Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Re-Make Recap

I can't believe that July is over already!I feel like I say this every month, but this month went by so quickly. August is one of my favorite months -- we celebrate our anniversary and take time off from work -- but this year it's also a little bit bittersweet, since Andrew starts kindergarten in a little over three weeks. Talk about time going by so quickly; wasn't he just a tiny, sweet little burrito baby yesterday?

Anyway, I could write about that for a few more paragraphs, but I'll start to cry, so let's just talk food. A lot of delicious things happened in my kitchen this month.


I think this is the second month in a row that this creamy stovetop macaroni and cheese has appeared on my recap, and with good reason. It's so delicious and simple and a great way to feed a crowd. I made it for the Fourth of July to go with the pig we roasted (yes, we roasted a pig; more about that soon), and everyone loved it, as always.

The base recipe for these mint chocolate cookies is the best chocolate cookie base I've ever tried. The texture is fantastic; the cookies are crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside. I made them this month minus the mint add-ins, and instead used a combination of dark, milk, and white chocolate chips. They were fantastic.

You guys know by now how much I love my Crock pot, and I used it this month for these slow cooker chicken tacos with cheddar, beer, and black beans. These tacos are so simple and flavorful. When I made them this time, I topped each taco with a sprinkling of lime juice, which really brightened the flavor and worked so well with the flavor of the beer.

I think everyone has a handful of "back pocket" recipes, and this farfalle with bacon, onions and gouda is one of those recipes for my family. It literally only takes about 15 minutes to make, and it's absolutely delicious. I made it twice this month.

This sweet and spicy pork and asparagus stir fry is Andrew's favorite meal, so you can expect to see it appear on lots of future recaps. He ate three helpings and asked to take the leftovers to school for lunch the next day. My friend Sarah made this on the same night I did this month, and she served hers over angel hair pasta. I'm doing that next time for sure. We like it with the rice, but have you ever served rice to three- and five-year-old boys, then walked on your dining room rug after dinner? It's...not the most pleasant experience.

My friend Stephanie made this recently, which inspired me to make this grilled pesto chicken with tomato cream penne again. I'm telling you guys, this is such a fresh and flavorful pasta dish. I could eat it once a week, and probably will for the rest of grilling season.

As I mentioned on Monday, peaches are definitely my favorite summer fruit, and these peach pecan chicken sandwiches with jalapeno mayonnaise are still one of my favorite sandwiches ever. The sweetness of the peaches pairs so perfectly with the earthy pecans and the spicy jalapenos, and the crispy chicken and soft peaches have the perfect textural balance. And, I just thought of this: I think maple syrup would work really well with the rest of the flavors, so next time I make them I may try adding a drizzle of it to the sandwiches.

The chicken marinade that I posted in the recipe for these grilled chicken Caesar flatbreads has become my very favorite chicken marinade. I made chicken Caesar salads this month, and I used that marinade for the chicken. I was planning to cook it on the grill, but we ran out of propane, so I cooked it inside instead. I added bacon to the Caesar salads, so I just cooked the chicken in the bacon drippings. It was delicious, of course.

If you're looking for a delicious brinner recipe, look no further than this jalapeno popper breakfast scramble. It's delicious and simple and made with pantry ingredients, and it works great as leftovers. I only used about half a pound of bacon and six eggs this time, and it still turned out absolutely perfect.

This summer vegetable spaghetti with pesto cream sauce is an excellent way to use summer produce. In true Cassie fashion, I added a bit of bacon to it this time, and I loved the way the earthiness of the pesto paired with the smoky bacon.

I've been just slightly obsessed with sandwiches this summer, so it was high time to revisit one of our favorites: these pork sandwiches with sour cream sauce. I added a little bit of Worcestershire sauce to the sour cream mixture this time, which I thought added a delicious flavor dimension to the sandwiches. In my book, you could put mushrooms, onions and Swiss cheese on just about anything and it would be delicious. These sandwiches are no exception. Andrew devoured his sandwich; he's becoming such an awesome little eater.

