Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bar Applications + Basketball = Bar Food Party!

As my previous post pointed out I finally finished my bar application! Since this called for a celebration and there was good basketball on last night I decided to have a very casual basketball watching party complete with some of my bar food favorites -- I have to thank Rachael Ray for the idea behind this recipe because it was inspired by the 30 Minute Meals I was watching before I started cooking! I made buffalo chicken sandwiches and baked potato skins!

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches:
1 package boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can tomato sauce (the 12 oz size)
3 tablespoons hot sauce (any kind)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons hot chili oil
2-3 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
2 teaspoons each of:
Emeril's essence, Sage, Garlic, Salt, Pepper
Lettuce leaves
Red onion slices
Swiss cheese slices
Hamburger Buns
Ranch Sauce (see recipe below)

In a large dutch oven add the 2 teaspoons of essence, sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Add some water and the chicken breasts. Add enough water to cover the chicken. Cook over med. heat until the chicken is done. Place in freezer or fridge to cool. In the meantime in a med. size saucepan add the tomato sauce, butter, hot sauce, garlic, chili oil, chili powder, crushed red pepper flakes, honey, salt and pepper. Heat over med. low heat. Taste and adjust seasonings. When the chicken has cooled shred it with your hands and place it in the sauce. Mix until all of the chicken is coated. Adjust seasonings and add a little bit of the chicken broth created from cooking the chicken if there is not enough sauce. Serve on the hamburger buns topped with the cheese, onions, ranch sauce and lettuce.

P.S. you can freeze the chicken cooking liquid so that you'll have some chicken broth ready to use when you need it.

Ranch Sauce (this is used both as a topping for the sandwiches and as a dip for the potato skins)
1 medium size container sour cream
1 package ranch dressing mix
2-3 tablespoons mayo
1 handful fresh cilantro finely chopped
2 teaspoons Emeril's essence
2 teaspoons pepper

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well.

Potato Skins:
4 baking potatoes rinsed well
1 package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
8 slices bacon crumbled
1 bunch green onions chopped

Preheat oven to 400. Cut the potatoes in half width wise and then cut the halves in half length wise so that you get potato slices that look like potato skin's you'd get at a restaurant. Place on a greased cookie sheet skin side down and bake until the potatoes are soft (about 30 min.). Remove from oven and allow to cool.

In the meantime cook the bacon. Once the potatoes have cooled remove some of the potato meat with a spoon and reserve for use later in the week. Make sure to leave enough of the potato meat so that your skins are sturdy.

Return the potato skins to the cookie sheet skin side down and drizzle with olive oil. Salt each skin and return to oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and add the bacon and cheese. Cover with aluminium foil and bake until the cheese melts. Top with the chopped green onions and serve with the ranch sauce.


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