Yum Peaceful Cooking: January 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Crispy Chicken Alfredo Crostini

This is one of those things that's so ridiculously easy and tastes so good!

Minimal ingredients. Minimal time. Maximum yum.

It can be a meal in itself or an appetizer. And...it's perfect for your Super Bowl party. How ever you choose to serve it, it's sure to please. I mean, who doesn't like crispy chicken? Who doesn't like Fettuccine Alfredo? And whooooo doesn't like garlic bread?! Cuz basically that's what this recipe is....a combination of those, wrapped into one.

Crispy Chicken Alfredo Crostini 

Makes about 9 depending on the size of the crostini

1 25 oz package of Tyson Fully Cooked Crispy Chicken Strips
2 cups Fettuccine Alfredo (I used a boxed version for convenience)
9 slices of a baguette, sliced on the diagonal
2 Garlic cloves, whole
1/2 cup diced tomatoes, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped, plus more for garnish

Toast bread slices in the broiler, turning once,until golden brown. Rub one side of each piece of toast (aka crostini) with a garlic clove. Set aside.

Heat the chicken as directed on the package.

If using Fettuccine Alfredo from a box, cook according to instructions, If you're using your favorite recipe, you'll need 2 cups of prepared Alfredo sauce and fettuccine, combined.

Let the chicken and Alfredo cool slightly. Just before preparing, toss the diced tomatoes and basil into the pasta dish and stir until just combined.

Top each crostini with Fettuccine Alfredo, chicken and then garnish with diced tomatoes and basil.

That's it. If your household is anything like mine, these babies won't last but a minute.

I was not compensated for this post, however Tyson supplied me with a coupons for their product. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Smoke House Cheesy Garlic Bread #SundaySupper

How do you define "hometown food"? Is it food from the town you grew up in? From the town you currently live in? Maybe it's from the town that has your heart...you know that saying..'home is where your heart it'.

I had a difficult time deciding what to make for today's Sunday Supper theme. The town where I grew up is out of the way, hidden between a few mountains and from what I remember, wasn't known much for their food. I do remember a great burger joint or two. I also considered where my heart is, and most of my family but I think I've posted several southern dishes which actually represent a culture more than the town in Alabama where my folks live.

So that left me with my current location of nearly 30 yrs....beautiful downtown Burbank. We have an awful lot of restaurants in town. Mostly chains. Some new, some old. Some great and some not so much. But there's one restaurant down by the studios that has been around for decades. Owners have changed a few times as has the menu a bit but the one thing that the Smoke House is famous for is their Cheesy Garlic Bread.

The Smoke House is a great steak house with wonderful prime rib, a fabulous Sunday brunch and a real old time classic feel to it, complete with a bar, lounge and live music. It's been around since the end of WWII and used to be frequented by Hollywood legends such as Bob Hope and Bing Cosby. Dinning there has always been a great way to celebrate a special occasion. Regardless of what you order, several orders of cheesy garlic bread are a must. Plus one to go. The locals even make special trips just to pick up a few orders to take out. Nothing else....just cheesy garlic bread.

One of my dearest friends shared a recipe for their cheesy garlic bread. Funny thing is that the recipe calls for shredded American cheese, but there's a note at the bottom that says: 'or use powdered cheese (ie: the cheese packet from boxed macaroni and cheese)'.

Really?!...hmmm. That little note sure got my attention. Mostly because the cheesy garlic bread from the Smoke House doesn't have melty cheese all over it yet has that cheesy flavor. This must be the "trick".

I decided to try it both ways. One with the shredded American cheese and the other with powdered cheese. I knew in my heart which one was going to be closest to the real thing, but I had to do it anyway.

Btw...if you're looking at this from a "healthy" perspective, I don't feel that one is better than the other since American cheese is processed anyway so it's not like the powdered cheese is replacing the "real thing".

One more thing, you need to plan ahead as the garlic butter needs 3 days to do it's thing.

