Ree Drummond's Blog
May 2, 2016
In fact, we aren’t much of a fish family at all.
In fact, you will hardly ever catch us eating fish.
In fact, I can’t remember the last time a piece of fish entered our home.
Now let me clarify a couple of things! We love shellfish; we’ll eat shrimp to beat the band…especially if it’s served with a steak. Ha. We just don’t do much fish fish. While I love it, Marlboro and the kids don’t love it, so we just stay where many families in landlocked states live: In chicken and beef territory.
If you’re in a similar situation but ever happen to find yourself in the position of having a couple of beautiful pieces of salmon out of the blue, however, this is a tremendously delicious dinner that takes almost absolutely no time to make. Just the way I love to eat salmon (or any piece of fish, for that matter)—with a sticky sauce that’s got more flavor than I know what to do with.
Heat some olive oil and a little bit of butter in a nonstick (if you have it) skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the salmon, skin side down (if you left the skin on; if you didn’t leave the skin on, just put the prettiest side down first), and cook it for a good 4 to 5 minutes in order to get that skin nice and crisp. Watch it and don’t let it burn, and don’t let the salmon cook to smithereens. If you keep the heat on medium to medium-high (depending on how hot your flame gets), it should be fine!
Okay, after the cooking time, remove the salmon to a clean plate…
Stir it together and let it bubble up and thicken over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Give it a taste and make sure the balance of flavors is just what you want. I wound up adding a touch more honey and soy since the limes were juicy; you really want that sweet/soy/acid perfection!
Of course, what else is new?
You deserve it!
Here’s the handy dandy printable.
April 27, 2016
I have many, many, many recipes in the archives of this website, and sometimes I forget just how “long ago” they were posted! So as not to let them languish, I wanted to bring a few must-makes (also known as must-eats) to the forefront today.
And when I say these are “must-makes,” I do mean it! You’ll fall in love instantly.
Go make one! Hurry!
Restaurant Style Salsa. I know I sometimes casually toss around phrases like “the best ever,” but this salsa truly is the best salsa in the universe. Addictive and perfect! You will make it by the gallon.
Drip Beef, Two Ways. Oh my. Oh me oh my. Gimme a pot of shredded meat, a toasted roll, and juice to dip it in and I’m a happy camper.
Quesadillas de Camarones, also known as Shrimp Quesadillas! I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am obsessed with quesadillas of any kind, and this is probably my most favorite variety. They’re good for casual company!
Fig-Prosciutto Pizza. I just realized how long it’s been since I’ve made this pizza. I’m going to remedy that this week! You’ve got to try this, no matter how weird the combo sounds. It’s magical and it works.
And it’s pizza. How could it not be good?
Ahhhh. Chipotle Steak Salad! A good, basic salad with warm, medium-rare sliced steak and a spicy-creamy dressing. Sweet dreams are made of this!
Homemade Granola. Okay, I have to tell you something. I am extremely picky about granola. Extremely! This is basic and simple, but toasty and yummy all at the same time. You can cut it into bars or break it into clusters—whatever works! If I have it in my pantry, it will be gone in no time at all.
Patty Melts. It would make perfect sense that I would follow up a salad recipe and a granola recipe…with the drippiest, most decadent burger I can imagine. I have almost the same level of weakness for patty melts that I have for quesadillas—and if you try this one, you’ll feel the same way. Tremendously satisfying!
Buffalo Chicken Salad. Everything that’s wonderful about Buffalo wings, but in salad form. The best of both worlds!
I’m going to end with another big, beautiful salad: Kale Citrus Salad! If I could pick one meatless salad to live on the rest of my life, this would pretty much be it. Yes, of course…it’s partly because of the huge chunks of goat cheese. But the kale and dressing are a perfect match!
Hope you try these tasty morsels soon!
April 25, 2016
1. I was working with no recipe whatsoever, and had no plan. The idea came together in about 5 minutes. Kind of like my idea to start a blog 10 years ago.
2. I did not have all the ingredients I normally would have wanted: I was low on the right cheeses, had no pepperoni, no black olives, and so on. In other words, I was totes prepared.