This Mexican sour cream rice is definitely my favorite side dish for any South of the Border feast. It's so creamy, and just slightly spicy, and has a great balance of textures. I can't wait to share the chicken fajitas that I served the rice with this month.

And, finally, I made one of the boys' absolute favorite dinners this month: French bread pizzas. The boys love this dinner because they get to customize their own pizza and make it themselves. In a stroke of inspiration, I actually used a loaf of garlic bread for the base of the pizzas rather than regular French bread. That was a very good choice; it made them even crispier and added another layer of flavor.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Peach BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Peach Coleslaw

If I had to pick my favorite summer fruit, it would definitely be peaches. I love everything about them: the fuzzy skin, the tender, sweet flesh, the way the juice runs down your whole arm when you bite into a really good one. And as much as I enjoy them on their own, I've been trying to find ways to work them into our dinners so I have even more excuses to eat them. One simply cannot eat too many peaches during the summer months, is my motto.

Ever since I tried a friend's roasted strawberry BBQ sauce at our recent cooking club cook-out, I've been intrigued by the idea of using fruit in BBQ sauce. I know people have been doing it for a long time, but I'd never tried it, and I couldn't get the idea of peach BBQ sauce out of my head. A quick Pinterest search revealed that there are many recipes out there for peach BBQ sauce, but I really hit it out of the park with the recipe I chose. The flavor balance of this BBQ sauce is so perfect; it's both savory and sweet, tangy, smoky, and spicy, and its deliciousness almost defies description. 

I mixed the sauce with pulled chicken (cooked in the crock pot with chicken broth, salt and pepper, then shredded once cooked), and I topped the sandwiches with peach coleslaw. The peach coleslaw really amped up the flavor of the peaches and provided a nice textural contrast to the sandwiches. And let me say, with this recipe, I think I've perfected my homemade coleslaw dressing. This version is tangy and sweet and the perfect consistency, and I'll be using it whenever I make coleslaw going forward.

You guys are going to love these sandwiches. You're also going to love those crispy golden discs in the background of the picture, which I'll share with you on Friday.

Peach BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Peach Coleslaw
BBQ sauce adapted from Liv Life

For the sandwiches:

3 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
Sandwich buns

For the BBQ sauce:

4 strips bacon, diced
1 tablespoon chopped chipotles in adobo, with sauce
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 peaches, halved, pitted, and diced
3/4 cup bottled white grape peach juice (the original recipe calls for orange juice, but Joe isn't a big fan; this juice was a great substitute)
1 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

For the coleslaw:

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons white sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups coleslaw mix
1 peach, sliced

1. To make the BBQ sauce, sauté chopped bacon and chipotle pepper in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until bacon is crisp. Add chopped onion and garlic cloves; sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce; stir 1 minute. Add peaches and stir to combine. Add white grape peach juice, ketchup, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon thickly, stirring sauce often, about 30 minutes.

2. To make the coleslaw, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, vinegar and sugar in the bottom of a large bowl. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the coleslaw mix and the peaches and gently stir to combine. Refrigerate until serving.

3. Add the shredded chicken to the thickened BBQ sauce and stir to combine. Pile the chicken on sandwich buns and top with the peach coleslaw.  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Roast Beef Reubens

Every time I make a double-duty meal using my Crock pot, I ask myself why I don't do it every single week. The idea of shoving a roast in the Crock pot and having dinner for at least two nights just gets more and more appealing to me, the older our boys get and the crazier our lives become. Not to mention the cost-effectiveness of Crock pot cooking! Yes, I really must do this more often.

I made a version of this roast beef for my brother for his birthday (minus the condensed soup and gravy mix, plus some sherry), and I whipped up these roast beef reubens for dinner for us the next night. They couldn't have been simpler, and we all loved them. The roast beef is a great stand-in for a reuben sandwich's traditional corned beef; it has such a rich flavor that works so well with the Swiss and sauerkraut. 

