Buffalo Chicken Dip Won-tons

14 Feb

My grandma was always attending gatherings or luncheons with friends. I can’t remember a time when she went to a party empty handed. This past weekend I attended a family dinner with my boyfriend and decided to bring this favorite appetizer for group gatherings. Baked buffalo chicken dip won-tons

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You will need
prepared buffalo chicken dip
1 package of won-ton wrappers
bowl of water

Start by mixing up your favorite buffalo chicken dip recipe. Such as this one from Frank’s redhot website.  Next, line up about 5-10 won-ton wrappers. You want to work with a few at a time and keep the rest covered so they don’t dry out. Place a small tablespoon of the chicken filling in the center of the wrappers.

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Brush the edges of the won-ton wrappers with water and fold the wonton over to create a triangle. Gently pinch the edges so the filling is sealed in the wrapper.

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Brush the base of the triangle with water and fold one of the bottom corners to the middle (one over the other).

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Once all of the won-tons have been filled you will want to put them on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to cool. The filling and the wrappers need to be the same temperature.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 17-20 minutes or until golden brown.

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Aren’t these adorable? Be aware they must be served hot! I’ve also done the same thing with artichoke spinach dip and the result is still just as good. Hope you enjoy!

Pigs in a Blanket

26 Jan

Gołąbki…Cabbage Rolls…Pigs in a Blanket…

golabkiMy family always called them pigs in a blanket. Probably about 10 years straight I would go to grandmas house to make this traditional polish dish. She had this process down to a science and would make at least a roaster stuffed full every time. We would spend all day chopping, mixing, rolling, waiting, then packaging up enough to send plenty home to each of her kids and grand kids. Don’t worry, I’ve decreased the recipe quite a bit so you won’t need to go buy 6 heads of cabbage.

Ingredients:
1 large head of cabbage, cored
1 Hungarian wax pepper, seeded and chopped into large pieces
a few cloves (6 or so?) of peeled garlic
1 medium onion chopped and sauteed
1 cup cooked rice (we normally prepared this the day before to save time)
1/2 cup quick barley
2 lbs ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp hot Hungarian paprika
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp seasoning salt
Pigs in a Blanket
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce

Preparation:
Fill a pot (large enough to hold the head of cabbage) with enough water to cover the cabbage and cook over medium heat covered. You want to cook the cabbage until it is starting to get translucent and flexible. The cabbage will continue to cook after being rolled so be sure not to overcook it. The outer leaves will loosen first. Once flexible and removed from the head, remove the leaves from the pot and allow to cool. Continue this step until the leaves get too small to roll. The smallest leaves from the center of the cabbage should be chopped and 1/2 should be laid in the bottom of the roasting pan or baking dish along with the garlic cloves and peppers. Once cool, carefully trim the large veins of the cabbage leaves.

Mix the beef, pork, onions, rice, barley, and seasonings together in a large bowl.

In another large bowl combine the tomato ingredients.

Assembly
Lay the cabbage leaf on a flat surface. Get enough meat (generally about 1/2 a cup for a larger leaf) and form into an oblong log. Place the log near the top of the leaf where the vein used to be. Fold in the edges of the cabbage leaf in and roll the rest of the leaf around the log. Place the roll, bottom side (or opening side) down in your roasting pan or baking dish.  Continue this step until all of the cabbage and meat has been used.

Poor the tomato mixture over the top of the pigs and top with any extra cabbage, garlic, Hungarian peppers, salt and pepper.

If you are layering the cabbage rolls, separate the layers with the extra cabbage, garlic, Hungarian peppers, salt and pepper.

My grandma always used a roaster because she was cooking so many. We’d put the roaster at about 350 for the first 2 hours or so, then turn it down to 200 for about 2 hours longer.

I didn’t have a roaster so I lined them up in my slow cooker. I set it on high for the first 3 hours then on low for the last 1 hour.

It’s a time consuming dish, but it’s worth it!
ENJOY!

Chicken Meatballs and Spaghetti

12 Jan

Chicken & Spinach Meatballs

Chicken Meatballs Recipe

2 lbs ground chicken
1 small grated onion
1 package of chopped frozen spinach (thawed)
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
Pinch of italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper

Place your spinach in the center of a clean dish towel and squeeze out any excess liquid over the sink. (The spinach is a great way to help our chicken not dry out but if there is too much liquid from the spinach, the meatballs will not stay together)

Combine the grated onion, drained spinach, ground chicken, mustard, and seasonings. Roll into balls a little larger than golf ball size. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes on 375 degrees or until cooked through.

Serve along side marinara sauce as an appetizer

OR

Serve with wheat pasta as a healthy main course.

Wheat Pasta Recipe:

3 eggs
1 cup of all purpose white flour
1 cup wheat flour
plus extra for flouring the board
pinch of salt

Feel free to use all wheat flour to make your pasta. I found using all wheat to be a little too grainy for my taste.

On a large cutting board make a well in the flour. Add in the eggs and salt and begin to wisk in a little bit of flour a little at a time. Once the dough becomes too difficult to stir in flour with a fork, begin to kneed with your hands until there are no lumps. Roll into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes

Pasta Press:
After letting the dough rest I divided the dough into four  small sections. Set the machine on the largest setting and feed the dough through. My pasta press starts on one and goes through six. I fed the dough through twice each setting at stopped at 5. After that I ran the dough through the spaghetti setting.

