Friday, April 27, 2012

Spicy Buffalo Wings with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

You know what I think is fun that most people probably don't?  No, not emptying the dishwasher.  I hate that, too.  Pinching pennies?  Nope, not that either. 

But I do enjoy going out to dinner by myself.  I know it sounds kind of weird, but I've grown to really like it and don't feel self-conscious at all.  Granted, the reason I've gotten so used to it is because I'm often forced to either do that or eat over-priced room service in a hotel room.  So, there is that.  Sometimes during my work travels, I'm with various members of my team, so we take clients out and eat delicious steaks.  But often I'm on my own and when dinner time comes around, eating a room service sandwich doesn't sound so good.  So I usually venture out somewhere with my iPad and sit at the bar for a good meal and glass (ugh, okay! Two glasses!) of wine.  Its nice to enjoy my solitude and have a relaxing meal.

What is not nice is people who can't (or don't) read the non-verbal signals that indicate that I don't feel like chatting.  I brought my iPad and am reading a book for a reason, people!  The other night I was at a steakhouse in Kansas City, sitting at the bar, sipping my Cab and reading 50 Shades of Grey (don't judge!!!).  The bartender stands in front of me until I look up.  "I like your shirt!" he says.  Um, thanks?  It IS pretty fabulous (Thanks Anthropologie!), but really?  You like my shirt?  I looked up from reading about the dreamy Christian Grey for this??  10 minutes later, the chick next to me is all, "Is that a good book?".  Why yes, yes it is!!  THAT'S WHY I'M READING IT RIGHT NOW!  I tell her yes, she's like, "what's it about?".  Uhh, you don't even want to know, lady.  5 minutes later, bartender returns with my steak (filet cooked medium rare, perfection), and is all, "So, are you here for work?"  I know what he meant, but I SO wanted to be like, "No!  I'm here for steak, now let me eat it!".  But I didn't because, well, I didn't think of that comeback until just now.

So, if you ever see a girl sitting at the bar of a nice restaurant, reading and sipping her wine, for the love of all that's good in the world, leave her alone!  She'll talk to you if she wants to chat, count on it.

Anyway!  These chicken wings have nothing to do with that story besides that fact that I've eaten chicken wings at a bar before, alone, while reading a book and sipping my wine. 

I could eat this blue cheese dressing with a spoon.  And I did it, too.  The wing sauce was awfully hot, and the extra jalapenos probably weren't necessary, but they were awfully tasty.  And besides, that's what blue cheese dressing is for, right?  Right!


Spicy Buffalo Chicken Wings
Source: Adapted from Pip and Ebby

4 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, seeds removed finely diced
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1/4 cup Cholula Hot Sauce

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the minced garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes over medium-low heat.

Add the jalapenos, red pepper flakes, honey, and both hot sauces.  Mix well and increase the heat to medium, but do not allow to boil. Turn the heat back down to low and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Rinse and pat dry 20-30 chicken wing drummies. In a large bowl, toss the wings with 2/3 of the sauce and let sit for an hour or so in the fridge.

Heat grill to medium-high and grill wings until done.  Toss with the remaining sauce and serve with blue cheese dressing.

Blue Cheese Dressing
Source: Adapted from Pip and Ebby

1 1/2 cups sour cream (I used low fat)
2 1/4 cups mayonnaise (I used low fat)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
8 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (use the good stuff!)

Mix all ingredients through the salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in blue cheese crumbles. Chill until ready to serve.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

BBQ Chicken Enchiladas

OMG y'all.  I have been a very terrible blogger lately.  I always have the best of intentions to blog with archived recipes and photos while I'm on the road, but somehow that never seems to work out because I get busy working at night going out to dinner.  And then when I get home from a trip, I'm so tired, and then when I get a day or two to rest, I'm headed back to the airport.  Rinse, and repeat.

There is an end in sight, though.  Only one more trip and then I get almost 2 weeks at home and I'm pretty psyched.  My Pinterest boards are getting out of control and its time I start cooking some of the lovely Pin-ie-ness that I've been finding.

