On the menu tonight, Mexican Chicken and Rice Casserole!
This is a dish that will feed a crowd of people very inexpensively. The great thing is that you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator.
Chicken and rice is a classic, but I wanted to spice things up a little. So I added poblano and jalapeno peppers, along with cumin and cayenne pepper. I mixed in some grated cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, and colby) and then topped it with some more grated cheese when it went in to the oven.
If you want to try a new spin on Chicken and Rice, try this Mexican Chicken and Rice Casserole!
On the menu tonight – Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken!
I was craving fried chicken, so I decided to make my own. To make sure you end up with a juicy and flavorful piece of chicken, you need to start with a marinade or brine. I soaked the chicken in buttermilk with hot sauce overnight. If you want it quicker, soak the chicken in buttermilk at least 4 hrs.
The next step is the coating. You don’t want that delicious flour mixture to come off on the first bite, you want it with every bite. The trick is dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour mixture and then let it set in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes. THEN you can do the egg dunk, re-dredge, and I like to let it set again.
The thing to be careful of is making sure the chicken is fully cooked. If the oil is too hot, the coating is going to burned and the chicken won’t fully cook. If the oil is too cool, you’ll end up with greasy, uncooked chicken. 350 degrees is where you want to keep the temperature of the oil. To make sure the chicken is completely cooked, you can put the bigger pieces of chicken in the oven for another 15-20 minutes to make sure they are fully cooked.
Serve with some homemade coleslaw and mashed potatoes with gravy.
Put the chicken pieces in a gallon sized ziplock bag along with the buttermilk and hot sauce
Massage/mix the chicken, buttermilk, hot sauce to make sure the chicken is soaking. (use two bags if necessary)
Marinate the chicken overnight (4 hrs minimum) in the refrigerator
When ready to cook -
Mix 4 teaspoons salt, black pepper, thyme, flour, cornstarch, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and stir to combine. I like to put the seasoned flour in a baking dish to give me room to dredge the chicken
Take the chicken pieces from the bag, one a time, let the excess buttermilk mixture drain off and then dredge in the seasoned flour mixture
Place the seasoned chicken on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and repeat until all the chicken has its first coat of dredge.
Put in the refrigerator at least 15-20 minutes to let the chicken set up with the dredge.
In the meantime, mix together some of the buttermilk/hot sauce mixture with the eggs in a med-large bowl
Dunk the chicken in the egg mixture and back in to the seasoned flour, thoroughly coat, getting the mixture in to every crevice and put back on the wire rack
Repeat until all the chicken is coated
Refrigerate again for at least 20-30 minutes
When ready to fry
Heat the peanut oil in a cast iron Dutch oven or similar heavy pot
Clip your deep-fry thermometer in so you can monitor the oil temperature
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees
When the oil gets to 325-350 you can start adding the chicken
Don't add more than 2-3 pieces at a time as the oil temperature will drop and be harder to regulate. Try to maintain 325-350 degrees
Cook until deep golden brown (about 8 minutes for the wings, 10 minutes for the legs, 12 minutes for thighs and 15-18 minutes for the breasts. All these times are assuming bone-in pieces)
As the chicken is finished cooking in the oil, place on a clean wire rack.
Unless you are absolutely sure it is cooked through (test with a thermometer), put in the oven for another 10-20 minutes for the bigger pieces.
Serve with your choice of sides, but you can't go wrong with cole slaw and mashed potatoes.
I was intrigued when I first read the title of this recipe. I kept thinking deviled eggs and there are some similarities, but it’s definitely its own thing. As you can imagine, with deviled in the name, it has some spice to it. Funny enough, I’ve made plenty of deviled eggs, but they don’t really have any heat to them. Maybe I’ve been doing it wrong all these years.
SO, the similarities with the deviled eggs include the Dijon mustard and paprika and those are the things I love about this dish. The chicken is marinated in a Dijon mustard mixture, a spicy mixture, coated with seasoned breadcrumbs (also with some spice) and Parmesan cheese, and then baked.
