Bang Bang Chicken Nuggets

bangbangAs the football season approaches we love easy grazing meals where we can pick up a plate and fill it with finger foods munching on and off throughout the day.

One of the best is of course some form of chicken nuggets, made from either breast meat or thigh.

This one fits the bill with a great little sauce for dipping that really works nicely.

I’ve significantly altered the cooking process, since I am not a big fan of big wet sloppy coatings that tend to fall off in one piece with the first bite.



  • 1 pound or more of chicken breast or boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2 c cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c buttermilk
  • 1-2 tbsp hot sauce (sriracha or your favorite)
  • vegetable oil of your choice for deep frying


  • 1/3 c mayo
  • 1/8 c sweet Asian chile sauce
  • 3 tbsp sriacha sauce or other hot sauce


  1. Dry the chicken pieces.
  2. Whisk the flour and cornstarch together.
  3. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour
  4. Whisk the eggs and then add the buttermilk and hot sauce and stir until mixed.
  5. Dip the floured chicken pieces in the egg mixture and then dredge again in the flour
  6. Drop immediately into hot oil heated to about 350-375° until golden brown and done.
  7. Place on a rack to drain away any excess oil.
  8. Mix the ingredients for the dipping sauce.


NOTES: The original uses a wet batter that I find utterly messy and that forms a coat that once you bite into the chicken comes off in one mass of boring breaded yuck. I prefer the method above which makes for a lighter but still crunchy coating which sticks to the chicken better. I also heated up the sauce and reduced the excessive sweetness. You can of course alter this as you wish.

SOURCE: Adapted from Damn Delicious


Jalapeno Popper Wontons

JalapenopopperOh these are so good.

Wonderful appetizers.

Think football games and grazing meals.

These can be cooked, then frozen, then reheated easily.

Make a bunch.

Make ‘em often.

Get to it.



  • 1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, brought to room temperature.
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed (or any other chile you wish)
  • 1 green onion, finely minced.
  • 1/2 c good quality Parmesan cheese
  • 18 or so wonton wrappers


  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor and whirr up until smooth
  2. Place a teaspoon full into each wrapper and seal edges with water. Make sure the seal is secure.
  3. Drop 4 or so at a time into vegetable oil heated to 350°.
  4. Cook until they rise and are lightly browned.
  5. Lay on a cooling rack lined with paper toweling to absorb excess oil.


NOTES: You can bake these or alternatively cook in a skillet with just enough oil to keep them from burning on the bottom, turn once if doing either of these. I would bake at 400° for about 20 minutes, or 10 minutes per side. Watch carefully so as not to burn.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Taquitos Supreme

toquitosOh Taquitos. Tired of the usual wings and nachos? Well, this is a great finger food or main dish depending on how you structure it. But it is perfect for grazing during football season.

You can make these so many ways that I’ll just give you the basics. They all work.

So avoid those frozen things and make your own. It takes little time, and the taste will convince you that they should be a staple in your snack or dinner repertoire.


  • A couple of dozen corn tortillas, 6″ ones are best.
  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Hatch or Anaheim or Poblano chile, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño or Serrano minced
  • 1 tbsp chile powder (heat up to you)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano (Mexican if you can get it)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 -2 c shredded cheese of your choice, Cotija, Monterey Jack, Cheddar or a mix)
  • oil for frying


  1. Saute the ground beef in a saute pan with the onions, roasted and other chiles, and seasonings, until meat is done.
  2. Stack the tortillas and cover with a damp cloth and place in microwave for 30 seconds to warm up and make pliable.
  3. Heat oil (1 cup or more) in a separate skillet to 350°.
  4. Place a tablespoon of the meat mixture across the tortilla, a bit off center, add a bit of cheese and roll as tightly as you can, securing with a toothpick.
  5. Place in the heated oil for about 3 minutes a side until crispy.
  6. Drain on rack lined with paper toweling.


