Greek Salad – The Pioneer Woman Cooks – Ree Drummond (One Rotisserie Chicken 50 Meals #8)

I love Ree Drummond.  Never met her.  Never mind the fact I’m married.  I love Ree Drummond.  I love Ree because every recipe of hers I’ve tried is awesome.  This Greek Salad recipe is all Ree.  It is reproduced in its awesome entirity and I’ve given credit to this Goddess via the link below.

We had the usual gang over for pizza one night.  Everyone asks “What can I bring?”.  So for one of our couple friends we said “Salad”.

They brought this salad over to have with pizza.

Awesome!

Since that fateful day, we’ve made this salad several times.  One time we put chicken on top of it.  Dinner. Done. Delicious.

Greek Salad | The Pioneer Woman Cooks | Ree Drummond.

Ingredients

  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce, Chopped
  • 4 whole Ripe Tomatoes, Cut Into Six Wedges Each, Then Each Wedge Cut In Half
  • 1 whole (large) Cucumber, Peeled, Cut Into Fourths Lengthwise, And Diced Into Large Chunks
  • ½ whole Red Onion, Sliced Very Thin
  • 30 whole Pitted Kalamata Olives, Cut In Half Lengthwise
  • 6 ounces, weight Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • Fresh Parsley, Roughly Chopped
  • ¼ cups Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar (more To Taste)
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 6 whole Kalamata Olives (extra), Chopped Fine
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 whole Lemon, For Squeezing

Preparation Instructions

Add chopped lettuce, tomato wedges, cucumber chunks, onion
slices, halved Kalamata olives, half the feta, and parsley to a large
bowl.

Combine olive oil, vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, pepper, and chopped
olives in a bowl. Whisk together until combined. Taste and adjust
seasonings (I almost always add a little sugar.)

Pour dressing over salad ingredients, then add salt and pepper. Toss
with tongs or clean hands. Just before serving, top with additional feta
and squeeze a little lemon juice over the top.

via Greek Salad | The Pioneer Woman Cooks | Ree Drummond.

One Rotisserie Chicken, 50 Meals – #7 Sandi’s Memaw’s Chicken Spaghetti

Sandi’s Memaw’s Chicken Spaghetti

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

2 C chicken stock

1 T chopped parsley

1 whole onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Pinch each, basil and thyme

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 rotisserie chicken, de-boned and diced

1 lb mushrooms rinsed and sliced

2 T flour

1 C cream

1/4 lb grated cheese, Monterrey Jack and Parmesan

1 lb Spaghetti

2 T Butter

  1. In a medium stock pot simmer tomatoes and chicken stock until reduced by half.
  2. Add parsley, onion, garlic, basil, thyme, Worcestershire, and chicken.
  3. In a separate pan saute the mushrooms in butter.  Stir in flour, cream, and cheese.  Add to chicken/tomato mixture.
  4. Cook spaghetti until al dente.  Drain and combine with the sauce.
  5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

 

When you want a tasty baked pasta dish that’s not exactly Italian try this recipe.  The origin of this recipe is as interesting as the dish itself.   Sandi is one of my wife’s childhood friends.  Sandi called her grandmother “Memaw”.  Hence, this is Sandi’s grandmother’s recipe.  Over the years this pasta supper was made with minor variations.  I’ve always substituted half and half for the cream.  But if your intention is for a creamier dish, go for the cream.  Different pasta shapes work well too.  Don’t just limit yourself to spaghetti.  Be generous with the cheese quantity also.

 

One Rotisserie Chicken, 50 Meals – #6 Pasta with Chicken, Vegetables, Oiive Oil and Garlic

Pasta with Chicken, Vegetables, Olive Oil and Garlic

Parmesan cheese (lots)
3 medium carrots
2 small zucchini

2 small yellow squash
1/2 red bell pepper, diced

4 oz mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil for sauteing, 3-4 tablespoons for dressing the pasta
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 lb cooked, drained bow tie pasta

One Rotisserie Chicken, carved off the bone, cut into pieces that match your pasta shape.

