It’s that time of year again, lake rats: The 4th of July. And in honor of our upcoming trip to Tims Ford, I’m giving up one of my favorite have-around lake snacks: my version of the Chicken Pasta Salad from Bread & Company. [That stuff is way too expensive to buy by the pound, so I piddled around until I figured out a pretty close imitation. Grommet-style.]
This stuff keeps incredibly well, so you can have it pre-boat, mid-beverage and even post-broken-foot if you are as unlucky around water as I seem to be.
And it makes a great base if you’re, say, drowning your sorrows in Firefly so you can limp down to the driveway to play beer die. Not that that’s ever happened.
Anywho, this recipe uses roasted red peppers rather than raw because I ain’t much for the crunch, so tinker with this as you must. Freedom of choice is American as hell.
3 chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 package thin angel hair, cooked*
1 can artichokes, drained and coarsely chopped
1 jar roasted red peppers, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped (just the green parts)
2 cups mayo (plus as much as you need for your desired level of moisture. Eww. Hate that word.)
splash of Italian dressing (optional)
salt and pepper to taste (or Cavender’s if you’re Akin through-and-through)
- Season chicken and cook in skillet with olive oil. (Taco seasoning + Tony’s is a winning combination for me.)
- While pasta is still warm, add mayo and all other ingredients.
- Cover and chill at least one hour (but this is even better after it sits overnight). Season to taste.
Eat on it. It’s the yum.
*I always undercook the pasta when I know I’m making this a day or two in advance because the pasta will soften as it sits in the fridge. Adjust your level of al dente accordingly.
While it will undoubtedly unnerve JR that we are prematurely posting a drink that is obviously a spring/summer beverage
on this cold, nasty day, sometimes you need a ray of sunlight at the end of the tunnel to get you through. (Geez, mixed metaphors much? I am NOT on my A-game today folks.)
The Chef says this recipe is a St. Simon’s classic. Sounds to me like Sneaky Punch
‘s slushy Southern cousin. And that simply cannot be bad.
2 6oz frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 6oz can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
3/4 cup lemon juice
2.5 cups bourbon
1 2-liter of 7up/Sprite
- Mix all ingredients.
- Freeze for 8 hours.
- Get slushed.
Apparently it’s Bacon Day here at Nummy Num Num, and as days go, that’s not too shabby. The Chef likes to serve this with steak, and I’d like to suggest the Coffee Rubbed variety for your noshing pleasure.
8 bacon slices, chopped
3/4 cup of mayo
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
16 oz coleslaw mix (cabbage)
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
salt and pepper
- Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
- Whisk honey, vinegar, and mayo in a large bowl.
- Stir in slaw mix, cheese, and bacon. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cover and chill for up to 2 hours until ready to serve.
While these are not the height of sophistication nor do they require much culinary prowess, they do include 3 of my favorite things: bacon, mayo and tomatoes. Oh, and Emily’s favorite thing: Wheat Thins. (I didn’t understand how deep that love goes until I caught her eating Mama Dunny’s veggie beef soup with them. Cold, straight out of the container. Classy.)
I’d suggest making these 30 minutes before you plan to serve them at the most because the crackers can get soggy, but for 4 ingredients and a 5-minute prep time, you can’t beat ’em. The picture is of the same type of concoction on a crostini – apparently the Internets don’t know about the Wheat Thin shortcut, so we’re very cutting edge here at Triple N. (Though not cutting edge enough to have an original pic… Coming soon.)
1/4 cup mayo
4 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
1 box Wheat Thins OR bread cut into 2-inch rounds, toasted
1 container grape tomatoes, halved
Cavender’s & chopped basil (optional)
- Mix mayo and bacon together. (Feel free to use Bacon Bits if you want to do a no-cook version. Grommet-style still tastes good.) Add Cavender’s and basil if you so desire.
- Top Wheat Thins or bread rounds with a teaspoon of the bacon mixture and one half of a grape tomato. Viola. Bites are served.
I make these rolls pretty much every time I make Vietnamese, which is a lot. A well-known fact about me is that love Asian food, pretty much all Asian with Chinese takeout style as the exception. When it is nice out, I like to head to Chinatown to discover new and exciting produce/dried seafood stuff/weird sauces pretty much Zimmern type things. I love cooking with fish sauce and recently have been researching on all the different kinds out there. If you are using it in a recipe, it really changes the flavors so it is important to stick to one kind that you like. I prefer Vietnamese fish sauce over Thai. Since there are tons of brands just look for ones that have “nhi” or “thuong hang” in the title. Also, make sure it is a light amber color instead of dark.
