Avocado Chicken Salad

There’s a dish at one of the best places to eat in town, but unfortunately it is only on the spring and summer menu, which isn’t out yet. With the extra warm weather this weekend, we decided to try our hand at making the same dish at home. We seriously lucked out. With a few modifications, this recipe is a near exact copy and was amazing.

Print Recipe
Avocado Chicken Salad
Servings
people
Ingredients
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Roast the chicken in the oven at 375 degrees, spiced with your favorite Mexican seasoning, we like chili lime.
  2. Cook at least 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Dice the onions and the celery in a food processor.
  4. When the chicken is cooked and slightly cooled, shred it with a fork or in the food processor. If you prefer your chicken salad a bit chunky, feel free to dice it instead.
  5. We added the shredded chicken to the food processor and then added the avocados and spices. If you prefer it a bit chunky, just mix everything together in a bowl.
  6. Taste and add lime juice and salt as needed.
  7. When ready to eat, toast the bread.
  8. We brushed both sides with olive oil and toasted each side until browned.

My opinion:
I was starving, so we didn’t wait for this to chill. In the summer, we will definitely chill the mixture for at least 30 minutes. Also, next time we’ll add a bit more cumin and maybe some more lime juice. This would be equally delicious with cucumber slices and bread. If you’d like it a little spicier, feel free to add a jalapeño. We will probably add some serranos from the garden this summer.

p.s. Summer 2016 update: Our toddler adores this dish. we just have to shred the chicken instead of cutting it into chunks and she gobbles it up! 

Advertisements

Langlois Andouille Cornbread Stuffed Green Pepper

 

On a recent visit to New Orleans, J and I got to take a cooking class at the amazing Langlois Culinary Crossroads. The very appropriate slogan is “decadent with no apologies” and that proved more than true during our class. We made several wonderful dishes, including an Andouille Cornbread Stuffed Artichoke. Unfortunately, the artichokes at home, didn’t quite look as good. Luckily, Chef Amy told us about 15 ways to use the same stuffing/dressing and we improvised stuffing a green pepper instead.

Print Recipe
Langlois Andouille Cornbread Stuffed Green Pepper
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. If not using pre-made cornbread, bake the cornbread according to package instructions.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook the andouille until browned.
  3. Then add the onions, bell pepper and celery (the holy trinity) and the garlic until the vegetables are wilted. Add the pinches of Emeril's essence cajun seasoning to taste. You want it to be a little red. That's from the paprika, not the cayenne, so don't panic. Remove from heat and add cornbread, parsley and green onions.
  4. Mix well and allow to cool. Add the cheese and mix again. If the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add chicken stock a little at a time to make it more like a dough (it should stick together). Stuff the peppers and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

My opinion:
I love this super filling dish. It is light enough for a summer meal, but surprisingly filling. Plus, if you have left over mix, Chef Amy suggests freezing it in patties for a nice side dish.

Jeb’s Chili

 

One of J’s favorite dishes is his father’s chili. It makes more than enough for three meals and a few lunches for us. Like most of our favorite meals, this one gets better the longer it simmers. It looks complicated, but I promise it’s easy and worth it.

Print Recipe
Jeb's Chili
Servings
Ingredients
Base Ingredients:
Sauce Ingredients:
Servings
Ingredients
Base Ingredients:
Sauce Ingredients:
Instructions
  1. Brown the meat.
  2. Add the chopped bell peppers and onions and cook until desired caramelization.
  3. In a separate pot make the sauce by adding the first 11 ingredients and simmering for about 45 minutes until smooth.
  4. Then add the tomatoes and meat and peppers and onions. Simmer one to two hours.
  5. Add 1 to 4 tablespoons massa flour to thicken if needed (most of the time we leave this step out).

 

My opinion: This is delicious with shredded Monterrey jack cheese, lime juice and tortilla chips. J prefers his with corn bread. It’s perfect for a cold winter’s night.

Carnegie Deli Matzo Ball Soup (and chicken stock!) Recipe

Matzo Ball Soup Recipe

My mom makes the best matzo ball soup. Ever. Part of the reason it’s probably the best is because she only makes it once a year at Passover. I think the recipe is a combination of one from Cooking Light and several family recipes from friends. It’s amazing. Since the first Passover J attended, he’s tried to recreate my mom’s recipe. We use the same ingredients and follow her directions, but it never turns out the same. After our trip to New York this summer, J decided to find the Carnegie Deli recipe. He finally succeeded with a few modifications of this recipe.

Stock Ingredients:
1 pound chicken necks, backs, and wings (we just used wings since that’s what we had in the freezer)
1/2 ounce chicken base, such as Better Than Bouillon
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
1 small white onion, quartered
Salt and pepper, to taste

For matzo balls :
8 large eggs
1 cup liquid shortening or olive oil plus more for rolling matzo balls ( I think my mom uses vegetable oil)
about 1 cup water
4 cups matzo meal
1/4 teaspoon Maggi Seasoning
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

Optional: top with fresh dill.

Directions:
Make stock : Combine first four ingredients with 6 cups water. Add Maggi seasoning (we found it in the Asian isle, it’s made by Nestle) and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for at least an 1 hour.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs, oil, water, matzo meal, Maggi, salt, and pepper until just incorporated. Oil hands, then, working as gently as possible, form round balls about the size of a golf ball (but try to keep them loose or the middles won’t cook). Boil matzo balls in stock until cooked through and soft, at least 45 minutes. Divide matzo balls evenly between four bowls, allotting two matzo balls and two cups stock per serving. Sprinkle with fresh dill and enjoy.

My opinion:
It’s really close. The only part that wasn’t was J rolled the matzo balls too tight, so the middles didn’t cook quite through.

J’s Muffuletta Dip

I tried this dip out on my coworkers for a recent carry in and it went over surprisingly well! I say surprisingly, because I originally thought it was a bit too salty. Turns out the longer it marinades in the refrigerator, the less salty it becomes! Super special thanks to J for finding the original recipe from an SEC Tailgate Recipe Book and tweaking it to be perfect!

Ingredients:
1 cup Italian olive salad, drained (we used the HyVee mix)
1 cup diced salami (about 4 ounces, sandwich cold cuts is fine!)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup peperoncini salad peppers, diced to your liking
1 can (2-1/4-ounces) sliced black olives, drained
4 ounces provolone cheese, diced
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
Stir together all of the ingredients. Cover and chill for one to 24 hours before serving (again, the longer the better!). Stir in parsley just before serving. Serve with French-bread crostini or crackers or tortilla chips. Store the leftovers in refrigerator for up to five days.

My opinion:
Originally, I thought it was too salty. Turns out it’s perfect and I don’t love olives!