Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich

“Buffalo Style” seems to be a hot trend for recipes lately!  I’m finding a lot of recipes that make just about everything you can imagine Buffalo Style…casseroles, enchiladas, dip, sandwiches, you name it!  Which is okay with me because anything made Buffalo Style is sure to be a hit!!

I found the recipe for Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on Pinterest, and prepared it pretty much according to the recipe with just a few slight changes.  This sandwich turned out AWESOME!!   This is a great week-night recipe; it’s quick, easy to make, and oh so tasty!!

When I make Buffalo Chicken Dip, I use mozzarella cheese.  I think the next time I make this sandwich I’ll add mozzarella in addition to the cheddar cheese.

Here’s the recipe for Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwiches; this recipe made four large sandwiches.

Shredded chicken-I used 3 medium sized chicken breasts.

2 tablespoons Buffalo Wing Sauce-I like Texas Pete’s Buffalo Wing Sauce.  I use this instead of regular hot sauce because it’s a little thicker, but if you don’t have anything on hand regular hot sauce will work as well.

1/2 tablespoon blue cheese dressing

1/2 carrot, peeled and shredded

1/2 stalk of celery, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion; I didn’t measure this out, but I used about a handful.

Approximately 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, room temperature.  I may have used a little more than 1/2 cup total; just be sure you have enough to sprinkle cheese evenly on each sandwich.

8 peices of bread-I used sourdough, but any kind of bread you like will work.

1-2 tablespoons of butter, room temperature.

Cook the chicken completely; I just poached the chicken in boiling water for about 10 minutes or until it was cooked through.  Once it’s cool enough to handle (but not cold, you’ll want the chicken to be warm for the sandwiches), shred the chicken with 2 forks.

Mix together the shredded chicken, buffalo wing sauce, blue cheese dressing, carrots, celery and onion.

Butter one side of each slice of bread.  Place the chicken mix on one slice of bread (the side without the butter) and sprinkle cheese evenly on top of the chicken mixture (you really can’t go wrong with cheese, so put as much as you like. 🙂 )   Top with another slice of bread (butter on top), and grill in a heated skillet for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the bread is grilled and toasty and the cheese has melted.

Enjoy!!!

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Salsa Verde Turkey Burgers with Avocado Mayonnaise

I discovered this recipe on Rachael Ray’s television show quite some time ago, and I’ve  made some modifications to it over the years.  My husband and I love this recipe!  This was actually the first turkey burger recipe I made for my husband.  Naturally, he was skeptical at first.  He had a tough time with the concept of a burger being made with turkey.  He’s a guy, so he’s used to big, beefy, greasy burgers!  But I won him over with this one.  This is not to say that he has converted solely to the turkey burger varietal; even I admit that I love a good, greasy cheeseburger from time to time. But this is a tasty, relatively healthy turkey burger recipe that I think even the beefy burger connoiseur will enjoy.

Here’s what you’ll need for Salsa Verde Turkey Burgers: 

1 Pound of ground turkey, whatever kind you like.  I use 90% lean, but you can definitely use leaner ground turkey, or even ground turkey breast if you want it to be super lean.

1 Avocado, halved and pitted

1/2 Cup mayonnaise

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 small yellow onion, minced or grated

1/2 Cup Salsa Verde

1/2 can of canned diced green chilies or 3 whole green canned chilies, chopped

About 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapenos; I  just use a small handful.  If you want it to be extra spicy, you could use one fresh jalapeno, diced.

Salt and Pepper

1 Cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped2 Small red tomatoes, sliced

Pepperjack cheese, about 4 oz or 4 slices-one for each burger

Hamburger buns or kaiser buns.  I usually use the kaiser buns because they’re bigger, sturdier and tastier.  I used a hamburger bun in the picture.

Scoop the avocado into a small bowl, and  use a fork to mash it with the mayonnaise and garlic. Don’t mash it up too much, you want the mayonnaise to be somewhat chunky to give it texture.  Season it with a little salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey with the salsa, chilies, jalapenos and onion and mix to combine.  I just use my hands to mix it up (of course after washing them, and once I’m done, I wash them again).  Divide the mixture to form four patties.  I make my patties a little narrower toward the center, or press the center with my thumb after I’ve formed the patties; this will prevent the patties from shrinking.

Heat a large non-stick skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat.  Cook the patties for approximately five minutes.  Flip the patties and top each with a slice of cheese.  Cover the patties with a lid or aluminum foil tent and cook for five minutes more.

Spread the avocado/mayonnaise mixture on the bottom of each roll or hamburger bun and cover with a handful of cilantro.  Top it with a turkey burger and sliced tomato and place the other half of the roll or bun on top.

Enjoy!

 

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…fall is approaching and magnificent Arizona weather is on its way.  My favorite holidays are just around the corner.  But more important, IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON!!!!  For the next 17 weeks, I have an excuse to flop on the couch on any given Sunday, because I’m watching football.

