Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Ranch Cheddar Chicken Thighs

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 package Ranch Seasoning Mix (I didn’t have a packet of dry so I used 3 oz of ranch dressing)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
6 chicken thighs (skin removed)
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 Ritz crackers, crushed (or panko breadcrumps)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9x13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, cheese, Ranch Seasoning and garlic.
Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste. Place chicken in a single layer onto the prepared baking dish and top with mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle with crackers.
Place into oven and cook until completely cooked through and golden brown on top, reaching an internal temperature of 175 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.

My chicken took a little longer than 30 minutes.  I liked the combination of flavors. You could still taste the ranch even though I used liquid instead of a ranch packet.  

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Lyndee’s Spicy Chili

1 lb. Italian sausage
½ c. salsa or picante sauce (If you don’t like the chunks, substitute some spicy V8 juice)
1 can chili beans
1 large can diced tomatoes (I use a quart size jar of my Grandma’s tomatoes)
2 tbsp. Jalapeño cream cheese
1 tbsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Minced garlic
Shredded pepper jack

Brown Italian sausage with minced garlic.  I like to add some chopped onion if I have any on hand.  In a large pot mix all other ingredients except shredded pepper jack.  Add meat once cooked.  Bring to a quick boil and then cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until warmed through and cream cheese has melted.  Serve and top with shredded pepper jack, crackers, sour cream or whatever you desire.
This can also be done in a crockpot on low heat for 4 hours.  Just dump and go! 

To “unspice” and make my normal chili, make as directed but leave out the cream cheese, hot sauce, red pepper flakes and pepper jack. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Sweet heat meatballs

2 lbs. frozen, pre­-cooked meatballs
½ cup molasses
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ cup water
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Over medium high heat, bring the water to a boil.  Add molasses, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, chili powder, cayenne, crushed pineapple and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine.  Add in meatballs and stir to coat evenly.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the sauce reduces, about 10 minutes.  Skewer with bamboo sticks and serve hot with or without sauce reduction.

I made these in the crockpot for a NYE party.  After coating the meatballs with the sauce evenly, I just dumped them in the crock and set it on low for a few hours, until the party started.  The taste was smooth and all of the meatballs were gone by midnight.