Friday, July 30, 2010

Ham and Cheese Sliders

Source: Recipe Club

I saw these on Annie's Eats and they were PERFECT for a gathering I was hosting. I wanted to make something warm that was also easy. These could not have been easier and were so tasty! I think the topping makes all the difference!

Ham and Cheese Sliders


For the sandwiches:
24 slider rolls
24 slices honey ham (or regular ham)
24 small slices Swiss cheese

For the sauce:
1½ tbsp. yellow mustard
8 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tbsp. finely minced onion (or 2 tsp. dried minced onion)
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Poppy seeds, for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Split the slider rolls and spread the insides lightly with mayonnaise. Fold a slice of ham to fit on each slider bun, and top with a slice of Swiss cheese. Replace the top bun to assemble the sandwiches. Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet.

To make the sauce, combine all ingredients except the poppy seeds in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Drizzle the sauce over the tops of the slider buns. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Cover with foil and bake 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Remove the foil and bake 2 minutes longer. Serve warm.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Chicken Caesar Salad

When I told my husband we were having salad for dinner, he gave me a face and said, "I guess I'll have to have ANOTHER dinner." Put your pouting face away - after this dinner was done, he was fully stuffed and actually enjoyed it! He even said he usually doesn't like Caesar salad, but this was really good. I enjoyed it immensely as well. I have been on a real Caesar salad kick, and this fit the bill nicely!

Brining the chicken is key to flavorful, moist chicken. We used tenderloins and brined them for 15 minutes, then cooked about 3 minutes each side. The chicken was so good we've made it that way a few times just to have leftover chicken in the fridge.

Chicken Caesar Salad


Garlic Croutons
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups 3/4-inch bread cubes from baguette

Broiled Chicken Breasts
3 tablespoons table salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 inches each), trimmed of excess fat
Ground black pepper

Caesar Dressing
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus 2 more teaspoons
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 medium garlic clove, minced fine
4 anchovy filets (flat), minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium heats romaine lettuce, large outer leaves removed; washed, dried, and torn into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. For the croutons: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat over to 350 degrees. Mix garlic, salt, and oil in a small bowl; let stand 20 minutes to infuse flavors, then pour through fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl. Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Spread cubes in even layer on rimmed baking sheet; bake, stirring occasionally, until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool croutons on baking sheet to room temperature. (Can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours.)

2. For the chicken: dissolve sugar and salt in 1 1/2 quarts cold water in gallon-sized zipper-lock bag or plastic container. Add chicken and seal bag, pressing out as much as as possible; refrigerate 30 minutes until fully seasoned. Remove chicken from brine, dry thoroughly with paper towels, and season with pepper.

3. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (should be about 6 inches away from heating element) and heat broiler. Spray broiler pan top lightly with nonstick cooking spray and position over pan bottom. Place chicken on pan; broil until spotty brown and firm to the touch, about 8 minutes, turning chicken halfway through cooking. Transfer chicken to plate and set aside.

4. For the dressing: Bring 2 inches water to boil in a saucepan over high heat. Lower eggs into water and cook 45 seconds; remove with slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, crack eggs open; reserve yolks in small bowl and discard whites. Add lemon juice, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, garlic, and anchovies to yolks; whisk until smooth. Whisking constantly, add oil in slow, steady stream. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. (Dressing can be refrigerated in airtight container up to 1 day; shake before using.)

5. To finish salad: In large bowl, toss lettuce, Parmesan, and about two-thirds of the dressing to coat; divide evenly among individual plates. Remove tenderloins from chicken breasts; place in bowl used to dress lettuce, along with remaining dressing. Cut chicken breasts crosswise into 1/2-inch slices, add to bowl, and toss to coat. Divide dressed chicken evenly among plates, arranging slices on lettuce. Sprinkle each plate with a portion of the croutons and serve immediately.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

You're probably thinking chocolate-dipped strawberries is WAY to easy of a recipe to post, but really, this is more about melting chocolate on the stovetop without ruining it! You can easily ruin a delicious batch of Ghirardelli chocolate (cry) if you overheat the chocolate. Once the chocolate gets too hot, it seizes up and stiffens, and you have to kiss it goodbye!

You can melt chocolate in the microwave, but I prefer stovetop since it heats more evenly and stays melted longer. If you don't have a double broiler, just stack two saucepans on top of each other, smaller one on top.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

1 16-ounce bag of milk chocolate chips
1 quart of strawberries, washed

1. In the larger saucepan, add a couple of inches of water. Ensure when the smaller saucepan is placed on top, the bottom will NOT touch the water. Pour out any excess water if necessary. Bring the water to boiling, then reduce heat until water is gently simmering.

2. Pour chips in the smaller saucepan, and set over water. When the chips start to melt, start stirring. When about half the chips are melted, remove from heat and stir constantly until all the chips are melted.

3. Holding on to strawberry hull or by using a toothpick inserted in strawberry, dip each strawberry in chocolate and set aside on parchment. Refrigerate until needed. Enjoy!