Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Boneless Buffalo Chicken

It's funny how every year we find a new, favorite chicken to grill for the Summer. One year it was terryaki, one year it was spicy BBQ, another year, Italian herb. So this year? Is is grilled buffalo chicken breasts. Not any breasts though, highly seasoned ones. I've found my new spice rub for the Summer-Ranch seasoning! It had great flavor that the kids loved (without buffalo sauce of course) and the parents loved it, no messy wings again! If I just had some of that Restaurant Style Ranch left over ;)

chicken breasts, pounded to flatten (as many as you want to serve)
Dry, Ranch seasoning
bottle of Buffalo Sauce (we use Otts) or Louisiana hot sauce
black pepper

Sprinkle the breasts with the dry Ranch on both sides, the more you use the more flavor they will have. Place in fridge for 20 minutes or so. Preheat the grill. Remove chicken from the fridge and sprinkle with pepper. Throw the chicken on an oiled grill. Pour about a 1/2 of cup sauce into a dish. Cook the first side of chicken, usually around 10 minutes, and flip. Coat cooked side of chicken with sauce. Finish cooking other side, flip and coat. Continue flipping and coating until the sauce is as "gooey" as you would like. And if you are making them family friendly then don't coat with sauce :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Restaurant Style Ranch Dressing

Do you ever go out to dinner and have a side-salad and wonder why restaurants have the best Ranch dressing? Well, I do and I think I finally found the recipe! My sister-in-law gave me the recipe and it so good! I was told not to substitute with Fat Free anything because it won't come out the same, but I did use Light sour cream and thought it tasted great. Not low-calorie by any means but wonder on a salad or as a dip.

1 cup real mayo
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk (more if you want it runnier)
1 envelope Buttermilk Ranch dressing mix
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp paprika

Mix together and chill before serving.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sausage Pasta Bake

I love when I throw a few random things together and something awesome turns out (doesn't happen very often). I had some frozen Italian Sausage, a can of crushed tomatoes and a zucchini so I began. Threw in some pasta and dinner was served. What made it so great was the sweetness of the zucchini combined with the spiciness of the sausage. Just top it with cheese and the whole family will eat it!

1/2 package of sweet Italian sausage
1 zucchini, sliced and halved (peel left on)
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 big can crushed tomatoes (the best you can afford)
1 small can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
1/2 can tomato paste with Italian seasonings
sprig of fresh basil, leaves pulled from stem and chopped
1 TBS brown sugar
salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano & dried Italian Seasoning
1 package ditali pasta (or any tube shaped pasta)
Shredded mozzarella
Fresh grated parmesan

Heat a medium sized skillet to medium heat. Add a glug of olive oil. Throw in the raw sausage and the sliced zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until sausage is done and zucchini is soft. In the mean time, add tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, sugar and seasonings to a medium sauce pan and bring to simmer. Drain sausage on paper towel lined plate and then add to the sauce. Bring water to a boil for pasta and continue simmering the sauce until pasta is cooked. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13 baking dish. Add pasta. Top with sauce and stir. Top with mozzarella and then parmesan. Bake for at least 30 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. (the browner the better in my opinion). Let sit for a bit before serving and then enjoy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Baked Lemon Chicken

This recipe was in the 'Everyday with Rachel Ray' magazine that I subscribe to. It is a very affordable (cost less than $5 to make), nice recipe to have when guests come over for dinner. The lemon isn't over-powering, it's nice and subtle. I baked as directed and then cut the legs off so my kids could have a leg to gnaw on and they loved the way the chicken tasted and so did we. It's always nice to know that your kids can eat a nice dinner if needed :) The original recipe has been adapted to our liking and then posted.

1 lemon-1/2 thinly sliced, the other 1/2 squeezed for juice and set aside
4 chicken leg quarters
1 TBS vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1 TBS fresh tarragon or 1/2 TBS dried tarragon (I made it with dried b/c I couldn't find fresh)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer down the center of a roasting pan. Rub the chicken with the oil and season with sea salt and pepper on both sides. Place the chicken skin side up on the lemon slices and bake for 45-60 minutes or until chicken is done. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3-5 minutes or until skin is crisp. Drizzle with lemon juice. Sprinkle with tarragon and serve.