Friday, February 27, 2015

Honey Sriracha Chicken Bites

Photo courtesy of the Cooking Corner.
     Our family is one that loves chicken wings, but most of us prefer them boneless. It's just easier eating that way, nothing to worry about or to get in your way. Even though some of us like Buffalo-style wings, we could do without that bite of vinegar. 
     At a recent family dinner, our son came up with this modified recipe for chicken wings. He used Sriracha to avoid the vinegar wang and chicken breasts chunks instead of wings so that bones weren't an issue.
     These little bites were tender and moist with just a little heat on the back side, but it wasn't over powering or long lasting. The slow cooker keeps them moist and enriches the flavor. This was an excellent appetizer and would also be good in a taco or stir-fry.

Staying warm with sauce, just out of oven.
Honey Sriracha Chicken Bites
2 pkg. boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders, cut in 4 pieces
3/4 cup Sriracha sauce
3/4 cup honey
2 T. butter
1/4 cup lime juice

Preheat oven to 350. Spray coat and line a small cookie sheet. Sit spray coated rack on cookie sheet.

In slow cooker combine everything except chicken. Stir well to combine.

Add chicken chunks and stir to coat and combine thoroughly.

Cook on low 6-8 hours to combine flavors.

Spread chicken on a spray coated baking pan and place under broiler for 2-3 minutes to just crisp edges and caramelize.

Serve warm with toothpick on a plate.

Offer remaining sauce as a side dip.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Loaded Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Loaded Baked Macaroni and Cheese
By Derek McGraw, Princeton

      When the hubby stops me and says to try a dish, it must be good. When he says that about mac and cheese, it must be really good. At a recent fundraiser dinner, he did just that by pointing out how good a loaded mac and cheese dish was from a local "chef." This dish won honors at the event and one good look at the ingredients explains it all. Well done.

Photo courtesy Taste of Home
Loaded Baked Macaroni and Cheese
1 pound center cut bacon    

1 cup Wisconsin Jack Cheese
1 teaspoon of garlic salt        

1 (16 oz.) box of elbow macaroni
1 teaspoon of white pepper    

1 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon onion powder    

3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon paprika   
 2 cups (16 oz.) sour cream
1 packet of Ranch seasoning       
2 cups Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese
1 small pouch of bacon bits

Preparation -
Fry bacon until crisp; drain and crumble. Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350.

Cook pasta according to the al dente package directions. Drain well.

In a large bowl combine milk, eggs, sour cream, and seasonings with bacon bits. Whisk together until mixed well. Stir in the cooked pasta and Wisconsin cheese, reserving 1 cup of Cheddar.

Pour into a deep baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining Wisconsin Cheddar evenly over the top.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove when edges become golden.

Allow baking dish to set for 10 minutes. Garnish with crumbled bacon.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Broiled Lobster Tails

Surf and Turf dinner.
    Recently on a cold winter night, the hubby and I decided to stay in and have "date night" at home. Surf and turf was on the agenda. I'd taken a couple of well-trimmed ribeye steaks out of the freezer and found a good deal on some small lobster tails. 
    This was going to be a new experience for us. Real lobster is something we've never dared to try and cook at home. After doing my research on "how to cook lobster tails" I found it's best to bring the lobster to room temperature. Advice that we got from our daughter, a trained chef, was that there's no vein, don't over cook it and use lots of butter and lemon. OK, nice to know.
     Lobster shells are much harder and sharper than shrimp or crawfish, but they aren't difficult to handle or cut. Even though this was a bit different, it wasn't hard to do and they weren't over cooked. I was quite happy but think next time I'd really like to try them on the grill.

Broiled Lobster Tails

2 small lobster tails (about 3 oz.)
3 T. butter

1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 squirts of lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning

Thaw lobster tails until room temperature and no longer cool to the touch.

Spray coat a baking dish with a rack. Pour just enough water in bottom of pan to cover. Sprinkle Old Bay seasoning over top water and mix.

Place butter, garlic powder and chili powder in small pan and heat until butter is melted and spices are warmed and fragrant. Set aside.
Preheat oven to broil and adjust racks if needed.

Place kitchen shears between shell and meat at the top edge, trying not to cut the meat and
cut down the center of the shell leaving fan tail attached.

Gently loosen the meat and lift out of the shell and lay on top.

Rinse lobster tails under cool water and dry with paper towel.

Set shells on baking pan rack and replace lobster tails on shells.

Brush tails with melted butter and broil 6 to 8 inches from heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until meat is no longer transparent and shells are bright. Remove from oven and squirt with lemon. Serve immediately because they cool off very fast.

Serves 2.

Lobster tails just out of oven.

Taste Of Home Recipe of the Day