Crunchy No-fry Fried Chicken

crunchy no fry fried chicken 2

Les meves memòries d’infància es podrien resumir en tres moments feliços: els sopars d’estiu d’ou ferrat i patates fregides, quan l’àvia feia fideus a la cassola i quan hi havia pollastre arrebossat (sí, també tinc bons records que no comporten menjar, però són menys interessants).

I ara, 20 anys després, l’àvia segueix fent fideus a la cassola, els sopars d’ou ferrat i patates fregides, tot i no tenir ni ou ferrat ni patates fregides, són amb qui eren, que és el que els feia realment especials, però s’ha acabat el pollastre arrebossat. Ja se sap, et fas gran i descobreixes que els fregits són Voldemort, i alguna cosa dins teu et diu que tot ha canviat a partir d’ara, que res tornarà a ser el que era.

Per sort un dia, en un atac de nostàlgia, buscant buscant vaig trobar aquest recepta, que és com el pollastre arrebossat de la meva infantesa però menys greixós, més fàcil i amb formatge. Perfecte.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Salmon with Gorgonzola

Crunchy No-fry Fried Chicken

Servings: 6

Prep time: 15 min + 30 min baking time

You’ll need:

  • 6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 200 g grated Maasdam (or Gouda, Emmental, Cheddar… almost any cheese will do)
  • 400 g breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • salt to taste
  • olive oil

crunchy no fry fried chicken prep 1

Start by preheating your oven to 180-200ºC. In a large bowl mix the grated cheese, breadcrumbs, oregano and salt, and cut the chicken breasts into about 1 cm thick slices. Now coat each chicken slice with some olive oil and press it into the breadcrumb mixture, until well breaded. Place the chicken slices on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and top with any remaining breadcrumbs and a drizzle of olive oil.

crunchy no fry fried chicken prep 2

Bake for about 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and heavenly-golden-brown-y-crunchy.

crunchy no fry fried chicken 1

Enjoy!

Annie

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Crispy Cheddar Fish

crispy cheddar fish 2

Avui això va de Cheddar.

He descobert que, com passa amb el Roquefort, el Cheddar és originari de la vila de Cheddar, a Anglaterra. El nom ve de ceodor, que en anglès antic vol dir algo així com cavitat fosca i profunda (que ja em diràs, quin nom per posar al teu poble, no? “Tu on vius? Jo a cavitat fosca i profunda”. Mal rotllo). El tema és que a Cheddar hi ha unes coves com les que hi ha a Roquefort, on deixen madurar els formatges, i suposo que d’aquí ve el nom.

Aquest formatge es produeix des del s.XII (com a mínim), i sembla ser que els Romans van portar la recepta a Anglaterra des de França. D’Anglaterra va passar a Irlanda, Austràlia, Nova Zelanda, Estats Units i Canadà, i, de fet, pràcticament a tot el món. Actualment és el formatge més popular al Regne Unit, amb un 51% del mercat del formatge en aquest país (això vol dir que mengen MOLT de Cheddar), i es calcula que el seu consum anual per càpita a Estats Units és de 4,5 kg (que vol dir que cadascú menja 375 g de Cheddar al mes, o 12 g al dia).

cheddar cheese

I per què és taronja un producte fet amb llet de vaca (que, per anar bé, hauria de ser de color blanc)? Bé, d’entrada hem d’aclarir que, de fet, hi ha Cheddar de molts colors diferents. El més famós (possiblement perquè és el que més es diferencia de la resta de formatges) és el de color taronja, però n’hi ha de diverses tonalitats blanques-groguenques. Dit això, i després d’un extens treball d’investigació, he descobert que el color taronja del Cheddar és per l’addició d’un colorant (natural, però colorant igualment) anomenat annato, que s’obté d’un arbre tropical. Així que els que esteu en contra dels additius i aquestes coses, els que mengeu menjar bio-pijo, que sapigueu que el Cheddar taronja porta una bona dosi de colorant. Fins aquí tot queda clar, però, per quin motiu algú hauria de decidir pintar un formatge de color taronja?

