Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls

Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love the leaves changing, the smell of fires in the air and the cool temperatures.  Every now and then, I will even watch a football game (go Pats!), but what I really love and it’s mostly the idea of, is a tailgate party.  How fun is that?  A group of people at the back-end of a car with good food, drinks and lots of laughs.

I need to digress here.  (Don’t worry, the two tales will eventually come together.)  There is a restaurant in upstate NY called The Boatyard.  A favorite of my dad’s and my brother’s, so we would go there at least once every time I was up there.  They are known for several dishes, but one of my personal favorites (and that of my entire family’s) are the Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls.  Yes, I did ask for the recipe, but no…they apparently didn’t want to share.  It was okay, I thought I could figure this out on my own.

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This is where the two stories come together.  It was Sunday afternoon and we were watching a football game. I decided that we were going to have a tailgate party…in our home.  It was just a casual day to make fun finger foods and along with the hot wings I was making, I decided I was going to figure out what these egg rolls were all about.

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It did take several tries (so the first tailgating, although good, wasn’t exceptional), but I think once you make this you will find that this is well worth the time and trouble and calories.  People are correct when they say that anything fried is good.  I don’t eat fried food…but I definitely would eat these on occasion.  The nice thing about these are that you can make them ahead of time and freeze them.    So try these on your next tailgating party, or cocktail party, or just a party of two.  You will want these again and again….they are that good. They are spicy, crunchy and tasty.  All the things your taste buds will need from a tailgating party.

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Go Pats, happy tailgating and a very happy Fall season to all of you!

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Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Package egg roll wrappers
  • 3 cups finely diced chicken (you can poach breasts, use prepared rotisserie, leftovers, etc)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4-1/2 cup buttermilk (depending on creaminess desired)
  • 8 ounce cream cheese (use whipped or soften the cheese beforehand for easier mixing)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons hot sauce (more or less for your personal taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons minced shallots
  • 4 ounces blue cheese crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste

BLUE CHEESE DIP

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Instructions

  1. Mix mayonnaise and sour cream together.

  2. Add buttermilk, cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and combine until well blended.

  3. Add shallots and blue cheese and combine.

  4. Season to taste and set aside.

  5. Place wrapper flat and place approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons of chicken mixture onto the middle of the wrapper. Roll according to package directions, seal with water and set aside.

  6. (at this point you may freeze if desired)

  7. Heat peanut oil in heavy duty pan until it reaches frying stage 350 degrees F to 400 degrees F

  8. Place rolled wrappers in hot oil for 4 to 5 minutes turning occasionally. Remove and drain on paper towels.

  9. Slice in half on the diagonal and serve immediately with blue cheese dip. (directions follow)

  10. BLUE CHEESE DIP

  11. Whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, honey, lemon juice and chives. Fold in blue cheese crumbles. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  12. Refrigerate before serving.

Seared Scallops with Blue Cheese and Bacon Risotto

No matter what I do in life, it seems it’s always better when bacon is involved.  There is just something about the sweet, salty, meaty combination that makes us all fall in love with it.

I’m not even sure when and where I saw this recipe.  It might have been a posting from a local restaurant or a picture in a magazine, but when I saw bacon and risotto in the same sentence, I knew I wanted to make it  On that same note I remember thinking how much my husband liked scallops and how much I like risotto, so as in life….a perfect pairing!

I’ve always made what I think is a pretty good risotto, but I’ve always used parmesan.  This recipe just shows you that it’s okay to think outside of the box.  Of course, the nice thing about risotto is you can add pretty much whatever you really like and it will come out good.  That is the beauty of this dish.

When you see a picture or have an idea that inspires you….give it a try.  Nothing lost, nothing gained as my grandmother would always say.  You might actually find you’ve created something worth talking about!

Bon Appétit!

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Seared Scallops with Blue Cheese and Bacon Risotto

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • Blue Cheese and Bacon Risotto
  • 1 quart low sodium chicken broth
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 or small onion, diced (approximately 1/2 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup aborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 ounces blue cheese
  • white pepper and salt to taste

Scallops

  • 10 Sea scallops
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil

Herb butter (optional)

  • 2 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon chevere, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine

Instructions

  1. Warm chicken broth, do not boil. In a large saucepan over medium heat cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan to drain and set aside. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.

  2. Add onion to bacon grease and cook until tender. Add garlic and rice and cook for 2 minutes. Add wine and stir to scrape up the bottom and until wine is absorbed.

  3. Add one cup chicken broth and gently stir until broth is absorbed. (if it is absorbing too fast lower the heat) Repeat, adding one cup at a time, until it is creamy and tender but still has just a hint of resistance when you bite into it – about 20 minutes.

  4. Remove from heat and add reserved bacon and the blue cheese and stir until cheese has melted. Season with white pepper and salt if needed. Allow risotto to rest approximately 10 minutes before serving, as it will thicken as it cools.

  5. For scallops: heat canola oil in a non stick skillet until almost smoking. Dry scallops in paper towels and add to hot oil, 2 to 3 minutes each side. Do a small amount at a time, as they will steam if too crowded. They will be nicely browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Remove scallops from pan and set aside. Add 1/2 of the butter to the pan with the minced onion and sauté. Add parsley and chevre (you can also use tarragon, thyme, lemon basil) and wine and deglaze pan. Add remainder of butter.

  7. Add scallops back to butter mixture and gently heat.

  8. To serve, top risotto with scallops and herb butter if desired.

Potato Salad with Blue Cheese and Bacon

Summer is right around the corner and with that comes the parties and picnics and family get-togethers.  And of course you always have to have that proverbial dish to pass.  Most people bring a potato salad.  I have to say I never did because I just didn’t like potato salad.  Potatoes and mayonnaise….not what I would call an appetizing combination.

Now I have to eat my words…or potato salad in this case.   I’ve had this recipe for such a long time,  I want to be honest and tell you I don’t really remember where I copied it from.  Perhaps it was from a Southern Living magazine?  I know it sounded good at the time which is probably why I wrote it down in the first place, but it was potato salad and therefore, it was filed and forgotten.  I have since pulled it out and made it several times and wondered,  how is it I never liked potato salad?!

This salad has an amazing punch of flavor.  You know the potatoes are there, they enhance the salad.  And yet, they hang back and it’s okay they aren’t the only star in the dish.  They share the limelight, and they’re fine with it.  Every bite seems to taste a bit of savory, tangy, crunch and creamy.  It’s made a potato salad believer out of me.

So bring on the picnics and the family get-together.  I have the proverbial pass the dish potato salad that will be the star of the party.

Potato Salad with Blue Cheese and Bacon

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds baby red potatoes or fingerling potatoes, cut i half
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I use an Applewood thick sliced bacon)

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to 350 to 400 degrees. (medium high heat) Place potatoes in a single layer in center of a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring up foil sides over the potatoes, double fold top and side edges to seal.

  2. Grill potatoes in foil packet, covered with grill lid, 15 minutes each side. Remove packet from grill. Carefully open packet, using tongs, and let potatoes cool 5 minutes.

  3. Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl, add potatoes, tossing gently to coat. Stir in onion, blue cheese and bacon.

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