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Easy Blue Buffalo Chicken Pockets Recipe

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Blue Buffalo Chicken Pockets

Today was grocery day. This means I spent two hours wandering through the grocery store trying to find the right products to match with the right coupons amidst a sea of neon yellow sale tag sirens. And at the end of the race, I had to go home and unload all the groceries I had just put in the bags. After all that, I was tired. But the questions still loomed, “What’s for dinner?”
I scoured the recent mound of food in the fridge. There was a box of boneless chicken wings.  (How wings can be boneless, I don’t know. But who cares if they’re so good.) I also found crescent rolls and bleu cheese wedges. And as always, a bottle of hot sauce. So I came up with an quick, easy recipe for dinner: Chicken Buffalo Bleu Sandwiches or

Blue Buffalo Chicken Pockets

Buffalo Chicken PocketsIngredients:
Can of refrigerated crescent rolls
Boneless chicken wings or chicken fingers
Spreadable Blue cheese wedges
Hot buffalo sauce

 

Quick & Easy Instructions:

1. Unroll half of the crescent roll dough into triangles according to directions on package.

2. Cut up the chicken wings or chicken fingers into pieces and place close together onto each sheet of crescent dough; leave 1/2″ border around edge.

3. Slice chunks of spreadable blue cheese wedges and place on top of chicken.

3. Place a second dough triangle on top of the boneless chicken wings and pinch top and bottom parts together. Trim ends of dough to cover seams if necessary.

4. Bake rolls according to directions on package. You may need another 5-10 min to cook filled pockets.

 Remove pockets and pour hot buffalo sauce across the Blue Buffalo Chicken Pockets and serve.
My lovely wife gave them a hearty approval. I liked having the buffalo chicken flavor all together in a flaky crescent roll crust  like a calzone, pastie, or whatever you call a hot hand-held sandwich. Plus, Blue Buffalo Chicken Pockets were less messy than regular buffalo chicken fingers –the roll contained the cheese and the fork could dip into the buffalo sauce as much as it wanted. And best of all, it was a quick and easy dinner.
At the end of the meal our mouth were burning hot but happy!

 

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Thumbs Down for Vintage 7 Up Recipes

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7UP Recipes Fizzle Out

7Up Recipe FavoritesI bought a stack of old cookbooks at an estate sale the other day and was intrigued by a 7Up recipe booklet advertising all the ways cooking with 7UP can enhance your kitchen meals.  According to the uncola company,  7Up and food “just naturally go together.” So just how many ways could 7Up be used besides drinking? I knew citrus soda could  be used in baking biscuits and cakes but had never tried to cook with it.  So, against the protestations of my wife, I  decided to try some 7UP soda recipes from 1969.

I wanted to make an entire meal from 7 UP recipes but didn’t have enough time or pop after drinking it. So I settled on “Carrots Supreme” and a special fish sauce. The recipe for carrots supreme was pretty simple: carrots boiled in 2 cups of 7UP for an “unusual flair.”  The result was rather usual though: carrots that tasted like, well, just carrots. Perhaps I should have elevated myself to “sophisticated” beans instead.

7UP Food Recipes  7 Up Cooking Recipe with Vegetables7Up Recipe - Fish Sauce

Next came the fish. The sauce was supposed to be  served over fried fish fillets, but since I’m not allowed near hot oil after several culinary scars, and since I didn’t have a whole branzino to baste, I settled for cod fillets. The process of making the sauce not as simple as the instructions indicated. Mixing and boiling the ingredients took longer than desires, and the 7UP lost its fizzle when added to the hot butter and resulted in a bubbling brown sticky mess. On the plate it looked like the fish had sneezed from a bad cold.

In all, the results were less than sparkling fresh. The sugar in the 7UP masked any other flavors. Perhaps there was less sugar in the 60s version of the soda? (I asked 7Up but did not receive an answer).  My wife didn’t try to conceal her dislike of it. I continued to try the creations but after a few bites had to admit the “distinctly different” 7 UP recipes were rather lackluster. The results were not even worthy of display photos.

So whether you say soda, pop, or uncola soda, I wouldn’t recommend these  7UP recipes from the 60s or anytime.

 

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Battle of the Bread – Focaccia Style

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I know why pioneer women were so strong: they made a lot of bread. A couple weeks ago I took a try at making bread from scratch. My wife is normally the baker in the house. But she was overbaked from the holidays. So I decided to try my hand at making creating focaccia from my Top Chef University course (recommended program, review forthcoming).

The episode made it look rather simple. Of course, it skipped the hours of waiting and all the kneading. Part of that may be because the bread recipe called for a stand mixer. Unfortunately, I didn’t have one. So my hands would have to do.