3. I could not find my camera anywhere, then ultimately gave up and decided to use my iPhone to photograph this recipe. So, no offense to iPhone, but if these photos lack a little somethin’-somethin’, you’ll know why.
4. As stated above, I wound up making these rolls because I had leftover dough from making cinnamon rolls on Saturday, and that’s what gave me the idea to roll out a rectangle of basic dough, fill it with ingredients, roll it up, slice it, and bake it. But after the whole experience, I determined that the next time I make these babies, I will use a true pizza dough with a little more chew to it. This dough was a little too soft to pass for pizza. (The recipe below calls for pizza dough.)
But other than that, everything totally went according to plan! Ha.
This is half of the dough recipe, and it was in the fridge for about 36 hours. It’s best to make this recipe when the dough is really cold, so go ahead and plop it onto a floured surface right out of the fridge.
Then spread it into a single layer and sprinkle the whole surface with grated Parmesan. As I said earlier, I was totally low on Italian cheeses in my fridge—I don’t know what happened! Low on Parmesan, low on mozzarella, and I’m going to the store today. I can’t let this ever happen to me again, as I found it very frightening.
Low on cheese? Me? What’s the world coming to?!?
You’re looking at all the mozzarella I had left, which is why it is so meager. If I had my regular stash, I would have put at least a couple of layers of slices on—and probably three. My printable recipe below reflects this.
Oh, and about the mozzarella: This is good ol’ Americanized sliced mozzarella cheese, not the bright white fresh mozzarella sold in balls. I think the latter would actually be a little too watery for this recipe and might result in a little bit of a doughy mess, so in this case I recommend the mass produced, supermarket stuff!
At this point in your life, you could add some other pizza fixings: chopped (or whole) slices of pepperoni, cooked and crumbled Italian sausage, chopped black olives, herbs…the list goes on! I kept it simple because I really just wanted to play around.
Basil hasn’t taken off in my garden yet. It’ll be another six weeks or so.
Translation: It’ll be an eternity or so.
Hurry up, basil! I need you in my life.
And then I decided to try something weird.
But it’s bread and cheese, friends. What could possibly go wrong?
Starting at the string cheese end, roll the dough toward you, trying to keep the roll as tight as possible. Note that I had taken my time to get to this point and the dough wasn’t as chilled anymore—and was therefore starting to get a little soft…and tough to handle. The colder the dough, the better the rolls will stay together!
Now, while the string cheese in the middle is a great idea and all—I mean, it’s cheese; there’s nothing more that can be said—There is a little complication in that the longer the rolls sit in the pan after coming out of the oven, the more the cheese continues to melt. If they sit too long before you serve them, the string cheese will just melt right down to the bottom of the rolls, leaving a little gap in the center of each roll. Now, this is by no means a bad thing—melted cheese never is—but if you’re wanting to keep the cheese in the center, go ahead and serve them up right out of the oven. I considered that freezing the string cheese before rolling it into the rolls might help a bit, as it would buy a little more time to allow the bread to get done without totally melting the cheese. I’ll try that next time!
And I’ll keep trying until I get it right.
It’s for the art.
April 18, 2016
This is a variation of the curious Apple Dumplings I posted here ages and ages and ages ago, when I was still in my thirties and my kids were all little and my jowls were much less pronounced.
But I’m a lot wiser now! And I wouldn’t trade that for all the collagen in the world.
I made these peach numbers last Sunday and posted the step-by-step on Snapchat (my new obsession; username @thepioneerwoman). The results were totally predictable: The crazy little dumplings were just as good—probably better—than the original apple version.
Here’s how to make them!
First, lay out the finest puffed pastry dough available to you. It should, if possible, be crafted by artisan hands and contain only cold butter from grass-fed cows, the finest chilled water from a pure mountain spring, salt from the Mediterranean sea, and stone-milled flour.
In fact, you kinda need to use these. Forget that whole puffed pastry stuff—you can use that next time!
Just trust me.
And now brace yourself.
The apple version uses Mountain Dew.
For the peach version, I decided to use Sprite.
Call me crazy and unpredictable!
Reddi Wip is a solid choice as well.
Not that I’d know anything about that.
Here’s the handy dandy printable!
