Been a while since we dipped into the Buffalo Chicken bank – we’re long overdue! I hope you don’t mind that the next few recipes will be allllllll buffchick allllllll the time.
What’s come out of our Buffalo Chicken Bag of tricks in the past? So many things…Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers – Buffalo Chicken Tacos – Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls – Buffalo Chicken Salad...drool…type….The idea for this little number though is totes stolen from one of my favorite guys on the planet, Trader Joe. I really can’t say enough about him and his amazing ability to reinvent food and make it fun, frozen (sometimes) and affordable!
What’s this rant about? Well, Dave and I are kind of obsessed with TJ appetizers. We’ve been known to even have “TJ Appetizer Dinners” which consists of heating up the oven to 425 (because somehow, it seems that nearly every TJ appetizer magically requires a preheated 425 degree oven) take out a cookie sheet (unless Joe has provided a handy dandy one that you just pop in the oven) and 20 minutes or less later, dinner is SERVED.
Last time I was there, I stumbled apon a new appy from Joe, Savory Profiteroles with Spinach Artichoke Cheese Dip a combination of my two favorite things – hot and cheesy spinach dip and cute little puffs of dough! And instantly I thought “ohhhh I know what I’m making this weekend for a hot new appy!” (no pun intended).
Buffalo Chicken Dip Profiteroles
*Profiterole recipe adapted from Anne Burrell
*yields 2 dozen profiteroles with a little bit of dip left over, depending on how much you stuff them
1 cup water
1 stick butter
2 Pinches salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Hidden Valley Ranch powdered dip mix
(the Dip mix, not the dressing mix)
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2) In a small saucepan combine the water, butter and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the flour and dip powder all at once and stir it vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook until the mixture has formed a ball and has a slightly sweaty sheen to it and it has pulled away from the pan.
3) Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and let cool for 3 to 4 minutes. The mixture does not have to be cold, just cool enough not to cook the eggs when added. Using an electric mixer or lots of good old-fashioned elbow grease, beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Do not add the second egg until the first is fully incorporated.
4) Take 1 tablespoon of the dough and place on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Make sure to leave about an inch in between each ball as they’ll expand as they cook. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through the cooking time to insure even cooking. When done, the puffs should be light, airy and dry inside. Cool on a rack before cutting. While cooling, you can make your Buffalo Chicken Dip.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
1 tablespoon olive oil or non-stick cooking spray
2 stalks of celery, diced into small pieces
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 – 8oz block of cream cheese
1 cup of ranch dressing
3/4 cup Frank’s hot sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
(I used an Extra sharp, but mild or pepper jack would work too)
1 cup of cooked, shredded cheddar chicken
1) Heat olive oil (or non-stick spray) in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Once heated, add the celery and garlic and saute for about two minutes. Add the cream cheese, ranch dressing and hot sauce, stirring until the 3 ingredients have combined together. After everything has combined, add the cheddar cheese and chicken, stirring until the cheese has melted.
2) Reduce heat to low and simmer mixture on stove top for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture starts to thicken.
3) In the mean time, your profiteroles should be cooled and ready to be cut. Take each puff and dig out a small hole in the center of each one, almost as you would with a bread bowl, creating a space for the dip to ‘sit in’. (slicing them in half won’t work as well). Place each puff back onto you baking sheet.
4) Add about 2-3 tablespoons of Buffalo Chicken Dip to each puff and then put the top on each puff.
5) Place back in the oven for about 5 minutes, just enough time to reheat the profiteroles. The dip will be hot so you dont have to worry about that.
Thanks for the inspiration TJ – keep up the good work!