Friday, May 25, 2012

Boys Night Out - Buffalo Chicken Rollups

Boy's Night Out.
A few weeks ago my friend Bo invited me over for dinner with his son, Tanner and one of his friends. We had a great time. Bo made Grilled Shrimp seasoned with chili, seared Ahi Tuna and Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus. I brought the makings for Buffalo Rollups. Bo is an excellent cook and it was a lesson watching the way he seasoned perfectly. He created a sauce or marinade complimenting every item. The entire meal consisted of finger food and beer. Good times. (and Corona)

Buffalo Rollups.

These are easy and a great recipe to teach your kids, as a matter of fact the hands in the picture belong to 14 year old Tanner Rivera he was nervous but he did ALL the work and ate almost all the roll ups :) This is something he will be able to make for the rest of his life.

I was really impressed with this recipe, This is one of those treats that you serve and everyone will be asking how you made them. I found this recipe on Pinterest under the title Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes. But seriously, is everything formed in a cupcake pan really a cupcake?

The instructions I found also included a recipe on how to make pizza dough, but for something this simple I opted for the pre-made stuff in the refrigerated biscuit section.

Recipe by Glenn Cazenave
Prep time: 10
Cook time: 15-18
Yield: 10
  • 1 roll refrigerated Pizza Dough
  • 1 Onion
  • 1/2 cup Franks Red Hot Wing Sauce
  • 1 Chicken Breast (skinless boneless)
  • 2 cups Shredded Mozzeralla
Cooking Directions
  1. Dice the onion and saute until clear, about 3 minutes in a teaspoon of oil.
  2. Slice and dice chicken breast and add to onion. Stir and cook chicken until done.
  3. Add the Wing sauce and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Let mixture cool completely. (important)
  5. Unroll and flatten Pizza Dough. Don't worry about any holes that form as you stretch the dough because you will be rolling this together.
  6. Cut the dough into halves, for easier handling.
  7. Cover each half of the dough completely with the Mozzerella Cheese.
  8. Evenly cover the cheese with the chicken mixture.
  9. Taking the shorter side of the dough, roll all the way to the other side. This will be wet but don't worry.
  10. Repeat with second roll.
  11. Cut rolls into 1.5 or 2 inch sections and place into nonstick or pregreased cupcake pans.
  12. Bake for 15-18 minutes (cheese will be bubbly.)
  13. Serve with Ranch dressing on the side.

Buffalo Chicken Rollups

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes


Today I woke up not knowing what to put on the blog. That decision was quickly made for me. As soon as I walked into the kitchen, I simply had to make Roasted Potatoes... no really I HAD to! I looked on my counter and found that a package of baby potatoes had started to root. The choice was made.

So here are a couple of tips. 1. When slicing the potatoes, slice them evenly. You want everything to be done at the same time. If you get lazy, you will wind up with some bites that are crunchy and others that are raw. Take your time. 2. Use less oil that you think you should, you aren't making hash browns :)

I am a fan of recipes that don't require a recipe and this is one of them! The first time you try this please follow the instructions, after that, go wild with whatever ingredients that make you smile!

These are not bad potatoes, they've just sprouted a little.

I removed the sprouts and pealed about half of them.

Dice evenly.

Add all ingredients.

Seriously good. I let these cook 45 minutes total because I don't like them as dark as they get after an hour.

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

Recipe by Glenn Cazenave
Yield: Serves 4
  • 4 cups cubed potatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • pinch of chive for garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place the cubed potatoes into a baking dish. I use a 9x9 inch pan.
  3. Use you fingers to thoroughly mix the olive oil, garlic salt, salt, paprika, pepper and Parmesan cheese in to the potatoes and carefully mix everything around until the seasonings coat each potato.
  4. Transfer the baking dish into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss the potatoes with a spatula or tongs. Put the baking dish back into the oven and bake for about 15 to 25 minutes more until they are golden and crispy.
  5. Season with a pinch of chives (if desired) and serve.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Corn Fried Chicken with Popper Sauce

Corn Fried Chicken with Jalapeno Popper Sauce

I decided to try this one because it was all over Pinterest just before Cinco de Mayo. The jalapeno popper sauce sounded like a very kewl and tangy idea. All the pins were labeled "Corn Bread Fried Chicken". That immediately caught my attention and had my mouth watering.

