Monday, April 19, 2010

Ain't fit to roll with a pig... or is it?

I realized during Monday Food Fest that I seem to unintentionally cook with a “theme.”  (Obviously not always, but it appears that way on occasion.)  Tonight’s theme was “Roll.”  
When mr and I took the kids to Utah to visit family in January, my sister IL cooked us a scrumptious meal.  When I learned how easy it was to prepare, I was floored.  Honestly, it tastes gourmet.  It’s one of those meals you can serve to guests and they ooh and aah and think you are a culinary genius and you can sit back quietly and smile to yourself because you know the truth, but sure aren’t telling.  I love meals like that!  So I begged her to email me the recipe so I could make it for my parents.  
You are in for a treat, because I am including it here - even though it should be kept secret.  Just don’t tell anyone else or let anyone know the trick or the jig’s up.
Without further ado, I give you:
Chicken Puffs (YUM!)
8 oz Cream cheese
1/4 C. softened butter
1/8 tsp pepper
2 C. cooked chicken
2 pkgs crescent rolls
A bit of melted butter and crushed chicken stuffing mix (or shake n bake or seasoning/breading of choice), combined
Mix cream cheese, softened butter, and pepper well. Fold in chicken. Press each crescent roll flat. Wrap each roll around some chicken mixture. Dip in melted butter and seasoning. Bake @ 325 for 30 min.
2 TBL Butter
2 TBL flour
2c Cream
1 tsp chicken bullion powder
Melt butter.  Add flour, mix well.  Stir in cream and bullion.  Boil 1 min.  
Serve puffs with hot sauce over the top.
And that, folks, is that.  You’re ready to roll Amazing I know.  You’ll think it’s even more amazing when you taste these little babies.  Mmmmm.... they were a hit.  And guess what?  They were so easy, even I didn’t screw them up.  Well.... ok.  So, I got the super cheap generic brand crescent rolls (I’m on a budget, you know?) and apparently these rolls are NOT as nicely perforated as the name-brand nor do they roll out as well.  They are ridiculously sticky - they stick to everything - and furthermore, it is next to impossible to get the tube open.  I peeled the label, like you’re supposed to, I pressed the seam with a spoon, like you’re supposed to, I gently tapped it on the counter, like you’re supposed to... nothing.  I ended up having to beat it on the countertop repeatedly as if it was the mallet in a rigged carnival “strong man” game. Suddenly, the bottom popped out explosively, flying across the kitchen and bouncing off of the fridge.  It could have taken someone’s eye out.  Luckily for me, no one else was around and I happened to avoid the volatile ricochet.  Then I had to squeeze the tube to get the contents out, as it just wouldn’t peel apart like normal.  This resulted in some very squishy, completely unmanageable dough, but I decided to roll with the punches and I pulled it off, regardless.  I wouldn’t consider that “messing things up.”  Oh, ok, AND I made the sauce much too soon (I’m used to needing to multi-task my dinners, and this one didn’t take nearly as much time, or need nearly as much going on at once).  So it DID get a little thick.  Well, honestly, it kind of turned into some kind of mushy dough in and of itself, but I fixed that by re-heating it and adding some milk once the rolls were baked.  That’s not “messing things up” - too badly.
Just a note: my sister IL did comment that the original recipe calls for mushrooms in the chicken mixture, but her hubby doesn’t like them, so she never adds them.  She does, sometimes, add chives.  The recipe is flexible and lends itself to many different tastes.  I think it would be a good one for picky eaters - you could hide cut up veggies, like broccoli, inside.  Also, if you want to make it super easy, I’m sure you could substitute canned chicken for the cooked chicken (I used chicken breast cutlets - yes I learned my lesson last week and read the packaging very carefully!).
While I was on a roll, I threw together a salad of my own invention to compliment the main course.  My mom said the two went really well together, so I’ll include it here in case you want to try it out.  (It’s not even that original...)
Salad with a “Pop”

One head romaine lettuce
One macintosh apple (or other, depending on taste - I think a tart apple like a spartan would be yummy, too)
One small tomato
A bunch of chopped pecans
Some feta cheese, crumbled 
Toss it all together and serve with poppyseed dressing.  

Very tasty.  I was going to add craisins, but I’d unknowingly run out.  If you want a homemade poppyseed dressing, go here.  Otherwise, you can find some yummy ones in the store.
And I’ve saved the best for last.  Of course.  You knew it was coming.  The dessert.  Let me preface this by saying I am not a cookie person.  Well, I’m not a baking cookies person.  I like eating them.  I just don’t relish the thought of making the dough, chilling the dough, spooning it out, baking some, waiting for them to cool, more spooning, more baking, more waiting, more spooning... etc.  You see what I mean.  I’m just not that patient.  But while I was at the grocery store today, I realized I hadn’t planned a dessert - a completely devastating oversight and very unlike me, as you know.  I had plenty of ideas of things I could throw together, but I really wanted something new.  As I walked down the baking aisle, a red velvet cake mix caught my eye.  I must be honest, I have never actually tried red velvet cake, but I’ve heard many people (mostly my best friend’s husband) rave about it.  So I grabbed it, figuring that even if I couldn’t find a decent recipe online for something to make out of it, I could whip up some cream cheese frosting, (look here for a recipe) make it into cupcakes and call it good.  However, I did find a decent recipe - actually, much much more than decentPhenomenal, really.  I found it here, on Recipezaar.  It’s called Sinful Red Velvet Cookies, and they are very aptly named.  I’m really glad I rolled up my sleeves and jumped in, putting my making cookies bias aside and going for it with these, because man, are they worth it.   

I served them as little cookie sandwiches with homemade whipped cream in the middle.  (Really, I only did this because I didn't want to waste the bit of cream left over from the gravy. The cookies don't need anything else at all to make them yummy - they are deliciously gooey and rich all on their own.  Although, the post-er of the recipe notes that she sometimes spreads cream cheese frosting over them - see link above).

I think this recipe would also be awesome with a chocolate fudge cake mix, maybe a spice cake mix and what I am going to try next, lemon cake mix.  They are beautiful, they are tasty and they are very easy to make - even though it did take a while to let them chill, then roll them into little balls and cook two sheets.  It could have been worse.  

Just a warning to you all.  After you make these, your hands will look like this:  

What?  Did I grab the 350 degree cookie sheets with my bare hands, you ask?  No, no, this is just what red velvet cake mix does to skin.  I don’t know yet how long it will last, but if you are a hand model or need your hands to look really good for some reason, don’t make this recipe.  Or wear gloves when you do.
I admit that the salad had nothing to do with the theme of “roll.”  But it did seem like I was doing a lot of rolling tonight!  All of it was devoured with lots of praise, and I think this is one meal that IS “fit to roll with the pigs...”  
(Was that last one a stretch?)  

Simpsonized Crafts (and then some)


aubrey wilson said...

I like how you cleaned up my recipe so it actually made sense. Oh and I do use canned chicken, so so simple!! Glad you enjoyed it!

Unknown said...

well, it made sense to me the way you sent it... I always error on the side of OVER explaining! My parents raved, seriously. I'm gonna use canned chicken from now on!

Jocelyn said...

all these recipes look great! thanks so much for linking up to my recipe hop:-)

AUDRA said...

Wow, look at you! You have a whole meal planned here!
Thanks for linking up to Socialize with me Monday til Sunday!

Erin said...

Your chicken rolls look absolutely delicious! And then topping them with gravy? Pure heaven!

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