My food processor and blade helped with the initial mixing and kneading of the dough. The instructions said to let is rest afterward, so I put it in the corner to rise (or is it raised, I can never remember?). When I took the dough out it looked like a puffy baby belly. I gently transferred it over to the counter for the next step. The instructions said next to knead for 10 minutes in a stand mixer, still conspicuously absent from our kitchen. So I guessed I’d just have to make us of mis manos. How hard could it be by hand?

It turned out to be harder than I thought. During those long ten minutes I talked to my wife, then to myself and ultimately to the dough. But after a while there was only so much the dough could say as it was rolled and flipped and rolled and flipped and rolled in so much repetition. After 5 minutes of the process my arms started to feel tired; after 10 min they were glad for a break. While the dough sat yet again, I sat too.

Who knew dough could be so “kneady”? As I looked at that  soft, sticky white lump of would-be bread I began to feel contempt for it. The blob just sat there in the corner as if to mock me. It didn’t want to be moved, and it wouldn’t until it was good and ready. And there was nothing I could do about it. In frustration I chastised it for its recalcitrance and stubbornness. How dare it balk before its baker!

Two hours later: It was finally time to teach that dumb dough a lesson.  The recipe said to punch, and so I did. I punched it down hard. Then I did it again and again. The pioneer women probably got out their frustration this way too. I can just imagine them punching out their anger over the dumb cows that ran away into the woods again. The dough continued to roll with the punches. After a while my frustration gave way to weariness. Would it ever end? All I knew was that this bread better be good, or else the neighbors were going to hear a long, loud roar.

Finally, the dough was ready to go into the pan. I filled the area with olive oil and began to stretch the bread, but it remained stubborn. I had to put down such rebellion once and for all. So I pushed and pulled until it stayed in place. The final recipe direction said to poke holes in the bread. Gladly. As it laid stretched out helpless on the pan I poked it and taunted it while I dug my fingers into its soft gooey spots and said, “See, who’s in the pan now, bubble boy? Yeah, that’s right. I own you bread!”

Twenty minutes late the focaccia emerged from the oven beautifully golden with a crisp and soft crust.

The bread battle was over. I had won. Victory was sweet (and savory).

Have you had any epic baking battles? Share them below.

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Eat Your Brain, Dear! or Meat, Your Friend

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Today we’re throwing a bone to the past with a 1942 publication of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture meat manual.  At that time the American people were trying to live frugally after the Depression. The threat of war made it necessary to watch food consumption too. And most importantly, Americans needed sustainable nutrition. But the cost of meat meant it needed to be used thoroughly. So this pamphlet shows how to use each part of a cow.

Cooks then had the same concerns we do today: frugality. Meat doesn’t need to be expensive. It’s all in how you use it. Basically, meat cooked slowly in water or marinade produces tender savory results. Many slow cooker cookbooks attest to this. Bones can be used for stocks and soups. Leftovers can be made into a myriad of dishes. And even the hidden parts of a cow can be consumed. Well, supposedly.

Bu sometimes frugality extends a little too far. Thus, we end up with several, um, interesting recipes you won’t find at Applebee’s.

Spleen Stew                                                       Jellied Veal Salad
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Plus, there’s recipes for braised heart and stuffed liver. And in case you want a new twist on scrambled eggs, just try adding some  brains. “Come on kids, I have an extra special breakfast today!” ;-D  Talk about having your mind on food …

                                                               Scrambled Brains
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Image (59)Now for a special treat, try to hold your tongue—with a fork. Cold sliced tongue…Mmmmm. I admit tongue is not my favorite. The rough texture makes it rather hard to chew. However, if it is sliced thin and fried with peppers and onions in a tortilla, it is tolerable in Mexican meals.

I experienced a close encounter of the other kind of meat once at a Vietnamese restaurant. I thought beef pho soup contained just broth with beef and noodles. But when it came I saw some floating spongy brown blocks. They tasted rubbery and strange. So dumb me asked what it was. The waitress paused a moments before saying, “I no know word. It in here,” at which point she pointed to her stomach. Apparently, only the Vietnamese characters explained the inclusion of tripe, beef intestines from the first two stomachs of a cow. After I heard where it came from I wasn’t too keen on finishing the dish. Now there was yet another unsettled stomach at the table.

However, these beefy insides won’t be appearing on my table anytime soon. To be fair, part of the reason is modern American taste prejudices. The national palette has been dumbed down to a bland blend of protein. Americans want simple meat: “white meat” chicken nuggets, 100% pure beef burgers, and taco meat. However, if you ever read the full packaging info on these items, you’ll realize we’ve been eating a lot more parts than we think! I remember being frozen in fear in the McDonald’s storage locker when I read the three inches of text for the the ingredients in chicken nuggets. I haven’t eaten them since. Granted, they claim to have changed their recipe, but still, I don’t trust them. (Watch chef Jamie Oliver show how chicken nuggets are made here.)

While these beef dishes don’t seem too delicious, they are likely nutritious. Still, I think I’ll stick to regular eggs and bacon for breakfast.

 

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