So by now I'm sure you none of you reading this are surprised that this salad will include two of my favorites: bacon and blue cheese. My hubby and I recently went out to a nice French restaurant where we ordered a salad similar to this. I've seen a ton of brussel sprout salads in mags lately, but often they are served raw and shredded, like coleslaw (see here for my thoughts about this salad), so when this came to our table I was surprised that it was in fact a wonderfully savory and sweet way for me to eat this often shunned, now celebrity-like veggie.
I have to say I was pretty impressed with this salad. Since it is one that can be made ahead and is full of nutrients, I wouldn't be shocked if it started to make an appearance at the holiday buffet for my family. You have been warned!
1 pound brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
3 slices of bacon
1/4 cup of walnuts
2 green onions, sliced
1 apple, peeled and sliced
1-2 tablespoons light blue cheese dressing
1. In a 8 x 8 baking dish toss the brussel sprouts with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and roast at 475 degrees for about 20 minutes.
2. When the brussel sprouts have cooled for about 10 minutes, toss in all the other ingredients and serve.
Some days a freshly toasted slice of bread is all I need to satisfy my hunger. The crunch, the smell, the homey feeling fills my belly with love. There’s not much to do to a piece of toast to improve it in my book.
But I am a BIG lover of cheese, and I just can’t resist cheese toast. I thought this might be a nice upgrade on the simplicity of cheese toast. I could probably call this Crostini, and then you’d think it was a whole lot fancier than it is. That’s the reality. This is super easy and tastes fantastic and fancy. I don’t think great tasting food has to be complicated to be impressive.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
2 teaspoons of sliced green onions
1 6-inch sandwich roll
1. Heat the oven (or toaster oven) to 450 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, mix with the back of a fork the butter, cheese, pepper and green onions.
2. Slice the roll into 6 1/2-inch slices. Divide and spread the cheese mixture on each peice of bread.
3. Cook these on a baking sheet in the oven (or toaster oven if you like) for 5-7 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and bread is starting to brown.
This is a super easy and impressive appetizer. Or serve alongside a salad or a soup too.
I love a good Cobb Salad, and if you’ve been following this blog you’ll have noticed the various versions of the salad that tempt my palate. This time around I had some leftover hard-boiled eggs and thought Why make a plain old egg salad? I DO have bacon and blue cheese in the fridge.
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon chopped celery
2 pieces of cooked bacon
1 leaf of romaine lettuce
4 slices toasted bread
1. Slice the two eggs as you put them in a small bowl and mash-up the eggs with the backside of a fork until they are roughly chopped.
2. Gently stir in the Dijon, mayonnaise, blue cheese and celery.
3. Lay down two pieces of toast and top each with a piece of lettuce, a slice of bacon and spoon half of the egg mixture on each sandwich.
4. Top with the second piece of toast. Squish together, push in your mouth, and enjoy.
I feel like I always have leftover chicken, whether it’s grilled or rotisserie, but I get tired of just eating it in a salad or a sandwich. So, I came up with this idea of making pocket sandwiches. I was making a lot of tacos when I figured out that I could put the same stuff that goes in a tortilla in puff pastry or pie dough. You really could put anything in pie dough or puff pastry and it makes it so much fancier and the yum factor goes up. Of course, you’ve got all the golden pastry to sink your teeth into and who can pass up that?
So, I’ve made these stuffed with chili, ratatouille, and this chicken cobb. Anyway you fill them they’re scrumptious. I served them with a salad for a healthy dinner.
Actually for our kids’ birthday party I made these pockets, but filled them with chili. Totally yummy! And easy too. For the party I actually made them a week in advance and then defrosted them and baked them during the party. Love that! Anything I can do in advance to cut down on the last-minute rush to the table is fabulous in my book.
In this version all you need to do is combine some soft cheese with cooked chicken then pile in on some premade pie dough and then dress it up a bit, fold it, bake it and consume with fervent desire.
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
1/2 cup cream cheese or ricotta
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 a red onion, sliced
1 plum tomato, sliced
1 package premade pie dough (2 doughs come in 1 package)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and let the dough come to room temperature.
2. Meanwhile, in a bowl combine the chicken and cream cheese. Slice all your veggies and cook your bacon in the microwave.
3. Once dough is pliable (about 15 minutes) roll one of the doughs out on a cutting board, it’s really more like unfold it, but the idea is to get it flat without tearing it.
4. Cut the dough in half, a pizza cutter is perfect for this.
5. On one quarter of the dough pile 1/4 cup of chicken and cheese mixture. Make sure to leave about a 1/2 inch perimeter.
6. Top this with 1/4 of the bacon crumbles, 1/4 of the tomato slices, 1/4 red onion slices, and 1/4 of the blue cheese. And hey, if you don’t like any of these things, then leave them out!
7. Now that you’ve got your filling, fold over the pie dough and pinch the edges firmly.
8. Repeat steps 4-7 with the remaining dough.
9. Brush the tops with a little bit of raw scrambled egg, if you want it to look golden, otherwise you can leave it off. It won’t change anything except the way it looks.
10. Transfer the pockets to a parchment lined baking tray. All four will fit on one cookie sheet.
11. At this point you can either freeze them on the cookie sheet and then transfer them to ziplocs, or you can bake them in the oven for 15-17 minutes, until the pastry is beginning to get brown on top.