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.
As it turns out, it IS easy being green. And nothing proves that more than this funky take on a summer classic. Plus, this is one time in life where impatience serves you well because you don’t even have to wait until the tomatoes are ripe. So get in there early. And often.
6 green tomatoes, diced medium
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 red onion, diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice of 3-4 limes
salt to taste
3 green onions, thinly sliced
handful of cilantro, chopped
- Mix all ingredients.
- Let sit for at least 2 hours.
- Serve with chips. Preferably from Las Delicias.
It’s Monday, and due to the fact that I spent the better part of my Sunday sitting in traffic on I-40, all I want to do today is watch Netflix and play on Facebook as I normally would on Sunday. Unfortunately I have this stupid job thingy that’s totally ruining my plans.
So I’m giving my brain a break and posting something simple and fresh that I wish I’d had for lunch instead of the cold chicken fingers I actually ate. The Chef served this vinaigrette over roasted shrooms and carrots, and I must say between this and the baby carrot recipe, he’s actively proving that they aren’t just lame ranch-covered OM-related snacks from my childhood.
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 sesame oil
1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup of toasted sesame seeds
- Whisk together.
- Dress your veggies.
The Chef says this also works well as a marinade for lamb or beef. I cannot, however, vouch for lamb yet as that is one of the foods he has yet to make for me in an attempt to prove that it doesn’t, in fact, taste like dirt and barnyard like I think it does. I’ll keep you posted on that one.
This recipe uses a scotch bonnet, and, if you think about the name of that pepper literally (i.e. a small older Scottish woman dressed like Miss Muffet), I think we can all agree it’s cute as crap. Also, reading the list of spices literally made my mouth water, so it’s probably good as crap too.
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1 scotch bonnet, cut in half
2 tbsp chopped thyme
2 tsp ground allspice
11/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 ground cloves
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree into a smooth, thick paste.
- Use on pork, chicken, or seafood. It will last for about 3 days. (The rub, that is, not the food. If your food lasts for 3 days you are my grandmother and need to eat more quickly.)
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.
Because I always jump when Harmon asks me to, here is a very good, very basic chicken salad recipe. This is the one that Emily thought was so good she ate it out of the cooler the morning after Pat Benatar… after all the ice had melted. It’s 90+ degrees in Memphis in July if you’ll recall, so it must have been pretty darn good for her to risk her health and self-respect just to have a second helping.
4 cups shredded chicken* (rotisserie from the grocery works great for this)
1 stalk celery, sliced very thin
4 green onions, sliced very thin
1.5 tsp fresh tarragon or dill, finely chopped
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 cup mayo (gotta be Duke’s!)
2 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
- Toss together chicken, celery, green onions, and herbs.
- In another bowl, whisk together mayo, lemon juice, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add to the chicken and mix until well-combined.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. This is even better the day after served on freshly-baked rolls with lettuce and tomato. Just ask Emily.
*You’ll need to cook the chicken before shredding it. Beth and Cat learned that the hard way, right A Dub?
Ok RipleyPickles’ posts this week are seriously drool worthy and put mine to shame. However, I am still on the healthy train, so in case anyone else out there is too here is a new one. Chef John and I made this last night using a recipe from dear Martha with a few tweaks. It turned out very good. Serve with a side of quinoa to really up the health factor. -ts
2 halibut fillets, (6 ounces each)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup quinoa
1 ½ tablespoons peanut oil
1 piece fresh ginger (about 2 inches), peeled and finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic minced
Dashes of cayenne pepper
2 baby bok choy, cleaned and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup snow peas, strings removed
1 cup brewed green tea
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
3 scallions, sliced on the diagonal
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season halibut with salt and pepper.
- In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup salted water to a boil. Add quinoa, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Cook fillets until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove filets from pan (reserve pan with any oil in it). Place fish in an ovenproof dish and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until just cooked through (a paring knife will easily go through fish).