And not only were these sandwiches delicious; they also took less than five minutes to prepare. Somehow, that made them taste even better.

Roast Beef Reubens

8 slices hearty wheat or rye bread
2 cups prepared roast beef, heated through
8 slices Swiss cheese
1 cup prepared sauerkraut
Prepared Thousand Island dressing

1. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Preheat a griddle or large skillet over medium-high heat.

2. To build the sandwiches, place a slice of Swiss cheese on the unbuttered side of a slice of bread. Top with 1/2 cup of the roast beef, 1/4 cup of sauerkraut, another slice of Swiss, and the other slice of bread, with the unbuttered side in. Repeat with all sandwiches.

3. Cook sandwiches on the preheated griddle, flipping once, until both sides are browned and crispy. Slice sandwiches in half and serve with Thousand Island dressing.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

I haven't done a lot of baking this summer, much to the chagrin of my family and friends I'm sure. I haven't been motivated, it's been too hot, I don't want to deal with the dishes, etc.; I have tons of excuses, but the bottom line is that I've been using my sweets allowance for Twix ice cream bars. You guys know those exist, right?

I did manage to pull myself out of my baking funk long enough to make this pie for a recent family gathering, and I'm so glad I did, because this is one amazing dessert. There's no gelatin here -- just a tart-sweet pile of strawberries atop a creamy, tangy cream cheese layer, all nestled within a buttery crust. Needless to say, slices of this pie, topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream, were very well-received. It's summer on a plate -- and well worth turning on the oven for.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie
adapted from Busy Cooks on

Pastry for 1 9-inch pie
6 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 vanilla bean
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup whipped topping

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate, fluting the edges. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned. Cool completely.

2. Thoroughly mash 1 1/2 cups of the strawberries. Mix sugar and corn starch in a heavy saucepan and stir in the strawberries. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils. Cook and stir for one minute and remove from heat. Scrape the pods from the vanilla bean and stir into the strawberry mixture. Cool completely.

3. Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl. Fold in the whipped topping. Spread the cream cheese mixture into the cooled pie crust.

4. Slice the remaining strawberries and place them evenly over the cream cheese layer. Pour the cooked and cooled strawberry mixture over the top. Chill for 3 to 4 hours before serving. Keep refrigerated.

Monday, July 22, 2013

BBQ Chicken Chili with Pineapple Pepper-Jack Quesadillas

Chili? In JULY? you're saying right now. To which I heartily respond: YES! Chili in JULY! It's BBQ chicken chili, and since I associate BBQ'ed anything with summer, I believe this a perfectly acceptable dish for the season. Of course, Joe did point out that I actually made this on the hottest day of the summer so far, which we both found a little ironic -- but it didn't stop either of us from chowing down. 

The idea for this chili actually came to me in the middle of the night. I woke up with it on my mind and added it to the notes area of my phone and promptly forgot about it. When I was browsing that section a few days later, I came across the idea and had absolutely no recollection of putting in there. In any case, I'm glad I did, because this chili is smoky, sweet, tangy, and spicy, and we both loved it. The BBQ sauce works so well with the chili spices. I love the flavor of pineapple and BBQ sauce, so I thought the quesadillas were the perfect balance to the chili. The pepper-jack gave them a great heat, and Joe and I agreed that we both could have eaten just the quesadillas for a meal and been very happy.

Not to discount this chili, though. We certainly were happy to have it for dinner, even if it was 95 degrees outside.

BBQ Chicken Chili with Pineapple Pepper-Jack Quesadillas

For the chili:

4 strips bacon, chopped
1 pound chicken tenders, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves minced garlic
1 cup beer
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup chipotle or hickory BBQ sauce
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 can corn, drained
1 can pinto beans, drained

Sour cream, cilantro, and shredded cheddar cheese for topping

For the quesadillas:

4 flour tortillas
4 tablespoons crushed pineapple, well-drained
1 cup shredded pepper-jack cheese

1. Add the bacon to a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook until crispy; using a slotted spoon, remove and place on a paper towel to drain.

