Newlyweds navigating their way through married life – and the kitchen

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Toasted Buffalo Chicken RavioliWell folks, I think Dave might divorce me if I make one more Buffalo Chicken dish. But this last one (for a while) is beyond anything in my wildest dreams.

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.

Toasted Buffalo Chicken Ravioli

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”?

Toasted Buffalo Chicken Ravioli

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

INGREDIENTS
*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.

Toasted Buffalo Chicken Ravioli

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.

Toasted Buffalo Chicken Ravioli

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 🙂


Buffalo Chicken Potpie

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

INGREDIENTS
*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.


Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

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

INGREDIENTS

9 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish

Kosher salt

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.

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese


Buffalo Chicken Profiteroles

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 PeppersBuffalo Chicken TacosBuffalo 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 Profiteroles

Buffalo Chicken Dip Profiteroles
*Profiterole recipe adapted from Anne Burrell

INGREDIENTS
*yields 2 dozen profiteroles with a little bit of dip left over, depending on how much you stuff them

For Profiteroles

   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)

  4 eggs

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!

Buffalo Chicken Profiteroles


Buffalo Chicken Dip

What is it about babies and buffalo chicken that go hand in hand?  Probably nothing, but it seems lately that they go together like peas and carrots.

Back in April, it was Becky’s Having a Baby Buffalo Chicken Eggrolls – in an effort to push baby Lane along, I brought these to a pre-baby ladies lunch at Becky’s house, hoping that a little spiciness would have Lane saying “Man it’s hot in here – I gotta get out!” – and while they didn’t send Becky into labor, they were still pretty tasty.

Buffalo Chicken DipAnd yesterday, Buffalo Chicken Dip was a celebratory snack for my other college gal pal Lauren and her husband Steve.  They welcomed their first baby girl, Dylan Olivia, into the world on August 30th.  Lauren was a trooper, practically going through full labor and THEN after all of that, having to get an emergency C-Section – oye.  So I imagined showing up to Lauren and Steve’s front door, and Lauren being sprawled out on the couch, buried under blankets with a cold-compress on her head, looking faint and exhausted.  Silly me – Lauren greeted us at the door, perfectly put together with the most stylish of ‘post-baby’ outfits, with Little Dyllie Doo-Doo in one arm, and the other arm open for a hug. Dylan is the cutest little nugget – and while I was a little disappointed at the super dark hair she was sporting the first few days, in person, the faintest hint of red hair (just like her mom’s)  is starting to show through – so I’m really hoping that next time we see her, she’s a full blown ginger!

Lauren looooves Buffalo Chicken Dip, so while I wasn’t there in the hospital to hold her hand or feed her ice chips, I was there yesterday with a massive bowl of Buffalo Chicken Dip with her name written all over it 🙂

Dyllie’ Doo-Doo’s Buffalo Chicken Dip

INGREDIENTS

2 – 8oz blocks of cream cheese
(I used 1/3 fat version)

1 – 16 oz. bottle of Ranch dressing
(or you could use Blue Cheese)

2-3 stalks of celery, chopped

5-6 cooked chicken tenders, chopped into small pieces

1 bottle of Frank’s Hot Sauce
(you can use more or less, depending on how spicy you like it)

1 – 8oz bag of cheddar cheese

crumbled blue cheese for garnish
(optional)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) In a saucepan, melt cream cheese and ranch dressing together over medium heat until most lumps have disappeared (it’s ok to still have some lumps).

3) Place the chopped celery, chopped chicken and hot sauce in a 9×13″ baking dish and mix together.  Pour the cream cheese and ranch dressing mixture in and mix until combined.

4) Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.

5) After 20 minutes, take the dip out of the oven and add the cheddar cheese.  You can either sprinkle it on the top, or mix it all together (I like to mix it).

6) Bake for another 10 minutes, uncovered, until bubbly on top.  Sprinkle with a little blue cheese and serve hot!

The finished product is can be served with tortilla chips, carrot and celery sticks, or just stick a spoon in there and go to town!  This is one of those dips that once you start, it’s really hard to stop, so brace yourselves.

Congrats to Lauren and Steve and welcome to the world Dylan! Sure hope you like Buffalo Chicken 🙂

Buffalo Chicken Dip


Buffalo Chicken Tacos

It’s been way too long since Buffalo Chicken has showed it’s mug here.  So happy Buffalo Chicken Monday to all!

