6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1/4-1/3 cup hot pepper sauce
1 ½ tablespoons cider vinegar
1 0.6 ounce envelope dry Italian salad dressing mix
1 pound chicken tenders, rinsed and patted dry
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Wooden skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes to avoid burning)
Purchased blue cheese dressing
In a heavy saucepan, combine butter, hot sauce, cider vinegar and dressing mix. Stir over low heat until smooth. Taste and add more hot sauce if desired.
Place chicken tenders in a large bowl; drizzle with vegetable oil. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Thread each chicken tender onto a wooden skewer. Grill on an oiled rack until cooked through and golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately brush generously with Buffalo Sauce. Serve with blue cheese dressing for dipping.
Make this chili several days in advance. If you can find “fire roasted” tomatoes, try them- they add a nice, smoky flavor. Cool before refrigerating, and then reheat just before serving.
Three Bean Chili with Sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 pounds Italian sausages
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, roughly diced
2 jalapeno chilies, seeded, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes in puree
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15 1/4-ounce kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 15-ounce can cannellini, drained, rinsed
1 15- to 16-ounce can black beans, drained, rinsed
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Chopped fresh cilantro
Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add Italian sausages and brown on all sides, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to plate. Add chopped onion, red bell pepper and jalapenos to pan and sauté 6-8 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin and stir until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and beans. Simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors. Cut sausage into ½-inch thick slices; add to chili and simmer until cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Spoon into bowls, top with sour cream and cilantro and serve.
What’s better than a make-ahead sandwich? This sandwich needs 24 hours in the fridge. Make sure to press firmly and wrap it tightly.
1 cup fresh basil leaves
½ cup pitted kalamata olives
¼ cup drained capers
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
½ cup olive oil
1 round 2-pound loaf French (or sourdough) bread
¾ pound thinly sliced salami
¾ pound thinly sliced provolone
1 16- ounce jars roasted red peppers, drained
1 large sweet onion, very thinly sliced
6 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
In a food processor or blender, finely chop the basil, olives, capers and garlic; add olive oil and mix until well blended. Season with salt and pepper (can be made 1 day ahead)
Cut bread in half horizontally. Remove enough of the soft inside to leave a 1 -inch shell. Spread half the olive mixture on the bottom. Layer with half the salami, cheese, peppers, onions and tomatoes. Repeat with remaining salami, cheese, peppers, onions and tomatoes. Spread the remaining olive mixture over the inside of the top of the bread shell. Press firmly onto filling. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. To serve, cut into wedges.
These tiny brownies are a perfectly portable dessert. The little waxed liners are available at gourmet and craft stores. The Brownie Bites can be made up to 2 days ahead. Store, in an airtight container, at room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Makes 36 mini brownies
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
2 sticks unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large eggs
¾ plus 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Confectioners sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line mini muffin pans with waxed paper liners; spray liners with cooking spray.
In a large microwave safe bowl, combine butter and chocolate; heat at 50% power for 2-3 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Stir in eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture until just until blended.
Spoon batter into a large Ziploc bag. Snip one corner off the bag and squeeze batter into muffin liners, filling to the top. Bake in middle of oven 18-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out coated with fudgy crumbs. Cool 5 minutes in tins and turn out onto racks. Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired.