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Replays: Broccoli Rabe, Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Crispy Tacos Picadillo, Oven Fried Chicken &a

This past week Bringing Back Dinner took a vacation, so below are five of our favorites on instant replay!  Enjoy!

Broccoli Rabe, Garlic & Pasta

Meatless Monday

Time: 20 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  Anthony Bourdain made something like this on the ABC show “The Taste”.  I looked for a recipe online, but didn’t find exactly what I wanted.  He made it look like a simple dish you through just throw together and many of the recipes made it a lot more complex.  In the end I just did what he said to do.  I sauteed garlic in oil (about 5 cloves), added in about a scant tsp of red pepper flakes and sauteed until colorful and fragrant, then add the chopped broccoli rabe, they usually come in bunches, one bunch served 4.  Remove any leaves if still attached when you purchase it.   Cook until just tender, but still has a little bite to it – about 3-5 minutes.  Meanwhile cook pasta.   Once the the Broccoli Rabe and pasta are done toss together and add salt and pepper to taste and top with a nice cheese.  I chose grana padano.

I will say everyone in my family was surprised by this dish.  They looked at it and said “is that it?” took a bite and said “mmmm, hey this is good!”  So to redeem myself in my earlier omissions of fatty food I admit I served this with sweet Italian sausage that I crumbled and browned.  I put in a bowl on the side to let people choose to go whole hog or not! Pun intended.

taco collage

Time: 40-45 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: I’ve mentioned before that we love tacos! Truth.  We love them almost any way we can get them and never get tired of them.  I have given this recipe before and probably will again.  It is just a good recipe.  Easy to make and the flavors are so much better than a packet.  Don’t be afraid to cook from “scratch”.  You can do it, even if your friends and family do faint.  Give this one a try, you will be glad you did.

Haluski : or Guy Fieri (Originally from the Frugal Gourmet)


Time: 30 minutes- 1 hour depending on the recipe you use.

Ease: Simple; 3 main ingredients and full flavor

Review: I first tried this recipe from the cookbook “The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors” and largely still use this as my guide.  The ingredient list is the same, but the cooking method different.  I saute (or caramelize depending on time) the onion then add the cabbage and cook it until tender, but still full of color.  While this is cooking boil the pasta and toss together at the end.  I don’t know how to explain why this is so yummy, but it is.  Simple and good.  My family likes the addition of kielbasa, but to keep it vegetarian you can skip it.  My son requested this for this week.  Good choice.  FYI: They don’t even like cabbage and love this.

chicken tenders

Time: 30-45 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  This is a family favorite.  We will never buy store bought chicken nuggets or tenders again.  It is fresh and healthy and just plain good.

Tip: I alter this to make it in to nuggets or tenders rather than use the bone in chicken thighs.  The basic recipe works with any type of chicken I’ve tried.

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps – from Bringing Back Dinner

buffalo chicken

Time:  30-45 Minutes

Ease: Simple


1 pound ground chicken

½ cup chopped onion

1-2 cloves garlic

1 Bottle Franks Buffalo Sauce

Lettuce leaves (keep uncut to make small cups)

Blue Cheese and Ranch for toppings (optional)

Saute the onion until translucent, then add the garlic and sauté about 30 seconds.  Add the chicken and cook until done, no pink.  Once the chicken is done stir in about half of the Buffalo sauce and stir through until heated.  Scoop into lettuce leaves and serve. Optional, top with blue cheese crumbles before serving. Serve with celery and carrots with Ranch and Blue Cheese dressings

This was a win!  Everyone loved this dish (almost, one doesn’t like buffalo) and requested we make this again.  It was easy and quick.  The coolness of the lettuce was a great compliment to the heat from the buffalo sauce.

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