2015

california flatbread with chipotle ranch sauce... 30 minutes

the goods:

1 large flatbread
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for chicken
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded to an even thickness
3 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1/2 avocado, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon packed cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup ranch dressing (I used homemade)
1 teaspoon chopped chipotles in adobo (my supermarket sells a handy squeeze bottle of it) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Saute in a pan lightly coated with olive oil over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Let chicken rest for ten minutes before dicing.
Brush flatbread with olive oil. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Top with chicken, red peppers, and bacon. Place on a lightly greased, foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is completely melted.
While flatbread is baking, whisk together ranch dressing and chipotles. When flatbread is finished baking, remove from oven and top with avocado, cilantro, and crushed red pepper flakes. Drizzle with chipotle ranch dressing and serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

beef and blue cheese sliders... 8 hours

the goods:

2 lbs. beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup soy sauce

12 white dinner rolls
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
3-5 ounces blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon poppy seeds (chia seeds can also be snuck in here)
2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon sugar

For the meat:
Combine thyme, sugar, celery seed, garlic, and bay leaf. Place roast in a slow cooker and sprinkle spice mixture over roast. Pour in soy sauce. Cook for 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. Remove meat from slow cooker and shred using 2 forks.
To make the sliders:
Cut dinner rolls in half lengthwise and lay bottom halves on a baking sheet close together. Place a portion of shredded beef on top of each roll followed by some mozzarella and blue cheese. Stir together the mayonnaise and horseradish, then spread on the underside of the tops of the rolls. Place the tops on to create sandwiches. 
Melt the butter and add Worcestershire sauce, poppy seeds, onion flakes, and sugar. Stir to combine, then pour evenly over tops of the rolls. Cover baking sheet with foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 5 minutes (watch them, mine burned super easy!) until the cheese is melted and tops are golden.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

honey pineapple teriyaki chicken skillet... 30 minutes

the goods:

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
6 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
1 and 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 and 1/2 tablespoons dry sherry or mirin
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

2-4 tablespoons canola oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 and 1/2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
scallions and cashew pieces, for serving

Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, honey, pineapple, rice wine vinegar, sherry, and grated ginger. Set aside with the cornstarch slurry.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and toss with the 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a zip-top bag. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Place the chicken in the pan and cook until golden, about 5 minutes, stirring often (add more oil as needed). Add the bell pepper and saute 2-3 minutes more. Add the pineapple to the pan. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce and pour it into the pan. Toss until it coats the chicken. Continue to cook until the sauce thickens, about 3-4 minutes more. Remove from heat. Serve over rice, and top with scallions and cashews.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

ranch grilled chicken chopped salad... 20 minutes (plus marinating)

the goods:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
1/2 cup ranch dressing (I use homemade)
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
2 cups chopped spinach
1 large tomato, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 cup sugar snap peas
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
1/2 cup crumbles blue cheese
additional ranch dressing, for serving

Place chicken breasts in a zip-top bag and pour 1/2 cup ranch dressing over the top. Seal bag and smoosh to distribute dressing all over chicken. Place in refrigerator and let chicken marinate 3-4 hours.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade and grill, turning once, until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. Let chicken rest while you assemble the rest of the salad.
In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, spinach, tomato, pepper, snap peas, oranges, and avocado. Dice chicken into bite-sized piece and place on top. Drizzle with ranch dressing and sprinkle with blue cheese to serve.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

hawaiian BBQ chicken pizza... 1 hours and 35 minutes

the goods:

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 cup barbecue sauce, divided
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped or torn
1 clove garlic, minced

 To make dough: pour 1 and 1/2 cups warm water into a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the mixer on low, drizzle in the olive oil until just incorporated. Gently stir the yeast/water mixture and slowly drizzle it into the flour mixture. Mix until the dough forms a ball. Drizzle a little olive into a clean bowl. Toss the ball of dough into the bowl and turn over to coat in oil. Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Brush both sides of chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through, rotating once halfway through, and brushing with 3 tablespoons of the barbecue sauce during the last 1-2 minutes of grilling. Remove from grill and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
 Stretch or roll the dough to desired shape, size, and thickness on a floured sheet pan. In a small bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon olive oil and minced garlic. Brush entire surface of dough with oil and let rest 10 minutes. Cut chicken into cubes. Brush dough with 1/2 cup barbecue sauce. Top with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese, then top with chicken, pineapple, and bacon. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake in oven on a pizza stone until crust is golden, about 11-13 minutes. Slice and serve topped with cilantro.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

sweet strawberry chicken salad... 15 minutes

the goods:

6 cups baby mixed greens
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup candied pecans
1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled

strawberry balsamic dressing:
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
4 large strawberries, hulled and sliced

In a food processor, add all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, combine mixed greens, grilled chicken, strawberries, and blueberries. Top with pecans and blue cheese crumbles. Drizzle with strawberry balsamic dressing.

Friday, October 23, 2015

brisket tacos... 8 hours

the goods:

2-4 pound beef brisket, trimmed of fat
2 ounces liquid smoke per pound of meat
2 bay leaves
12 ounces beer
flour tortillas, warmed
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt
finely grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, and limes, for serving

Season brisket with salt and pepper. In a slow cooker, place brisket, bay leaves, liquid smoke, and beer. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remove the brisket and shred the meat. In a large skillet over low heat, add canola oil. Cook onion slices for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft and translucent. Season with salt and balsamic vinegar, and cook another 2 minutes, stirring to combine. Serve brisket with warm tortillas, caramelized onions, and other toppings.