Ara això és molt divertit. Es veu que antigament els formatges anglesos eren, en general, força més groguencs que els actuals, degut als beta-carotens que ingerien les vaques (quan corrien lliures i alegres pel camp i no menjaven pinso, vaja). Llavors, per allà al s.XVII, un pagès anglès molt llest va descobrir que podria fer més diners si separava la nata de la llet per vendre-la per fer-ne mantega. Però clar, llavors bona part del color se n’anava amb la nata, i el formatge, que el feia amb la llet desnatada que li quedava, li quedava molt més blanc. Per mantenir els clients londinencs contents (i enganyats, que suposo que devien ser com l’equivalent anglès dels pixapins), va decidir posar-hi una mica de colorant i arribar al groc-ataronjat a què estaven acostumats. A partir d’aquí, als molt burros els hi van colar que com més taronja era el formatge, de millor qualitat era, i apa, vinga a tirar-hi colorant! I els pagesos, vinga a vendre nata!

I per això el Cheddar és taronja, perquè és possiblement un dels primers fraus de la indústria alimentària. I serà un frau, però és boníssim.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Parmesan Potato Wedges

Other Cheddar recipes: BBQ Chicken Apple Quesadillas, Beef Enchiladas, Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese, Triple Cheese Quiche, Cheddar Cookies

Crispy Cheddar Fish

Prep time: about 45 min

Serves: 6

You will need:

  • 6 fish fillets (I used hake, but feel free to use any type of fish you like)
  • 200 g grated Cheddar cheese
  • about 6 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • about 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil

First of all, place the fish fillets in an oven proof dish lightly coated with olive oil. If you like challenges, use a 4 servings oven proof dish when you’re cooking for 6, and spend 10 minutes playing tetris with your fish, as I obviously did. If not, just choose the correct size of dish (or send part of your family to the nearest McDonald’s).

crispy cheddar cheese prep 1

Now spread your mayo all over the surface of the fish. Don’t be lazy and make your own home-made mayonnaise, it’s much better and extremely easy to prepare:

(this is not me, she is on youtube, so don’t look at me like I was messing with copyright and these sort of things!)

Finally, sprinkle the cheese and the breadcrumbs on top, making sure it’s all well distributed.

crispy cheddar fish prep 2

crispy cheddar fish prep 3

crispy cheddar fish prep 4

Place in a preheated oven at 180ºC until the cheese-bread mixure is all crispyly golden brown and the fish is cooked to the point you like it (I’m not particularly fan of under-cooked fish, but most of you probably are, so adjust the cooking time to your needs).

crispy cheddar fish

And that’s it. Serve it with any side dish you like (I used steamed potatoes sauted with butter and some freshly chopped chives, and the combination was simply perfect).

butter chives potatoes

Enjoy!

Annie

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna 7

Yes, you read that right. Three cheeses. Three different types of Italian cheese. In one dish. One glorious, comforting, soul-warming dish. One pan, minimal preparation, no need to throw on the oven, 30 minutes and you’re set. This is a bit too easy for our own good.

And it has three cheeses.

Have I mentioned the three cheeses?

I love this lasagna. I mean, take a look, three cheeses.

It doesn’t get much easier than this.

It doesn’t get much better than this.

Why, even Cicero swooned over this. Well, maybe not excatly this, but man did the guy love his lasagna (go on, google that). I’m telling ya, the man was wise. He wore a toga.

Plus, there is a chance the word originates from the Greek lasana, or lasanon, meaning “chamber pot”, which the Romans borrowed as lasanum. Something got lost in translation, though, because the Romans, despite wearing togas, firmly believed the word to mean “cooking pots”.

I find this the most hilarious story ever. We’ve been eating chamber pots for millennia.

Personally, I need no other reason to cook this every day this week. In case you do: Have I told you yet that this has three cheeses?

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna 8

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Braised French Onion Chicken

Other Parmesan dishes: Parmesan Potato Wedges, Parmesan Poppy Seed Twists, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Parmesan Lollipops, Date Bacon Parmesan Salad, Rosemary Parmesan Butter

Other Ricotta dishes: Lemon Ricotta Pasta, Vegetable Ricotta Pasta

Other Mozzarella dishes: Pistachio Mozzarella Salad, Vegetable Cannelloni, Potato Dauphinoise, Caprese Bread, Veggi Mozzarella Turnovers, Ultra fast Pasta with Mozzarella

 

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna

Servings: 4

Prep time: 30 minutes

You will need:

  • 250gr, or 1/2lb ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed chili flakes
  • 2 cups, tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4-6 lasagna noodles, depending on the size of your pot, soaked in warm water
  • 8oz, or 250 gr grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 2oz, or 60gr Parmesan cheese
  • 15oz, or 400gr Ricotta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil to garnish, optional

First off, heat some olive oil in a deep pan or pot, and cook the ground meat until no pink bits remain. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, basil and chili, and stir well to combine, and cook until fragrant, about 30 second.