Back to the recipe, these shrimp summer rolls are simple, delicious, healthy, and pretty. You can add or take out whatever ingredients you like (sometimes I use shrimp and pork), but don’t overstuff your rolls! They are finger foods and should not be drooping. You should be able to find most ingredients at your grocery store, but may need to trek to the ethnic pet store for the rice paper. I serve these with Nuoc cham sauce which I also use as a dressing when making vermicelli dishes. You could also use a peanut sauce. – ts
My tip: when rolling these make sure you have the imprinted side of rice paper roll facing up
Makes 6 rolls
1 ounce dried vermicelli noodles, cooked according to package directions
6 sheets (8 1/2-inch) rice paper- keep more on hand in case of tears
6 cooked prawns (shrimp), peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
Fresh mint and/or basil
Shredded Boston or Butter lettuce
1 bunch fresh chives
Dipping Fish Sauce:
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic minced or crushed
1 red chile, minced or crushed
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Cook noodles in boiling water per package instructions, about 3 minutes, then rinse under cool water.
- Fill bowl with warm water. Dip rice paper in warm water for about 3-4 seconds, until rice paper becomes moistened with water.
- After dipping your rice paper in warm water, lay wrapper onto your dry work surface. Allow rice paper to soak up water and become soft and pliable (about 30 seconds to 1 minute) before you start to roll.
- Layer with a small amount of shrimp, noodles herbs, and lettuce. Layer your filling ingredients on the edge of the wrapper closest to you, shrimp first. I like to drizzle a little hoison sauce and siracha over the fillings. To form the roll, first fold the sides into the center over the filling, then fold and roll, just before you complete the roll add 2 pieces of garlic chives so that they stick out at one end.
- For dipping sauce just combine all ingredients together in a small bowl.
I am a huge fan of yellow/mayo-y/creamy southern style potato salad. My all time favorite used to be the kind that WP gets from the grocery in Horseshoe, but all that changed after eating Chef John’s mom’s potato salad. This recipe lives up to its name. I don’t know if I can make potato salad any other way now. Feel free to go wild and add cheese or jalapenos. -ts
Chef John says: I love sides. Personally, I think they’re the best part of the meal, especially if we be talkin BBQ. Nothing is better than getting a side that is so damn good that you completely forget about everything else on the plate. My Mama made this for a big dinner several years ago and every time she cooks I beg and plead for her to make it. I’ve had the pleasure of eating this many times but every time I take that first bite I let out some sort of animalistic noise and my eyes rollback in my head… I can’t help it. If you want a simple description, imagine a fully loaded baked potato disguising itself as potato salad.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds small red potatoes, diced
1/2 medium-size sweet onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 to 10 cooked crisp bacon slices, crumbled
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3/4 cup prepared Ranch dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
- Place oil in a 15- x 10-inch jellyroll pan; add potatoes and the next 4 ingredients, tossing to coat. Arrange potato mixture in a single layer.
- Bake at 425° for 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Toss together potatoes, bacon, green onions, and dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve.
*If you like your potatoes crispier, bake about 10 minutes longer, stirring once.
Despite his tendency to explain things in such extreme detail that it makes me want to watch E! and read People magazine for 24-hours straight just to give my brain a rest, Alton Brown knows his shiz. This recipe was taken from his and was salty, rich deliciousness. The Chef is usually not a fan of olives, but tapenade made him a believer, so try it on for size if you’re a skeptic.
1/2 pound pitted mixed olives*
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed**
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons capers
2 to 3 fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- Thoroughly rinse the olives in cool water.
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process to combine, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture becomes a coarse paste, approximately 1 to 2 minutes total. (I processed less because I like it to keep a sturdier texture. That is the weirdest phrase I’ve typed in a while.) Transfer to a bowl and serve with homemade crostini or pita bread – it needs a bready texture to soak up the saltiness, so purchase accordingly.
*I’d suggest 1/3 each of green, black and something funky like kalamata.
**Just pull them out of the can and go with it. Over-thinking is bad as far as these weird but nummy little thingies go.