Deviled Eggs with Bacon Pepper Jam

deviled-eggs-bacon-pepper-jam

I make pretty good “regular” deviled eggs, and occasionally I like to mix it up and do something different. My bestie got me a deviled egg transporter for my birthday, which I desperately needed. The last time I transported deviled eggs to a party, it was kind of a disaster. I used the carrier for the first time yesterday, and all of the eggs stayed in place!

Ingredients

1 dozen eggs
Tastefully Simple bacon pepper jam (Update – this is a seasonal item that might not be available when you’re reading this. If it isn’t, try the sweet pepper jalapeño jam instead!)
Mayonnaise
Yellow mustard

Instructions

Boil eggs. My foolproof method for making boiled eggs (actually, I have to give my wife credit for this one) is to put the eggs into a wok, cover with salty water, bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat off, cover, and leave them undisturbed for 15 minutes. Let the eggs cool.

Cut each egg in half, and empty yolks into a mixer bowl. Add ¼ cup mayo and 1 tbsp + 1 tsp mustard. Mix well, until smooth. Look at the texture and taste it. Add more mayo or mustard as needed. If it’s crumbly, add more mayo. If it’s bland, add more mustard.

Normally I add about 1-2 tsp bacon pepper jam into the mixture, but we’re running low and I didn’t want to take the chance of not having enough for the tops of the eggs.

Fill a piping bag with the mixture and fill each egg. Top with a small amount of bacon pepper jam.

Tip: Put a small drop of filling under each egg to keep them from sliding around on your serving tray.

Buffalo Chicken Crescent Spirals

buffalo-chx-spiralsI needed to make dinner one night, and I’d forgotten to take anything out. Oops. Strangely, I had buffalo chicken dip left over from a party. (This was strange because my buffalo chicken dip usually gets scarfed and I end up wishing I’d made more.) Anyway, back to the dinner thing. I always keep a stockpile of crescents in my fridge. Right now I think we have three cans. I rarely use them for actual crescent rolls, but I’m always using them for other stuff. I like to lob the end off of the can with a chef’s knife like I saw some chef on Food Network do in one of those mystery basket challenges on Chopped or something like that. Too bad I can’t remember who or what show. Anyway, dinner! I used crescent rounds to make these. You could use crescent rolls, you’d just have to make the dough into a rectangle, then cut into strips.

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Ranch packet
  • Buffalo sauce 
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 package crescent rounds

Instructions 

Bake the chicken breasts until fully cooked. Pull or shred the meat. (Personally I use my KitchenAid stand mixer to shred chicken. I’ll do a post on it at some point, but Google will show you for now.) Add cream cheese, ranch packet, 1 handful of cheddar cheese, and about 1/4ish maybe 1/3 cup of buffalo sauce.

So now you have a buffalo chicken dip recipe too. If you’re using it for dip, top with cheddar and bake until hot and cheese is melted. Obviously skip this step if you’re making the crescent spirals.

Roll out the strips of crescent dough. Press so they get a little wider. Spread mix down the strip and roll each strip into a spiral. Press the crescent together at the end if needed to keep it together.

Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350° until golden.

Cucumber Salad

cucumber-saladThis is a super simple cucumber salad. It’s quick to make, and a good opportunity to practice knife skills.

Ingredients

6 cucumbers
2 pints grape tomatoes
Half of a medium red onion
2 packets Good Seasons Italian salad dressing & recipe mix
Red wine vinegar

Instructions

Cut cucumbers in half vertically and remove seeds. Scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon or melon baller and cut into slices (half moon shaped).

Thinly slice onion (almost like a julienne size).

Halve the grape tomatoes.

Combine the veggies. Add seasoning packets, stir. Add red wine vinegar to taste (start with a few shakes, and increase a few shakes at a time).

Fried Pickles

fried-picklesI don’t make fried food at home often because my kitchen will smell like fried food for about 24 hours afterward. But I really love fried pickles, so sometimes I just have to make them. These are really good with ranch dressing or chipotle mayo.

Be very careful when working with hot oil! Keep an eye on the temperature, place food in carefully, and be careful removing food from the oil. Basically, work with hot oil and deep fry stuff at your own risk.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½+ cups flour
  • ¾+ cups milk
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 4 cups canola oil (or more depending on the size of your pot)
  • Dill pickle chips

Instructions 

Begin heating oil (it needs to reach 375°) in a pot (or deep fryer, if you have one). I started mine on medium-high heat. Make sure there is enough oil in the pot for your pickles to do some swimming. It should be a couple of inches deep.

Thoroughly dry all of the pickles with paper towels. This is really important because pickles are so wet! If they’re too wet, the batter will fall off, or the water will cause a lot of splattering when you fry them.

Divide four into two dishes. Season each with cayenne. Put a bowl of milk between the two. You may also want a clean plate to put the battered pickles on. I find it easiest to put the plate next to the stove and work in that direction. In my kitchen, the order (left to right) is: stove, plate, flour, milk, flour, pickles. Coat in flour, shake off excess, drop in milk, remove, coat in flour in the other dish, then set onto plate. (Tip: Designate a wet hand and a dry hand. Use your dry hand for the initial four coating and dropping it into the milk. Use the wet hand to remove from the milk, coat, and place onto the plate.) Add additional flour and milk to your dishes as needed. Keep an eye on your oil temperature while you’re doing this! 

Carefully place pickles into the oil (assuming it’s 375° by now). Don’t crowd the pot! They should be able to move around freely without sticking together. Turn a couple of times during frying, until golden on both sides. I use a spider spoon to turn and remove them. Remove and place on a paper towel. Repeat!

Dill pickles are salty enough that they shouldn’t need to be seasoned after you remove them. I made this mistake once and they were super salty!