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna 1

Stir in about a third of the tomato sauce and water, then top with the lasagna noodles, taking care to cover the meat as evenly as possible. Break up the noodles if it helps.

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna

Pour the remaining sauce and water over the noodles, and whisk a bit to combine the liquids. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. Once the noodles are nice and tender, uncover and sprinkle with half the Parmesan and Mozzarella. Place dollops of Ricotta all over the top, and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan and Mozzarella on top of that.

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna 2-side

Cheese heaven.

Cover and cook for a few more minutes until the cheeses melt.

We definitely want the cheese to melt.

Garnish with basil, if desired (I didn’t), dish up, and enjoy!

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna 6

Dig in. I did 🙂

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna 9

 

Clara

A cheese-laden birthday feast!

Happy birthday to us!

We’ve been cheesing it for a year now, and we have been celebrating.

With cheese.

Of course.

So today we bring to you not one, not two, not three, but four recipes to put together an entire scrumptious meal orbiting around cheese.

We begin with an appetiser, featuring Feta cheese and ground walnuts, which technically make these little taste-bomb healthy. Almost. Be that as it may, these were absolutely, totally, like, awesome.

Our first course starred creamy pasta with Ricotta, paired with the freshness of lemon. The sheer simplicity of this dish belies the wonderful taste, which manages to transport you straight back into summer.

We chose chicken for our main course, and of course Parmesan, which simply had to make the cut. Dried tomatoes and basil rounded up this lovely, comforting one-skillet dish. We do, however, apologise for the pictures, but this was so good we literally forgot to take any more… You’ll just have to trust us on this one. Have we ever led you astray? 🙂

And last, but indeed not least, you cannot have a birthday without a cake. A cheesecake, of course. Scroll down and find out more about this little crowning jewel of today’s feast…

How can you say no?

Walnut Feta Cookies

Walnut Feta Cookies 6

Servings: about 40 cookies

Prep time: 20 minutes

You will need:

  • 40 g ground or chopped walnuts
  • 120 g, or 1/2 cup flour
  • 120 g butter
  • 120 g feta cheese
  • salt and pepper

Walnut Feta Cookies 7

Let’s start out with the walnut. If you couldn’t find them ground, you can use a pestle and mortar to do the job. (We did 🙂 )

Walnut Feta Cookies 1

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients until you obtain a homogeneous dough, then roll it out to a thickness of roughly 1,5 cm.

Walnut Feta Cookies 2

Cut them out in any desired shape. We used a round cutter, but any shape will do, really.

Walnut Feta Cookies 3

Place on a greased or lined cookie sheet. Leave a little space between them, but not much is needed, since they really don’t grow at all. You can brush them them with a slightly beaten egg, or even milk, at this point, but this really isn’t necessary.

Walnut Feta Cookies 4

Place in a low oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until light golden.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 5

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Lemon Ricotta Pasta 5

Servings: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes (seriously)

You will need:

  • 350gr short pasta
  • 200gr fresh Ricotta cheese
  • the zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons dried, or 10 leaves fresh basil
  • grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish

Lemon Ricotta Pasta 3

Cook the pasta as per package instructions.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Reserve two cups of pasta water before draining.

Meanwhile, beat together the cheese, lemon zest and basil until thoroughly combined.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta 2

Thin out with pasta water until fairly liquid, but still creamy. Return the drained pasta to the pot and mix in the Ricotta mixture.

Serve garnished with Parmesan and a few basil leaves.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta 6

Creamy Parmesan Basil Chicken

Creamy Parmesan Basil Chicken 2

Servings: 4

Prep time: 30 mintues

You will need:

  • 4 large chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 bread crumbs
  • olive oil to cook the chicken
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup minced dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat a large skillet on low heat with the olive oil. Salt and pepper both side of the chicken breasts. Dip in the milk, then coat with bread crumbs and place in the pan. Cook for about 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through (times may vary here depending on the thickness of the breast).

Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken 1

Remove from the pan, and add the broth to the same pan. When it boils, stir in cream and tomatoes and give it a good stir. Add the remaining ingredients and give it a few minutes to cook through.

