BACON-WRAPPED CHICKEN SLIDERS

I recently picked up “The Burger” cookbook (published by Love Food) at my local Barnes & Noble and was so inspired by the recipes I decided to treat my guys to a version of one of their burgers every other night for the next 10 nights. With a bit of adaptation, I turned their “Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Burgers” (featuring pine nuts–yes!) into lovely little sliders. And my guys? Thrilled–and oh-so-filled!

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Sliders

1/3 cup pine nuts

2/3 cup grated swiss cheese

1 cup diced red onion

1/4 cup parsley

1 lb ground chicken breast

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

8 strips bacon (turkey bacon is a nice substitute if you want to cut out some fat)

1 tbsp olive oil

8 small crusty rolls (I used Artisan’s “Asagio and Romano cheese Focaccia” rolls)

1 cup baby spinach

1 medium-sized tomato, sliced thin

Dijon mustard

Mayonnaise

1) To large mixing bowl, add pine nuts, swiss cheese, onion, parsley, ground chicken, salt, and pepper; mix well and place in refrigerator 1 hour

2) Shape chicken mixture into 8 small patties (1/2″-3/4″ thick); put flour in shallow bowl and lightly coat both sides of patties in flour; wrap each patty in 1 strip of bacon, overlapping on back side

3) To large skillet add olive oil and heat to medium high; place bacon-wrapped patties (overlapped side down) in skillet and cook approximately 5 minutes each side until just cooked through; remove from heat

4) Assemble sliders as follows: bottom half of roll, spinach, tomato, bacon-wrapped chicken patty, top half of roll; serve with mustard, mayonnaise and whatever other condiments you like; enjoy!

Servings: 4

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PORK TENDERLOIN-SUGAR SNAP PEA-HOISIN KABOBS

Goodness, my guys like kabobs. Yes, they do. And when they’re made with the ever tender pork tenderloin, sugar snap peas, and yum-yum Hoisin sauce… I snag one, stand back, and watch the rest disappear. Clean plates galore!

Pork Tenderloin Sugar Snap Pea Kabobs1

Pork Tenderloin Sugar Snap Pea Kabobs2

1/2 cup Hoisin sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1-3/4 lb pork tenderloins cut into 1/2″ to 3/4″ disks

8 oz sugar snap peas (I bought frozen and thawed)

4 scallions, cut into 1-1/2″ pieces

10 bamboo skewers

1) Preheat outdoor grill

2) Soak bamboo skewers in water (to prevent them from becoming overly charred during grilling)

3) In small bowl, mix Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and ground ginger; set aside

4) Thread pork, snap peas, and scallions on soaked bamboo skewers (as pictured: 1 pork, 2 snap peas, 1 scallion, 2 snap peas, repeated once, and finished with a third piece of pork–this resulted in 10 kabobs, though number may vary)

5) Grill kabobs 4-5 minutes each side until pork is just done; brush kabobs with Hoisin sauce on both sides and cook each side an additional 1 minute; remove from grill and serve with any left over Hoisin sauce; Chomp, chomp!

Servings: 4

HOISIN CHICKEN AND PINEAPPLE GRILLED SANDWICHES

For Sunday brunch, I made this recipe as sandwiches and quesadillas. The quesadillas were quite good, but the sandwiches on sourdough…scrumptious! Junior said, “Mom, these are the best grilled cheese sandwiches ever!”

Hoisin Chicken & Pineapple Grilled Sandwiches

1/2 pineapple, cored and cut into wedges

1-1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins (about 12 pieces)

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1/4 cup hoisin sauce thinned with 1/8 cup water

8 slices sourdough bread

3/4 cup monterey Jack cheese

20 jalapeno slices

3/4 cup cheddar cheese

4 tbsp butter

1) In grill pan, grill wedges of pineapple on medium-high heat, 1-2 minutes each side; remove from heat; slice into 1/4″ pieces and set aside

2) Lay chicken tenderloins in pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill on medium-high heat 2 minutes; turn and baste cooked side with hoisin sauce (not thinned); grill 2 minutes, turn and baste with remaining hoisin sauce (not thinned); remove from heat

3) Assemble each sandwich in this order: sourdough bread slice, monterey Jack cheese, chicken tenderloins, pineapple, jalapenos, drizzle of thinned hoisin sauce, cheddar cheese, sourdough bread slice

4) In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; grill sandwiches on both sides, being careful when flipping (chicken is inclined to mutiny); when cheese is melted, serve!

