Category: Mindless Mutterings from the Teacher’s Lounge

Italian Rotisserie Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes

Throw together this no-cook chicken salad in no time for a tasty meal on a hot summer’s day.

Well here we are, in the dog days of summer!  In my neck of the woods, it’s been the monsoon days of summer. Rain! RaiN! RAIN!  But hopefully, we have a little break in sight for that and can now “look forward” to good old hot.humid.days.of.August!  And who wants to turn on anything that will add to that heat?  Ummmm, nobody.  This recipe for Italian Rotisserie Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes was first published last summer in Carolina Country Magazine and a frequent go-to for me.  We all love to grab a cooked rotisserie chicken now and then… we can do so many things with one… not to mention throwing the skin and bones into the crock pot overnight after pick’n for the BEST flavorful chicken broth. You DO do that don’t you?  Oh there’s so much flavor in those bones and skin (if you don’t eat it) and all you have to do is cover with a quart or two of water, turn on low, and head to bed.  By morning time, you’ll be waking up to the aroma of tasty broth to use for soups, cooking veggies like greens and butterbeans or just to sip. You can throw in some herbs on the front end, or simply cool and freeze and season on the back end depending on how you’ll be using it.  I freeze in pint-size containers and it’s great to be able to grab and cook a little pot of butterbeans or collards with this deliciousness!

So here’s to the versitile Rotisserie Chicken!!  Pick one up today and make this chicken salad twist… ooooh la LA, you’ll be glad you did.

While here, please subscribe to my “Table Scraps” newsletter (green box over there to the right)… an e-zine with great stuff for in, out and about the home!   Take a look at my contributors…

P.S.  Don’t forget to come follow along in my facebook world too…
classy with a bit of sass!!  

Italian Rotisserie Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes

Who wants to cook on hot summer days?  No need with this flavorful Italian chicken salad.... just pick up a rotisserie chicken, throw in a few ingredients and toss with the simple Dijon dressing, and that's it!  Except for a juicy ripe summer tomato you're going to stuff with this good stuff.  

Servings: 8
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skinned, boned & shredded (about 5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sliced roasted peppers, drained
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus 2 tablespoons for garniish
  • 1 4 ounce carton feta cheese with basil and tomato, reserve 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons capers drained
  • 8 large tomatoes, cored and drained upside down
DIJON HONEY MUSTARD DRESSING
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • crushed black pepper
Instructions
  1. Whisk all dressing ingredients together. Stir dressing into chicken to coat. Add all remaining ingredients (except the tomatoes) and mix well.

  2. Chill several hours or overnight. Stuff tomatoes and garnish with reserved feta cheese crumbles and parsley. Serve immediately
Recipe Notes
  • Don’t cut out too much of the delicious tomato — just enough to mound the chicken salad!
  • If you have fresh herbs... oregano, rosemary, basil, etc., use them instead of dried for more robust flavor!

#BlackboardBlurbs… a little teachable moment!
So what are capers?

Tomato-Pimento Cheese Shortcakes With Black-Peppered Whipped Cream

 

Serve for breakfast, brunch or alongside your favorite grilled meats!

Sometimes, those of us who create recipes for both pleasure and profit throw together something that becomes a personal favorite. It seems that mine tend to be those using freshly harvested tomatoes! I got most of the tomato gene in my family, because my sister has never liked them, (with the exception of them being turned into something else like sauce that involves some sort of pasta).  Myself, well I live for the first early spring hothouse tomatoes grown by “down the road” friends… be it at my Zebulon home in Franklin County and a quick zip over to The Vollmer Farm, or just up the road a piece at one of my new favorite places near my “other” home in Cedar Point, NC… Winberry Farm Produce Market!  It just so happened I was in Cedar Point when doing my happy dance creating this vision for the first time I’ve had parked in my head for a few years, but just never got around to making it come to life!

This recipe was created for Carolina Country Magazine... where I am blessed to contribute a couple of recipes each month, and occasionally get to write for the magazine too!  We create and shoot for magazines a few months in advance, so both Vollmer and Winberry’s hothouse tomatoes were none too soon for me to start playing with this… what I consider one of my personal “masterpieces!”  What’s not to love?
…fresh local tomatoes?  …pimento cheese?  …whipped cream? 
Goodness Gracious for sure!
Nekkid food… just like God gave it to us.