Smoke House Cheesy Garlic Bread

Printable Version
makes 2 loaves

1/2 cup melted butter
4 teaspoons dried garlic granules*  or 4 cloves of fresh garlic, smashed and diced **
1 loaf of Italian bread
1/4 lb of American cheese, shredded (not sliced) OR 4 tablespoons of powdered cheese (or to taste)

(you can find American cheese in block form at the deli counter of most grocery stores)

*If using the dried garlic granules: In a small bowl, combine the melted butter with the smashed and diced garlic. Cover and let sit on the counter for 3 days.

**If using fresh garlic: In a small bowl, combine the melted butter with the smashed and diced garlic. Cover and let sit in the fridge for 3 days. (fresh garlic in any kind of oil that is not refrigerated can become the perfect host for botulism) 

Once the 3 days are up, strain out the garlic (the butter might need to be heated up a tad first so the garlic can be removed easily). The garlic aroma and flavor is intense! Suweeeet!!!

Liberally brush the garlic butter over the bread. Sprinkle either the shredded American cheese or the powdered cheese all over. I actually found powdered cheese in a jar in the spice section of my grocery store.

Btw, grating American cheese is kinda weird. It mostly felt like I was just pushing the cheese through the grater. But man, it really does melt nicely. 

The cheese sprinkles where a lot let messy but not as pretty. 

Place the loaves in a hot broiler for a minute or two. Keep a close eye on it at all times as once it gets going it goes from done to burnt in a matter of seconds. 

Then let it cool for a second. Slice and serve.

When all is said and done, the powdered cheese version is spot on...Smoke House Cheesy Garlic Bread! If you've moved from the area and miss this local Burbank treat, here's your fix.

Me? I have a thing for melty. I think the real star in this recipe actually, is the method used to make the garlic butter. It's a lot easier and better than the methods I've been using or trying over the years. How you choose to cheese your garlic bread is totally up to you.

Don't forget to check out the other Sunday Supper Hometown Foods recipes!

Appetizers and Snacks
Main Dishes
Side Dishes
Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sour Cream Biscuits

These are the most simple and delicious little nuggets of biscuits around. Three ingredients mixed today and....booyah! Buttery, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  Great with breakfast, lunch, dinner, soup, salad, or just little snacks.

Cuz you can't help snacking on one each time you walk through the kitchen. They just pop into your mouth so easily you could almost swear they jumped in on their own.

So why haven't I told you about them before? Well, I dunno. I mean, I didn't realize until recently that I hadn't.

You see, it all started with my recent trip to Bama where I spent the holidays with my family. We celebrated my birthday, the new year, and had just good family fun.

Of course we ate tons of great food. What would New Years Day be without some good traditional southern grub.

Even though we had some really cold winter nights, we fired up the grill and made some amazing 1/2 lb stuffed burgers! Wrap your teeth around that beauty!

Btw, do you know how cold it gets there?! I know, I know...compared to most other regions of the country, it's not that bad. But this SoCal gal's blood is used to warmer climes. I mean....winter here means that it's below 75' most of the time. Or just some of time. And it rarely get's below 40, let alone freezing. My family was amazed that if the temps are going to be below freezing, we actually get a frost warning.

For the first time in my life, I experienced single digit temps. Crazy stuff I tell ya!

Anyway, it was while I was in Bama that I realized I had never shared  these yummy little crunchy-and-soft at the same time biscuits with you. My sister made them to go with dinner one night and that's when it hit me.

Even my daughter was surprised. When I told her I was making them today, she asked why. I had to confess my wrong doing out loud and this was her response:

"You've never put them on your blog?! Oh wow!! You need to do that...They're sooooo good!! People need to know about them"

Now that I'm back home, experiencing a much warmer type of winter, I can make a wrong right and let the whole world know what they've been missing.

Sour Cream Biscuits

Makes 24 mini biscuits
Printable Version

1 cup self rising flour
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter, softened

Preheat oven to 375' F

Spray the mini muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix all ingredients until well combined.

Divide the dough into the muffin pans.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

And that's it. They're ready to be consumed. They slip out of those little tins so easily and right into your mouth.

I hope you give them a try and enjoy them as much as we do. And please try to forgive me for not giving you the opportunity to try them sooner.

One last thing...Happy New Year!