NOTES: You can do just about anything with these. Substitute shredded cooked chicken or pork, or shredded beef as the meat, or use shrimp or fish. Make vegetarian ones made with beans.  Use any cheese you prefer. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, salsa, pico de gallo, or my Chile Tomato sauce (last post before this one) for dipping. Serve as finger food or by a plate with 3-4 taquitos apiece napped with sauce and additional cheese with sides of rice and beans.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Cream Cheese Wontons

wontons-036Oh I love appetizers.

This goes perfectly with a good Asian entrée along with a egg roll.

Makes a perfect complete plate.

And they are easy.

And they freeze perfectly so you can make a batch and have them for future Asian meals.

What more can you ask for?

Oh, yeah, someone to do the prep for ya.

Well, I can’t help with that, but do indulge in these lovely tidbits.



  • 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • 2 whole Green Onions, Light Green And Dark Green Parts, Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha Or Other Hot Sauce (more To Taste)
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 24 whole Wonton Wrappers
  • Vegetable Oil, For Frying


  1. Place cream cheese (softened) in food processor or mixer along with onions, and hot sauce and whir until all is well mixed.
  2. Mix the egg and water together until frothy in a bowl.
  3. Take a wonton wrapper and place about 1 tsp of the cheese filling in the lower corner and roll until it is covered. Then wash the outer triangle of wonton with egg wash. Bring the two sides together and press down, then flip up the tip. I make mine to look like little rectangular pillows so the tips don’t get over done. The point is to zip them up tight enough that the filling doesn’t come out during the frying.
  4. Place in oil which has been heated to about 350°. Depending on how large or small your frying vessel is, you can put 4 or so at a time.
  5. Remove when they have risen and are just golden. Place on a rack lined with paper towelling to cool.
  6. Makes at least 2 dozen.
  7. Freeze leftovers in a plastic bag and reheat in a 400° oven for about 15 minutes.
  8. Serve with a soy/honey sauce if desired.


NOTES: You can of course add anything else to the cheese mixture that strikes your fancy. Perhaps a tbsp of soy might be good.

SOURCE: Pioneer Woman


Serious Buffalo Wings

Spicy-Chicken-WingsI know. Everybody knows how to make buffalo wings.

Except that most people don’t.

And I tried a whole lot of recipes that claimed to be “the recipe” and most of them tasted like. . .well it’s better we don’t spoil your appetite with how they usually came out.

Definitely not the way they are supposed to.

Because they way they are supposed to take time, and it take work. And everybody is looking for a shortcut. Except that sometimes shortcuts just spoil the whole thing.

So screw up your courage, drag out the oil, and you will be rewarded with that succulent, tangy, perfect buffalo wing you dream of on lazy football Sundays, or any day you just have to have some.


  • 3 quarts peanut or canola oil
  • 4 pounds chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Frank’s RedHot Sauce
  • Blue cheese dressing
  • Celery sticks


  1. Stovetop method: Place oil and chicken wings in a large wok or Dutch oven. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it registers 225 to 250°F on an instant-read or deep-fry thermometer (chicken should be gently bubbling). Continue to cook, stirring and flipping chicken occasionally while adjusting heat to maintain a temperature of 225 to 250°F until chicken is cooked through and skin is tender but not crisp or browned, about 20 minutes total. Transfer chicken with a wire mesh spider to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Allow chicken to rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or cover and rest in the fridge for up to three nights. Proceed with Step 3.

  2. Oven Method: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 225°F. Place oil and chicken wings in a large oven-safe Dutch oven. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it registers 200°F on an instant-read or deep-fry thermometer. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook until chicken wings are tender but not browned, 40 minutes to 1 hour (chicken should be tender but not falling apart). Remove pot from oven. Transfer chicken with a wire mesh spider to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Allow chicken to rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or cover and rest in the fridge for up to three nights. Proceed with Step 3.

  3. When ready to serve, combine butter and Frank’s in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until butter is completely melted. Transfer to a large bowl. Heat oil to 400°F. Carefully add one-third of chicken and cook, stirring and flipping chicken occasionally while adjusting heat to maintain a temperature of 375 to 400°F until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to bowl with sauce, toss to coat, and serve with blue cheese and celery. Repeat with remaining batches, serving one batch at a time.

    SERVES: Seriously? You are really asking that? Oh lets say 4-6, depending on how selfish you are.