My guinea pigs all gave this a thumbs up too, confirming what I thought… this one is a keeper.  So without babbling on, here is my recipe for Tomato-Pimento Cheese Shortcakes with Black-Peppered Whipped Cream.  It’s just right for a light summer breakfast or brunch (to be sure with a side of bacon, sausage or country ham)… or my favorite way to eat, alongside a big hunk’o grilled bone-in ribeye!
Suit your fancy…

And just a helpful hint… the shortcakes can be made ahead and frozen. Just take out and “freshen” in your toaster oven. The microwave will do too.

I hope you and yours enjoy these as much as I have this summer.  Now run along and make yourself some.  Stay tuned… still to come, more tomato faves, including my Dilly Swiss Tomato Pie.

Tomato-Pimento Cheese Shortcakes with Black-Peppered Whipped Cream

Serve these savory summer shortcakes for breakfast, brunch... and they make a perfect side for grilled steaks, chops and chicken.  The shortcakes can be frozen to quickly revive in your toaster oven or microwave. 

Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Farmers Market, Garden Goodies, North Carolina Goodies, Southern, Summer Food
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 3 1/4 cups biscuit mix
  • 1 cup thick pimento cheese
  • 1/4 cup Duke's mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup club soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Filling:
  • about 14 large tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup minced sweet onion
  • 4 tablespoons oil, your preferred salad oil
  • 4 tablespoons vinegar, your favorite
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup each fresh chopped basil and oregano
  • salt and pepper to suit your taste
Whipped Cream:
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 8 ounce cream cheese with chives
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh herbs to garnish, chives preferred
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine shortcake ingredients and drop by heaping tablespoon onto prepared baking pan. Spread flat with back of spoon.Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Cool.

  2. Stir all filling ingredients together least one hour before serving. Spoon filling over 12 shortcakes, covering each with second cake.
  3. For topping, whip cream and cream cheese until thickened. Blend in pepper.
  4. Top shortcakes with dollop of whipped cream and garnish with fresh herbs.

Welcome new subscribers…

Hey y’all…  

I’ve had my blog simmering on the back burner for a spell for various reasons, but oh is that about to change! So many great recipes to share I have been creating for clients and others “just because” will be showing up here soon.  And you can also look forward to some new “Substitute Teachers” who will be joining in with fun musings on topics other than food… (even a fellow has joined us in the teacher’s lounge)… but keeping with our “home economics” theme, inside, out and about the house. We will sometimes take field trips too… culinary adventures you won’t want to miss. 

Some of you may be here for the first time after getting my recent mailing list “cleanse,” so I am happy to have you, and hope before you unsubscribe you’ll stick around for a bit. I think you might like what is on the way.  And if any of you are closet writers with ideas to contribute, I would love to hear from you too. Just visit my Substitute Teachers page and drop me a note.

So take a seat, “class” is about to commence. 
And P.S… you will get “extra credit” for sharing my blog with your friends too.

Wendy

Soup’s on! Blushing Turkey Soup


Well here we are, just like that ~ looking at Thanksgiving 2017 in our rear view mirror. Did your grandmas tell you too, that “the older you get, the faster the days and years go by?”

To be honest, I don’t have any leftover turkey at my house. This year, my little family decided to do pork instead… since we never have been big on turkey. And we aren’t even doing our Thanksgiving meal until tomorrow (Saturday). We even did something outside our box and went OUT to eat for early supper yesterday on Thanksgiving… at an Italian restaurant! And liked it. And decided we might keep up this new tradition henceforth.

They only offered a buffet, but goodness gracious, you cannot believe all the food on the tables! I declare, if folks couldn’t find something there to suit their fancy, they needn’t be eating. The word “bountiful” comes to mind as there were platters and chafing pans filled to the brim with Italian creations… right alongside traditional southern Thanksgiving favorites like dressing and sweet taters.

