In college, there were two nights that were my favorite: Fridays and Toasted Ravioli night in Ray Cafe. The line would snake out the door and down the stairs, even in the dead of winter. Cheesy goodness sandwiched between two plump sheets of pasta, breaded and fried to perfection.
The irony of this particular recipe is that I was actually gonna round up this BC series with a skinny version of the Buffalo Chicken Eggrolls that I made a while back, as I knew I had some egg roll wrappers left in the freezer. When I went to take the egg roll wrappers out of the freezer though, I discovered that they were in fact won ton wrappers. Shoot.
Wait. Won ton wrappers. hmmmmmm.
The wheels turned.
“What can I do with won tons wrappers”?
BUFFALO CHICKEN RAVIOLI! That’s it!
Oh and I’ll fry them – what the hell.
When I say these are beyond amazing, they are b-e-y-o-n-d amazing. If you don’t need them all right now, fry half and freeze the rest for another time. Or make them all at once, and try not to finish all 3 dozen – I triple dog dare ya.
Toasted Buffalo Chicken Ravioli
*yields just about 3 dozen ravioli
1 -15oz container part skim ricotta cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten + 3-4 more eggs, lightly beaten for lining won ton edges & dipping the raviolis
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup cooked chicken
2 stalks of celery, chopped small
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch of scallions, minced
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup Frank’s hot sauce
72 won ton wrappers
vegetable oil for frying
3-4 cups bread crumbs
*ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping/drizzling and sliced green onions for garnish
1) In a small mixing bowl, combine the egg and ricotta cheese together until mixed. Then fold in the blue cheese crumbles and set aside.
2) In a medium saucepan, saute your cooked chicken, celery, garlic and scallions for about 3 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. After 3 minutes, add in the Frank’s hot sauce and stir for another 1-2 minutes.
3) Add the hot chicken/veggie mixture to the ricotta/blue cheese and stir until combined.
4) Line 3 baking sheets with wax paper. Lay out 12 won ton wrappers on each sheet. Baste the edges of each won ton wrapper with egg wash, and then place 1 tablespoon of the buffalo chicken/ricotta mixture in the center of the won ton wrapper.
5) Cover each won ton with the other 36 wrappers, and seal each ravioli together with a fork, similar to how you would if you were sealing the edges of a pie together. These won ton wrappers make a sizeable ravioli, so feel free to trim them if you don’t want as much edging.
6) Let raviolis chill in the refrigerator for about 20 – 30 minutes. This will help them to stay together when you’re frying.
7) When your raviolis are ready, take medium-large, heavy bottomed skillet and fill it about 1/3 way with vegetable oil. Heat your vegetable oil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until you start to see little ripples form, or when you flick it with water it makes a ‘sssssssssssssssssss’ noise (very technical I know – I don’t have a heat thermometer, so I make up my own methods!)
8) Take 2 shallow mixing bowls: in one, place the other 3-4 lightly beaten eggs and in the other, the breadcrumbs. Take 3-4 raviolis at a time, dipping them first in the egg and then the breadcrumbs, and then place them in the hot oil You don’t want to crowd them, so I’d advise only doing about 4 or 5 at a time, depending on how large your skillet is.
9) Let cook on one side for about a minute and a half, and then flip over and cook on the other side for another minute and a half. You can judge this time by how golden brown you want your raviolis, but 90 minutes on each side gave them a really nice golden brown color and a great crispy crunch.
*I highly recommend heating the oil in batches as well. You’ll find that the breadcrumbs will start to fall into the oil and burn, and if you use the same oil for all 36 raviolis, well they might get some burnt crumbs on the outside of them. So try refilling/heating your 2-3 times to avoid that burnt taste.
10) Once all your raviolis have been fried, you can drizzle them with ranch or blue cheese dressing and garnish with sliced green onions.
OR you could do what I did.
Skipped the dipping and garnishing – ate three of them right out of the oil and burnt the top layer of skin off of the roof of my mouth.
It was totally worth it 🙂
Many apologies for the um – strange angle on this potpie photo.
My plan was to cut a little sliver, then take a picture. But after tasting that little sliver, and then Dave tasting a little sliver, I cut and ate another sliver because the oozy goodness was like a bad drug that I couldn’t get enough of.
And before I knew it, half the pie was gone – oops.
Well I tried my best, and this was just far too delicious not to share with all of you! Adapted from my girl Ina, cuz’ she knows that it doesn’t really matter what the pie looks like, but more so what it tastes like. And it tasted gooooooooooood.
Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie
*Adapted from Ina Garten
*yields 1 – 9″ Chicken Pot Pie
For the Crust
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
For the filling:
4 cups chicken stock
(obviously Ina wants you to use homemade – I however did not)
12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter
2 small onions chopped
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 large carrot, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream
4-6 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cut into cubes
(In a pinch, the pre-cooked Rotissere chickens that you can get at the grocery store are a great option to save some time)
To prepare your crust:
1) Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour.
2) Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas, then with the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. 1/2 cup was plenty.
3) Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. In the meantime, you can prepare your filling.
To prepare your filling:
1) In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock.
2) In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions, garlic, celery and carrots over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent.
3) Add the flour and blue cheese to the veggie mixture and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock and hot sauce and simmer over low heat stirring, until the mixture starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and then add the heavy cream and cubed chicken and mix well.
4) Reduce heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it becomes a thicker, gravy like texture.
5) Take your crust from the refrigerator and split it into two halves. Roll each half out to about 10″ in diameter.
6) Grease your 9″ pie plate with butter or non-stick cooking spray. If you’re using a cast iron skillet like we did, no need to grease the pan beforehand. Place one half of the dough on the bottom, letting the edges hang over, add your filling, and then cover the filling with the other half of the rolled out dough. Cut off any excess dough, leaving just enough to pinch the edges together to seal the pie.
7) Brush the top of your pie with the egg wash.
8) Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until the top of the crust becomes golden brown. Let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
I think that 3 of the 5 lbs. I gained over the holidays were pockets of Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese dispersed all over my body. Yup. Definitely.
It was our Clinton Christmas Party – on a Saturday night, which never happens – dress theme was “Shiny & Bright” – gift theme was “Naughty or Nice in the bedroom” (Mom if you’re reading this I got a lovely fleece blanket – swear to god) – food was a free for all, a delicious free for all, that included my dream meal – Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese. My friend Katie made it, and boy did she hit the nail on the head. After about three heaping plates full and two days of heartburn, I knew it was blog worthy.
And only about a month later, here it is folks.
Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
*Adapted from The Food Network & my friend Katie VaJanda
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
1 pound elbow macaroni
(I actually used cavatappi, cuz’ it’s fun and twisty)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup hot sauce (preferably Frank’s)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 and 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 pound yellow sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain.
2) Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and garlic and cook 2 minutes, then add 1/2 cup hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute.
3) In a separate saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mustard with a wooden spoon until smooth. Whisk in the half-and-half, then add the remaining 1/4 cup hot sauce and stir until thick, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, then whisk in the sour cream until smooth.
4) In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked pasta, the onion/celery/garlic/chicken mixture and then the cheese mixture and mix together with a spatula. Place mixture in a greased 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
5) Put the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the panko, blue cheese and parsley. Sprinkle over the macaroni and bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
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!
With a fresh new year, I’ve been thinking of some fresh new ideas for bloggage. And here it is my friends….
Dave – my husband, my partner in crime, my doggy-daddy, the ‘other half of the newlywed whole’ fueling this blog – really hasn’t gotten much air time since we started just about a year ago. Sure he’s there in the kitchen for better or worse recipes, often times taking the reigns himself and coming up with some really great meals, but to be honest with you, I like to enjoy the full benefits of being cooked for, which includes throwing my feet up with a glass of wine and control of the remote while Dave slaves away in the kitchen.
So once a week, coming to a kitchen near you, is Dave’s Dish! (let’s hope he doesn’t make quite as much clamor and is easier to understand than the real Swedish chef :))
First up is these AMAZINGLY delicious Maple Chicken wings that we made for that um…big sports game on Sunday night (too soo…still too soon). For those of you that will be continuing to watch football in the next couple weeks, these are a perfect finger food for watching. Took a little bit of patience, but as with most recipes that take a bit of doing, it was well worth the wait.
Maple Chicken Wings
*Adapted from Southern Food
*yields about 3 – 4 dozen chicken wings
4 pounds chicken wings
(preferably the type that are ready to cook so you can avoid the clipping/prepping/etc.)
1 cup maple syrup, dark or grade B
(we used pure Vermont Maple Syrup)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pinches of cayenne pepper, optional
*Cilantro, sesame seeds, or chopped green onions, for garnish
(we used green onions & sesame seeds)
1) Line a large baking pan bottom and sides with heavy duty foil.
2) Wash the chicken wings and pat dry. In a large mixing bowl, combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, garlic, green onions, soy sauce, teriyaki, and peppers.
3) Add the chicken wings to the bowl with the marinade. Coat wings evenly with the marinade and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap, letting the wings marinade in the refrigerator for at least an hour, up to overnight (the longer the better).
4) After your wings have marinaded, arrange the chicken wing pieces in the prepared baking pan and pour the sauce over them.
5) Bake the wings for 1 hour at 350 degrees, turning 3 to 4 times during that hour. After an hour, increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake for about 30 minutes longer, turning the wings every 10 minutes to brown evenly.
