Italian Style Chicken & Waffles

Most of you probably already know, but I married a Maryland boy.

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He loves crabs, Old Bay, Natty Boh, the Orioles…and OF COURSE the Ravens.

Hence our INSANITY over the Ravens…and just wait, the craziness over the Orioles will soon begin.

N220<—our wedding cake topper

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But what you may not know is that Craig went to NC State for college.

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(^ he would be the ‘A’ )

While at college in North Carolina he was introduced to a bunch of Southern foods. From grits, biscuits & gravy, collard greens, Bojangles (AKA heaven on earth) to cornbread and chicken fried steak.

But one of his favorite meals while in college, between his nightly cookie dough feasts, was Chicken and Waffles…or should I say Chicken ‘n’ waffles.

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I had heard of them before I met Craig, but really never thought much about it until he ordered it one time while we were out. At first I thought he was insane. But then I tried a bite….and boy it is TASTY! Can’t say that I would order it on my own, but I loved having a few bites of his.

So when I came across a recipe yesterday for a spin on traditional chicken & waffles, I HAD to make it. I’m pretty good about meal planning and try to stick to it, but yesterday it went out the window.

At first I was skeptical, but then I kept reading and knew it had to be a winner: Chicken & Waffles- Italian Style!

Not only did it stand out to me because I know Craig’s love for the dish, but the fact that it was ITALIAN (& we all know his Italian tendencies 😉 ) chicken & waffles….I would have been crazy NOT to make it.

I changed a few things about the recipe in order to make it just for two. But, you can find the original recipe HERE.

There are a few parts to the recipe- I prepped the chicken tenders first, then while they baked I made the waffles.

Gabriella also assisted in making dinner, she didn’t want to be left out.

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Recipe for Chicken Tenders
3/4 lb. chicken tenders
-3/4 cup Bisquick mix, I used Heart Healthy Bisquick
-2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
-2 heaping tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
-1 egg beaten
-2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In one shallow dish (I used a pie plate), combine Bisquick, Italian seasoning and cheese.  In a second shallow dish, beat your one egg.  Take each chicken breast and dip it first in the Bisquick mix, coating well, then dip it in the egg mix coating both sides, then dip it one more time back in the Bisquick mix.

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Place chicken on cookie sheet sprayed with Pam.  Brush half of your melted butter over the tops of the chicken and bake 8 minutes.  Flip chicken over and brush remaining half of your melted butter on opposite side and finish cooking another 5 minutes.  Your chicken should be brown and kind of crispy with the juices running clear.

Recipe for Waffles
-2 cups Bisquick
-1 & 1/3 cups milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
-1 egg
-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
-1 tbsp dried chives
-1 tsp black pepper, if desired

Preheat waffle iron. Mix together Bisquick, milk, & egg. Once combined add in cheese, chives & pepper. Pour batter into greased waffle iron & bake until cooked through.

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Once the waffles & chicken are done, start making the dish! Take 2 waffles, top with 2-3 chicken tenders & then pour on spaghetti sauce.

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(I made Craig’s a bit bigger- this is his- 2 waffles & 3 tenders. He went back for another waffle)

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I would say dinner was a success by the looks of his plate above. 😉

I loved the concept and the twist on the traditional recipe! What a great idea!!

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Old Bay Shrimp Cakes

Well guys, I hate to say it, but it’s another one of those Mondays. Yuck. It’s true they never get easier, but thankfully once we get past today it always seems to get a bit easier, right?

Today I have a new recipe to share with you, and all of the credit for the idea even popping into my mind goes to Craig. You see he’s a Maryland boy, through & through. He was born & raised there; and most of his family lives there.

He love crabs, crab cakes, Old Bay, & Natty Boh.
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He is a DIEHARD Ravens fan. (well, we both are…but now you know where I get it from)
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(that’s Craig & his cousin Steve after the win over the 49ers on Thanksgiving night. This may be one of my favorite pictures that I have ever captured. Emotion is ALL over their faces & it CRACKS me up everytime I see it 😀 )

I mean he even proposed to me on the Ravens field!
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We are also big Orioles fans. In Craig’s vows to me, one of his lines was ‘in Orioles induced sickness & in health.’ I’m sure if you follow baseball, you will find that pretty funny as well. 😉 Even though the Orioles haven’t been doing so well for the past few years, we still love ‘em.
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Now lucky for us, we can buy Natty Boh in Florida (even though it’s difficult to find sometimes), we can still be Ravens & Orioles fans, and Old Bay is in every grocery store. But we CANNOT find good crabs down here.

If you have ever had Maryland crabs, then you know what I mean. You will never want crabs again, unless they are from Maryland.
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No more ‘k’ krab for this girl. Only ‘c’ crab will work! I guess you could call me a crab snob…and I’m ok with that. 😉

We both love crab cakes, and I hate only being able to have them like twice a year when we make a trip to Maryland. So I decided to come up with a substitution. Shrimp cakes! Even though nothing could ever replace crab cakes, these are do a really good job of satisfying my crab cake craving (say that three times fast 😉 ) …for the time being at least. 🙂 I think it’s because of all of the Old Bay that I used. Love that stuff!!

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Old Bay Shrimp Cakes

Makes 8 shrimp cakes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked shrimp
  • 2 egg whites & 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp. Old Bay + additional for topping
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 cups panko crumbs
  • EVOO, for cooking

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a chopper or food processer, take you shrimp & pulse them in the chopper until they are no longer whole. This should be pretty quick, they chop easily.
3. In a large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Once it is well combined, add in the shrimp. Shape into 8 cakes.
4. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle EVOO in pan. Once heated, cook the cakes for about 3 minutes each side, or until slightly browned. You will probably have to cook them in two batches.
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5. Put the cakes on a cookie sheet, sprinkle them liberally with more Old Bay & then bake for about 17 – 20 minutes.
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6. Serve with sweet and spicy sauce (recipe below), if desired.

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Sweet & spicy sauce
(Recipe from Gina)

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Ingredients:
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Preparation:
Combine all & mix well.

The sauce isn’t necessary, but it adds more more flavor to them. Kind of gives them even more of a kick. I like the whole sweet and spicy combination, and this sauce is just that!

We enjoyed these yesterday while watching the NBA All Star game, which was right here in Orlando! It was pretty cool to see it take place here- only happens like once every 20 years.

Hope you have a great Monday! And if you need a little morning pick me up, you could always stop at Starbucks. I have a few excuses that you could use.