Return the chicken to the pan.

Eat up. 🙂

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 10

Servings: 8

Prep time: 30 minutes, plus 50 minutes baking time, plus 2 hours chilling

You will need:

For the cheesecake:

  • 1 cup shortbread cookies, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate, cut into squares and melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar (optional; I didn’t think it was necessary)
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs

For the raspberry sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 8

Combine the crushed cookies with the ground almonds.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 11-side

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 13

Mix in the melted butter until it forms a crumbly paste. Press into the bottom of a greased pan.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 16

Combine the cream cheese with the melted chocolate.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 15

Add the sour cream, sugar and eggs. Pour on top of the cookie crust.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 14-side

Bake on medium high for 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and centre is still slightly wobbly, but set. It will firm up as it cools.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 1

Place in the fridge to cool for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 4-side

Meanwhile, place the raspberry jam in a small sauce pan over medium heat until it melts down. Add the raspberries and bring to a simmer. Cover and chill until serving time.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 7

Spoon the raspberry sauce over the cheesecake slices as you serve.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 9

Enjoy! 🙂

Beef Enchiladas

Beef Enchiladas 18

If you’ve been following this blog for any time at all, you’ll know that plain old boring stick-to-your-country’s-traditions cooking just isn’t our thing – mostly because choosing what to call “your country” isn’t always quite as easy as it seems. As I mentioned in this post, having multiple cultural backgrounds and dual nationalities is both an extraordinary gift and a bit of a pain in the backside, since being the eternal foreigner can be fairly taxing at times. All the time, really. You’ll find yourself thinking, please, someone, anyone, accept me into the fold of your people and, for once, stop looking dumbstruck when I am able to speak your language fluently. Please let me blend in, and be invisible, just this once.

I guess it is futile for people like me to wish for such a thing. We need to face the fact that we are ultimately too much of everything to ever truly be anything else. And I won’t lie to you: growing up, my life was hell because of it. But neither failure to understand what made me so different, nor loneliness, nor pretending to be what I was not, ever managed to change what I am. And it killed me inside, until one day I woke up and found that I didn’t want to change what I am. That I am blessed, after all. Because these people, those who smiled and turned away, these people taught me that it doesn’t matter where you come from, who your parents are, your ancestors, your language, your blood, your roots. That it does not matter who you are when you are born. All that ultimately matters is who you grow up to be.

A blessing in disguise, indeed. To be honest, I think it’s time for blessings that are not in disguise.

While we wait for that to happen, I dip my German lebkuchen in Irish black tea, while the smell of TexMex enchiladas made with virgin olive oil and Edam cheese wafts from the oven.

Beef Enchiladas 17

Beef Enchiladas

Adapted from the lovely Julie from Table for Two

Servings: 8 to 10 enchiladas

Prep time: about 1 hour

You will need:

  • 1 pound, or 500 gr, ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds removed and chopped, optional
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese, if you can find – otherwise subtitute with Edam cheese
  • 8 to 10 corn tortillas
  • olive oil

Beef Enchiladas 20

Preheat your oven to high and grease an oven-safe casserole dish.

Beef Enchiladas 1

We will begin with the enchilada sauce. Sauté the onion and jalapeños, if using any (it will make your enchiladas that much more hot – go for it if you like really spicy food!) until soft and translucent, then quickly stir in the garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and sugar, sauteing for another 30 seconds.

Beef Enchiladas 2

Beef Enchiladas 3

Add the tomato sauce and water, give it a good whisk and cook for 5 or 6 minutes, until slightly thickened.

Beef Enchiladas 4

While the sauce is bubbling away, cook your ground beef in olive oil until no pink bits remain, then mix in about half the enchilada sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Beef Enchiladas 6

Microwave the tortillas for about 30 seconds, until they are nice and warm. Place them on a flat surface, one at a time.

Beef Enchiladas 7

Sprinkle some of both cheeses along the middle of the tortilla, top with the enchilada beef mixture and roll up tightly.

Beef Enchiladas 8-horz

Beef Enchiladas 11

Place in the casserole dish with the seam facing down. Repeat these steps until all your tortillas are used up and the casserole dish is full.

Beef Enchiladas 13

Paint the top of the enchiladas with olive oil and bake in the oven for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the tops begin to brown nicely.

Beef Enchiladas 15

Pour the reserved enchilada sauce over the top, along with any leftover beef.

