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Category: featured recipes

  1. Tuesday, February 24

    Sweet Potato and Bacon Pizza, Your New Favorite!

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    Two summers ago we stayed in Falmouth, MA for our annual Cape Cod family vacation. One night we ordered pizza from a restaurant called Stone L’Oven and every last pizza was delectable. My favorites were the fig and prosciutto pizza (which I already created a recipe for) and a wonderful sweet potato pizza. Nate’s cousin Sara and I went back and forth endlessly about which one we liked more. In the end we couldn’t decide, they were both amazing!

    recipe for DELICIOUS sweet potato and bacon pizza from @janemaynard

    I have finally recreated the sweet potato pizza in my own kitchen and it was delicious! This pizza has all kinds of wonderful ingredients, from salty bacon and gorgonzola cheese to sweet caramelized onions and sweet potatoes. Top it all off with a balsamic glaze and you’re in heaven!

    recipe for DELICIOUS sweet potato and bacon pizza from @janemaynardline break

    recipe for DELICIOUS sweet potato and bacon pizza from @janemaynard

    A note on the balsamic glaze – I used to make it myself until I discovered STAR’s Modena Creamy Balsamic Glaze. Their glaze is the perfect consistency for drizzling on pizza, so that’s what I use now. I highly recommend it.

    recipe for DELICIOUS sweet potato and bacon pizza from @janemaynard

    5.0 from 1 reviews
    Sweet Potato and Bacon Pizza
     
    This pizza is the perfect combination of salty and sweet!
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Pizza crust of your choice (I use this recipe or good naan bread for my crust)
    • olive oil
    • 1 fresh garlic clove per pizza you make
    • caramelized onions
    • fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced (regular shredded mozzarella cheese works, too, but I love fresh)
    • gorgonzola cheese, small chunks
    • sweet potato, cubed
    • bacon, cooked and chopped
    • fresh spinach
    • salt and pepper
    • balsamic glaze (if you want to make your own, click here for instructions. STAR makes a bottled balsamic glaze that I love - click here for more info.)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
    2. Toss cubed sweet potatoes in olive oil and sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a cooking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, until soft.
    3. Roll out pizza crust then brush on a thin layer of olive oil across the surface. Push fresh garlic clove through a garlic press then spread with your fingers over the oiled crust. Top pizza with caramelized onions, gorgonzola cheese, spinach, sweet potatoes, and bacon. Finish with mozzarella cheese.
    4. Bake pizza how you normally do it for your crust recipe.
    5. Remove from oven, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper then drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve!

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  2. Thursday, February 19

    Crazy Easy Chicken Recipes: Italian Dressing Chicken

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    I think it’s time for another Crazy Easy Chicken Recipe! Today’s “recipe” is one of the first things I ever cooked. Even though this non-recipe recipe is beyond easy and simple, it’s incredibly tasty and versatile. In fact, I don’t know why I don’t cook chicken like this more often.

    crazy easy, tender and flavorful italian dressing chicken from @janemaynard

    Italian dressing is kind of magical. It’s one of those ingredients that can quickly add flavor to all kinds of recipes. My favorite uses are in potato salad and for marinating chicken, which brings us to today’s recipe!

    crazy easy, tender and flavorful italian dressing chicken from @janemaynard

    All you need is chicken and Italian dressing. That’s it. You’re done. Be sure to stab your chicken as directed. That is the key to making your chicken extra tender and filled with that Italian dressing flavor.

    Italian Dressing Chicken
     
    This chicken is great topped on salad and served on a sandwich!
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • Italian dressing
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. Stab the chicken breasts on both sides a TON with a fork.
    3. Put chicken in a small bowl and cover with Italian dressing, flipping chicken to cover completely. You can cook immediately but letting it marinate for about 30 minutes in the fridge is even better!
    4. Place chicken in a baking dish, pouring any remaining dressing in the bowl over the top.
    5. Bake for about 30 minutes, until inside of chicken is no longer pink and the internal temperature reaches 160º F. Don't overcook to keep it moist and tender.
    6. I didn't provide measurements because this is a CRAZY EASY recipe and you don't need them! Just eyeball it, you can't mess it up!

     

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  3. Tuesday, February 10

    Chicken Kai Pa Lo: A Restaurant-Worthy Recipe If I’ve Ever Made One!

