[alice springs chicken quesadillas]

We've finally nailed one of our favorite dishes from Outback.... we hate eating there, but love the food for curbside takeaway.  
Honey Mustard Sauce/Dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
Whip ingredients in an electric mixer for 1 minute.  Chill until needed.

2 chicken breasts
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
4 slices bacon
1 Tbsp butter + 1 Tbsp divided
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
4 medium tortillas

Heat oven to 375.  Place bacon in Pyrex pan.  Cook bacon for 20 minutes or until fully cooked.  When done, let bacon drain on paper towels.  

Pound chicken breasts to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Season with salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.   Cook chicken on each side until golden brown.  Place breasts in foil and wrap to keep warm and continue cooking until ready.

Keep skillet on medium heat and melt 1 Tbsp butter.  Add mushrooms and saute.  Remove mushrooms from skillet and set aside in a bowl.

Slice chicken into thin strips about 1/2 inch to 1 inch in length.  Set aside.  Rough chop the mushrooms and set aside.  Chop the bacon and set aside.  Heat butter in sauce pan over medium heat.  Place tortilla on melted butter and cover with 2 spoonfuls of honey mustard sauce and spread to cover most of tortilla.  Sprinkle 1 chopped chicken breast over sauce and cover with 1/2 of mushrooms and bacon and enough cheese to lightly cover tortilla.  Drizzle 1 spoonful of honey mustard sauce over cheese and cover with another tortilla.  Flip quesadilla when light brown and cook on other side until also light brown.  Repeat with other 2 tortillas.

Cut quesadillas into 6 pieces and serve with honey mustard sauce for dipping.
Serves 2.

[chicken scampi]

Serves 2, (very generous servings)
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp minced white onion
1/8 cup minced garlic (4-6 cloves)
3/4 cup sherry (regular, not cooking sherry)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp minced fresh parsley
1/2 cup heavy cream

8 ounces angel hair pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 chicken tenderloins
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into bite-size strips
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size strips
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into bite-size strips
1/2 chopped red onion
1 tsp minced fresh parsley

Optional: freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Make Sauce: Melt butter in a pan over medium/low heat.  Add minced white onion and saute for 2 to 4 minutes or until the onion begins to brown.  Add the minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds.  Add wine, salt, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and black pepper.  Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to half.  Add parley and cream and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.  Do not let mixture boil.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot.  Add the angel hair pasta and cook for 4 minutes or until pasta is al dente.  Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to keep it from continuing to cook.  

Preheat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet/sauce pan over medium heat.  Lightly salt and pepper the chicken tenderloins, then coat with flour.  Shake excess flour from chicken and add to hot pan.  Saute for 3 to 5 minutes on one side or until golden brown.  

When the chicken is brown on one side, flip each of the pieces and move them to the side of the pan.  Add the sliced peppers and chopped red onion to the center of the skillet.  Continue cooking the chicken and vegetables for 4 to 6 minutes or until the chicken is browned and the veggies begin to brown on the edges.  Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables and add the cooked pasta.  Toss everything and continue to cook for a couple minutes.  Divide evenly between two plates and sprinkle each with fresh parsley.  (If including Parmesan cheese, serve with parsley and cheese on top).

[chicken madeira]

It looks harder than it is - this is our new favorite dish.  It's amazingly light and delicious.
Serves 2-4
For two: serve with garlic bread, each serving having 2 breasts
For 4: Serve with garlic mashed potatoes, one breast each
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 skinless chicken fillets
8 asparagus spears
4 mozzarella cheese slices

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups sliced fresh white mushrooms
3 cups Madeira wine
2 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Pound chicken breasts to about 1/4 inch thick.  Sprinkle each fillet with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet/sauce pan over medium heat.  Saute the chicken fillets 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until the chicken has browned up a bit.  Remove chicken breasts and wrap them together in foil to keep warm while you make the sauce.  Don't clean the pan - add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and keep pan at medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and saute for about 2 minutes.  Add the Madeira wine, beef broth, butter and pepper.  Bring sauce to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce reduces to about one-quarter of it's original volume.  When the sauce is done it will thicken and turn a dark brown color.  

As the sauce is simmering, bring a medium saucepan filled about halfway with water to a boil.  Add a little salt to the water.  Toss the asparagus into the water and boil for 3 to 5 minutes until they're tender, but not mushy.  Drop the asparagus into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.  (Keep them in the bath until sauce is done.)

When sauce has finished, set oven to broil.  Arrange chicken breasts on a baking pan (discard the foil).  Lay two asparagus spears on each fillet and cover each with a slice of mozzarella cheese.  Broil chicken for 3 to 4 minutes or until the cheese begins to melt with light brown spots.  

Serve with a ladle of sauce (with mushrooms) on each breast. 

[erin & bobby's potato salad]

bobby made it up - erin perfected it
This is the 2nd best potato salad I've ever had (the first being Jacobson's, which is a family favorite that can never be recreated or beat).  This is based on Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Potato Salad that I've adjusted and will use any excuse to make it.  
1 pound new potatoes (8-10 small)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/8 cup Jack Daniels Honey Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 green onion (white bulb and 3 inches of green), finely chopped
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 small jalapeno pepper, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp cayenne
Salt and black pepper

In a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat, boil the potatoes until cooked through, 15-18 minutes.  Drain and slice 1/2 inch thick.

mix this
In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, Northwoods Fire or Chipotle, lime juice, green and red onions, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper.  Once the mixture is well combined, place the warm sliced potatoes in the bowl and mix carefully folding the mixture until combined.  Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.  Cover and place in refrigerator for an hour, or until ready to serve.  Can also be served immediately, warm.

[steakhouse rice]

Serves 2 as a side dish (but we’re talking 2 hungry people, because Ben and I couldn’t eat it all – but it makes good leftovers too).
2 cups beef or chicken stock or canned broth
1 cup uncooked long grain converted white rice
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup diced white onion
3 to 4 mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt

Bring the stock to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan.  Add the rice, stir, cover and reduce to low.  Simmer for 20 minutes on low heat. 
When the rice has cooked for about 10 minutes, (with 10 remaining…), heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  (Note: use a large skillet – read ahead). 
When the oil is hot, add the onion and mushroom to the pan.  Saute for 5 minutes..  When the rice is done, add it to the skillet and turn the heat to medium/low.  Add the frozen peas, chili powder and salt.  Stir and heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve with grilled steak or chicken.
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