Rolling the Dough by Hand:
Be sure to flour your surface well so the pasta doesn’t stick. Roll the dough out until you can see your hand through the dough. Gently fold the dough over until it is a manageable size then thinly slice the dough with your knife.

From there you can lay the pasta out and allow it to dry or you can cook it immediately. Cook the pasta in generously salted, boiling water for about 3-5 minutes. (The pasta will cook at different times depending on the thickness of the pasta so you may need to add more time.)

Chicken_Paprikash

28 Jul

In case you are not familiar with chicken paprikash, it is a simple Hungarian dish featuring chicken in a paprika and sour cream sauce. Traditionally it is served over a bed of Hungarian dumplings.

You will need:

For Chicken
1 Onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic minced

3 tbsp butter or margarine

3-4 chicken breast halves

1 1/2 cup water or chicken stock

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp seasoning salt

1/2 tsp hot paprika

1/2 pint sour cream

 

Brown onions in butter. Add garlic about 2 minutes before the onions are tender. Next add the chicken and seasonings. Brown for about 10 minutes. The goal is to get a golden brown coating on the chicken to sear in the juices. Add the chicken stock/water and cover. Simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. It is essential to use a very low heat so the chicken stays tender.

Dumplins (Spaetzle)

2 1/4 cups sifted flour

4 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp salt

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl beat eggs and add milk and salt. Create a well in the center of the flour.  (Similar to making normal pasta dough) Pour the egg mixture in the well and gradually add flour until well combined. The dough will be very soft and sticky. Don’t worry, you’re doing it right!

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil.

I used a Spaetzle maker. (They are pretty inexpensive online. Here’s a link) If you don’t have one I’m sure you could still make these. Just spread the dough thin on a cutting board and cut them into small squares.

If you are using a Spaetzle maker simply put the maker above your pot and put half of the dough in the center hold. Then just roll the dough holder back and forth until all the dough is dropped into the water. Every five rolls or so stir the dumplings to make sure they are not sticking together. Continue cooking until all of the Spaetzle floats to the top and is cooked through.

Hope you enjoy!

Mediterranean_Kabobs with Garlic Sauce

8 Jul

This recipe worked well today with it being so incredibly hot. I just fired up the grill and didn’t have to heat the house. The Kabobs are made with fresh summer vegetables, spinach and feta chicken sausage served along side homemade garlic sauce.

Garlic Sauce

4-6 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cold egg whites
1/3 cup sour cream

Place garlic and salt in a food processor and combine. Add oil and lemon juice gradually on medium speed for about three minutes or until well combined. Be sure to scrape the bowl frequently. Add in the egg whites one at a time and beat until you have a mayonnaise consistency. Finally stir in the sour cream. Feel free to use less garlic if you wish to tone down the garlic flavor.

Kabobs

5 feta and spinach chicken sausage links. (I purchased mine from House of Meats, if you can’t find that flavor I’m sure regular would work just fine)
Fresh Vegetables cut into bite size pieces. (I used mushrooms, 1 red Onion, 2 green peppers, 4 tomatoes)

Cover sausage with water in a medium sauce pan and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through. The sausage has a longer cooking time than the vegetables so I boiled it on the burner attached to the grill to retain moisture.

After the chicken is cooked. Cut into bite size pieces and skewer along with vegetables. Place the skewers on a medium high direct heat for about 10 minutes. Turning every 3-4 minutes.

Grandma’s Pierogies

22 May

Every year grandma would spend about two days in the kitchen making pierogi for all of us. I loved spending that time in the kitchen with her and grandpa. Grandpa was in charge of dough cutting, I was the pincher and grandma cooked and packaged. Grandma used this recipe ever since I can remember. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have over the years!

Pierogi Filling

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp Butter or margarine
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 cups mashed potatoes
2 oz velveeta cheese
2 oz cream cheese

Saute onions in butter until tender and translucent. Stir in salt and pepper. Combine potatoes, onion mixture, and cheeses; blend well.

Pierogi Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup water

Mound the flour on a bread board or other large surface and make a well in the center. Drop egg and salt into well. Add water, working from the center to the outside of flour mound. Knead until dough is firm and well-mixed. Cover dough and let rest 10 minutes in a warm location.

Roll Dough as thin as possible and cut into three-inch rounds using a large biscuit cutter.  Place a small spoonful of filling on each round of dough, a little off center. Moisten edges with water, fold over, and pinch edges firmly together. Be sure they are well sealed to prevent the filling from leaking out.

Drop the pierogi into gently boiling water for about 3-5 minutes or until they float, stirring occasionally. Pour a few tablespoons of butter or margarine on top of pierogi for flavor and to prevent sticking.

You could eat them right after they are boiled, but I normally brown them along side caramelized onions.

Hope you enjoy!

(Makes about 15 Pierogi)

Banana_Nut_Bread

6 Apr

Have some ripe bananas? Whatever you do, don’t throw them away! Make a super simple banana nut bread…your family will love you for it!

Ingredients
1/2 cup margarine
1 Tsp. baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas (peeled and mashed with fork)
Dash of salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine ingredients, saving nuts for last. Put in a prepared loaf pan. (I used three mini loaf pans) Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour & 15 minutes. When inserted toothpick comes out clean, it’s done. Note: the riper the banana, the better the bread!