    NOTES: You can make this easier in one way. First I use the stove top method. I don’t like the idea of that much oil in my oven period. And I used a large 4qt.  pan and probably cut the oil usage down to about 1 quart, rather than using my big old cast iron dutch oven. If you do a smaller batch of wings, like 2 lbs, you can probably get by with one batch. Do keep that temp down on the first fry.  And I did use the same oil for the second fry. I actually did the first fry on one day, and the second the next. I refrigerated between and brought them to room temperature before the second fry.  You can also use any hot sauce you like, but Frank’s is the standard. Down here where I live, we have some livelier and thicker hot sauces and I used one of those. On the second fry, do do in batches. I did three for about 2 lbs of wings.

    SOURCE: Serious Eats


Green Olive Hummus

greenoliveHaving spent a lot of years eating lunch in Greek town in Detroit, I’ve become a real lover of hummus. Trust me, none of that store-bought stuff is worth using as paste. It’s not good, and you can whip up some fast enough anyway.

This idea came by way of a blogger, and then I started investigating and found several other recipes, and basically put together some of this and some of that, and made it the way I wanted it.

Try it.

This is a great party appetizer by the way, so think of it whenever you are setting up a snacking type of buffet.


  • 1 can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1/3- 1/2 c green olives, pitted (if using the larger variety, more like 1/2 cup)
  • juice of 1/2 to one lemon, depending on how juicy
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded or not as you prefer (can be omitted entirely if you wish) It would be best to char the jalapeño, cool and then strip the peel before chopping.
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce (again, omit if you don’t like heat)
  • 1/4 c tahini sauce
  • 2 lg cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • dash of salt
  • olive oil only extra virgin (and the best you can afford for this) about 1/4 c and more for dressing the top
  • parsley, about 2 tbsp fresh, minced


  1. Place everything through the salt into a food processor and whir until smooth.
  2. Drizzle the olive oil until it looks creamy and is of a consistency where it is still easy to scoop with a cracker, but not crumbly.
  3. Place into a serving dish, drizzle with additional EVOO and parsley.

SERVES: 1 cup

NOTES: you can omit the heat of course completely if you wish. You could buy dry garbanzos and cook them yourself. The tahini is really essential, but you could, if you can’t find it, try to grind sesame seeds into a paste. I think you could do this in a large batch and then freeze what you don’t use in this dish. Tahini is mixed with olive oil, so if you just put in ground sesame seeds, then you might need to add extra olive oil to get the right consistency.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton


Chicken-Bacon Bites with Sriracha

chickenbaconThese simply make a simple, quick and quite tasty appetizer.

Perfect for the super bowl if you are inclined to party that day.

Can be made ahead and heated up fine.

What could be easier?

Not much.

So give them a try.

Don’t worry at all about recipe amounts. Once you read the recipe that will be clear. Just take whatever amount of chicken you are using, add enough hot sauce to marinate, and so forth.


  • 1 lb of chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/2 lb bacon, (approx)
  • 1/2 c canola oil
  • 2-3 tbsp of Sriracha sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 c brown sugar


  1. Put the cubed chicken in a plastic bag.
  2. Add some oil, the hot sauce, and the lime juice, and massage the chicken, making sure it’s all covered.
  3. Place in fridge for about an hour minimum, longer if you wish.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400°.
  5. Working on a cookie sheet, covered with foil or parchment, lay out a strip of bacon. Place a chicken piece on the end, and roll just until it overlaps, slice off with a knife, and then toothpick in place. Each strip will make about 3 pieces. Do this for all the chicken pieces.
  6. Put the pieces standing up so the chicken is visible. Spoon over a bit of the reserved marinade if there is any, letting it soak down.
  7. Put a generous pinch of brown sugar to “cap” each one.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until chicken is done.
  9. You can place under a broiler if you want to crisp up the bacon if it needs it.
  10. Serve warm.

SERVES: 20 appetizers

NOTES: As I said, you can eyeball the amount of each ingredient, based on how much chicken you are using.

SOURCE: Adapted from The Gunnysack


OVEN TIME: 30 minutes