April 11, 2016
Weirdness makes the world go round! And that is most certainly true with these crispy, slightly sweet chicken strips, which are a version of the famous chicken that originated at Planet Hollywood restaurants years ago. The minute I heard about their chicken strips way back when, I was intrigued. I’ve been a fan of sugared cereal all my life. Don’t tell my children.
The breading for the chicken is—get ready—Cap’n Crunch, and even though it’s sweet as all get-out, once you incorporate the chicken and add some salt to balance things, the result is a super delicious coating that both crisps and slightly caramelizes (because of the sugar) as it fries. A sprinkling of salt after frying makes everything perfect, and a side of ketchup is absolutely required.
Here’s how to make this crazy chicken!
I mean Cap’n.
Seriously, they should just sell Cap’n Crunch crumbs by the barrel full. Count me in for at least two barrels in my initial order!
What I love about these is the golden color—gawgeous!
Now heat a little vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat…
Then drop in a few strips and fry them gently for a few minutes on the first side, moving them around a little to make sure they don’t burn. Check the underside every now and then and adjust the heat up or down according to how it’s doing.
You’ll want to flip them over on the paper towel after a minute or two to let the other side drain out any excess oil. And give them a generous sprinkling of salt at this point! That sweet-salty thing is super tasty.
(Though Sriracha is pretty durn good, too.)
Here’s the handy dandy printable!
April 4, 2016
There are as many variations of quesadillas on this website as there are grains of sand in all the beaches of the world.
Not really. There are seven.
The point is, quesadillas are one of my favorite things to eat on earth, and I never get tired of them! Lately, even though flour tortillas are the usual choice, I happen to be a sucker for quesadillas made with corn tortillas because you get that lovely texture and flavor of a corn tortilla and it just puts a nice little crazy spin on things.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle in a little (just a little) vegetable oil. Throw in some ground beef (don’t pay attention to my amount—I made extra meat mixture for later ’cause that’s how I roll)…
Or any ol’ cheese you want.
(But Monterey Jack is the best for quesadillas.)
(But use any ol’ cheese you want.)
(As long as it’s Monterey Jack.)
Obsessed, I tell you.
Okay, so that’s a bit of an overstatement.
Obsessed, I tell you.
And that isn’t even close to being an overstatement.
Let it sit until the cheese is totally melted/sizzly and the tortilla has soaked up all the wonderfulness of the cheese. Note that the corn tortillas won’t get crisp during this process as they would if you were to fry them in oil. But they get nice and soft and slightly crisp around the edges…and oh, that corn tortilla flavor. Love it!
Another approach you could take is to pile the lettuce and pico de gallo on one whole quesadilla, then fold it as if it were a real taco! You need to lean over your plate in this case as it would be a very messy proposition…
Here’s the handy dandy printable.
March 29, 2016
This is one of my favorite recipes from my newest cookbook, and I want to share it with you today because a) It has nothing to do with lovely, pastel Easter recipes, b) We’re not to far away from burger/grilling season (huh? How did that happen?), and c) This is hands-down one of the most delicious burgers I have ever, ever, ever eaten. It is a loose interpretation of what an official Hawaiian burger would look like if there was such a thing as an official Hawaiian burger, and I don’t know if there is or not, because how in the world would I ever find something like that out? I suppose I could Google “Official Hawaiian Burger” and spend the rest of the day researching it and determining the authentic elements of what one would involve…
(But I think I’d rather just eat this one instead.)
Here’s how to make it!
First, stir together the sauce ingredients: Mayo, teriyaki sauce, honey, and a little cayenne for heat.
Oh, this sauce. It is so incomparably scrumptious, but was it ever a journey to get here. My first attempt at a sauce for this burger involved—get ready—orange marmalade, and it turned out to be one of the most unpalatable (read: grody!) things I’d ever prepared in my natural born life. So if you ever have the bright idea of attempting to mix mayo, soy sauce, and orange marmalade together—which, of course, you won’t since you’re a logical person—run, run, RUN from the kitchen!
On a grill pan, quickly grill the pineapple slices and bell pepper rings until they have nice grill marks on both sides. Remove them and put them on a plate.
