It was cold outside, and I didn’t want to go to the grocery story, so I took inventory of what ingredients I had on hand.
I had thawed out some unbreaded chicken tenders, but had not used them all, so I really needed to find something to go with the chicken.
One of the first things I saw as I looked into the pantry was a partial package of egg noodles. Good start. I also found some cream of chicken soup.
When I make a casserole with chicken and soup, I sometimes like to add sour cream or French onion dip. Wouldn’t you know it? I had neither in my refrigerator. Then I thought about buttermilk, knowing that it would give the sauce the same flavor as the sour cream. Good choice.
To add a little eye appeal, I chopped some green and red peppers that I found in the crisper drawer. Thinking that the dish might need just a little more seasoning, I opted for a small package of ranch dressing mix. Tastes great. This recipe is a keeper.
If you don’t have some of these ingredients, use your imagination with whatever you have on hand. Some green peas and carrots would be good in this dish. You might also want to add some cheese.
If you would like a salad with the chicken dish, you might like the following Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with my new cooked dressing. This was on a recent menu at one of my cooking classes, and it was a big hit — even with those who don’t usually like broccoli or cauliflower.
Keep in mind that broccoli used in a salad is best if you blanch it before using. By this, I mean to dip the stalks of broccoli into boiling water that has been generously salted. As soon as the broccoli turns a bright green, remove it and put it into a bowl of ice water to prevent further cooking. The blanching only takes seconds to brighten the color of the broccoli.
CHICKEN AND NOODLES RANCH STYLE
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
1/3 cup chopped bell pepper (I used both red and green)
2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) cream of chicken soup
¾ cup buttermilk
1 (.4 ounce) package Hidden Valley Original Ranch Buttermilk Dressing Mix
2 to 2½ cups chopped cooked chicken
2½ cups cooked noodles
Add butter and oil to large skillet. Add peppers and saute until tender but not browned. Stir in the soup, buttermilk and Ranch dressing mix. Mix well. Add chicken and noodles, stir well, and heat through. If desired, when serving, sprinkle top with paprika or minced fresh parsley.
BROCCOLI AND CAULIFLOWER SALAD
Broccoli, cut into small pieces
Cauliflower, cut into small pieces
Red onion, sliced into thin pieces
Real bacon pieces
Cooked dressing (recipe follows)
Combine all salad ingredients and toss lightly. Add cooked dressing and mix until coated.
2/3 cup sugar
2½ tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 slightly beaten egg
1/3 cup white Balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon celery seed
Combine all dressing ingredients in small saucepan and mix well. Cook on low heat until thickened. Cover and refrigerate. Will keep up to a week in the refrigerator.