Beef Enchiladas 14

Top with the remaining grated cheeses, then cover the dish with aluminium foil and place back in the oven for another 20 minutes. If you want to brown your cheeses, remove foil once the 20 minutes are up, and place the dish back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

Beef Enchiladas 16

They don’t look pretty, but they sure are good.

Give it a few minutes to cool and settle.

Beef Enchiladas 21

Then devour.

Enjoy!

Clara

Ham and Cheese Chicken Rolls

ham cheese chicken rolls

Avui he decidit deixar d’explicar-vos la meva vida i escriure sobre formatge. No definitivament, no patiu, però sí que de tant en tant dedicaré una entrada a un formatge en concret (que al cap i a la fi això és un blog de cuina amb formatge, per tant trobo que té com molt de sentit). Doncs bé, el nostre protagonista d’avui és el formatge fontina.

Fontina_DOP

Aquest formatge, que està protegit per una DOP des del 1996, es produeix a la Vall d’Aosta, als Alps italians, allà a la frontera amb França prop del Mont Blanc. Per poder ser DOP (que es veu que aquesta DOP és una de les més restrictives dels formatges italians) només es pot produir amb tres races de vaca: valldostana peu vermell, valldostana peu negre i valldostana castana (no em mireu així, jo tampoc sabria diferenciar-les, per mi les vaques poden ser blanques i negres o marrons, i aquí s’acaba l’especiació). S’elabora durant tot l’any, però es veu que el millor formatge es produeix a l’estiu, que les vaques se’n van a pasturar a més altitud (deuen tenir calor, pobretes) entre 1800 i 2300 metres i s’alimenten només de pastures riques en essències aromàtiques que li donen una aroma característica a la llet (que els hi donen farigola a les vaques perquè el formatge sigui més bo, vaja). Quan es fa així, es diu fontina d’alpeggio.

Tot això és molt bucòlic, però després resulta que deixen madurar el formatge en antigues excavacions a la pedra de la muntanya per guardar l’arsenal militar durant la Segona Guerra Mundial, reconvertides en caves. De fet, ben mirat, allà on abans hi feien armes ara hi fan formatge, rotllo no a la guerra sí al formatge, que trobo que és poètic i tot.

El primer registre de la producció d’aquest formatge data del 1717, a  l’hospici del Gran San Bernardo i actualment se’n produexien unes 350.000 unitats a l’any. Hi ha tres hipòtesis sobre l’origen del nom: alguns diuen que ve de l’alpeggio Fontin, que són les pastures de la comuna de Quart (que potser és la hipòtesi que trobo més lògica), altres diuen que ve de Fontinaz, una localitat de Saint-Marcel (suposo que els francesos també volien protagonisme) i uns altres que ve senzillament del nom d’una família de formatgers (estareu d’acord amb mi que és la hipòtesi amb menys glamour).

No us en puc descriure el gust, l’heu de tastar. És bo, molt molt bo. Això de la farigola de les vaques deu funcionar.

Ham and Cheese Chicken Rolls

Servings: 6

Prep time: 50 min

You will need:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 8 ham slices (or less, depending on the size of the slice)
  • Fontina cheese (no exact amount here, just buy one small piece and we’ll think of other recipes to use up the leftovers 🙂 )
  • olive oil
  • salt (for an extra flavour I used a herb salt)
  • toothpicks (about 16)

Start by eliminating all the nasty-yellowish-extra fat is usually attached to chicken breasts, and any possible bits of bone or other parts of a chicken’s anatomy that you don’t wish to eat. Then, with a good knife (I mean a really good cutting knife, well sharpened, not a regular it-sort-of-cuts-when-you-apply-enough-pressure-on-it kind of knife, and more of a I-keep-this-around-in-case-Chucky-ever-drops-by kind of knife) slice each chicken breast horizontally, so that you obtain two roughly equal slices of each breast.

Now cut thin slices of the fontina cheese (the thiner the slices are, the easier the assembling part will be) and cut your ham slices to make them be the size of the chicken breast (aprox). Preheat your oven to 180ºC, drizzle a little olive oil on an oven proof dish and get ready for some rock-and-rolling experience.