And there were seafoods, fishes, prime rib, ham and yes, turkey! I suppose they might have some sort of soups on their menu the next few days too, which is a great way to give lurking turkey (and whatever else) a new life!

Earlier this week, my friend Heather Overton at the NC Department of Agriculture asked if I had any last minute ideas for such to feature on their blog, and well, of course I do! Waste not want not around my kitchen, and not often is anything thrown out. I love the challenge of “repurposing” food… bones, scraps and trimmings. I can and will make soup from just about anything… no two pots ever the same. I gift most of the soups I make since I just can’t eat it all! As it turns out, this tasty soup can actually work as a dip as well and a really fast way to throw together a simple meal so you can enjoy more family time this weekend.

So plug in that crock pot and enjoy… feel free to “color outside the lines” of the recipe and add in leftovers you have that will add more layers of flavor to your soup… or adjust the seasonings for your taste. Serve with crunchy pork rinds or cornbread and you’re set to head into the Christmas season… ready or not!

Blushing Turkey Soup

Looking for a way to enjoy your leftover turkey after the Thanksgiving feast is over? Enjoy this recipe featuring leftover turkey, George’s BBQ sauce and pork skins.  If you don't have George's, simply substitute your favorite sauce to "blush" your soup.

Course: Brunch, Main Course, Soup
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 1 15 ounce can white beans (navy, northern, etc.), drained
  • 1 14 ounce can creamed corn
  • 1 11 ounce can Mexican corn
  • 3/4 cup George's Original or Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 cup George's Special Sauce
  • about 3 cups turkey or chicken broth
  • about 4 cups shredded turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 8 ounce cream cheese
  • 4 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • freshly chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Throw all ingredients through salt into crock pot. Heat on high until nice and hot, or if you’ll be out and about a while, just turn on low. About 20-30 minutes before eating, stir in cheeses and melt. Ladle into mugs or bowls and scatter with cilantro. Serve with skins, cornbread or dressing.


Recipe Notes

NOTE: If you want to serve this as a dip, leave out the broth to make it thicker. Add in small amounts until desired thickness. Scoop with skins or chips.

…krave-worthy Krispy Kreme Kroutons!

Being that today is “National Doughnut Day,” seems fitting to share one of my Krispy Kreme Kreations with you.

It just so happens that my lastest, krunchy Cinnamon-Butter Krispy Kreme Kroutons, is one of four North Carolina food icons I got to blab about in the November issue of Carolina Country Magazine. I chose Krispy Kreme as one of the four for a couple of reasons. For starters, when talking about iconic foods here in North Carolina, KK is at or near the top of any such list. KK is also celebrating a milestone birthday this year… their 80th! I even made this scrumptious sundae with KK Kroutons and Kookies to celebrate.

Aren’t we so happy Krispy Kreme was born?

I’ve been making these blissful little krouton morsels for years, just never got around to sharing until now!  You can make ’em in no time flat, but be warned.

….krunchy krispy kreme kroutons

Nobody can eat just one, or 10, so make a big old mess of them! Folks love to munch on “kroutons” right out of the bowl, but I enjoy on top of Ma Perry’s Boiled Custard, a Perry family tradition that started before I came along… a long time ago.

I do hope you will make some kroutons, and come back to let me know what you think… I’m pretty sure you will be the Kueen if you serve up a pile of these sometime soon.
Don’t you think KK should bag my kroutons too?  

Krispy Kreme Kroutons

Cinnamon-Butter Krispy Kreme Kroutons

Cinnamon-Butter Krispy Kreme Kroutons
Krispy Kreme “Kroutons” are a fun treat by themselves, but floating in boiled custard to enjoy at the bottom of your cup is good, too!
Ingredients
  • 6 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts,
  • 1 stick butter. melted
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Using kitchen scissors, cut each doughnut into 12 "coins." Spread cut pieces out on baking pan and let air dry, uncovered, overnight.

  2. Preheat toaster oven or oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in microwave and stir in cinnamon. Toss “kroutons” in bowl with cinnamon butter. Bake about 5 minutes, tossing as needed, until golden brown.

  3. Cool and store in airtight container.

So, what are your ideas for using Krispy Kreme Kroutons?
Do tell…