Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cooking Challenge Week TWO, Recipe 2

Tonight I'm making indian fry bread tacos with Hidden Valley Ranch Sausage Stars for an appetizer.  The sausage stars a great appetizer to bring to a Thanksgiving/Christmas gathering.  They look great on a platter, taste amazing, and seem like they'd take forever to make (but shhhhhh, they don't!).  The majority can be made the night prior and just assembled shortly prior to baking.

Hidden Valley Ranch Sausage Stars

1 - Package Original Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix

(prepared according to package directions)
1 lb Jimmy Dean regular (or I prefer spicy) sausage, browned & drained
1 - 8oz Bag Kraft Mexican 4 Cheeses
1/2 - cup red bell pepper (optional)
2 Tablespoons chopped black olices (optional)
1 - package wonton wrappers

Brown sausage and drain off any grease, set aside. Mix ranch dressing according to package directions. Mix the sausage, prepared dressing, bell pepper, black olives, and cheese together. Place won ton wrappers in a lightly greased muffin tin.
Bake 5-7 minutes until lightly golden brown. Watch them carefully so they dont get too brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. When cooled, fill 3/4 full with sausage mixture. Return to the oven and bake 5-7 minutes until cheese melts.
***If making the day prior, mix ingredients and follow the first step to bake the won tons.  Place won tons in a ziploc bag and store overnight.  Refrigerate sausage mixture in covered bowl overnight.

Cooking Challenge Week TWO, Recipe 1

I am going to attempt to post the recipes by Wednesday each week.  With this in mind, I've decided to break this weeks posting into three parts.  I plan to make these postings a bit longer to ensure I cover all the details for each recipe.  Plus, the chicken alfredo "recipe", will officially be documented for the first time and I expect it will be a bit wordy.

Jen's Indulgent Chicken Alfredo

Serves: 2-4   Start to Table time: 45 minutes

1lb boneless, skinless, chicken breasts-cut into strips
1 pkg fresh button mushrooms-quartered
1/4 small onion, diced
1 cup breadcrumbs-I prefer Italian
8 Tablespoons butter
1 jar alfredo sauce (yes, I usually just buy the premade stuff) Classico Four Cheese Alfredo Sauce
1 pkg fettuccini noodles
1/4 cup chopped tomato
Pepper to taste

1.  Boil the noodles according to package
2.  While the noodles are cooking, place 2 Tablespoons of butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Sautee onions until translucent, then add the mushrooms until they begin to sweat.  Remove mushrooms and onion from pan and turn off stovetop heat.
3.  Melt 6 Tablespoons butter in a small bowl in the microwave.  Spread out the breadcrumbs on a plate.  Line up the cut chicken, bowl of butter, breadcrumb plate, and a clean plate on the counter.  Take each piece of chicken, dip into the butter, then coat with the breadcrumbs.  Place breaded chicken on the clean plate until all pieces are coated. (I often add shredded parmesan, paprika and garlic to the breadcrumbs for extra flavor.)
4.  Heat up the skillet where the onions and mushrooms cooked and add in the breaded chicken.  (You may need to add a little more butter to the pan.)  Cook chicken until no longer pink inside and nicely browned on the outside.
5.  While the chicken is cooking, heat the alfredo sauce in a small saucepan. 
6.  Once the chicken is almost browned, add back in the onions and mushrooms to warm (or add the mushrooms and onions directly to the alfredo sauce).

Plate as follows:
Chicken with mushrooms and onions
Sprinkle with tomatoes and pepper to taste

Tips:  The mushrooms and/or onions can be left out.  I've also made this with shrimp in place of the chicken.  Rhodes rolls breadsticks are the perfect side to this dish! 

I would love to get your feedback on this recipe.  Is there anything that is confusing or seems misleading.  Have you made this dish?  If so, please post your comments below.


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