Football is an event in my house.  Sunday is all about football, from the moment we wake up, until the last game ends on Sunday night.  Even Chef PickyKid loves football; she watches the games with us, and can recite our favorite team’s fight song.  And of course,  any great event must include great food.  I like to make easy to prepare recipes on game day, so I don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen and away from the games.  That’s why crock pot recipes are perfect for football Sunday!  And, as the weather gets cooler, crock pots are great for making comfort foods (yes, I realize “cooler” for us means 70 degrees, but after two years of living in the desert, 70 degrees feels downright chilly to me).

I got this recipe from a co-worker and added a few ingredients.  I prepared it before kickoff for the morning games, and it was ready by the time the afternoon games were over.  The meat is incredibly tender, very tasty and had just a little bit of spiciness.  Yummmm!!!

Here’s what you’ll need for Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches:

3 Pounds of beef cross rib roast or chuck roast

About 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a few turns of a large pot or dutch oven.

1 Package of Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix

2 1/2  Cups of beef broth or stock

1 Package of Au Jus gravy mix

2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning

Kosher Salt and Pepper

About 1/2 jar of Mezzetta Pepperoncinis, stems removed and sliced; I used a little more than half the jar, because I like it a little spicier.

1 Yellow onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, divided

Ciabatta bread or sandwich rolls

Muenster cheese

Directions: 

Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Rub the roast with one clove of garlic.  You won’t use the entire clove.  I usually cut the garlic in half, and rub the meat with the cut end of the garlic.  Make sure you rub the garlic over the entire roast.  Season the roast with kosher salt and pepper and brown it in the heated pot.  Be sure the pot is hot when you add the meat so it will get nice and browned on both sides.

While the meat is browning, add the broth, Italian dressing mix, Au Jus mix, Italian seasoning, Pepperoncinis, onion, and one clove of minced garlic to a crock pot.  When the meat is browned, add it to the crock pot and cook on low heat for at least 4-6 hours.

Remove the meat from the crock pot and shred it, but don’t throw away the liquid from the crock pot! The meat will be very tender, so this won’t take a lot of effort.  I just shred it with two forks.  Add the meat back to the crock pot and stir it into the liquid.

Serve the Italian Beef with Ciabatta bread or sandwich rolls and the Muenster cheese.  I was a little hesitant about using Muenster, as it isn’t one of my favorite cheeses, but trust me, it’s delicious!!

Happy Game Day!!

Teriyaki Pulled Chicken

I love cooking with my crock pot.  It’s great for work nights; I can take a few minutes in the morning to put a dish in the crock pot, and when I come home in the evening, I have dinner ready and waiting for me!

Crock pots are also great for cooking for a large group.  I recently made pulled pork in the crock pot for a BBQ with friends.  The pulled pork was easy to make, and I didn’t have to spend time away from my guests while I was cooking.

I created this pulled chicken recipe to accompany the Asian Slaw recipe.  I think the flavors of the pulled chicken really complement the slaw. You’ll also notice that the sauce is similar to the sauce in the Teriyaki Chicken Wings.  I absolutely love this teriyaki sauce, because it’s not too sweet, not too spicy, but has great flavor and a hint of garlic.

My initial thought was to make this a recipe with pulled pork, but when I think teriyaki, I think chicken.  But I’m sure this would still taste great with pork. I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs because I like the mixture of light and dark meat in the pulled chicken, and using the skinless chicken makes it a little more figure friendly.  The meat will pull apart easily because it’s extremely tender, so you’ll definitely want to use boneless meat when making it in the crock pot, otherwise you may get bones mixed in with the meat. Trust me, the meat will still be tender with the boneless, skinless meat.

Here’s the recipe for Teriyaki Pulled Chicken:

3-4 Pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts and Thighs

1 Vidalia or Walla Walla Onion, Chopped

**I like to use these sweeter onions to give a milder flavor to the sauce, but you can use regular yellow onion if you’d prefer.

2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped

1 Cup Soy Sauce

1 Cup Sugar

1/3 Cup White Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Honey

1 Teaspoon (a small handful) Garlic Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper (for the teriyaki)

Salt and Pepper to Season the Chicken

2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and onion and saute until onion is soft and translucent, about five minutes.  Remove onion and garlic from the skillet with a slotted spoon and transfer to a crock pot.

Place the skillet back on the stove over medium high heat.  You might need to add another tablespoon of olive oil if there isn’t much liquid left in the skillet.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and cook in the skillet until chicken is golden brown on both sides, about 8-10 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking on the skillet, prepare the teriyaki sauce in the crock pot.  To the sauteed onions and garlic, add the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, honey, garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.  Stir to combine in the crock pot.

Remove the chicken from the skillet and add to the crock pot.  Cook in the crock pot for at least 6 hours on low, or 4 hours on high.  Remove the chicken from the crock pot and transfer to a cutting board. Don’t throw away the teriyaki, you’ll add the meat back to the sauce.  Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, shred it by pulling it apart with two forks, or you can even use your hands to shred it.

Once the meat is shredded, return it to the teriyaki and stir the meat in the sauce.

Serve the pulled chicken on good quality kaiser rolls or hamburger buns.  You can top the chicken with the Asian Slaw or even a classic cole slaw.  You can even have it without any toppings because it tastes so good!!