7/29/09

Renee's Chicken Salad and White Cheddar Pimento and Cheese Quesadillas with Spicy Sour Cream Sauce and Pickled Jalapenos


"It is a true saying that a man must eat a
peck of salt with his friend before he knows him."

~ Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

I don't know how close we're getting to having eaten our peck of salt together, but after more than twenty years of friendship and many dining experiences, Judy and I are surely getting close! We had our end-of-the-summer lunch last week. It was a bitter-sweet time of fellowship. We'd both been looking forward to it for a couple of weeks! Unfortunately, we know that once school starts back, we'll both be so busy, it will be months before we have the pleasure of another leisurely lunch together.

We ate at Café 212 in Tupelo, per George’s recommendation! Thank you, George!! We both loved it!! I had a White Cheddar Pimento Cheese Grill and Judy had one of their Chicken Salad choices. I believe they have two varieties of chicken salad. We will definitely go back to Café 212!! Check it out for yourself:

http://www.cafe212tupelo.com

Until you can get to Café 212, here are a couple of recipes for you to try at home!! They are both great!! As you can see in the photo, I had them for lunch today! I think this menu would be great for a light supper! It would also nice plate for a ladies' luncheon!

Renee's Chicken Salad and White Cheddar Pimento and Cheese Quesadillas
with Sour Cream Sauce and Pickled Jalapenos


White Cheddar Pimento and Cheese

This makes an excellent spread for sandwiches or crackers. I love to spread tortillas with pimento and cheese and grill them in a skillet. They serve this as an appetizer at Ajax with a nice little sour cream sauce and pickled jalapeños. It is wonderful!! I'll have to say that I am very pleased with my attempt to replicate it. The little condiment cups come in a package of 4 for $0.97 at Wal-mart.

2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
1 (4 oz) jar diced pimientos, with juice
1/2 c mayonnaise
salt, white pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste

Combine the shredded cheese with the pimientos. Stir in the mayo. Add salt and white pepper. Stir until all ingredients are well-combined.

Spicy Sour Cream Sauce for Pimento and Cheese Quesadillas

Combine the following ingredients and serve with quesadillas:

1/2 cup sour cream*
1/2 teaspoon cumin
cayenne pepper, to taste
chili powder, sprinkle on as a garnish

*I used low-fat sour cream, which is less creamy the the full-fat version, so I thinned my sauce with just a bit of skim milk.


Renee’s Chicken Salad

Donna S. recently sent me this recipe, and I have been dying to try it. She got the recipe from her cousin, Renee S., another sweet Pontotoc friend! Donna said Renee served it in small purchased tart cups. You can also make these from scratch (recipe below), or serve it with crackers or on bread as a sandwich. I love all the options Chicken Salad affords us!! Donna added that it is very easy to make ahead and actually tastes better after a night in the fridge. It was hit for their tailgating in The Grove! I can certainly see why! It is yummy!! Lots of different tastes and textures!!

I love the convenience of canned chicken. I usually keep several cans on hand, especially during school months, but since I didn’t have any canned chicken in the pantry, I just used two cups of my frozen chicken from the freezer. If you have it on hand, I think you could use some sweet pickle relish in the place of the chopped up pickles, but I think you’d get a slightly different taste and texture. I really liked the pickles!

I don’t know why I started this, but for years, I’ve grated my eggs into salads - including chicken salad and potato salad. We grown accustom to this and really prefer it now. Give it a try sometimes and see what you think! For a slight change, I think a few chopped green onions would be good in this, too! Donna has offered to share more of her tailgating recipes with us!! I can't wait!! Thank you, Donna!!

2 cans white meat chicken, well separated with a fork
8 to 10 sweet midget pickles, chopped
1 red apple, peeled, cored & chopped
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 boiled eggs, chopped
8 oz. cream cheese, softened.
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 cup chopped seedless grapes (optional)

Mix all the ingredients together. Add a little pickle juice if the salad seems too dry.


Mini-tart Cups

1 package refrigerated pie crust

Mini-muffin tins that has 24 cups, sprayed with cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425°F. Unroll prepared pie crust and lay flat on a cutting board.

Using a 3 inch diameter cookie cutter, cut circles from the pie crust. Each pie crust should yield 10 circles. Combine dough scraps, roll flat, and cut the remaining 4 circles. Place each pie crust circle into a mini-muffin cup. Press dough into bottom and up sides of each cup forming a tartlet.
Bake until edges become golden brown. Remove from the oven; cool for 10 minutes. Fill with desired filling.

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