6) Remove the wings to a serving dish and garnish with chopped cilantro, sesame seeds, or chopped green onion.
Happy Friday everyone! Here’s a fun Friday Quinoa fact for you:
2013 has been declared International Year of Quinoa by the United Nations (thank you Wiki Wiki Wack Wikipedia). Looks like we were one step ahead of the game with this Quinoa Bite series eh?
Ok, enough jib jab.
One of my favorite things is when you throw a bunch of stuff together, throw it in the oven and keep your fingers crossed that it will come out delicious and it does! That’s just what happened with these Southwest Quinoa Bites. I love me some southwest flavor, as you’ve seen in recipes like Southwest Chicken Burgers and Mexican Pizza.
So why not share the Southwest wealth with Quinoa Bites?
Southwest Quinoa Bites
*yields 12 regular muffin sized bites
2 cups cooked Quinoa
1 cup shredded, cooked chicken
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup canned corn
1 medium red pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 scallions, chopped small
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 eggs, lightly beaten
salt & pepper to taste
ranch dressing for dipping
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Place your Quinoa, bread crumbs, cooked chicken and cheeses in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
3) Heat your olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add your black beans, corn, red pepper, garlic, scallions, cumin and chili powder and saute for 3-5 minutes. The goal here isn’t to cook the vegetables through, but simply allow the flavor of everything to combine a bit before adding it to the rest of the mixture.
4) Add the veggie/spice mixture to the quinoa/chicken/bread crumbs/cheese and allow it to cool for a few minutes before adding the eggs (about 5 minutes). You can then add the beaten eggs and combine the mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5) Take a regular sized muffin tin (12 muffins) and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add about 1/3 cup of the mixture to each muffin slot.
4) Bake in your preheated oven for 30 minutes. Serve with a side of Ranch dressing for dipping!
Since this was dinner, I decided to use a regular sized muffin tin vs. the mini-muffin tin, but these would certainly be great bite sized as well! Served with a nice side salad, it was a perfect, healthy and scrumptious dinner. If you wanted to add a little kick to these, you could always toss some crushed red pepper flakes in with the cumin and chili powder! I personally like when my lips aren’t on fire, but to each his own 🙂
We’re baaaa-aaaack! Were you nervous we had flown the coop? Well technically, I guess we did for a bit, now we’re back and ready to blog our socks off!
Where’ve we been for the last 2 weeks and change? Well I’ll tell you!
We spent a long weekend in Vermont with lots of:
1) Great friends & foliage:
2) Great Beer:
3) The wedding of a GREAT couple, our friends Maggie and Vinny! It was the picture perfect Vermont wedding, with every last detail covered, down to hand written notes from the bride and groom to every single guest at the wedding – my hand is cramping just thinking of it! What a great day it was.
4) A week in Chicago for the greatest metal show on earth (a.k.a – my ‘real life’ job as a metal tradeshow planning machine)
And all the celebrating, beer drinking and metal’ing has left me feeling a little under the weather with a headcold that hit me like a ton of bricks. That and the chilly fall air that has made it’s way to Boston, made me realize that it’s Chicken Chili time. It’s a great spin of that delectable Black Bean Vegetable Soup, with a few adaptations to make a little more ‘chili’esque’, while still being healthy.
1lb 99% fat-free boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 packet of mild taco seasoning
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. Chili powder
1 tbsp. cumin
2 cups chicken stock
2 – 15oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 – 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 – 8.75 oz. can whole kernel corn
salt & pepper to taste
1) Coat the chicken breasts with taco seasoning. Cook both sides of chicken in a large saucepan over medium heat until just browned on either side, and set aside.
1) In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat; cook onion, carrots and garlic until onion is softened (about 5 minutes). Season cooked veggies with salt and pepper.
2) In the meantime, take the crushed tomatoes and 1 can of black beans and puree them together in a food processor. Set aside.
3) Add chili powder and cumin to onion/carrot/garlic mixture and cook stirring for about a minute.
4) Add the chicken stock, 1 can of black beans and can of kernel corn and bring to a boil.
5) Once the veggies have come to a boil, add the black bean and tomato puree and browned chicken breasts to the pot. Reduce heat, cover chili, and simmer for about an hour. After an hour, the chicken will be fully cooked which will allow you to shred it using 2 forks. You can remove it from the chili to shred or shred right in the dutch oven. If you shred it outside, make sure to return the chicken back to the chili. Simmer on low heat for another 1-2 hours so the shredded chicken can absorb the flavors.
This is great for Sunday Funday, or even divvy’ing it up into individual containers for lunch during the week. It also freezes really well too, in case you have left overs.
I hope these last couple weeks have been as good for you guys as it’s been for us! But – it’s good to be back 🙂