Posts Tagged 'Super Bowl'

Slow-Cooker Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Football party season is upon us (Dr. O is out enjoying one as I write), which means it’s time to break out our very best game day recipes.  I found one this past week that is easy, perfect for entertaining (slow cooker!), and is actually pretty healthy: Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches from the January/February 2011 issue of Everyday Food.  The recipe isn’t on the Everyday Food site yet, so I’ll share it with you here.

Slow-Cooker Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
Serves 8 | Active time: 25 min. | Total time: 4 hr. 25 min.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup hot-pepper sauce, such as Frank’s (I used Cholula)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
8 hamburger buns

Method:
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high.  Add chicken thighs, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring once, until meat is golden brown, 5 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, transfer to a slow cooker, leaving as much oil behind as possible. Repeat with chicken breasts.

To skillet, add onion, garlic, and bell pepper and cook over medium, stirring constantly, until onion is translucent, 6 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup water and cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet, 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and transfer to slow cooker.

To slow cooker, add crushed tomatoes, hot-pepper sauce, Worcestershire, mustard, and molasses; stir to combine.  Cover and cook on high until chicken is very tender, 4 hours.  Shred chicken and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve on buns.

Note: Refrigerate the finished dish in an airtight container, up to 5 days, or freeze, up to 3 months.

Nutrition per serving: 358 cal; 10 g fat (3 g sat fat); 35 g protein; 31 g carb; 3 g fiber

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

These sandwiches were SO good!  I have a basic barbecued chicken sandwich recipe that I’ve been using for years, but this recipe has so much more depth of flavor. Unless I’m short on time, I’ll take this sandwich any day.  I should note, though, that the inclusion of the word “spicy” in the recipe title isn’t a joke.  I was cautious and cut the hot sauce to 3 tablespoons instead of 4; the heat was still enough to make our noses run.  (Our New Mexico and Arizona friends joke that we’re still “in training” when it comes to eating spicy food…  Somehow, I think this will be a lifelong process!)  Anyway, if you like it hot, go with the full 1/4 cup; if you don’t do spicy food, you might still get a hint of heat if you cut the hot sauce to 2 tablespoons.

Since I’m used to cooking fattier cuts of meat (like pork shoulder or chuck roast) in the slow cooker, I was a bit skeptical about how well the chicken breast would shred.  It was amazingly easy!  I guess that just goes to show that the slow cooker can do amazing things with meat, lean or not.

I won’t be cooking on Super Bowl Sunday, but I’m absolutely putting these sandwiches in my game day arsenal.  Give them a try the next time you need to make a casual supper for a crowd.

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Super Bowl Snacks: Past Posts

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, everyone! The afternoon’s parties are rapidly approaching, so I thought I’d give a few last-minute snack suggestions based on past Sweet and Saucy posts. You might consider:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chex Bars
Baked Potato Bar
Fresh Salsa
Sparkling Limeade
Mint Chocolate Brownies
Barbecued Chicken Sandwiches
Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Chews
Slow-Cooked Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans
Sweet Party Mix
Jumbo Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies
Almond Fruit Bars

Happy snacking!

Super Bowl Snacks: Lighter Beef Chili

Would any Super Bowl party be complete without chili? I’m not so sure. I want to preface this all by saying that I’m not about to get into the “beans or no beans debate” – I’m not a chili purist. I’ll play nice with all the Texans and say that real chili doesn’t have beans, so we can agree that this is really chili *with* beans. Or something. 🙂

Anyway, my recipe for today – Lighter Beef Chili – comes from the January/February issue of Everyday Food. This recipe is nice because it’s lean and it’s quick. Prep time is only 25 minutes, and it’s ready to eat only 15 minutes later. You could easily keep it on the stove over low heat if you want to keep it warm for a few hours.

I started by warming 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. I added 1 medium onion (chopped) and 4 garlic cloves (chopped), seasoning with salt and pepper. I cooked the mixture until softened, about 4 minutes.

Next, I added 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, and 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. I cooked and stirred everything until it was fragrant, about 1 minute. I added 1 pound of ground beef sirloin and cooked it, breaking it up with a spoon, until it was no longer pink (about 5 minutes).

