Growing up both my mama and grammy made a lot of recipes that they found on the side of soup cans and boxes. Many were quick and easy fixes, others inexpensive meals and some became family favorites.
One of the recipes that really stood out to me was one my mama would make with refrigerator rolls that was filled with chicken and bran cereal. Considering that was probably around 40 years ago, I am not sure where she came across the recipe. So I tried to recreate it from memory.
To start, I knew I needed it make it healthier than store bought refrigerator rolls so I opted to make my whole wheat biscuits and roll them thin and cut them a little larger than regular biscuits.
The filling has shredded chicken that I boiled in chicken broth for nearly 2 hours over a high simmer until it was falling apart. I shred the chicken and add diced onions, bran cereal which adds extra fiber, chopped walnuts and seasonings including sage and thyme.
I take the biscuit rounds and moisten the edges with water then add the filling and fold over the biscuit and seal the edges. They then go onto a greased baking sheet and into the oven.
While the hand pies are baking, I make the white gravy by first forming a roux with some canola oil and whole wheat flour. I slowly whisk in milk, chicken bouillon for some added flavor and fresh cracked black peppercorns. I continue to whisk the gravy until it thickens.
Once the hand pies are removed from the oven and slightly cooled, I place them on a serving platter and spoon the white gravy over the top and garnish with some additional bran cereal, walnuts and fresh parsley.
These can be made larger if you would prefer, like a calzone and served for dinner. In the smaller size they can still be served as a meal and make a great appetizer which you can serve the gravy on the side. They would also be great at brunch as well.
- 1-1/2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
- 1/2 cup bran cereal
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. rubbed sage
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1-1/2 cups self rising flour
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoons grass fed cow butter
- 1-1/3 cups lowfat buttermilk
- nonstick cooking spray
- extra flour for dusting
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tsp. chicken bouillon (powdered or base)
- 1 tsp. cracked black peppercorns
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 cup water
- additional bran cereal, walnuts and parsley for garnish.
- In a large bowl combine all ingredients for the filling, set aside.
- In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients, you can do this by hand or can do in standing mixer with paddle attachment.
- Gradually add buttermilk a 1/3 of a cup at a time and work into dry ingredients, still using the paddle attachment to standing mixer at low speed or manually with your hands.
- Keep mixing until dough forms a ball and it is not sticky to the touch, add extra whole wheat flour a tablespoon at a time if needed.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out dough to just over 1/4" thick.
- Using a large biscuit cutter or glass about 4 to 5 inches in diameter and cut 10 biscuits.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Lay biscuit rounds on work surface.
- Using fingers and spread water onto edges of biscuit.
- Spoon chicken mixture onto one half of the biscuit, stretch and pull other half of biscuit over filling and press edges to seal.
- Place hand pie onto baking sheet treated with cooking spray.
- Repeat until all biscuits are stuffed.
- Spray tops of biscuits with cooking spray.
- Place in preheated oven and bake 20 minutes until golden brown.
- While the hand pies are baking make the gravy.
- Combine oil and flour in skillet over medium heat to form a roux.
- Gradually whisk in milk.
- Add chicken bouillon and cracked black pepper, continue to whisk continuously until thickened. Once thickened, remove from heat.
- Spoon gravy over hand pies, garnish with some additional bran cereal, chopped walnuts and parsley if desired.
- If serving as an appetizer you can alternatively serve the gravy on the side for dipping.
- For making shredded chicken, one large boneless and skinless chicken bread low boiled for over an hour on the stove, cooled can be shredded with your hands or two forks. It is important to cook it low and slow to make it super tender to shred.
Pub cheese, also known as beer cheese, is a spreadable, pungent cheese that is always a crowd pleaser. While the name may imply that it is of Irish origins (pub), it actually has its origins in Kentucky where they hold an annual beer cheese festival.
Most pub cheeses have sharp cheddar, beer and garlic with a bite of cayenne. Other ingredients can be horseradish, dry mustard, chives and Worcestershire sauce. Continue reading “Pub Cheese”
Crowd Pleasers: Taquitos
Taquitos are a Mexican treat and are also known by other names; taco dorados, rolled tacos and flautas, although flautas tends to be larger in size and sometimes made with flour tortillas. The name taquito is Spanish for small taco while they may be small in size they are not small in flavor.
These are great for game day, parties and celebrations, like Cinco de Mayo. You serve them warm with salsa, hot sauce, guacamole, ranch dressing, sour cream, etc.
Because everyone has different preferences for fillings, I have made four variations of this recipe which will yield 15 taquitos per flavor. If you want all of them the same then you will need to multiply the recipe by four, or if you want half and half then multiply the recipe by two, and so on. Continue reading “Crowd Pleasers: Taquitos”
Baked Potatoes ~ Two Ways
I should call this “waste not, want not” which simply means, wise use of one’s resources will keep one from poverty. Although that may be a little overkill, who wants to waste food? Remember what our parents told us of the starving children in other countries? Sadly nowadays it happens in our own country. That cast aside, these two recipes share ingredients so nothing goes to waste, your mama would be proud.
First off is a pub and bar favorite, potato skins. Potato skins are like a small version of a fully loaded baked potato; cheese, green onions and uncured bacon with plain Greek yogurt to dip. Yes, Greek yogurt, while you could use sour cream why do it when Greek yogurt is better for you and has probiotics that as Dr. Travis Stork (The Doctors) will tell you, is good for you little buddies, the microbes in your gut and it tastes the same if not better. My 20 year old son didn’t even know it was yogurt, make it your little secret. It doesn’t just have to be an appetizer or snack, it makes for a good for a lunch or dinner too, maybe served with a side salad. Continue reading “Baked Potatoes ~ Two Ways”