Season the ground beef with salt and pepper and form it into 4 equal-sized patties. Cook them on the grill pan or in a skillet over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes on the first side, then flip them over…
And add a splash of teriyaki sauce on top of each one. Let it sink in a second…
Then place a slice of provolone on top and let it melt while the burger cooks through, 4 minutes or so more, until it’s no longer pink in the middle.
Butter a griddle or separate skillet and grill th ebuns over medium heat until golden brown. Spoon a little bit of the sauce on the cut side of the buns and allow it to slightly soak into the bread. This stuff is…MAGICAL!
Place the patties on the bottom buns and top each one with a couple of pineapple slices…
Some thinly sliced red onion…
The bell pepper and some green leaf lettuce.
This is a huge, beautiful burger and calls for a steak knife…
And, most certainly, a dish of extra sauce on the side, which will be gone by the time you finish the burger. Irresistible! Try this once. I know you’ll be hooked.
Here’s the handy dandy printable.
March 21, 2016
Chicken thighs are my life. Absolutely, positively my life. If I had to choose a cut of chicken to eat the rest of my days, I would choose thighs every day of the week, and nine hundred times on Sunday. I always wonder why breasts get all the dang attention in this world. Thighs are the way to go, baby!
(Sorry. There’s just no elegant way to talk about breasts and thighs without sounding immature.)
(Or maybe I’m the one that’s immature. I seem to be the only one snickering.)
ANYWAY, ANYHOW, ANYHOO…this is a loose adaptation of an old Emeril recipe and can be changed up however you’d like in order to send the flavors in different directions. This is a lemon/chicken/wine/broth approach, but you can add herbs, a little tomato paste, a splash of cream at the end—seriously, anything goes.
Here’s how I make ’em!
First, dice up an onion so it’ll be ready.
Then add some olive oil to an ovenproof skillet and turn the heat to medium-low to start heating it up.
Grab the chicken thighs and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper on both sides….
Then violently hurl them into a bowl of seasoned (with salt, pepper, and whatever else you want) flour…
Turning them over to dredge and shake off the excess.
Set them on a plate until the oil is nice and hot and ready.
Set the chicken, skin-side down, in the pan.
I love the skin side.
Move the thighs around, shake the pan, whatever you need to do for the next 3 or so minutes in order to ensure that the first side gets evenly golden brown and doesn’t burn. Keep your eye on ’em!
Then turn ’em over and let ’em cook on the other side for a minute or two.
Remove them to a plate and set them aside for a minute. (You don’t need to cook them through at this stage! They’ll go in the oven here in a minute.)
Back to the skillet: If there’s a lot of grease in the pan, pour off all but about 1/4 cup. Then add the onions to the pan…
Along with some minced garlic. I actually added twice this amount! The garlic makes it so durn good.
Oops! I forgot to take pics of the onions cooking, but basically, you want to stir them around and cook them for a couple of minutes until they start to soften. Then pour in some white wine and let it cook/reduce for a minute as you stir and scrape the pan.
Next, pour in some chicken broth. Now, if you would rather not use wine, or if you don’t have any wine, just use all broth—it’ll still be delicious.
Now you just need to cook the liquid for a minute or two to let it reduce. If you need to, splash in a little more broth (if it evaporates/reduces too fast.)
Next, whack a lemon in half…
And squeeze in the juice, using your hand as a sieve so the seeds won’t wind up in the dish.
Oh, and add some lemon zest, too! If you’re a normal person who plans ahead, you will have zested the lemon before you halved and juiced it. But I don’t operate that way…unfortunately.
In any event, just add half the zest to the skillet, because you’ll need the rest later!
Oh, and you can add more lemon if you’d like. Whatever your acid-loving heart desires.
Stir some salt and pepper into the liquid, then nestle the chicken thighs, skin side up, into the liquid. There shouldn’t be a ton in the pan—But make sure there’s enough to slightly slosh around.
Now, cover the skillet—which, in my case, means inverting a second skillet on top…but if you have a lid, that works swimmingly—and put it in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes. This will allow the chicken to start to cook through and stay nice and moist!
