Chicken and Waffle Melts

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So…yeah…that’s a chicken and waffle with melted cheese all up on it. I made these rosemary-laced waffles with a decidedly savory slant for a project I was working on for Bisquick that didn’t end up getting used…and I couldn’t hold out on you and just let it whither away on my desktop. I had to share it! I mean, it’s crispy chicken and rosemary waffles meets cheesy melt, with a little sweet and spicy condiment, and it’s real good.

I’m a firm believer that most things are better with cheese. It’s just science, ya know? The waffles can be made with whatever your favorite, basic waffle recipe is with the addition of a heap of rosemary. It makes for a savory, herbal waffle that pairs perfectly with the super-crispy, Panko-crusted chicken. There’s a maple drizzle that’s spiced up with tangy Tabasco…it’s pretty amazing as a dipper for chicken fingers and makes total sense with this savory waffle concoction. The chives bring a little savory bite and the cheese does it’s magical, melty cheese thing. This crazy dish was intended to bring together breakfast and dinner to make everyones favorite meal: brinner! I think it works for a savory + sweet + cheesy + spicy breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or brinner…it’s a versatile one.

Chicken and Waffle Melts

Since these waffles were intended for a project using Bisquick, they are made with the mix. I have not included a recipe for the waffles here, but you should use whatever waffle recipe is your stand-by and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh rosemary.  

4-6 rosemary waffles

1/2 lb. chicken breast cut into chunks

1 tablespoon flour

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

5 dashes of hot sauce, like tabasco

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup flour

salt and pepper

canola oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

as many dashes of hot sauce (tabasco) as you like

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons chopped chives

Mix the chicken with the 1 tablespoon of flour to coat. Place the egg, milk, and hot sauce in a shallow, wide dish and whisk to combine. Place the panko, 1/4 cup flour, a big pinch of salt and pepper in another shallow, wide dish and mix to combine. Dip the flour coated chicken pieces in egg mixture, and dredge through the panko mixture to coat. Set on a plate and allow to rest for about 10 minutes so the breading adheres well to the chicken. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with about 1 inch of canola oil. Once the oil is hot, shallow fry the chicken in batches until cooked through and golden on all sides. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Preheat your oven’s broiler.

In a small bowl whisk together the maple and hot sauce. Place waffles on a baking sheet and layer with chicken pieces, and a generous amount of cheese. Place under the broiler and cook until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from over, place on plates and sprinkle with chopped chives. Drizzle with the spicy maple and eat!

 

So, this is the New Year…

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Dear 2011,

It’s been fun, strange, and terrifying, but most of all, exciting.

It’s been a year of change and discovery.

Thanks for everything.

Dear 2012,

I’m not big on resolutions, I feel like they’re just a set-up for failure. So, I’m keeping my goals for the year simple:

patience, patience, patience. learn some. 

eat a few new vegetables

be nicer to my body

get back into arts/crafts

learn to temper chocolate

try to remember that comparison kills joy

I’m looking forward to this new year. Let’s get into it.

Dear Friends,

I can’t even begin to get into how much your comments, and the fact that this little blog is even on your radar, mean to me. It’s a big, bad world of blogging and there’s a ton of things to look at, read, and be inspired by. Your support means the world.

I thank you from the deepest reaches of my little, ol’ heart. Truly.

So, to cap of 2011, I say we have a drink. I know many of us will be popping the corks off of some bubbly tonight and toasting to a brand new year with the ones we love the most.

My favorite guy and I will be staying in, after a long and much needed trip back home for the holidays. We’ll be lounging and sipping these cocktails with our pups. Soda water makes it bubbly, rosemary + ginger syrup bring aromatic, herbal sweetness, there’s a little squeeze of lime for some tang, and gin makes it all boozey and right.

Cheers!!

XO Cindy

Rosemary-Ginger Gin Cocktail

makes 1 drink

ice

2 ounces gin

1 tablespoon rosemary-ginger syrup

1 lime wedge

soda water to fill

Fill a rocks glass with ice and pour in the gin, syrup, squeeze the lime over the top, fill the glass with soda water and stir to combine. Toast and drink.

Rosemary-Ginger Syrup

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

2 inches ginger root, peeled and sliced

2-3 sprigs rosemary

Add sugar and water to a small saucepan and stir to combine. Add ginger and rosemary, heat to dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Allow ginger and rosemary to steep in the syrup as it cools to room temperature. Once cooled, remove ginger and rosemary (strain if needed) and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Herbed Turkey Burgers with Goat Cheese and Cranberry Sauce

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Guess what?