I made these BBQ chicken enchiladas a couple of weeks ago when I had a rotisserie chicken sitting around, was craving Mexican food, but also had a bottle of fancy BBQ sauce that I'd gotten at the Farmer's Market.  So, off to Pinterest I went, and found a recipe that fit the bill.  The recipe also coincidentally reminds me of Austin, Texas, where my company has their biggest office.  I spend a lot of time in Austin, and the biggest dilemma I have there is whether to eat Mexican food, or Texas BBQ.  With this recipe, you don't have to choose!  Enjoy!

BBQ Chicken Enchiladas
Source: Adapted from How Sweet It Is

8 large flour tortillas
1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and shredded
28 ounce can red enchilada sauce
3/4up of your favorite BBQ sauce (I used Strawberry Jalapeno BBQ sauce and it was amazing)
3/4rge sweet onion, sliced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
couple pinches grill seasoning
bit of chili powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium. Add sliced onions with a pinch of salt, and let caramelize until soft and golden – about 20 minutes. While onions are cooking, dump enchilada sauce into a bowl and whisk in your favorite BBQ sauce until combined.

Add shredded chicken to onions with the garlic powder, grill seasoning, chili powder and cayenne. Mix thoroughly. Pour in about a half of a cup of enchilada/BBQ sauce mixture, and add 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Stir until mixture comes together and turn off heat.

Pour a drizzle of enchilada/BBQ sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Take each tortilla and fill it with 1/8 of the chicken mixture. Roll each up and set it in the baking dish. Pour remaining enchilada/BBQ sauce on top of tortillas and add remaining cheese. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mojo Pork a la Diners Drive-Ins and Dives

Wow, that was fast, huh?  One second I'm promising a new post, and the next I'm delivering on said post!  That's service for you.

I am obsessed with Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network.  I could watch like 8 episodes in a row.  And I would know, because I've seen me do it.  My husband finds this behavior charming obnoxious and says that I've completely ruined the show before him because although the food on the show looks delicious, he has to listen to Guy Fieri's voice every second of the day.  Interesting, I don't hear him complain when I actually make things I've seen on the show.  I mean, he reaps the benefits of my obsession with all things DDD-related.  Like this Mojo Pork.  I would never have thought to make a sauce that contained 1/2 a bottle of wine, although I know that sounds unbelievable to those of you that know me well.  Or those of you that know me just a little, for that matter.

Anyway, I saw this episode of Diners Drive-Ins and Dives and they made this delicious roasted pork butt with mojo sauce and I found myself salivating.  Pulled pork is one of my favorite things in the world, and we all know how I feel about wine and garlic.  A match made in drunken, gluttonous heaven.

This made a TON of food, and even though we had company over and had leftovers for a couple of days, we still couldn't work our way through all of this.  I wish pork butts were smaller.  Sigh....

This is going in my top 10 most delicious concoctions that I've ever made.  SO tasty!  Serve with white rice and seasoned black beans.  Enjoy!

Mojo Pork
Source: Adapted from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, marinade from Bobby Flay

1 pork shoulder/butt

For the Marinade:
4 1/2 cups fresh orange juice, divided
1 1/4 cups fresh lime juice, divided
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bone-in pork shoulder or butt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine 4 cups of the orange juice, 1 cup of the lime juice, zest and garlic in a large saucepan over high heat and reduce to 2 cups.   Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining orange juice, lime juice, oregano and olive oil.  Let cool to room temperature.

Make the Pork:
Marinate the pork in the refrigerator overnight.  Remove the pork from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.  Place roast and a little extra marinade in slow cooker.  Add fresh ground black pepper to taste. 

Cook on high for 2 hours and then low for 6 hours.

Remove the pork from the slow cooker and transfer to a cutting board. Let rest until cool enough to handle, then shred and add it to a serving bowl.

Mojo Dipping Sauce:
juice of 2 lemons
8-10 cloves garlic, chopped
1- 1 1/2 cups white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Serrano pepper, chopped
handful cilantro

Puree the lemon juice, garlic, white wine, olive oil, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Transfer the puree to a small serving bowl. 

Serve the sauce over the pulled pork.

I'm Back!

Hey y'all!  I've been on the road for the past week and I'm just now getting back into the swing of things.  Stay tuned for some great recipes in the next couple of days!