Friday, March 28, 2014

Crispy Chicken Caesar Club Sandwich

We've mostly given up on the fast food places in our area, they are too inconsistent and the prices have risen way too high for what you are getting.   My favorite, hands down, is the Wendy's Spicy Chicken sandwich.     I've had this recipe for a while, but never seemed to have all of the ingredients on hand.     I almost made them Wednesday, but I was missing a sub I needed for the sauce and the veggies.  Luckily the guys pizza craving pushed them to Thursday, giving me the opportunity to go to the store and get the things I needed.

I buy thinly sliced chicken breasts, this package had about 5.   I got them working in the buttermilk mixture and then moved on to the sauce.    We do not eat mayo, so I subbed greek yogurt.   I spread the buns with butter and gave them a quick trip under the broiler until they were golden brown.    I only did 2 rolls, Jake NEVER eats anything on them, but once he saw our sandwiches he asked for one too.  

This was a huge hit, we all thought it was WAY better than any fast food we've ever had.   Next time I would save my cutlet for last and add more cayenne to the coating, or maybe add more hot sauce to my serving of the sauce.   I like things spicy!

Thank you so much to Ingrid at The Cozy Apron for this recipe.   Be sure to go check out the fries she served with hers on the blog, they looked outstanding!

* Exported from MasterCook *

Crispy Chicken Caesar Club with Melted Parmesan and Mozzarella Cheese

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
 5 thin sliced chicken breasts
  1                cup  buttermilk -- plus 1 tablespoon, divided use
                        Frank's Red Hot
  2             cloves  garlic -- pressed through garlic press (used minced jarred)
  1 1/2           cups  flour
  1           teaspoon  black pepper
  1           teaspoon  granulated garlic
  1           teaspoon  granulated onion
     1/2      teaspoon  paprika
     1/2      teaspoon  Italian seasoning
     1/8      teaspoon  cayenne pepper (to taste)
                        Vegetable Oil for frying
     1/4           cup  grated or shredded parmesan cheese
  4             slices  mozzarella cheese (used part skim shredded)
  4                     buns -- toasted (used kaiser rolls, buttered and put under broiler)
                        Creamy Garlic-Parmesan Sauce (recipe below)
Romaine leaves -- for topping
                        Tomato slices -- for topping
  4             strips  crispy bacon -- cut in half, for topping
In a bowl or ziptop bag, combine buttermilk, hot sauce, 1t salt, and garlic.   Add chicken, and let marinate for 20 mins to 24 hours.

For the flour coating
Combine flour, pepper, granulated garlic & onion, paprika, Italian Herb mix, cayenne and 1 1/2t salt in a shallow pan.  Add about 1T of buttermilk and use a fork to mix it in, leaving some chunky bits.    

Heat about 4 to 6 cups of oil to 350ยบ.    While the oil is heating, remove each chicken breast from the buttermilk, let the excess run off and then put it into the flour mixture.   Coat both sides.   Remove to a wire rack on a baking sheet.   Continue until all the pieces are coated.    For extra crispy coating, do a second run through the buttermilk and into the flour mixture.

Fry chicken for 5 to 6 mins, turning to make sure both sides are golden brown and the chicken is cooked through.   Remove to paper towel lined platter, sprinkling both sides with kosher salt. 

Lay cooked chicken on a baking sheet (foil lining it makes for easier clean up).   Add cheeses to top, parmesan first, then mozzarella.   Broil until the cheese melts.

For the sandwich
Spread Creamy Garlic Parmesan Sauce onto both halves of the buns.   Layer chicken, lettuce, tomato and bacon as desired. 

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Sauce

 1 cup light sour cream
1/4c plain greek yogurt
 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
 2 garlic cloves (used minced jarred)
 Zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus an extra pinch, if needed

Add all ingredients to a food processor.  Pulse until smooth, well combined and creamy.     Refrigerate leftovers in a closed container.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Jalapeno Popper Hot Dogs

Jalapeno Poppers are one of my favorite foods.    When I saw these hot dogs from the Drink and Dish blog, I couldn't wait for an opportunity to give them a try.    Hot dogs are more of a summertime grill food around here, but I've gotten into a cooking rut and decided to put them into the rotation last night.