The next time you are making a chicken dish and want something a little different than your usual – try Deviled Chicken!
On the menu tonight – Copy Cat Big Mac Sliders! I rarely eat fast food anymore, but I recently saw a post on FB for these Copy Cat Big Mac sliders and they looked really good. There was also a post for Copy Cat White Castle sliders and those looked good too! The recipe I’m going to share is a combination of the two and it turned out pretty fantastic if I say so myself.
The great thing is that this comes together really quickly, there isn’t anything difficult in making these sliders, no exotic ingredients… just a good ‘ole slider that would be right at home during the week, at a party, game day… they’re delicious crowd-pleasers!
One of the really great things about these sliders is that they are made in the oven! So, it doesn’t matter what the weather is, you can make this meal.
The next time you are thinking about making burgers, I hope you’ll give these sliders a try!
1/4 - 1/2 cup dehydrated onion / dried minced onion
2 Tsp Garlic powder
1/3 cup Thousand Island dressing or make your own (Ketchup, mayo, and relish)
Dill pickle slices, at least one per slider
1 cup Shredded lettuce
3-4 slices American cheese
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees
On a large sheet tray, spread out the ground beef
Season the ground beef with the Lipton Soup mix, pepper, onions (finely diced and dry), garlic powder, and gently mix (don't over mix)
Once the meat is thoroughly seasoned, form it in to a rectangle roughly the size of the slider buns but a little larger as the meat will shrink a little as it cooks.
Cover with tin foil and put in the pre-heated oven.
Set the timer for 15 minutes.
As the meat cooks, carefully cut the slider buns in half, but leave them all intact - don't separate them.
Spread the Thousand Island dressing on both the tops and bottoms and set aside.
Shred the lettuce
When the timer goes off, remove the tray from the oven, remove the foil, drain any fat, and return to the oven uncovered for another 15-20 minutes.
When the burgers are ready, add the American cheese and return to the oven for a few minutes to let the cheese melt.
Cut the rectangle in half (length-wise) so you have two rows of three sliders. This will make it easier to transfer to the buns.
Dab the hamburger with paper towels to avoid transferring a lot of grease to your burgers. I tilted the pan and drained the fat a second time, then dabbed the burgers with paper towels to get a lot of the excess grease off of them.
Transfer the burgers to the slider buns.
Top with pickles, lettuce, and the bun tops.
Serve with french fries or onion rings.
You'll note I don't have sesame seed buns. I don't feel that the sesame seeds add anything to the taste, texture... anything. If you like them, use sesame seed buns.
On the menu tonight – Miso Glazed Black Cod with Couscous!
This is another one of those dinners that comes together very quickly. If your fish is already thawed, all you have to do is mix together a few ingredients for the glaze and pre-heat the oven.
While I baked this dish, I would recommend broiling it a few minutes first to get some color on the glaze and then bake it. I baked it at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. If I broiled it first, I would probably drop the bake time to about 8-10 minutes.
For the couscous, I took a supermarket shortcut with the bag of couscous you and microwave. From start to finish, this dinner only took about 30 minutes and it is WAY healthier than ordering something online. I hope the next time you aren’t sure what to have for dinner, you will try this dish!
On the menu tonight – Beef and Broccoli with Rice!
I’ve been trying, off and on for a while to make a Chinese food knock off that would satisfy my craving for Chinese food without having to order take-out. Sadly, most of those attempts haven’t been very successful – UNTIL NOW! This meal hits all the buttons AND it only took about 30 minutes to make from start to finish.
To save time, the meat was mostly cut to size. I had a package of beef tips and I just had to cut the pieces to bite size. The rice was the microwave bag types that is ready in 90 seconds. If you haven’t tried them, DO. They’re really good, especially for something like this. What’s left? The broccoli. I cut up the broccoli to bite-sized pieces and did a rough chop of the scallions.
There is a sauce, but all you have to do for that is mix the ingredients in a bowl and add your chopped ingredients to coat them before putting everything (minus the rice) on a sheet pan. After 15 minutes in the oven, take it out and cook the rice for 90 seconds. All you have to do next is plate it and eat it!