  1. Cook pasta according to directions on the package for al dente.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Cut carrots and zucchini on the diagonal into thin slices about 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Heat 1 T olive oil (preferably extra virgin) in a frying pan.  Saute the carrots and squashes for several minutes on each side until golden brown and caramelized.
  4. Add the onion, red pepper, mushrooms and garlic.  Saute for several minutes until the onions are translucent.  Add more olive oil if necessary to prevent sticking.
  5. Toss chicken into the pan and stir until the chicken is warmed through.
  6. Add pasta to the vegetable chicken mixture and stir to mix well.  Add remaining olive oil.
  7. Sprinkle with fresh basil and grated Parmesan.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Top each serving with more shredded Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

 

It was hard figuring out how this dish started.  When the kids were little time was always limited, especially around dinner time when they needed to eat RIGHT NOW.  One night there was leftover spaghetti in the fridge.  It got tossed with some sautéed onion and garlic, topped with cheese and served.  Not only did the pasta get eaten, but the kids requested the dish again.  We had discovered a fast meal without resorting to fast food.

Over the years this simple meal evolved.  More vegetables got added.  The browning of the squashes came later, spurred by a memory of a dish eaten in some Italian restaurant a long time ago.  Chicken was added to make the dish more substantial and to take advantage of the cooked birds that every market started to prepare and sell.

TIPS – use a good quality extra virgin olive oil.  Add crushed red pepper in Step 4 if you want some zing.  You’ll need a nice loaf of bread and a salad to complete the meal.  Either red or white wine will work but if you choose red, get a lighter bodied Italian red like Bardolino.

Scallion Fried Rice (add Rotisserie Chicken for #5 in the Series One Rotisserie Chicken – 50 Meals)

Scallion Fried Rice

4-6 fresh scallions (green onions)
2 eggs
Salt and black pepper, to taste
3 T canola cooking oil
3 cups cooked rice (leftover and cold American Basmati)
2 tsp sesame oil

  1. Slice and separate white and green parts of scallions.
  2. Heat cooking oil in a nonstick wok over heat.  Coat pan with the hot oil by twirling.
  3. Add white parts of the scallions and saute about 1 minute.
  4. Add rice and stir-fry while breaking up the clumps until rice is heated through.  Add more canola oil to prevent sticking, if needed.
  5. Turn heat down to medium-high.  Push the rice to the sides of the wok, creating a well in the center.  Crack in the eggs and stir constantly while not allowing the egg to completely set up.  Gradually incorporate the rice until the egg is blended in well with the rice.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Add sesame oil. Garnish with the remaining green tops of the scallions.

 

There have to be as many versions of Fried Rice as there are cooks.  Everyone has their favorite recipe and somewhere along the Path I started making this simple fried rice.  This rice makes an excellent side dish and can be made ahead of time and gently reheated.  The original versions I remember from my childhood had bits of dried Chinese sausage or char siu in the dish.  I’ve also encountered versions made with tiny bits of ham or bacon.  Here I present the ovo-lacto veggie version.

Tips – The rice needs to be cold, preferably leftover from the previous day.  Make fried rice with hot or warm rice and you will make a Giant Clump Fried Rice Ball.  Any white rice will do fine; we prefer the taste of American Basmati.  Better yet, use Texmati American Basmati.  I’ve tried other rices and it’s just not the same.  Now if you want to make a meal out of this fried rice, add some diced Rotisserie Chicken and you have Chicken Fried Rice.

That was easy.

Update 08.23.14

Two eggs, not one.  I’ve also changed the Tips to reflect the type of rice I use.

One Rotisserie Chicken, 50 Meals – #4 Pasta Primavera with(out) Chicken

Pasta Primavera with Chicken

Grated Parmesan cheese (lots)
3 medium carrots
2 small zucchini
1 small head of broccoli florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 lb cooked, drained pasta (fettuccine, bow ties)

One Rotisserie Chicken, carved off the bone, cut into pieces that match your pasta shape.