I pretty much make dinner 7 nights a week. For real. It’s not always fancy, or meaty, or exciting in the least. Sometimes it’s just whatever is wasting away in the crisper drawer combined with rice, sweet or regular potatoes, pasta, or tortillas. I just love a carb-y vehicle to drive the food home (in this case, home is my mouth).

I take the weekends as a cue to make something fun and exciting. I test out recipes I’ve had pinned, bookmarked, or have schemed up. A couple of weekends ago, it was rich and delicious chicken pot pie. The next weekend, fried chicken sandwiches with extra pickles. This past weekend, it was these amazeballs turkey burgers.

Yeah, man…they were amazeballs.  That wasn’t even a typo.

I mean, it’s a burger. We’re burger fanatics in this house. It doesn’t really matter what kind of patty it is…we’re totally into bean burgers, as well as the classic beef, and we’ve even been known to love a pork or chicken burger. Ground turkey is always a lean and easy to find option, but it can be dry and bland.

I try to jazz  up  turkey burgers with lots of herbs (sage & rosemary) and aromatics (onions & garlic), and ensure juiciness with a little greek yogurt. Then, there’s the bun and the toppings, which cannot be ignored. In this case it was my favorite Light Brioche bun, some soft goat cheese, lemony cranberry sauce, spinach (for some green), and some grainy mustard. It was pretty much Thanksgiving on a burger and it was love.

What kind of burger are you in love with?

Herbed Turkey Burgers with Goat Cheese and Cranberry Sauce

This burger is a meal in and of itself, but it’s totally appropriate to serve with a side of sweet potato fries.

Cranberry Sauce

12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries

1/2-3/4 cup sugar (to taste)

zest of 1 lemon

juice of one lemon

3/4 cup water

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and cook until cranberries burst, give off their juice, and thicken (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve if desired. Pour into a heatproof jar and allow to cool. Refrigerate. Will thicken as it cools.

Turkey Burger

1/2 medium onion, diced fine

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh sage

2 teaspoons minced, fresh rosemary

1 pound lean, ground turkey

1 egg

2 tablespoons greek yogurt

3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

salt and pepper to taste

goat cheese, grainy mustard, and spinach leaves to serve

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, sweat onions and garlic. Once onions become translucent, add sage and rosemary and saute another minute. Do not brown or the garlic may burn. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl combine ground turkey, egg, yogurt, breadcrumbs, and cooled onion/herb mixture. Mix gently to combine. Divide meat into 4 sections and shape into patties (about 1/4-1/2 inch thick), making a shallow well in the center. Refrigerate patties for 20 minutes to firm up.

Heat a heavy skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle patties liberally with salt and pepper, cook, flipping only once, for about 4 minutes on each side. Top with goat cheese, add a splash of water to the pan (1 tablespoon is good) and cover until liquid evaporates. This will soften the cheese, but not melt it since goat cheese doesn’t really melt. Place burgers on toasted buns with mustard and spinach, top with cranberry sauce.

Light Wheat Brioche Buns

I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat and regular whole wheat flour. You can use whatever you like or just use bread flour.

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

 

3/4 cup warm water

1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons warm milk

2 teaspoons dry yeast

2 tablespoons honey

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups bread flour

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

poppy seeds or sesame seeds for sprinkling

1 egg + i tablespoon cream for egg wash

Measure out warm water and milk into a glass measuring cup. Stir in honey and then yeast. Allow to rest 5 minutes until foamy.

Lightly beat the egg in a small dish and set aside.

In a stand mixer, whisk together flours and salt. Rub butter into flour mixture with your fingertips. Mix in the yeast and water mixture, as well as the egg. Knead with the dough hook for 5 minutes. The dough will pull from the sides of the bowl and form a ball, the dough ball should be tacky to the touch. Rise, covered with plastic for 1-2 hours until doubled in bulk.

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll into balls. Place the dough portions on a parchemnet lined baking sheet and cover loosely, allow to rise another hour.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Whisk together egg and cream, brush the tops of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds. Bake buns in the center of the oven for 15 minutes. The buns should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Allow to cool on a cooling rack. Buns can be baked and frozen in a resealable plastic bag for use later.  Just defrost for 1-2 hours on the counter, or overnight in the refrigerator.