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    I love Penzeys Spices. In fact, one of the things I miss most about living in Menlo Park is having a Penzeys store just down the street. Since the nearest store is now about 45 minutes away, I really appreciate getting the catalog that much more. And, unlike the store, the catalog is filled with all kinds of great recipes.

    recipe for chicken kai pa lo, a thai soup with rice and soft-boiled eggs that is SCRUMPTIOUS from @janemaynard

    Nate got his hands on the latest catalog and requested that I make three of the recipes in it, so we’ve been doing one Penzeys recipe a week. I started with a recipe for Chicken Kai Pa Lo, a Thai soup served with rice and soft-boiled eggs. Kai pa lo is traditionally made with pork, but this particular recipe called for dark meat chicken.

    recipe for chicken kai pa lo, a thai soup with rice and soft-boiled eggs that is SCRUMPTIOUS from @janemaynard

    This dinner was GOOD. Nate and I loved it and the kids all liked it, too. In fact, 7-year-old Anna was especially enamored with this dish and practically licked the bowl clean. Nate and I both agreed that this kai pa lo tasted as good as anything we’ve eaten at a Thai restaurant. I am so glad Nate got me to try this recipe. Penzeys once again for the win!

    recipe for chicken kai pa lo, a thai soup with rice and soft-boiled eggs that is SCRUMPTIOUS from @janemaynard

    For the eggs, I highly recommend you follow my friend Irvin’s technique for making soft-boiled eggs. Our soft-boiled eggs came out perfectly. The soup itself has a wonderful Asian flavor that is very comforting, and the recipe is surprisingly simple to make. You won’t have to slave in the kitchen to make an impressive meal!

    Chicken Kai Pa Lo
     
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    This recipe originally came from a Penzeys Catalog and was submitted by one of their customers Jennifer Sombutmai. I have modified the recipe by adjusting measurements and making them more specific, and I changed the meat used to speed the cooking process.
    Author:
    Serves: 6-8
    Ingredients
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • Half of a medium yellow onion, diced
    • 4 fresh garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a garlic press
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
    • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
    • 1 tablespoon chicken soup base (Penzeys sells this, I also use "Better Than Bouillon" from the store)
    • 6 cups water
    • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 soft boiled egg per serving
    • 1½ tablespoons Chinese Five Spice
    • Chopped green onions (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
    2. While the onions are cooking, mix together the soy sauce, garlic powder and white pepper. Rub this mixture on both sides of the chicken pieces.
    3. Once the onions are translucent, add fresh garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Push the onions to the side of the pot a bit and add the chicken pieces to the center of the pot. Brown chicken on both sides, about 4 minutes a side.
    4. Add the soup base to the pot then pour in the water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let cook uncovered until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. I use a thermometer to check for doneness - chicken is ready at 160º F.
    5. Remove chicken from the pot and shred/cut into bite-sized pieces. Add the five spice and brown sugar to the pot, stir well, then return chicken to the pot. Simmer 5-10 more minutes.
    6. Serve soup in a bowl with jasmine rice and a soft-boiled egg. Top with green onions if using.

     

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  4. Wednesday, February 4

    Coconut Chicken Tenders

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    When we were in New Hampshire for New Year’s Eve, Nate’s mom made some chicken tenders with coconut mixed into the breadcrumbs that were scrumptious.

    coconut chicken tenders from @janemaynard - easy and scrumptious!

    I’ve made the same thing a couple times since and I think I finally have these chicken tenders perfected, with just the right amount of salty and sweet and a bit of heat surrounding perfectly tender chicken. And, of course, coconut. I love anything savory with coconut involved. So good.

    coconut chicken tenders from @janemaynard - easy and scrumptious!

    There are a few steps to the recipe, but I promise it’s an easy recipe nonetheless. Also, I highly recommend pounding the chicken. You can skip the pounding, but it’s way better when you do it.

    coconut chicken tenders from @janemaynard - easy and scrumptious!

    Enjoy!