- To pan, add ginger, garlic, cayenne, bok choy, edamame, shiitakes, and snow peas; reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, for 2- 3 minutes or until the shiitakes begin to soften. Add green tea, soy sauce, and honey. Cook until edamame are tender, about 3 minutes longer. Add scallions to pan. Place some broth and vegetables in each of four shallow bowls. Top with fish fillet .
- Season quinoa with salt and serve on the side or in same bowl.
I thought this recipe was a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people ask what the actual seven layers are in Seven Layer Dip. So here ya go.
The secret is using picante sauce where so many people use salsa because it gives you just enough zing to cut through the creaminess.
(It’s also technically 8 layers if you include the tomatoes on the top, but it will be so good that no one will complain.) Now go getcho chips and enjoy.
2 15 oz cans refried beans with green chiles
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups guacamole
picante sauce (medium or hot), enough to cover the guac layer
2 cups shredded cheddar and monterey jack cheese
4 green onions, chopped
4 oz can sliced black olives
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Fritos or Scoops
- If you want to serve the dip hot, preheat the oven to 350.
- Mix mayo and sour cream together.
- Layer ingredients in order, starting with beans and ending olives.
- Bake for 30 minutes, top with tomatoes and serve. Or, if you’re of the more impatient variety or you prefer this cold, add tomatoes, sit and chow.
I usually always go for angel hair when I make pasta, but this really is better with the bowtie. It’s the perfect mix of sweet, spicy and seafood. Plus bowtie pasta is just adorable, so it’s got that going for it too.
1 teaspoon of olive oil
2 ounces of thinly sliced proscuitto
1 pound peeled and deveined 21-25 count shrimp
2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and chopped
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
handful of chopped green onions
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1/4 cup of feta cheese
2 tablespoons of butter
4 ounces shrimp stock
2 ounces of vodka
salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste
1 package of bowtie pasta, cooked
- In a medium saute pan heat olive oil. Add prosciutto and cook until crisp. Once crisp, remove from pan.
- Season shrimp with salt and pepper and cook briefly (until about halfway done).
- Add vodka to pan, stand back and set vodka aflame to deglaze pan.
- After flames dies down, add chopped bell peppers, garlic, green onions, parsley and feta cheese. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add shrimp stock, bring to a simmer and reduce for 3-4 minutes. Add salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir in butter.
- Add bowtie pasta and cook until just until pasta is heated through. Plate and top with crisp prosciutto.
This is a recipe The Chef has refined at several of the restaurants he’s worked in. He says it’s “very simple stuff.” I’ve only stuffed my face with this but have never made it myself, so we’ll just have to trust him. I do know it’s totally succulent, so if you can’t force him to make this for you, I’d definitely try it yourself.
1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail left on*
Cajun seasoning, good amount ( the more you use, the darker the sauce will be)
handful of sliced button mushrooms
1 tablespoon of chopped green onions
splash of sherry
ladle of shrimp stock
dab of butter
1 teaspoon of thyme
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Sprinkle seasoning on shrimp, mixing well.
- Saute shrimp in veg oil on med high heat for about 2 -3 minutes. Add shrooms, then add sherry.
- Once sherry has cooked out, add shrimp stock and reduce by 3/4.
- Take off heat and swirl in butter, while stirring constantly.( If you don’t do this step, your sauce will break.)
- Add thyme and green onions. Serve over grits with crusty bread.
*I would take the tail off because I hate having to get my hands all messy while I’m eating this, but The Chef says it’s prettier that way, so you’ll just have to decide which side of the line you fall on. My side or the wrong side.
2 cups of shrimp stock (Chef says you can use chicken stock, but it won’t be as nummy)
2 cups of heavy cream
2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup of stone ground grits
- Combine liquid ingredients with salt and pepper in a medium saucepan and bring to a slight boil.
- Slowly pour grits into the liquid while whisking constantly.
- Turn the heat to medium low and cook for a about an hour stirring often.