This is NOT a corn bread coating. It is more like a coating that you use on pan fried catfish. This is no problem in fact it does work great. The chicken breast stays juicy and the outside crispy. Nice!

The popper sauce tastes great but, I had to add more then twice the cheese than the original recipe required. In making the sauce, I had to continally deal with the dairy separating from the bacon grease. This could have been avoided by adding a tablespoon of flour after sauteing the jalapenos and treating the sauce more like a mac and cheese sauce.

With all that said, this dish is a winner. I've posted the original recipe but I'ld suggest that you use the tips I've provided.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 3 jalapeƱos, seeded and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese


In a medium skillet, fry bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels.

Whisk milk into beaten egg to make egg wash.

Combine cornmeal, chili powder, cumin, and salt on a rimmed plate. Dip each chicken breast into cornmeal mixture then egg wash, then in cornmeal mixture. Shallow-fry in vegetable oil in a large skillet until coating is crisp and juices run clear. Remove from skillet, drain on paper towels and keep warm.

Add jalapeƱos to the same skillet that was used to cook the bacon; season with salt and pepper and cook until softened. Then add garlic and cook and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in chicken broth, using a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan. Bring to a boil.

I chopped an extra jalapeno for the picture.

Add cream cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in shredded cheese and reserved bacon, stirring until the cheese is melted.  Top chicken with sauce, serve and ENJOY!

Monday, May 7, 2012

McDonalds Chicken McNuggets

McDonalds Chicken McNuggets (*SDS)

Yummmm, McNuggets.... Yeah, no. I don't think anyone has ever heard that come out of my mouth. Considering McDonalds sells 37 million nuggets a day, you probably know someone who is saying or thinking that right now.

This is my recipe. I looked at copycat versions and found many versions that are chunks of chicken or use a food processor to separate the chicken. Neither technique gives you the consistancy of the genuine mcnugget. I found that packaged Ground Chicken is perfect.

You have the ability to form (mold) the nuggets into the various shapes. IMPORTANT: Do not try to make them all the same shape,  you'll be exposed as a fraud immediately. Form them no bigger than 1/2 inch thick so that by the time thay are golden, the meat will be cooked.

Last night on my way home from work I bought a ten pack of nuggets. After the sixth one I started to get an accumulated taste in my mouth, the same as KFC original recipe. Since I've done that before I knew it was MSG or Accent Flavor enhancer. It tricks your tongue into thinking Veggies  are meat and that meat is "meatier". I didn't use MSG but I did use the same trick. Instead of a water and flour dredge I used a concentrated Beef Bullion mixture (2 cubes and 1 cup of water) and flour. No after taste, just flavor.

As a bonus, I've included the Honey Mustard Sauce.

McDonald's Honey Mustard Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 2 Tbls. Prepared mustard.
Mix. Makes 1/3 cup sauce. Refrigerate covered. Use within 1 month.

3 simple ingredients
1 lb Ground chicken breast
1c Self Rising Flour
2 cubes Beef Bouillon

From 15-20 odd sized nuggets. No thicker than 1/2 inch. Place on a flat tray. I bought some pre-made ribs at the grocery store and used the plastic tray for this because it is long and thin (better to fit in my freezer.)

  Take the beef bouillon  cubes and add to 1 cup of hot water ad set aside too cool to room temperature.

Separately pour 1 cup of Self-Rising Flour into a plastic bag. I recommend Self-Rising because it has flour, salt and baking powder.
Dredging process:
  • Take frozen chicken and coat with flour.
  • Briefly emerse coated chicken in bouillon
  • Coat chicken completely (again) with flour and freeze for 30 minutes (or longer).

