Tuesday, April 30, 2013

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

I love quesadillas for using up leftovers but I was recently inspired by Dave's favorite pizza so I had to make quesadillas just to make them.  These quesadillas have chicken breast cooked in bbq sauce, bacon, caramelized onions, cheese and more bbq sauce and they are ridiculously good.

The key to a good quesadilla (grilled cheese too) is to liberally butter your pan before you put it in and again before you flip it.  This begs the question, how do you butter the pan before you flip your delicious item?  You pull out your quesadilla, slap it on a plate, then butter the pan and slide the untoasted side into the pan.

I served these with one of those steam in the bag veggie deals because I couldn't decide what to put with them and then I was too hungry to think anything up.


2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 bbq sauce
1 large onion, sliced
1 tbsp butter
shredded jack cheese
soft taco tortillas
extra bbq sauce for prep
butter for your pan

Put chicken breasts, chicken broth and bbq sauce in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a simmer, stir occasionally and wait for the chicken to get cooked through, about 10 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add your sliced onion to the melted butter and give it a quick stir to get nicely coated.  Stir every couple of minutes until your onions get soft and browned.

Pull your chicken off the heat and shred.  Add more bbq sauce if desired.  To assemble your quesadilla, put some shredded chicken, a light amount of cheese, a little bbq sauce, then onion and a little more cheese on a tortilla. Top with a second tortilla.  In the same pan you caramelized your onion, put a generous swipe of butter and lay the quesadilla in it.  Let it cook for about 2 minutes and flip, let that side cook about 1.5 minutes.  Pull it out of the frying pan, cut with a pizza cutter and enjoy.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tupelo Honey biscuits

One of my favorite breakfasts is biscuits and gravy.  My beloved Wheatfields makes a mean biscuits and gravy but I only go home once or twice a year so I have to make my own.  I first had a Tupelo Honey biscuit when we met up with some dear friends in Asheville.  I had the fried chicken and biscuits and damn near wept at how amazing it was.  Flaky, delicious biscuit, perfectly fried chicken and luscious milk gravy over the top.  Just thinking about it makes me want to go back.  I asked for the Tupelo Honey Cafe cookbook for Christmas and obviously the first recipe I wanted to make from it was their biscuits.

I think these biscuits are deliciously awesome but I'm still on the fence about grating the butter.  I want to make them again the traditional way, by cutting the butter in with a pastry blender.  But I have the KitchenAid attachment that grates for me so it's not the worst thing in the world to have to grate the butter.  And because I never have buttermilk on hand, I use this substitution all the time and it works great.


2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sour cream
3/4 cup salted butter, frozen
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 450

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and sour cream in a large bowl.  Grate frozen butter with the large holes on the grater and cut it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter.  Add buttermilk and mix until just combined.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll into a rectangle 1-inch thick.  Using a pizza cutter, score the dough into 6 equally sized pieces and put in the oven.  Bake on the top rack for 15 minutes or until light brown and remove from oven.  Let sit about 10 minutes before splitting and serving with sausage gravy.

Very slightly adapted from the Tupelo Honey Cafe cookbook

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Magical meatloaf

I love looking at my cookbooks because most of them have been gifts.  I not only get to make fabulous food, I also take a moment for a fond memory of unwrapping the book.  My in-laws have gotten me a Barefoot Contessa cookbook for my birthday the last few years and I decided after a 4 day work trip that I was sick of eating out and wanted to cook something so I went straight to Ina.  She didn't disappoint.

I started with her 1770 House Meatloaf recipe but as is my MO, I made some substitutions but was very happy with how it turned out.  The original recipe called for veal and though I've never tried veal, I have kind of a mental block against it.  It's not rational but it's there so I'm admitting to it.  I also didn't think I had any Panko so I used cracker crumbs instead.  And as soon as I mixed them in with the meat, I found my panko.  Such is life, I guess.

The cookbook has a sauce recipe but I chose to serve with beef gravy instead and put it with mashed potatoes and sauteed green beans.


1 pound ground lamb
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh Italian parsley
3 large room temperature eggs
1 1/3 cups cracker crumbs
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
2 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 large Spanish onion, finely diced

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Put the meats, thyme, parsley, eggs, crumbs, milk and salt and pepper in a huge bowl.  Seriously, it's 3 lbs of meat.

Saute the celery and onion in a frying pan until soft.  Remove pan from the heat and put cooled celery and onions in the bowl of meat and goodies.

Put a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan.  You want your pan to have a small lip so it can catch the juices from the meatloaf.

Using your hands, mix your meatloaf.  Once everything is mixed well and evenly distributed, attempt to shape it into a loaf.  Mine looked more like a mound o' meat but it was uniformly thick, which is what you're going for.

Bake meatloaf for 45ish minutes.  Depending on how thick you shaped it, your cooking time will vary.  Mine was wide and flat and done in about 45 minutes.  I check for doneness by looking at the juices (should be clear) and kind of poking it with the flat side of a wooden spoon.  It should be springy without being squishy.  Let it sit for 10 minutes.

Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust