14 August 2008

Shelly's Hot Mess Chicken and Famous Potatoes w/ Spinach Salad

I decided to put together this dinner together tonight because I have been so engrossed with my invitation business this past week that I have been sort of ignoring my poor husband. I felt so bad about so I put together a delicious dinner at the table complete with wine and water served in our pretty crystal we got for our wedding...I was also able to use our pretty silver serving platter and fancy serving utensils and placemats, napkins and napkin rings...ok, ok, so I wanted an excuse to actually use all this stuff...LOL.

I made Shelly's famous potatoes and her hot mess chicken (see nomnomnom in my favorites). Along with the hot mess and famous taters I made my famous spinach salad with homemade lemon olive oil dressing. I also made a loaf of homemade italian bread with italian spices in my bread maker (and I am happy to report actually doing a good job at it!). I have to say, I was very intimidated by the chicken recipe, but it was really super easy!
Excuse the jacked up walls in the background...we're in the middle of demoing our kitchen.

Hot Mess Chicken (recipe copy/pasted from Shelly's blog)
Hot Mess ChickenServes: However many you can fit on the pan
-Large skinless boneless chicken breast (I filleted it then pounded it)
-Thick sliced bacon (I used thick pepper crusted bacon..mmmm...)
-Red Onion
-Fresh Leaf Basil (we grow basil in our garden, so it was super fresh! fresher the better)
-Small can petite diced tomatoes
-Provolone Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Yup.

2. Get a baking sheet that has edges and line it with foil (easier clean up!). Then take a rack from your toaster oven and put that on top of the foil so there is a gap. Or if you wanna be all 'top chef'... just use a broiler pan =)

3. Take a chicken breast and put it between some plastic wrap and pound it with a meat mallet. Or a big can of beans will work! Not too thin... maybe like an even half inch. Or if you wanna get crazy and skip the next step... pound it out into a really big flat piece that is about a quarter inch thick.

4. If you stuck with the half inch option, take a knife and slit the chicken open (parallel with the countertop) and open it like a book. Don't cut it all the way open.

5. Lay in some provolone, a handful of diced red onion, a couple spoonfuls of tomato, and a few leaves of basil.

6. Fold up the chicken. Now lay out 3-4 slices of thick sliced bacon and put the chicken in the middle. Wrap the ends of bacon up over the chicken and overlap them. Secure with a toothpick. Try and cover most of the open seam to keep the goodies in.

7. Place on the rack or broiler pan. I like to pour some italian dressing all over it, but that's up to you. Put in the oven for about 30-35 minutes. The bacon should be pretty crisped and the chicken cooked thru. Yummm.

Shelly's Famous Potatoes
-5 cups chopped red potatoes (about 5 large) (I used idaho potatoes cuz I'm not a fan of reds)
-1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (I skipped the red cuz we don't really like it)
-1/3 cup diced green bell pepper
-1/2 cup diced sweet onion
-1 teaspoon garlic salt
-1/2 tablespoon montreal steak seasoning
-4+ tablespoons butter or margarine

1. Lay out about 2 feet of non-stick foil or non-stick sprayed regular foil.

2. Wash & scrub red potatoes clean. Chop up potatoes into bite sized pieces and place in single layer onto center of foil.

3. Dice peppers and onion and sprinkle onto potatoes, toss with hands if necessary.

4. Place little chunks of butter or margarine over top, space out as necessary.

5. Sprinkle garlic salt and steak seasoning evenly over mixture (amount may be adjusted to taste). We are not shy with either of them in my house!!

6. Fold foil up over the mixture, covering everything. Take another piece of foil and wrap in opposite direction to make sure the packet is leak-proof.

7. Place on grill at medium heat (about 350-400 degrees) for 35-45 minutes (flip over packet halfway through cooking), depending on your grill and your potato firmness preference.

8. Cut open foil pouch and serve, careful of the steam!

Lemon/Olive Oil Dressing
- 1 large lemon
- 1 tbsp fresh garlic
- 1/2 c olive oil (the darker the better)

Zest part of the lemon, cut it in half and juice the heck out of it. Add the garlic and the olive oil and wisk together. Serve over a bed of baby spinach with bacon bits, tomatoes and shaved Parmesan cheese...delish!

Chicken Kabobs and "Special" Crescent Rolls

We made some super fantastic chicken kabobs last night with these most delicious crescent rolls using a recipe of my best friends MIL! I'll call them Mrs. T's Famous Crescent Rolls!!! The kabobs were pretty standards, chicken, green pepper, white onion, 1 can white potatoes, and mushrooms. Rob put some curry seasoning on them with some extra red pepper powder and a little brush of olive oil. I made the Indian Rice that I blogged below with the kabobs. Now, on to the delicious crescent rolls!

1 tube crescent rolls (Pillsbury or store brand)
4 oz of cream cheese softened in the microwave to make it spoonable

Roll out the rolls as you normally would then add a spoon full (tsp) of cream cheese to the large end of the crescent roll. Roll them up and kinda pinch the ends so the cream cheese doesn't ooze when you bake them. Bake according to the package instructions (no extra time needed). Pull them out and put some honey on top of them and spread it around. Let them sit for about 5 minutes.

I suggest eating them with a fork! They are so freaking good! Its like a dinner roll and dessert in one!

13 August 2008

Italian Sausage and Peppers

I LOVE this recipe! I actually picked it up from the Italian restaurant I worked at years and years ago. It is super simple and so delicious! I generally do a combination of sweet and spicy Italian sausage, but this time I just used sweet sausage.

4 links of fresh Italian sausage (sweet, hot or both) Cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large green pepper cut into large pieces
1 small to medium red bell pepper cut into large pieces
1 small yellow bell pepper cut into large pieces
1 small orange bell pepper cut into small pieces
1 small to medium Spanish onion cut into large pieces
1 jar Traditional Ragu sauce (yeah, I'm lazy like that)
various Italian spices (garlic, basil, oregano...)
Olive oil (to coat pan)
Cooked spaghetti noodles

Cook the sausage pieces until they are completely done. Add enough olive oil to coat the pan (leaving the sausage in it). Add all of the peppers and onion. Mix everything together and cover with a lid for about 10 to 15 minutes on medium/medium low heat. Remove lid and add about 3/4 of a jar of Traditional Ragu (enough to coat the sausage and veggies). Add a little garlic (powder), oregano, basil, cracked red pepper to your preferred taste. Simmer for about 5 minutes (until the sauce heats up).

Put some spaghetti noodles into a bowl, dish up the sausage and peppers over the noodles and serve with some Romano cheese (shaker cheese) and some garlic bread. YUM!!!