Snack Like a Southerner: Macaroni and Cheese with Cheesy Fried Chicken

Ingredients:

Chicken-
Chicken tenderloins
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg
Salt
Pepper
1/4 fine shredded cheddar
Pinch paprika

Macaroni and Cheese:
Farfalle noodles
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 8oz pkgs sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3tbsp flour

Crunchy Topping:
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2tbsp butter
Salt
Pepper
1tsp onion powder
1/2 8oz pkg sharp cheddar cheese

Step One:
Make the chicken.

1. Mix flour, egg, milk, cheddar, salt, pepper and paprika in a large bowl until all flour clumps are gone. 

2. Dump mixture into a large Ziploc baggie.

3. Add raw chicken tenderloins to baggie and shake to coat the chicken.

4. Fry chicken. Add a tablespoon of oil to a large skillet, fry chicken over medium heat (about two to three minutes each side.)

5. Set chicken to the side.

Step Two:
Boil farfalle noodles. Drain and set to side.

Step Three:
Preheat oven to 350.

Step Four:
Make the cheese sauce.

1. In a large pot, melt butter. Add in flour intermittently, stir until all clumps are gone. 

2. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, mix. Cook until mixture is bubbly.

3. Gradually add milk and cream, stir while adding. Over medium heat, allow mixture to simmer for one minute while stirring.

4. Over low heat, add cheese until melted and combined.

5. Pour cheese sauce over noodles. Mix together.

Step Five:
Make the topping.

1. In a skillet, melt butter. 

2. Add panko bread crumbs. Cook over medium heat, stirring a bit, for about two minutes.

3. Dump mixture in bowl. Cool.

4. Add cheese. Stir.

Step Six:
Dump macaroni and cheese into a large baking dish. Top with topping.

Step Seven:
Bake dish for 20 minutes.

Step Eight:
Remove dish from oven--KEEP OVEN ON. Add chicken to the top of the macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle any left over cheese on top. Place back in oven for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

 

 

Copycat Cookin: Tasty Spicy Sesame Cauliflower and Panda Express Lo Mein

These copycat recipes are inspired by Tasty's Spicy Sesame Cauliflower (a rad vegetarian alternative to General Tso's or Orange Chicken) and Panda Express' Lo Mein

Here are a couple of copycat recipes with a twist.

General Tso's Cauliflower

Ingredients:
Cauliflower
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 pin cayenne pepper
Vegetable oil (for frying--you can use any kind of oil, but peanut oil "pops" a lot and you might get "bit" by some hot oil drops, which is never a good time)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp cornstarch slurry

Step One:
Cut up your cauliflower into edible chunks.

Step Two:
In a large bowl combine flour,  milk, baking powder, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Mix well until clumps are gone.

Step Three:
Add the cauliflower and coat. (You can use a large Ziploc baggie for this as well. Mix all wet ingredients in the large bag and then dump in cauliflower. Shake and coat. No bowl to clean)

Step Four:
Deep fry the cauliflower until golden brown. Drain oil and place cauliflower pieces on a paper towel. 

Step Five:
In a pot, combine minced garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, sugar and onion powder. Bring the sauce to a boil then add the cornstarch slurry to thicken it. Stir.

Step Six:
Toss in cauliflower and coat in sauce over low heat. 

Enjoy!

 

Lo Mein

Ingredients:
Ribbon egg noodles (found in any asian food aisle, or you can also use spaghetti)
Broccoli slaw
1 onion (cut up, not minced or diced)
2 stalks celery (cut up into little Us)
2 tbsps ginger
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
Salt
Pepper

Step One:
Boil and cook noodles. Set aside.

Step Two:
In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, ginger and pepper.

Step Two:
In a large skillet sautee onion, broccoli slaw and celery in some olive oil and a few splashes of teriyaki sauce for about four minutes over medium heat. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. 

Step Three:
Add sauce mixture and vegetables to noodles over low heat. Stir until combined for about three minutes.

Enjoy!

 

Copycat Cookin: Panera Bread 1/2 Soup and Sandwich

We are all familiar with the absolute delicacy that is Panera Bread. Recently, I moved to a new city. The closest Panera Bread is 42 minutes away. I know this could be considered a blessing in disguise, but I miss my Sunday 1/2 sandwich and soup lunches. So, I decided to give it a shot and attempt my own versions of Panera Bread's recipes and it actually turned out pretty well!

Here are two links to by the book copy cat recipes:
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Chicken Caesar Sandwich

Here are the recipes that I came up with:

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ingredients:
1tbsp butter
1pkg shredded sharp cheddar
1pkg shredded three cheese blend (sharp cheddar, mild cheddar and colby jack) 
1 medium head of broccoli
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 white onion (you can also use 2 tbsp of the dried chopped onion you can find in the spice section of the supermarket)
1 cup chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
Salt
Pepper
Cayenne pepper (if you're into that)

Step One:
Slice and dice your broccoli and onion.

Step Two:
In a large pot, melt butter and sautee the onion, carrots and broccoli for about four minutes until the aromas mix together. Dump into a bowl and set aside.

Step Three:
Using the same pot, now empty, add the heavy cream and milk. Stir until it's boiling. 

Step Four:
Gradually add flour, keep stirring until all the clumps are gone.

Step Five:
Add broth and cream of chicken soup. Stir for a few moments.

Step Six:
Add salt, pepper, carrots, onion and broccoli to the soup. Stir. Reduce heat and simmer for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step Seven:
Add cheese and stir until cheese is completely melted. Simmer for ten more minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Chicken Cesar Sandwich

Ingredients:
Chicken tenderloins
1/2 cup Caesar dressing
Salt
Pepper
Garlic powder
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Parmesan cheese block (or extra sharp cheddar if parmesan is not available)
Lettuce
Red onion
Sourdough bread

Step One:
In a bowl, combine dressing, salt, pepper, garlic powder and parmesan cheese. Mix together.

Step Two:
In a large ziploc baggie, combine 1/4 cup of dressing mixture and raw chicken. Shake the bag. Let the chicken sit in the dressing for about 10 minutes.

Step Three: 
In a skillet over medium high heat, cook your chicken (about three minutes on each side). 

Step Four:
Slice or shave your cheese for the sandwich.

Step Five:
Slice your chicken and add to the remaining dressing mixture. Mix well.

Step Six:
Put cheese, lettuce, red onion slices and chicken onto bread and enjoy!