What we ate: dinner series

I'm back for another installment of what we ate for dinner this week! So far, it's been a fun experience to share this cooking and blogging partnership! So without further adieu...

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This is totally my favorite meal from the week. You can pretty much sell me anything with ranch dressing -- let's be serious. Javi really loved it, too!

You need:
- 1 chicken breast (cut into cubes)
- Ranch Dressing
- 3 slices of bacon (cut into little strips)
- 2 Roma Tomatoes
- 2 cups of Mozzarella Cheese
- Olive Oil
- Parmesan Cheese
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Grated Pepper

Preheat the oven to 450F. Take the dough out of the oven and let it warm up for a bit. Pour a little bit of olive oil in large cast iron skillet (enough to coat it). Place the dough in the skillet and push around the sides. Let rest while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a medium cast iron skillet on medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Set aside bacon on a plate with paper towels when it's finished. Do not drain skillet! Put the chicken in the same skillet with the bacon oil. Salt and pepper the chicken. Cook until it's done and set aside.

Cut the roma tomatoes into 9 equal sized circles. Set aside.

If the pizza dough has retracted a bit, push it to the sides again. Top the pizza with ranch dressing. Make sure not to use too much (even though I love ranch... I will admit if you're heavy on the ranch it's a bit overwhelming). A thin coat will do just fine. Break up some of the bacon and mix it in with the ranch dressing. Next top with the mozzarella cheese. Spread it evenly all over the dough. Grate a good amount of parmesan on top. Then place the tomatoes, chicken, and bacon on the pizza. Top with some more parmesan cheese. Sprinkle some kosher salt and grate a little bit of pepper over the top of the pizza.

Place in the oven for 25 minutes. Try not to peak and open the oven. You’ll let the heat out! But make sure the cheese is not burning on the top.

Take the pizza out of the oven when it's done (remember the handle will be BURNING). Slice, grate some parmesan over the top (again) and drizzle some ranch dressing over the top. Serve! 

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So I'll be perfectly honest -- I'm a fan of fast food -- as in the "restaurants". We bought these cute little fast food baskets with the paper inserts from amazon this week. It really helped with the fast food vibe! It's like you're in a fast food joint (but the food is good) and you're in the comfort of your own home!

Sliders -- 
You need:
- 1 Package of King’s Hawaiian Dinner Rolls
- 1 lb Ground Beef (80/20)
- 1 Onion
- 6 slices of bacon
- American Cheese
- Claussen Pickles
- Mustard
- Ketchup

Preheat the oven to 400F. Run a bread knife all the way through the King’s Hawaiian Dinner Rolls to separate the bottoms from the tops. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the ground beef on the parchment paper, and start creating a rectangle shape. Open the package of King’s Hawaiian Dinner Rolls and use the cardboard piece to measure out the size you need for the patties. Place in oven for about 15-20 minutes draining off the fat once in a while.

Slice the bacon into small pieces and fry on the stove top until your desired texture. Line a plate with paper towels and let the bacon dry. Cook the onions in the bacon fat until sweated out and set aside when done.

The beef should be done now so take it out of the oven and set it aside. Place the dinner rolls on another baking sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes at 400F. 

Use a pizza cutter or knife to slice the beef into 12 individual patties and place patties on the rolls. Top the patties with cheese and put back in the oven until cheese is melted. Once the cheese is melted get your toppings (we like onions, pickles, bacon, mustard, and ketchup). Put the top of the dinner rolls on the patty and serve!

Deep Fried Garlic Parmesan French Fries --
You need:
 - 6-8 Idaho Potatoes
- Canola Oil (for frying)
 Salt (to taste)
- Parmesan Cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- Corn Starch

Heat fryer to 300F. Mince garlic. In a pan, heat up the olive oil and sweat out the garlic on medium-high heat until it has softened a bit (about 1-3 minutes). Set aside.

Cut potatoes into desired fry size. Place in a bowl of water. After 30 minutes, put potatoes on baking sheet with paper towels and pat dry. Transfer to a dry bowl and coat with enough corn starch that each slice of potato is lightly dredged.

Put the fries in the oil for about 4-6 minutes. Pull them out and turn the heat up to 350F. Once it has heated up, drop the fries back in until they’re golden brown. Once done, let drain and transfer to a bowl. Salt immediately! Add the garlic. Toss. Grate some fresh Parmesan over the top and serve.

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I cannot tell you how much I love fajitas! I mean... I love them from the Old El Paso box :) but I'll admit there is something about fresh and homemade, too!

You need:
 - 1/3 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into small strips
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into small strips
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into small strips
- 1 red onion, cut into small strips
- 10 corn tortillas (check out last week's post!)
- 1/4 lb Monterey jack cheese, shredded

So you could do this part the night before! In a metal or glass bowl, whisk together the cilantro, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the chicken to the bowl and toss it. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

In a large cast iron skillet, bring to high heat. Once the pan is smoking, add oil and quickly toss in the chicken. Cook all the way through while stirring occasionally. Toss the bell peppers and onion with salt and pepper. Toss in with the chicken and stir frequently until the vegetables are a texture you like. Some like it crunchier and some like them soft. Bring to the table while still sizzling like at the restaurant! Put in corn tortillas and top with cheese.

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You need:
- 1 chicken (broken down -- 2 breasts, 2 drumsticks, 2 wings and 2 thighs)
- 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. kosher salt plus 2 tsp.
- 4 large eggs
- 4 cups of buttermilk or whole milk
- 2 tbsp. vinegar-based hot sauce like Tabasco
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- canola oil (for frying)
- 1 1/2 tbsp. cayenne pepper (more or less depending on the desired level of spice)
-  2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- white bread and sliced pickles for serving

You should do this part the night before! Toss chicken with black pepper and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large bowl. Pour 2 cups of buttermilk and mix all together. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. 

Whisk flour and remaining 4 teaspoons of salt in another large bowl. Whisk eggs, 2 cups of buttermilk, and hot sauce in a large bowl. 

Choose a Dutch oven or a deeper fryer (we used a deep fryer), pour in oil to measure 2". Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 325°. Pat chicken dry. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess, and then dip in buttermilk mixture, letting excess drip back into bowl. Dredge again in flour mixture and place on a baking sheet.

Fry chicken, turning occasionally, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a piece should register at 160° for white meat and 165° for dark, 15-18 minutes. (We've had some mishaps with uncooked chicken! Don't fall into this!) Transfer to a clean wire rack set inside a baking sheet. Let oil cool slightly.

Whisk cayenne, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika in a medium bowl; carefully whisk in 1 cup frying oil. Brush fried chicken with spicy oil. Serve with fries (recipe up above!) bread and pickles!

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That concludes "what we ate" this week! Hope you enjoyed the recipes and try some at home! Be sure to follow us on instagram!

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