2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and added to the bacon drippings. Cook until browned and cooked through, then place on the paper towel with the bacon. 

3. Add the butter to the pot, then add the red onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add the beer to the pot, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits. 

4. Add the chicken stock, BBQ sauce, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, vinegar and brown sugar. Heat to bubbling, then reduce heat to medium-low and add the corn, beans, and reserved bacon and chicken. Cook over medium-low heat until desired thickness.

5. To make the quesadillas, add 1/4 of a cup of cheese to half of a tortilla and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of pineapple; fold over. Cook in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray until both sides are browned. Cut into wedges.

6. Serve chili topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and cilantro, with the quesadillas on the side.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Recipe Rewind: Creamy Tomato Tortellini with Chicken and Broccoli

While browsing my archives recently looking for meal ideas, I came across this recipe for creamy tomato tortellini that I posted just about four years ago. In that post, I raved about how delicious it was, but I realized I hadn't made it since -- and I decided I needed to remedy that immediately.

To stretch the meal a bit (since I am now feeding three hungry boys with huge appetites, two more than four years ago!), I added some chicken, which worked wonderfully with the rest of the flavors. I also added some garlic and some chicken stock for another level of flavor. So this has a few more ingredients than the recipe I originally posted, but it's no less easy to prepare.

You guys, this is so good. I'd completely forgotten how good it is! It's been a while since I made a pasta sauce with cream cheese, and I'd forgotten what a creamy, tangy, rich sauce it makes. 

I can guarantee you: I will not be letting another four years go by before I make this again.

Creamy Tomato Tortellini with Chicken and Broccoli

3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 pound chicken tenders
Salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 19-ounce package frozen cheese tortellini
1 package frozen steam-in-a-bag broccoli florets
Parmesan cheese 

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning and add to the skillet. Cook, turning once, until chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.

2. In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Stir in the chicken stock and diced tomatoes and heat through. Reduce heat to low and add cream cheese, stirring until melted. Let cook on low heat until thickened. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Cook the tortellini according to package directions; drain. Cook the broccoli in the microwave according to package directions. Chop the reserved chicken.

4. Add the broccoli and chicken to the drained tortellini and pour the sauce over the top, stirring gently to combine. Serve each portion topped with shredded parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Smoky Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes

I've had these sloppy joes saved in my drafts folder for months now, and I have absolutely no idea why it's taken me so long to share them with you. As soon as I saw this recipe in my issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray, I put them on our menu. The very day I'd planned to make them, I was working from home and had Rachael's show on as background noise, and she made them as her meal of the day. From that moment on, I was pretty much salivating and praying for dinner to come very, very quickly.

So, basically: Bacon. Beef. Beer. Cheese. Avocado. Fritos

Yep. Months later, just the thought of these still makes me salivate. 

Smoky Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes
adapted from Rachael Ray

4 slices bacon, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 cup beer at room temperature
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon hot sauce
Hamburger rolls, toasted
Shredded Monterey jack cheese for topping
Sliced avocado for topping
Crushed Fritos for topping

1. In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain.

2. Add the ground beef to the pan and cook until browned, breaking it into pieces with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Return the bacon to the pan and add the onion, jalapenos, garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring, until the onion is softened.

3. Add the beer to the meat mixture and cook until reduced, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire, vinegar, and hot sauce and stir to combine. Simmer until thickened.

4. Spoon the mixture onto the roll bottoms. Top each sandwich with shredded cheese, sliced avocado, Fritos, and the roll tops.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bite-Sized Baked Strawberry Oatmeal Cups

I've been trying to be more efficient on the weekends to make life easier for myself during the week. For example, I've been prepping food for lunches and dinners, laying out the boys' clothes for the week so I'm not pawing through their wardrobe every morning, and preparing their breakfasts ahead of time. They're big fans of pancakes in the mornings, so I usually make a big batch of silver-dollar pancakes on Sunday morning and freeze them for breakfasts throughout the week.