    Coconut Chicken Tenders
     
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    With a little bit of sweet and a little bit of heat, these oh-so-tender chicken tenders are coconut perfection!
    Author:
    Serves: 4 servings
    Ingredients
    • 1 pound chicken tenders
    • ¼ cup flour
    • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt (divided into ½ teaspoon and ¼ teaspoon)
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
    • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
    • ½ cup sweetened coconut
    • ¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (with ¼ teaspoon it's just a HINT of heat, ½ teaspoon has more heat but isn't crazy spicy)
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    Instructions
    1. Pound chicken tenders thin.
    2. Mix together flour and ¼ teaspoon salt and pour onto a plate.
    3. Beat the egg in a small bowl and whisk in the soy sauce.
    4. Mix together the panko bread crumbs, coconut, ½ teaspoon of the salt, cayenne pepper, and sugar together in a medium bowl.
    5. Heat butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Depending on the size of your pan and whether or not you are doubling the recipe, if you need to cook the chicken in batches, add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan for each batch of chicken you cook.
    6. Dip each chicken tender in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture. Place chicken tenders in the heated pan and cook chicken tenders on both sides until golden brown and chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.
    7. Remove chicken from pan and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to allow some of the oil to drip off.
    8. Serve hot. Sweet chili sauce is the perfect dipping sauce for this chicken! We used honey mustard dipping sauce as well and that was good, too!

     

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  5. Tuesday, January 27

    Easy Homemade Carnitas, My New Favorite!

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    I love carnitas. Well, let me clarify, I love good carnitas. I’ve had bad carnitas and, well, not only do I not love bad carnitas, when I’ve had bad carnitas, the experience was traumatic. But good carnitas? Well, good carnitas are downright irresistible. It’s definitely one of my favorite meat dishes.

    easy and delicious homemade carnitas with the crock pot from @janemaynard

    I live in Southern California where Mexican food is as common as a hamburger, so we’ve been eating carnitas for years, even pre-Chipotle. I think most people probably know about carnitas nowadays, but in case you are wondering what the heck I am talking about, carnitas (which translates as “little meats”) is a Mexican pork dish where the pork is cooked for a long time and comes out all tender and delicious like.

    easy and delicious homemade carnitas with the crock pot from @janemaynard

    As you now know, I love these ‘little meats’ a lot, but for some reason I never thought of making carnitas myself. But last week I was like, “Self, why don’t you make your own carnitas already?” And I was like, “Self, you are totally right.” And then I did. And it was awesome.

    easy and delicious homemade carnitas with the crock pot from @janemaynard

    Here’s the thing. The carnitas came out perfectly. So so so so good. And it was crazy easy to make. Also, pork shoulder is my new favorite cut of meat. I am for sure going to use it next time we do Korean BBQ beef tacos. Why was I so clueless about pork shoulder and the fact that homemade carnitas is basically the best thing EVER? And I call myself a food blogger!

    I had googled carnitas recipes and read through a whole bunch of them and was leaning towards Melissa D’Arabian’s recipe. Then Sara commented on my menu a few weeks ago specifically saying to try that recipe, even though I hadn’t mentioned it, so I figured it was meant to be. The recipe was fabulous and is definitely the one I will use from here on out. Maybe I should do some experimenting but, honestly, when something is this good why mess with it?

    5.0 from 2 reviews
    Pork Carnitas
     
    Prep time
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    From Melissa D'Arabian, but I re-wrote the directions to incorporate my notes and changes.
    Author:
    Serves: 6-8 people
    Ingredients
    • 2½ pounds bone-in pork shoulder (2 pounds boneless)
    • Salt (I like kosher, especially for the final step, but it's not necessary)
    • Black pepper (freshly ground if you have it, regular if you don't)
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 4 cloves of garlic, pushed through a garlic press or minced
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 onion, cut into quarters
    • 1 jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed, roughly chopped
    • 1 orange
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    Instructions
    1. Rinse and dry the pork shoulder. Salt and pepper liberally. Place pork shoulder in a slow cooker.
    2. Mix together the oregano, cumin, garlic and olive oil. Spread half of the oil mixture on one side of the pork shoulder, flip over and then rub the rest of the oil mixture on the other side of the pork shoulder.
    3. Place the onion and jalapeno in the slow cooker with the meat. I put some of the veggies on top and some around the edges.
    4. Cut the orange in half and then squeeze the juice into the slow cooker. Place the two orange halves in the slow cooker.
    5. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours (I cooked it on low for 8 hours). Flip the meat over halfway through cooking.
    6. Once the meat is super tender, turn off the slow cooker and remove the meat. Pull the meat apart with a fork, discarding bone if using bone-in shoulder.
    7. Heat vegetable oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Sprinkle pan liberally with more salt. Evenly layer the carnitas in the pan once the pan is hot and cook just one side until you get a nice crispy edge on the meat touching the pan.
    8. Remove from heat, stir together, do a little taste test and add a bit of salt if needed (probably not needed, but check anyway).
    9. Serve with fresh cilantro, salsa, hot sauce and tortillas. You could also add other items to your taco (rice, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, guac, etc), but Nate and I found that the carnitas were just so good it was better to have a simply-dressed taco.

     

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  6. Tuesday, January 20

    Crazy Easy Chicken Recipes: Savory Maple Chicken

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    I have another Crazy Easy Chicken recipe for you today! So far we have Creamy Lemon Pepper Chicken (which I posted last October) and Parmesan-Crusted Chicken. Today we’re going to go with a savory-sweet recipe, which happens to be my favorite flavor combo! (As in, don’t put any chocolate-covered pretzels anywhere near me or they will ALL disappear.)

    recipe for 3-ingredient savory maple chicken, so easy and so delicious! from @janemaynard

    We only need 3 ingredients for this recipe: chicken, maple syrup and soy sauce. That’s it, you’re done. I love how the saltiness of the soy sauce is a perfect balance to the maple syrup. It’s pretty much divine and so easy to throw together.

    recipe for 3-ingredient savory maple chicken, so easy and so delicious! from @janemaynard

    This chicken would be great on a salad, in a stir fry or maybe even just on its own with a big pile of creamy garlic mashed potatoes. Yeah, that sounds good to me. Do that.

    Savory Maple Chicken
     
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    With only 3 ingredients, this super easy chicken recipe is great for a weeknight and hits the salty-sweet spot!
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 1 part soy sauce
    • 2 parts REAL maple syrup
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. Stab the chicken breasts on both sides a TON with a fork.
    3. Mix together the soy sauce and maple syrup (you should be using twice as much maple syrup as soy sauce).
    4. Place chicken in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the chicken, turning the chicken several times to make sure it is coated in the sauce. (The little holes from your fork stabbing will help the chicken to take in some of that yummy sauce.)
    5. Bake for about 30 minutes, until inside of chicken is no longer pink and the internal temperature reaches 160º F. Don't overcook to keep it moist and tender.
    6. I didn't provide measurements because this is a CRAZY EASY recipe and you don't need them! For two chicken breasts, it will probably take about ¼ - ½ cup maple syrup and ⅛ - ¼ cup soy sauce, but that's just a guess. Adjust accordingly as you put the dish together and suit to your own tastes. If you want more sauce, whip up a little more sauce!

     

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  7. Tuesday, January 13

    Crazy Easy Chicken Recipes: Parmesan-Crusted Chicken

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    Today marks the beginning of a new miniseries here on the blog, Crazy Easy Chicken Recipes! I’m kind of a fan of the miniseries (see: Fargo and True Detective), so I figured I’d love it just as much if recipes were involved. ;)

    super easy and delicious parmesan-crusted chicken from @janemaynard

    For the first crazy easy chicken recipe we have parmesan-crusted chicken. This chicken comes out so tender, moist and flavorful you won’t believe it only uses 4 ingredients. And, yes, one of those ingredients is mayonnaise. It’s like magic. And I swear to you the chicken tastes nothing like mayonnaise when it comes out of the oven. (Apparently I’m on a cook-poultry-smothered-in-mayonnaise roll – it’s how we cooked our turkey this past Thanksgiving and it worked beautifully then, too!)

    recipe for crazy easy parmesan-crusted chicken from @janemaynard

    Simply serve this chicken with any sides you like and you’ve got dinner! Also, I recommend eating this chicken fresh out of the oven, but if you have leftovers, heat them up in the oven or toaster oven to get the coating crispy once again (microwave just doesn’t cut it in this case!).

    Crazy Easy Parmesan-Crusted Chicken
     
    Prep time
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    Only 4 ingredients and minimal effort yields tender, flavorful chicken perfect for a quick dinner!
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • Mayonnaise
    • Fresh, grated parmesan cheese
    • Breadcrumbs (I prefer Panko for the texture)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. Stab the chicken breasts on both sides a TON with a fork.
    3. Spread the chicken on both sides with a layer of mayonnaise.
    4. Sprinkle both sides liberally with fresh parmesan cheese, then dip both sides of the chicken in the breadcrumbs.
    5. Place chicken in a baking dish. Bake for about 30 minutes, until inside of chicken is no longer pink and the internal temperature reaches 160º F. Don't overcook to keep it moist and tender.
    6. I didn't provide measurements because this is a CRAZY EASY recipe and you don't need them! For two chicken breasts, it will probably take about ½ cup each of the mayo, parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, but that's simply a guess. Just use what you need based on the size and the amount of chicken breasts you use!