Take one chicken slice and layers the ham and cheese on top. Now roll it up carefully, pressing with your hands to prevent it from falling appart and to keep all the cheese in its place. We do not want to lose the cheese. At this point you should cut the roll in two, which can be critical for our save-the-cheese movement. Here’s the trick for a cut that will cause no cheese casualties: stick one toothpick in each side of the roll. This way the rolls will keep their shape and you won’t end up having a chicken-cheese-ham mess (which I got until I discovered the toothpick thing). Finally stick another toothpick into each roll, perpendicular to the first. The whole process should look something like this:

ham cheese chicken rolls prep 1 ham cheese chicken rolls prep 2 ham cheese chicken rolls prep 3 ham cheese chicken rolls prep 4 ham cheese chicken rolls prep 5 ham cheese chicken rolls prep 6

Place all your rolls vertically on the greased dish and sprinkle some salt on top (at this point you could add some herbs, like thyme or rosemary).

ham cheese chicken rolls prep 7

Bake them for 20 min and that’s it! Serve with a salad or with something to scoop up the excess melted cheese, like potatoes, pasta or rice. Remember, never waste cheese!

Enjoy!

ham cheese chicken rolls 2

BBQ Chicken Apple Quesadillas

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas 6

Here’s the deal: While I am a true Barcelona gal, born and bred, I certainly do not look the part. I look like some Swedish reindeer spit me out on its flight across the skies on Christmas Eve. I look sort of, well, squeaky, like birds help me get dressed in the morning. Well, they don’t, and mark my words, sometimes it’s the squeaky looking girls that can blow the roof off the barn.

Mostly, my outlandish looks translate into being considered purely ornamental in most serious situations, but also people speaking to me in pigeon English and then short-circuiting when I answer in Spanish, let alone Catalan. Watching their gobsmacked faces is all good fun, just as long as it stays at that. But sometimes, ah, sometimes they will ask the dreaded question. Alas, that this should be my fate. “So… where are you from, then?” they ask. “Wow, you look like you’re [insert Nordic country of choice here]”. Or the very popular, “But you’re so pale!”. Or even, “Are you sure?”

I’ve lost track of how many times a day I’d like to turn to someone and say, “You can’t seriously be this freaking stupid.” Other times I just think, to hell with this, I’m going to Narnia.

So being American-Catalan-German-French isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Except when cooking. When cooking, it totally rocks. I know all the good stuff from all those different cultures. And I can bring them together to create one glorious riot of globalization. And then I eat it.

This recipe is the brainchild of one of those fusion-crazed moments. We’re basically talking about quesadillas, but Mediterranean style. But with BBQ-sauce. And Cheddar, for good measure. When I make these, I of course have to wear my old cowboy boots, which are a subtle nod to my Texas forbears. I truly believe you should wear them, too, or the result just might not be the same. Also, try singing a random national anthem, just to mess with people’s heads.

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas 8

BBQ Chicken Apple Quesadillas.

Servings: about 8 quesadillas

Prep time: 30 mintues

You will need:

  • 1 whole rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cups (500gr) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2  cups (300gr) bacon, cooked until crisp
  • 3/4 to 1 cup (200-250ml) BBQ sauce, or more, to taste
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • salt and pepper, to taste

We will begin with the chicken. Using your kitchen scissor, or if you’re feeling particularly primitve, your bare hands, shred the chicken, making sure to catch all those yummy rotisserie juices. Season with salt and pepper if you feel it needs a little kick. Combine the shredded chicken with the BBQ sauce until coated. Add more, to taste.

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Before you start cooking, make sure you have all your ingredients handy. Place them in bowls around your workspace so you can access them quickly.

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As you can see, my grocery store was all out of Cheddar. All they had was sliced Cheddar, which took about as long as the original Ben Hur movie to shred.

Now, place your pan on the stove, but to not preheat it just yet. Prop up two tortillas against eachother, thus…

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…then layer with cheese, then chicken, apple, top with bacon and finish with a final layer of cheese. The exact amount of each is entirely up to you. If you want and XXL quesadilla, you can go crazy witht the stuffing. I wanted to keep mine light and crispy, so I went for a single layer of each.

Now you can fold over the quesadilla so they look like semi-circles, and turn on the heat. Cook on one side until golden brown and crisp (go ahead and lift the edge of a tortilla to check whether Mr. Golden Brown has arrived yet), then flip carefully and cook on the other side until, you guessed it, golden brown and crisp. Repeat the process with the remaining 6 tortillas.

Set aside for a few minutes so the cheese can melt into the other ingredients.

Serve with rice or a green salad, and some extra BBQ sauce.

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