After that time, remove the lid…
And carefully spoon the liquid over each chicken thigh. This coats it with the flavor, but it also gets some of the onions on top of the thighs…and I’ll show you the global significance of that here in just a moment.
Before I do that, pop the skillet back into the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes…
Until it’s sizzling and beautiful. And just look at those onions! They’re like a little bonus.
And remember that remaining lemon zest? Just stir it into some cooked rice along with a sprinkling of salt.
Pile it onto a plate…
Grab one of those sensationally succulent thighs…
And put it on the side of the rice, spooning the cooking liquid all over the top.
Oh, and while the chicken was in the oven, I made some super simple green beans. Lemme show you what I did.
Small iron skillet. Butter. Medium-high heat.
Sad, pallid green beans. But I’m about to make ’em delicious!
Throw them into the pan…
And cook them until they’re starting to blister (you might need to turn the heat up to high for this!) Use tongs to move them around the pan.
When they have great little blackened areas, turn the heat to low and pour in some soy sauce. Not a ton, just enough to coat the beans.
Stir them around until the soy just becomes part of the mix…and that, my green bean loving friends, is it.
This makes a lovely, lovely dinner.
Some oven-roasted grape tomatoes would also be nice. But I didn’t have any in my fridge, so I’ll just save that dream for next time.
And as usual…the chicken thighs totally came through for me. Moist, flavorful, beautiful.
Below is the handy dandy printable! But before that, here are some of my favorite recipes made with chicken thighs:
Cashew Chicken (yum!)
Orange Chicken (double yum!)
March 18, 2016
I have a problem with ice cream sauces, whether it’s strawberry sauce, caramel sauce, or this hot fudge sauce I’m sharing with you today: I pretty much love them so much that I don’t really need to eat them with ice cream. I only need a spoon. Now, I guess you could call this a good thing because I’m saving the ice cream calories, which would most assuredly wind up on my bottom. But you could also call it a bad thing because once I eat a spoonful, particularly of this silky, velvety chocolate goodness—I’m liable to eat the whole jar.
So see? I’m better off going ahead with the ice cream!
I’m glad we had this talk.
There’s nothing complicated about this stuff! In a medium saucepan, gently whisk together cocoa powder and sugar.
Gently whisk in some heavy cream, then turn the heat to medium and whisk it as it warms up.
When the (very thick) mixture starts to heat up, drop in some butter and stir it until it’s totally melted.
When it’s melted and smooth (sorry, the lighting makes it hard to see!), add vanilla and stir it to combine.
And that’s seriously it! Ridonkulously easy.
Serve it right away if you have guests hanging around or you can pour it into a jar!
This’ll keep in the fridge forever! Well…for as long as it’ll take you to go through it, which is like nine hours. Ha.
Or, in this case, eight hours.
Okay, no hours. This was right after I made the sauce! I’m incorrigible. But if you do refrigerate it, just be aware that it will solidify in the fridge. To heat it, just grab a spoonful (or nine) and put it in a bowl, then microwave it for 20 seconds, give it a stir, and microwave it for 10 more seconds. Yum!
Here’s the handy dandy printable!
March 16, 2016
I can’t believe it’s 2016, let alone March, let alone the middle of March…let alone the day before St. Patrick’s Day! Things are sneaking up on me left and right these days.
Thought I’d share some St. Paddy’s Day recipes below as I prep a new recipe for tomorrow. (Guinness Float for breakfast, anyone?)
Guinness Float! I just decided to start with the craziest thing on the list. Vanilla (or coffee…or caramel) ice cream with Guinness stout poured over. Very weird and very tasty!
Irish Grilled Cheese. The secret’s in the cheese. I want this for breakfast. Right now.
Corned Beef & Cabbage. I doctor up packaged corned beef and cook wedges of cabbage over a little Guinness just for kicks. A balsamic glaze gives it just the right kick.
Irish Hills Cupcakes. They’re unapologetically green and they remind me of the ol’ Irish hills.
At least what I’ve heard about Irish hills. I’ve never been there! Ha.
Irish Coffee. Speaking of “I want this for breakfast…”
Sunday Night Stew. Throw in lamb instead of beef, and this hearty stew is just perfect!
Happy St. Paddy’s Day Eve, everyone!