     

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  8. Monday, December 22

    Gram’s 4-Bean Salad

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    Big thanks to Libby’s for sponsoring today’s post.

    gram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynard

    I’m starting to sound like a broken record this month, but I really love how the food around the holidays reminds me of loved ones and years past. It’s definitely the time of year that I turn to beloved family recipes the most.

    gram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynard

    Nate’s Gram Maynard didn’t cook much, but she had a few signature recipes that were pretty much perfect. Like potato salad – it was simple, reliable and perfectly flavored. And her homemade hot fudge was to die for. Another one of her recipes that we loved was her marinated 4-bean salad. It appeared at every family gathering and, even though Gram is no longer with us, the bean salad is always still on the table when we all get together. Just seeing that bowl of beans instantly reminds me of Gram.

    gram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynard

    Thankfully we have the recipe and can recreate the magic whenever we want. I love this 4-bean salad because it is beyond easy to throw together, has just the right amount of sweetness and goes with pretty much anything. Plus, for our family, every bite reminds us of Gram, which is especially welcome around the holidays.

    gram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynardgram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynard

    Gram's Marinated 4-Bean Salad
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1¼ cups canned wax beans
    • 1¼ cup canned green beans
    • 1 cup canned kidney beans
    • ¾ cup canned chickpeas
    • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into rings
    • ½ cup chopped green pepper
    • ⅔ cup vinegar
    • ½ cup canola oil
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
    Instructions
    1. Drain al lof the canned beans
    2. In a large bowl combine the wax beans, green beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, onions and green peppers together.
    3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over the bean mixture.
    4. Stir, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
    5. Drain before serving.

     

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  9. Tuesday, December 9

    Buffalo Chicken Flatbread

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    This post is sponsored by Alouette. As always, opinions are 100% my own.

    Cheese and bread. It doesn’t get much better than that. No, seriously. I kind of don’t have control around these two delicious ingredients!

    buffalo chicken flatbread from @janemaynard

    Alouette recently got in touch with me about the new Flavorology promotion they are running with Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads that pretty much fulfills my desires to combine cheese and bread. Alouette has all kinds of wonderful cheeses that we love in our house. Anna can eat almost an entire container of crème de brie in one sitting! And Stonefire is my go-to naan bread, both for eating with Indian food and as pizza crust. Put the two together and I’m on board 100%.

    alouette cheese and stonefire naan

    Our most recent Flavorology creation was Buffalo Chicken Flatbread. Using the Stonefire original naan bread as a base, this buffalo chicken pizza is super easy to make and seriously delicious. It might be the holiday season, but it’s also football season and this recipe is perfect when watching the big game! (Go Stanford! Go Patriots! I {heart} Tom Brady! Andrew Luck is our Favoritest Person Ever!)

    buffalo chicken flatbread by @janemaynardbuffalo chicken flatbread from @janemaynard

    The Buffalo cheddar soft spreadable cheese by Alouette has a really nice kick to it – Nate was surprised how spicy it is! Next time you want something Bufallo chicken-y for football season, I highly recommend this pizza. It’s really easy to throw together. Like, make-it-during-a-commercial-break easy. Buffalo chicken flatbread makes for a great snack or appetizer but serves up equally as well at the lunch or dinner table.

    buffalo chicken flatbread from @janemaynard

    Keep an eye out next time you go to the store! For a limited time, you can get a Stonefire flatbread free when you buy any one Alouette cheese. Just look for coupons at participating retailers.

    Without further ado, the recipe!

    5.0 from 1 reviews
    Buffalo Chicken Flatbread
     
    Prep time
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    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Naan bread
    • Alouette Buffalo Cheddar Soft Spread
    • Cooked chicken
    • Mozzarella cheese
    • Blue cheese dressing
    • Hot sauce
    • Chopped green onions (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
    2. Spread a thin layer of Alouette Buffalo cheddar soft spread on the naan bread. Top with chicken and mozzarella cheese then bake for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.
    3. Drizzle with blue cheese dressing and hot sauce. Sprinkle chopped green onions on top if using.

     

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  10. Thursday, December 4

    Drunken Mushrooms + A Mexican Food Tour of the Mission with Rick Bayless

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    This post is sponsored by Negra Modelo. All opinions are 100% my own and I can’t wait to share this post with you!