Servings: 4

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 04/01/12

CHICKEN AND PINEAPPLE KABOBS

These Chicken and Pineapple Kabobs are easy and perfect for those who want to get a jump on barbecue season. Senior and Junior too were over-the-moon happy with cleaning every last chunk from their plates. Oh, I was too.

Chicken and Pineapple Kabobs

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tbsp honey

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

3 large, boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ thick chunks

1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1″ thick wedges

12 skewers (I used bamboo)

spray olive oil

1) Preheat grill

2) To small saucepan, add ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, and mustard; stirring often, bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes; remove from heat and set aside (reserve 3/4 cup of sauce for serving at the table)

3) Alternating chicken and pineapple chunks, thread on skewers; lightly spray chicken-pineapple skewers with olive oil spray; place skewers on grill and grill about 5 minutes, turn, brush grilled back sides with sauce, and grill additional 5 minutes; turn and brush newly grilled side with sauce and grill another minute or so until chicken is cooked through; serve with reserved sauce and, possibly, a nice wild rice; yum!

Servings: 4

CHILI-LIME AND 3-CHEESE GRILLED CORN

Not long ago, I served this corn with Tamale Pie and it went over big with my guys (though I used finely crumbled feta cheese which I do like better than the 3-cheese blend used this go-around). When I made the corn this time, I served it with artichokes for a nearly-vegetarian dinner. A delicious new way to eat this juicy, crunchy veggie!

4 ears fresh corn, husks and silk removed (or frozen corn–thaw first)

1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise (I used Kraft reduced fat with olive oil)

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp lime juice

olive oil cooking spray

1/2 cup shredded 3-cheese blend (Parmesan, Romano, Asiago–or feta)

1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro

1) Microwave corn on high, two ears at a time, for about 6 minutes, turning once during microwaving

2) Meanwhile, in small bowl combine mayonnaise, chili powder, and lime juice; set aside

3) Heat grill pan over medium heat and lightly spray with cooking spray; place corn on grill pan and, turning a few times, cook 3-4 minutes until you have pretty grill marks; remove corn from grill pan

4) Using a pastry brush, brush mayonnaise-chili mixture over corn cobs; sprinkle with cheese and cilantro; serve at once

Servings: 4

BACON-FETA BURGERS ON AVOCADO-TOMATO BED

Here I am when where I should be is at the tail-end of a Word document wrapping up a crucial scene in the last book in my new series. But how could I resist posting this recipe? Not that I’m much of a burger muncher, but toss out the bun and replace with slices of juicy tomato and avocado, flavor beef with Worcestershire and onions, and top with bacon and feta… Well, yeah, Christian and Gaenor can wait on their resolution–you know…simmer a bit 🙂

2 eggs

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup diced onion

1-1/2 lb lean ground beef

4 slices turkey bacon, cut in half

1 avocado, sliced thin

1 large tomato, sliced into 4 thick pieces

4 tbsp feta cheese

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2) In large mixing bowl, lightly beat eggs; beat in salt, pepper, and Worcestershire; add onion and ground beef and mix well to combine; form into 4 patties; set aside

3) Heat large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat; add bacon and cook 2-3 minutes each side until just crisp; remove bacon from skillet and drain on paper towel (leave bacon grease in skillet for burgers)

4) Add burgers to skillet; sear each side 3-4 minutes

5) Place skillet in oven and cook burgers 8-10 minutes for medium well (adjust according to preferred doneness)

6) Meanwhile, place avocado slices in center of each of 4 plates and top with tomato slices

7) Remove skillet from oven and criss-cross each burger with two bacon halves; top with 1 tbsp feta cheese; return to oven and cook additional 1-2 minutes; carefully center burgers atop tomatoes and serve with side of your choosing (yes, I went easy on myself with the pepperoncini); serve and munch away!

Servings: 4