While most of the Buffalo Chicken recipes on this Blog have been pre-meditated, this one was purely by accident.  Yesterday morning, while still half asleep, I reached my hand in the freezer, did an “eenie, meenie, miney, moe” and pulled out what you could call the ‘pandora’s box’ of the freezer – ground chicken.  For some reason, I continue to buy this at the store, and then when faced with doing something with it, always seem to be left scratching my head.  Last time I was faced with this was back in April, when Southwest Chicken Burgers were born.  And last night, almost 4 months later, a new ground chicken master piece was born, and Buffalo Chicken Tacos was it’s name!  You could use rotissere chicken or shredded chicken breast for this as well.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. ground chicken
(I used the 93/7 mix)

2 stalks of celery, diced small

1 carrot, shredded

1/2 onion, diced small

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce

1/4 cup Ranch dressing (or blue cheese, depending on your preference)
(I used a light version, but you could use full fat or fat free too)

2 tbsp. crumbled blue cheese

6 (or so) corn tortillas

1) Cook celery, carrot, onion and garlic over medium heat in a non-stick skillet until translucent (about 5 minutes)

2) Add ground chicken to vegetables and sautee until cooked through.

3) Take the Frank’s and ranch dressing and whisk together in a small dish, then pour the mixture over the vegetable/chicken mix.  Add blue cheese and stir until melted.

4) Let simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes, until some of the sauce has absorbed.

5) Cook corn tortillas over direct flame until char marks appear, then flip and repeat on the other side.

6) Top with minced celery and carrot and sprinkle some blue cheese and ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos


Buffalo Chicken Salad

Anyone whose been reading this litte blog for a while can probably sense that I have a slight obsession with all things Buffalo Chicken – there were the egg rolls – there were the stuffed peppers – I’ve even thought about incorporating it into dessert (Buffalo Chicken Ice Cream anyone? eh – nah, scratch that idea).

I haven’t always been a Buffalo Chicken lover, but my tastebuds have really come to love a little zing from that orangey glow on a chicken wing or pizza with hot sauce.  So I’ve tried to bring it home to our kitchen and experiment with it as much as possible. The nice thing with Buffalo Chicken too,  is that you can add it’s flavoring to food while still keeping the dish healthy.

So when thinking of what was going to be on the menu for my brown bag lunch this week, I thought “Hmm, chicken salad is a great summer sandwich option” – my co-worker Paula who is my lunch time bud always makes her own and I always think to myself that I should do the same.  Making your own can be nice because you can regulate the amount of mayo that goes in it – I personally only like just a smidgen of it.  While the chicken was cooking though and I was watching Sunday’s episode of Jersey Housewives for the third time in two days, I thought “BUFFALO Chicken Salad would be amazing!”.  So with a dash of this, and a smidge of that, here you have it ladies and gents, Buffalo Chicken Salad.  It’s def a keeper 🙂

Buffalo Chicken Salad

INGREDIENTS
yields about 6 – 1/2 cup servings

3 cups of cooked chicken
( I used 2 large split chicken breasts and used the meat from those – I’d say it was about 3/4 of a lb – 1lb total – but you could just use boneless skinless breasts as well)

3 stalks of celery, diced

1 bunch of scallions minced

5 tbsp. light mayonnaise

1 tbsp. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
(just the dry mix – you don’t have to make the dressing)

4 tbsp. of Frank’s Hot Sauce
(or more if you like it spicier)

Salt and Pepper to taste

1) Dice up the cooked chicken into your desired size and place in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.

2)  In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, HVR dressing mix, Frank’s and salt and pepper until fully combined.  Feel free to add Frank’s as you feel necessary.

3)  Add the celery and chopped scallions to the cubed chicken and then toss the chicken/celery/scallion mixture with the dressing.  Let chill for at least 1/2 hour or overnight.

You can serve this on a nice bulkie roll or even just on plain pieces of lettuce if you want to save some extra calories.  Oh is it yum – and fairly healthy as well.  (1/2 cup serving is just about 3 WW points).

Who said you couldn’t spice up your life and your lunch?

Buffalo Chicken Salad



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