Do no thaw before cooking. Fry until nuggets are golden. Do not wait until brown. You can but they will not look like McDonalds.
*SDS=Sauce Delivery System

~~~~~ Formatted Recipe ~~~~~

McDonalds Chicken McNuggets (*SDS)

Recipe by Glenn Cazenave
McNuggets real enough to fool kids! Oh and healthy as well.
  • 1 lb Ground chicken breast
  • 1 cup Self Rising Flour
  • 2 cubes Beef Bouillon
Cooking Directions
  1. From 15-20 odd sized nuggets. No thicker than 1/2 inch. Place on a flat tray. I bought some pre-made ribs at the grocery store and used the plastic tray for this because it is long and thin (better to fit in my freezer.)
  2. Take the beef bouillon cubes and add to 1 cup of hot water ad set aside too cool to room temperature.
  3. Separately pour 1 cup of Self-Rising Flour into a plastic bag. I recommend Self-Rising because it has flour, salt and baking powder.
  4. Dredging process:
  5. Take frozen chicken and coat with flour.
  6. Briefly emerse coated chicken in bouillon
  7. Coat chicken completely (again) with flour and freeze for 30 minutes (or longer).
  8. Do no thaw before cooking. Fry until nuggets are golden. Do not wait until brown. You can but they will not look like McDonalds.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fried Mac and Cheese

Fried Mac and Cheese

I tried making this item 3 years ago based on an installment of  Good Eats.Ugh... It was dry and way hard. Why would anyone want this stuff? Well I guess someone does. Maybe I just didn't do it right. Recently I saw a pic on Pinterest and it looked really good and so much different than the garbage that I put on a plate.

After reading the technique (not the recipe), I knew this could work. The recipe is Mac and Cheese, nothing special. I made a slight change by putting a little more cheese sauce into the mix and using a creamier cheese than I prefer in regular Mac.

This recipe is pretty flexible. Pick your cheeses based on what you like. I suggest that you get as heavy handed as you like with the spice. The one consistent comment I received had to do with seasoning. I think the fried breading may over power the gentle insides.

Just a couple of other notes. Use more cheese sauce than you think you need, this makes it easier to form your balls and makes a cheesier center. Boil the Mac completely because there will not be a second pass. 'Al dente' is NOT what you are looking for here.

When cooking, try to go as slow as possible so that the inside gets warm all the way through. If you have problems with this then hold them in a 200 degree oven while cooking the rest. Here goes.
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups milk, warmed, plus 2 tablespoons for egg wash
  • 1 cup grated Mozzarella
  • 1 cup Sharp Cheddar
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup ( 3 stale slices )seasoned bread crumbs (we use Panko)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Fresh marinara sauce
Cook the macaroni according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain pasta again and set aside.

Whisk the warmed milk into the flour mixture, working out any lumps. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Do this on low heat. Be patient.

Remove from the heat, add the cheeses, and stir until melted and smooth; season liberally with salt and pepper.

This should be your consistency.


Now in a separate dish or bowl, fold the cheese sauce into the cooked Mac and refrigerate.

Shape the cold mac and cheese into meatball-sized balls and place them onto a waxed paper-lined tray. Freeze the balls overnight. Try using gloves(i.e cooking gloves for sanitation) to prevent sticking to your hands.

Beat the eggs and 2 tablespoons milk together to form an egg wash then put into the bread crumbs. Put the formed mac balls back into the freezer until you are ready to fry.  I stored mine in plastic condiment container the I stole from a salsa bar. I didn't bread them before freezing,

Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or skillet to 330 degrees F. Fry the mac and cheese balls until they are golden brown and center is hot, about 7 to 10 minutes.  Do not try to do this too fast, the center needs to get hot.
Serve hot with our favorite Marinara or Alfredo sauce or combination of both for dipping.

Serves 24.