The next time you get cravings for Chinese food, consider making this Sheet pan Beef and Broccoli. It will be on the table quicker than take-out.
3/4 - 1 lb of sirloin steak, cut to bite-sized pieces (about 3/4 of a inch)
10-12 oz broccoli florets
3 scallions, cut in to 1-2" pieces (use the entire scallion, light and dark parts)
Cooked rice, for serving or 1 bag microwave rice (I used Jasmine rice)
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees and position a rack in the upper third of the oven
Make the sauce: In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, canola oil, sesame oil, sriracha, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and minced garlic
Add the steak, broccoli, and scallions to the bowl, then toss to coat all the ingredients
Spread the ingredients on a large sheet pan and spread everything in a single layer
Bake for 15-16 minutes until the steak is browned and the broccoli is al dente
Season with freshly cracked black pepper
Serve with the rice and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds
If you like a lot of sauce, you could double the amounts for the sauce recipe. Just be careful not to dump too much sauce on the sheet pan, as it will burn.
Next time I will probably cut a Vidalia onion in half, then slice it and add to the mixture.
Where has THIS been all my life?! YUM! I have seen countless TV shows where the chef/cook adds chimichurri sauce over steak or whatever. I always thought, I’d rather just taste the meat. Well, I finally gave in and figured I’d give it a try. WOW! Delicious! Now I see what I’ve been missing all these years.
There are a bunch of different ways you can make this and I don’t even begin to claim this is the best version of a chimichurri sauce. This is my first attempt at it and I am REALLY happy with the result. I put it on a grilled pork loin and grilled chicken.
I hope the next time you are grilling that you’ll give this sauce a chance – especially if you’ve never tried it.
On the menu tonight – Scallops Provencal over Pasta!
After having made seared scallops countless times, I wanted to do something a little different. I had plenty of white wine butter sauce left over from a recent dish and thought it would go perfectly with scallops and pasta. It DID!
For the pasta, I used buccatini. It was good, but it wasn’t the right noodle for this application. Somewhere, someone said that every pasta has a purpose. They were RIGHT! This dish, in my humble opinion, requires a more delicate pasta. Angel hair pasta or vermicelli would have been better choices and I’ll use one of those the next time I make this dish.
Similar to seared scallops, this dish goes together pretty quickly. The extra time is going to be spent making the sauce and making the pasta.
Despite my pasta choice, this dish STILL turned out really well. I hope you’ll make your own version and let me know how it goes!
If you haven't already, pat the scallops dry. If they are wet, you won't get a good sear.
In a 13x9 baking dish or a pie tin, put in the flour and season it with salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
Put the scallops in the flour and thoroughly coat. I put the scallops in a colander or strainer and shake off the excess flour. You just want a light coating of flour.
In a large pan, over high heat, put enough butter to coat the entire pan, but not so much the scallops would be swimming in butter.
Place the scallops in the pan one at a time, starting at the 12 o'clock position and going clockwise until you've added all the scallops. Leave at least a half inch between the scallops and feel free to put some in the center as well - just keep track of the order you put them in the pan because you only need to sear them about 90 seconds each side before they are done.
After all the scallops are in the pan, I'll wait about another minute and I start flipping them in the order I put them in the pan.
They should have a nice light brown sear.
Cook them on the other side for a minute to 90 seconds and then remove them.
Lower the heat to medium, if you haven't already, add the rest of the butter, shallots, garlic, and parsley, saute for 2-3 minutes, then add the wine.
Scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Drop the pasta in the boiling water and cook to pkg directions.
When the pasta is done, reserve a cup of the cooking liquid and then drain the pasta.
I add the pasta to the butter and wine sauce, and add the lemon zest and juice, mixing to coat all of the pasta with the lovely sauce. If you need some additional sauce or what you have isn't thick enough, you can add some of that reserved pasta water.
Plate some of the pasta and add scallops on top, then sprinkle a little of the chopped parsley. I'll also usually have some lemon wedges in case anyone wants extra lemon to sprinkle on top.