    I am super excited for today’s post because it is filled to the brim with all kinds of wonderful, including a recipe for drunken mushrooms that are pretty much perfection.

    recipe for drunken mushrooms inspired by rick bayless by @janemaynard

    Two weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity of traveling to San Francisco for a Mexican food tour of the Mission District in San Francisco with Negra Modelo and Rick Bayless. You guys, Rick Bayless. We were walking around the streets of San Francisco with RICK BAYLESS. It was beyond cool and here’s the proof!

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #sponPhoto courtesy of Negra Modelo and Vanessa Bahmani

    Our first stop on the Negra Modelo Mexican food walking tour was a tortilleria. The tortillas were unreal, like no tortilla I’ve ever tasted. Rick Bayless talked about how most tortillas today are made from maseca, not from scratch using masa, but that tortillas made with masa are infinitely better. He’s totally right and, consequently, I have begun a hunt here in San Diego to find a tortilleria just like the one we visited in San Francisco (wish me luck!). Rick Bayless also told us that Chicago is the top producer of tortillas in the world. That’s right, the world, even above Mexico City, and that the abundance of great tortillas is one of the reasons he opened Frontera Grill in Chicago.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    The second stop on the tour was a Mexican butcher. It was beyond fascinating and we learned that the way Mexican butchers cut up meat is totally different than American butchers. We also learned the history of carne asada in the United States. That’s a whole blog post of its own, we’ll have to chat over coffee so I can share that story with you.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    The last stop on the walking food tour was La Reyna Mexican bakery. We had the chance to sample all kinds of sweet goodness and it was endearing to have the grandson of the original owner tell us all about the bakery.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    Once the tour was done we attended an after party, complete with Negra Modelo, wonderful Mexican food and more fascinating information from Rick Bayless. I swear we could have sat there and listened to him talk for 6 hours straight and have been enraptured the entire time. Here are a few of the Rick Bayless gems I walked away with:

    • Rick Bayless never uses jalapenos because they are completely unpredictable when it comes to the level of heat. He relies most heavily on poblanos in his cooking.
    • Rick Bayless doesn’t understand green bell peppers and I am, and always have been, in complete agreement!
    • If you want to start cooking with dried chiles, ancho and guajillo are good to start with and go well together.
    • We also learned about the confusion that is ancho and pasilla chiles…but it would take me a whole post to tell you about it. We can talk about that over coffee as well, the same day we talk carne asada. ;)
    • Rick Bayless uses Negra Modelo beer in his restaurant, including in ice cream! He likes that Negra Modelo is a medium-bodied beer with slow-roasted caramel malts, which yields a soft sweetness that works well in cooking. Which leads us to today’s recipe…

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #sponPhoto with Rick Bayless courtesy of Irvin Lin from Eat the Love

    During the party I had the chance to chat with Rick along with my friends Anita and Annelies. While we were talking I asked him what his favorite thing to cook with Negra Modelo is. He answered by saying that if a chef ever tells you that they have a favorite food, that they are probably not a very good chef because true chefs love all food and flavors. :) Despite his lack of a favorite, he did tell us how to make really wonderful mushrooms.

    drunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynarddrunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynard

    So, here is my recipe for Drunken Mushrooms, as inspired by Rick Bayless. These mushrooms really are fantastic, with layers of flavor that are subtle and all play beautifully with one another. Rick said he uses these mushooms in queso flameado, which I am sure is amazing. But I am also confident that these mushrooms would be delicious topped on burgers, chicken, steak and pizza. In fact, I made pizza with olive oil, bacon and drunken mushrooms for dinner last night and it was scrumptious.

    drunken mushrooms recipe from @janemaynarddrunken mushroom bacon pizza from @janemaynard

    5.0 from 2 reviews
    Drunken Mushrooms
     
    This recipe was inspired by tips shared with me by Rick Bayless.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Bacon drippings from a 10-ounce package of bacon
    • 8 ounces white or baby bell mushrooms, sliced
    • ¼ cup Negra Modelo beer
    • salt and pepper
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh epazote or cilantro
    Instructions
    1. Heat bacon drippings over medium heat. Add mushrooms to the pan and cook until they are about half-way cooked.
    2. Raise heat to medium-high and add the beer, cooking and stirring until mushrooms are cooked through and most of the liquid has cooked off. Season with salt and pepper to tasted (a few pinches of kosher salt and a shake of pepper should do it).
    3. Remove from heat and stir in the epazote or cilantro.

    drunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynard

    Big thank you to Negra Modelo and to Rick Bayless for spending an afternoon with us! It is a day I will not soon forget! Be sure to visit the Negra Modelo site for even more Rick Bayless recipes!

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