Appetizer

Arancini

First day of Spring my ass – it is currently 18’F in my neck of the woods this morning and there is a possibility of snow showers tonight into tomorrow morning. Albeit it is sunny out but who wants to go and do anything out there wearing your winter coat, hat and mittens. Don’t get me wrong I see SO many things I want to get out there and do. My yard needs it’s normal debris pick up and I am already thinking about what and where I will be planting my garden. I do see a few of my garlic fronds peaking up from the straw but even they look frightened to come out from under their covers. Yesterday morning I did order a couple of over the railing planters where I intend to plant my herbs so they are closer to my kitchen; so that has excited me a bit.

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My morning rant is over, my cup of tea has been replenished the fam is home and my husband made biscuits for breakfast life is good!

We are leftover people; there I said it. I know there a many people out there that hate; I know that is a strong word so maybe despise might work better here. But I think sometimes you might not know what you are missing. There are so many possibilities here, you can eat them as is or reinvent them into something else.

This past week I had plenty of opportunities. Sometimes I think I make too many different meals during the week just saying. I had some leftover roasted chicken, my son must have made burritos at some point because there was leftover refried beans. So Monday night I turned into a quesadilla for me and my husband along side some sour cream, salsa and we even had some leftover guacamole 10 minute dinner voila’.

 

Last night I turned some leftover cheese sauce into Mac and Cheese and reheated some leftover chili and served them alongside some baby back ribs. My most favorite leftover reinvent was that I was finally able to make Arancini; which is an Italian rice ball. I have been wanting to try making them for well over a year now. Every time I think there is enough for leftovers by the time I go to make them, someone has eaten all my leftover risotto.

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I also made my first souffle it was spinach cheddar and also delicious

 

They were well worth the wait!!!

 

Arancini

When you make risotto and if you haven’t yet what are you waiting for? Double the batch and once everyone has enough for dinner; take the rest of it and place it on a greased sheet pan to cool; place it in the fridge to dry out overnight.

Leftover dried risotto
Sweet Italian sausage
Mozzarella
Breadcrumbs
Oil for frying
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup Parmigiani-Reggiano cheese grated
Pinch Kosher salt
Marinara sauce

I took my favorite sweet Italian sausage with the casing removed crumbled, browned and placed on a paper towel to soak up some of the grease. Once cooled I added it in a large bowl to the risotto along with the eggs and Parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt and mixed well.

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Using wet hands, it makes the rice easier to work with. Making the balls about the size of a golf ball roughly 2 tablespoons; with your thumb create an indent and place a small piece of mozzarella in the middle and rework the rice around it.

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Place the balls on the sheet pan and place in the fridge for about an hour, or if you are impatient like me I just rolled them in the breadcrumbs and fried them in 350’ oil till browned roughly 2-3 minutes.

Serve immediately with your favorite marinara sauce.
They were a huge hit and I cannot wait to make them again!

Easy Delicious Chicken Salad

I have a full time job and a pretty active social life and I tend to play just as hard as I work. Sometimes it’s hard to fit everything and everyone into my schedule. I am a list maker and a calendar keeper; it’s the only way I am able to keep organized. For as long as I can remember there has been a calendar on my desk at home and at work and if you had an appointment or activity it needed to be on the calendar or it wasn’t going to happen.

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We had book club after work and the group was doing a potluck. I had taken out some chicken to make at some point during the week and just didn’t get to it; so in the morning; before work; I chopped, seasoned and cooked the chicken as there would not be time after work to cook and let the chicken cool before book club. I planned on making chicken salad wraps or finger sandwiches whatever I can put together pretty quickly. Not only is this is very easy with very few ingredients; I usually have everything on hand AND it is THE best chicken salad I have ever had. Bonus is the chicken is already seasoned and SO delicious that sometimes I just leave some chicken pieces in the fridge and everyone; mostly my guys; find it very hard to not grab a piece; I will admit on a few occasions where I couldn’t get to making the salad for a couple of days and when I finally do have a few minutes, there isn’t any chicken left.

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This chicken is so yummy that you can also just add it to a tossed or Caesar salad, or to an Alfredo or even a marinara sauce as the protein.

I don’t use specific amounts when I make the chicken, I adjust all the ingredients to how much chicken I have on hand – don’t let that discourage you from trying this.

Boneless skinless Chicken breast or tenders – I took tenders out thinking they were breasts – label label label
Adobo seasoning – generously over both sides of chicken
Fresh cracked black pepper as liked
Garlic powder a dusting is fine
Olive Oil for the pan
Mayo just enough to your taste – add a little at a time, you can always add more, you can’t take any out if you add too much
1 stick Celery chopped medium to small pieces
Chives or Scallions to taste

Cut chicken into small pieces, season chicken with Adobo, pepper and garlic powder. Heat skillet; add olive oil and pieces, do not touch chicken until it browns and releases from the pan on its own. Turn and do the same, make sure the chicken is cook through but not over cooked.

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Let cool and shred with your fingers. Place into a bowl and add mayo, chopped celery stir till combined and sprinkle chives on top.  It tastes even better the next day!!!

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Enjoy!!!

Recipe: Donna Clark – Cooking at Clark Towers