I used my greek yogurt earlier in the week, so I subbed some sour cream instead.   Jarred minced garlic and pickled jalapeno slices instead of the fresh.  I like the New England style buns, buttered and cooked on a griddle pan.   Once they were done, I cooked the hot dogs on the same pan.   

These were awesome, and such a nice change from the traditional ketchup/mustard/relish combination.    I'll definitely be making them again and again.    Thank you to Ari at Drink and Dish for the recipe, looking forward to checking out her site and finding more winners like this one!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                         Jalapeno Popper Hot Dogs

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
     2 oz           cup  cream cheese (softened)
  2               tbsp  light sour cream
   Jarred minced jalapenos
  Jarred minced garlic
  2                     all beef hot dogs (or turkey dogs)
  2             slices  center cut bacon
  2               New England Style  hot dog buns
                        Approx 2 tbsp freshly shredded mexican blend cheese

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, garlic and jalapenos in a food processor and pulse until creamy.

Heat grill or griddle pan to medium heat.   Coat pan with a teaspoon of butter (or use cooking spray) and cook hot dog rolls until golden brown on both sides. 

Wrap hot dogs with bacon and secure with toothpicks.   Cook until the bacon is crispy and the hot dogs are hot (about 5 mins). 

Put hot dog into buns, top with cream cheese mixture.   Sprinkle with Mexican blend cheese and some additional jalapenos if desired. 


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Tortilla chip crusted chicken tenders (with honey yogurt dip)

I buy tortilla chips to make nachos and something inevitably happens-  all the 'good' chips get picked out, leaving broken ones and crumbs behind.     The bag then gets shuffled around the cabinet, usually smashing what's left to bits.   I ran across this recipe on the She Knows site and thought it would be perfect to use up what's always left behind.

No gluten issues in our family, so I went with regular AP flour.   I should really wear my glasses shopping, because I managed to buy vanilla greek yogurt instead of plain, and the resulting dip was a little sweet.   Jake loved it, even with the red tinge from the chili powder and the bits of dried cilantro.  

I thought the chicken itself needed a bit more than just salt and pepper, but it was good combined with the dipping sauce, and Tim enjoyed his dipped into Ken's honey mustard dressing. 

* Exported from MasterCook *

    Tortilla chip-crusted baked chicken tenders with honey-yogurt dip

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1 1/2lbs chicken tenderloins
     1/2      teaspoon  salt
     1/4      teaspoon  ground black pepper
 3          cups  corn tortilla chips
     1/4           cup  grated Parmesan cheese
2                     eggs -- slightly beaten
     1/4           cup  all-purpose baking flour
  1                cup  plain Greek-style yogurt (used vanilla)
  1         tablespoon  honey
  1           teaspoon  lime juice
  1         teaspoon dried cilantro
     1/4      teaspoon  red chili powder
                        Nonstick cooking spray

Heat oven to 350.    I always line my sheets with foil for easier clean up, and give it a quick spray with nonstick spray. 

Combine yogurt, honey, lime juice, chili powder, dried cilantro together for the dipping sauce.

Set up 3 pans- one for flour, one for beaten egg and the last for the crushed tortilla chips.    I pulsed mine in the food processor to get them somewhat consistent.    Add about 1/4c parmesan cheese to the chips.    Season chicken with salt and pepper (my chips were real salty so I just used pepper).

Dip chicken in flour, shake, into egg, turning to coat, then let the excess drip off.   Coat with tortilla crumb mixture, pressing to make sure it sticks.

Place chicken on baking sheet and give the top a spray of nonstick cooking spray.   Bake for 15 to 18 mins (recipe recommends flipping, I forgot, they turned out fine)   I also threw mine under the broiler for a minute or so to crisp the top.

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