  1. Cut carrots and zucchini lengthwise into thin slices. Add carrots, zucchini and broccoli to 1 inch boiling water in medium saucepan. Cook until crisp-tender.
  2. Drain; set aside.
  3. In the same saucepan add olive oil, onion and garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Gradually stir in broth, cream, grated Parmesan (min. 1/2 cup) and seasonings; simmer 5 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.
  5. Add vegetables and heat thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Add pasta to vegetables and lightly toss.  Add chicken if desired.
  6. Top with more grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

 

Back in my 20’s I started making Pasta Primavera.  This was always the dish made to celebrate the bounty of fresh, seasonal vegetables during the summer months.  I recall using copious amounts of butter and heavy cream.  Low cholesterol and heart friendly were not in anyone’s vocabulary at that time.  Along the Path I came across a recipe called Pasta with Fresh Vegetables in Garlic Sauce on http://www.theculinarychase.com  It was the first time I had seen someone use a combination of chicken stock and cream in a Pasta Primavera type dish.  Over the years I began using chicken stock with half and half with good results.  Then I started tossing in cooked rotisserie chicken.  The kids ate it so I kept making it.

Tips – try different vegetable combinations.  Mushrooms and red bell pepper are a good addition.  So too are a handful of fresh spinach leaves. A dash of red pepper flakes will add some zip.  If you want less fat in your sauce, cut back on the half and half, increase the chicken stock.  Or if you want a richer sauce, more half and half, less stock.  Toss in a pat of butter.  This dish freezes well.  Don’t make the mistake of using a full pound of pasta.  You’ll end up with enough pasta for 8 people.  Depending upon the size of the chicken, you might need only a half chicken for this dish.

One Rotisserire Chicken, 50 Meals – #3 Sour Cream Chicken Enchillada Casserole

Updated 10.13.13

Son:  “Whenever I make one of your recipes it never quite turns out the same.”

Me:    “So?”

Recipes change with time and repeated preparations.  So when the usual crew showed up to to be fed this weekend I made a conscious effort to pay attention to what I was doing and the quantities while making this dish.  Sure enough, quite a few things were different from the original recipe.  The changes are in bold.  The original recipe is in the cookbook mentioned below.  But you don’t want the original recipe.  You want this one.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada Casserole

1/4 C butter
2 T. flour
2 C. sour cream
3 C. chicken broth
1 small can mild green chiles
1 medium onion, chopped

Saute onions in butter, add flour then broth.  Cook over medium heat until thickened.  Add chiles and sour cream and heat.  Be careful to not let the sauce boil.  Set aside.

One rotisserie  chicken, meat taken off the bones, cubed
 8 oz cheddar cheese, 8 oz Monterrey Jack cheese grated
18 corn tortillas

1.  Butter  a 9 x 12 casserole dish.

2.  Put a little sauce in the bottom of the dish.

3.  Layer 3 corn tortillas.  Layer chicken.  Cover with jack cheese.  Sauce.  Repeat two more times.

4.  Bake 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes covered until bubbly.  Remove cover, add cheddar cheese to the top.  Return to the oven to allow cheese to melt.

5.  After cheese has melted, remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

 

And yet another recipe whose origin is kind of fuzzy.  I think this recipe kind of morphed from Delicioso! Cooking South Texas Style.  But when I go to the book, the recipe is different, calling for Monterrey jack cheese and jalapenos.  If this is the source of the recipe, then somewhere along the Path I subbed mild chiles and cheddar.  But pretty much the recipe is from this classic cookbook.

Tips – Cut up the chicken first.  If you use pre-shredded cheese make sure it the kind that will melt (if you know what I mean and I think you do).  Use more sour cream if you like a rich casserole.  Use more chicken stock if you like your casserole “juicy” as in fall apart and spread all over your plate “juicy”.  Go ahead and use the hot pepper of your choice if you don’t have kids.

One Rotisserie Chicken , 50 Meals – #2 Spinach Salad

Spinach Salad

1 C canola oil
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c ketchup
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 c chopped sweet onion

Mix the above ingredients together to make the dressing.

3 hard boiled eggs
1 can water chestnuts (optional)
6 strips bacon fried and crumbled ( NOT optional)
1 lb bagged spinach, baby and organic (if you can find it)

Toss the above ingredients together and pour the dressing over and mix

The date stamp on the electronic file for this recipe was 2007.  Friends of ours across the street served this salad one night and we thought the spinach salad was the best we had tasted.  This simple salad is a staple in our home for five years according to the date stamp

A couple of weeks ago we were at the same friend’s house for a rousing Friday evening of cards.  I said we’ll bring dinner.  We bought some prepared potato and corn salads, spinach salad, and one carved up rotisserie chicken.  The reaction was somewhat surprising:

“We’ve never put chicken on this spinach salad before.”

And another simple supper recipe is born.