Finally, I added 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) of undrained diced tomatoes in juice and 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) of pinto beans (drained and rinsed). I brought the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduced it to a simmer, and cooked the chili until it was slightly thickened, about 12 minutes. I served mine with sour cream and scallions.

lighter_beef_chili.jpg

This chili is good – it has a nice texture and I appreciate that it’s on the healthier side. It doesn’t have a really strong flavor, though, which is what I’m used to when I eat chili. Once we added our toppings (we ended up throwing some crushed blue tortilla chips in there as well), the flavor really improved. Grated cheddar or pepper jack would be really nice too. Since it’s mild, this is a perfect kid-friendly chili. I would just use extra seasoning or a variety of toppings to dress it up a bit more for the adult crowd.

Recipe link: Lighter Beef Chili

Super Bowl Snacks: Stuffed Strawberry Cheesecakes

While I LOVE the more traditional game day snacks like pizza, chili, and yesterday’s Pigs in Blankets, I think it’s a good idea to balance things out a bit with a few healthier options. I found a great recipe in the August 2006 issue of Shape that presents a fun twist on fruit and dip – Stuffed Strawberry Cheesecakes.

I started by washing and patting dry 24 large strawberries. I sliced off each stem end and made a small hole in each berry using a 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon. (The recipe says to use a knife, but I thought it was easier to “scoop” using the measuring spoon.) I set the berries aside.

Next, I made the filling. In a small bowl, I combined 4 ounces of light cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. I mashed and stirred everything together with a fork until it was smooth and well combined. I used the same 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon to spoon the filling into the strawberries. Scrumptious!

stuffed_strawberry_cheesecakes.jpg

TIPS: There are a couple of things you can do to prevent your strawberries from getting soggy. One, make sure you rinse and dry them *before* you remove the tops. Two, when you set them aside after the scooping step, I’d set them upside down over paper towels. That way, any extra moisture will drain out while you’re making the filling.

Recipe link: Stuffed Strawberry Cheesecakes

Super Bowl Snacks: Pigs in Blankets

Since the Super Bowl is rapidly approaching and many of us will be attending or hosting parties, I thought it would be fun to dedicate the rest of the week to great game day snacks. There are tons of tasty little snacks in the freezer section of the grocery store – taquitos and mini quiche, anyone? – but I just can’t bring myself to serve processed convenience food to guests. I’m making it harder than it needs to be, I know. I just really enjoy the thrill of creating something delicious.

I decided to start with a popular game day snack – Pigs in Blankets – using a recipe from the September 2007 issue of Everyday Food. I will admit to taking advantage of a convenience ingredient here: frozen puff pastry. Since it takes about 3 days to make puff pastry from scratch, though, I think this one is OK. 🙂

Frozen puff pastry needs about 40 minutes to thaw before it can be used; thawing one sheet (1/2 package) was step one. Once the pastry had thawed, I unrolled the sheet, cut it lengthwise into 10 equal strips, and then cut each strip into equal thirds to yield 30 1-by-3-inch pieces. (This was actually pretty easy because my puff pastry had been rolled into thirds and then frozen; there were creases right at the 1/3 and 2/3 marks.)

I took 30 cocktail franks, patted them dry, and the rolled each one in a strip of pastry. I placed them seam-side down on rimmed baking sheet. Next, I brushed the top of each pastry with some lightly beaten egg and the sprinkled the batch with poppy seeds.

pigs_in_a_blanket_uncooked.jpg

The recipe said to bake the pigs at 400F for 25 – 30 minutes. Good thing I was watching… Mine were puffed, golden and heated through at 17 minutes.

pigs_in_a_blanket.jpg

These were really yummy little snacks! I served them with ketchup. They’re best consumed in one bite, though… Puff pastry’s delicate, flaky layers can produce some major crumbs.

TIPS: If you wanted to add cheese to the mix, you could probably put a strip of cheese on top of the pastry strip before rolling the franks (or just use cheese franks, if you can find them).

Recipe link: Pigs in Blankets (it’s the first recipe listed in the article)




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