Recently, though, when our neighbor gifted us with five pounds of strawberries from his garden, I thought it would be the perfect time to try out something new. My fellas would eat strawberries and cream instant oatmeal every day if I let them, so I thought they'd enjoy these baked oatmeal cups. Not surprisingly, they did! I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of oatmeal, baked or instant or otherwise (it's a texture thing for me), but I did try one of these and I liked it. These baked oatmeal cups are moist and flavorful and so easy to make. And they're so adaptable; I plan to try a version with bananas and chocolate chips next. 

With two little boys to get washed and dressed and fed every weekday morning, all before 7 AM, anything that makes the breakfast portion of the morning go more quickly gets a huge thumbs-up in my book.

Bite-Sized Baked Strawberry Oatmeal Cups
adapted from Macaroni and Cheesecake

2 cups oats (quick-cooking or old-fashioned)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup honey or agave 
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tray liberally with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, salt, and baking powder. Add honey and stir to combine (it will be sticky, obviously). Add the eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla. The mixture will be runny. Stir in the strawberries.

3. Portion the batter among the mini muffin cups, filling each cup nearly to the top. 

4. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the tops and edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes in the pan. Once they've cooled slightly, run a knife around the edges and gently remove from the pan. Serve warm or room temperature. Store in an air-tight container.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Burger and Fries Friday: Bacon Cheddar Burgers with Corn and Bacon Relish

It's been a while since I made a recipe that I had to share with you right away, but this burger is definitely one of those recipes. After a long couple of days with Andrew, including a night in the pediatric emergency room due to a high fever (he's on the mend now), I felt like we could all use some comfort food. I made these burgers for dinner last night, and they were everything I was hoping for -- and more. 

The burgers themselves are seasoned simply with just salt and pepper, but then they're topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, and a corn and bacon relish made with jalapenos, red onion, and maple syrup. They're served on toasted buns slathered with avocado mayonnaise. SO GOOD.

The maple syrup may sound like an odd ingredient, but Joe and I both agreed that it was the star of the relish. It served to highlight the sweetness of the corn, the saltiness of the bacon, and the spiciness of the jalapenos, all at once. This relish is hands-down my new favorite condiment, and I'm now on the hunt for ways to use it in many, many other dishes.

Bacon Cheddar Burgers with Corn and Bacon Relish
adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

For the burgers:

4 burger patties
Salt and pepper
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
4 strips of bacon
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted

For the corn and bacon relish:

4 strips of bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
3 ears of fresh sweet corn, with the kernels cut off the cobs
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
Half of a red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon maple syrup

For the avocado mayonnaise:

1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise

1. In a large skillet, cook the four strips of bacon for the burger over medium high heat. Remove to paper towels to drain. Season the burger patties with salt and pepper and add to warm bacon drippings. Cook, turning once, until burgers are cooked to desired doneness. Turn the heat off; place cheese slices on top of burgers and one strip of the cooked bacon on top of each slice of cheese. Cover to allow the cheese to melt.

2. Heat a second large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped bacon and cook until crispy. Melt in butter, then add jalapeno and red onion to the skillet. Cook until the onion is softened, then add garlic and cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add the corn and continue to cook until corn is just tender, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in maple syrup and salt and remove the skillet from the heat.

3. Mash avocado flesh with lemon juice and salt. Add in the mayonnaise. Spread the mixture equally on the bottom of each bun. Top each bun with a cheeseburger patty and sweet corn relish.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Cheddar Bacon Ranch Sandwiches

It's been raining here for two weeks straight. Literally, for two weeks straight. I mean, sure, it's stopped occasionally, but the weather has been so gross (humid and sticky) that I haven't felt like stepping a foot outside. All of the humidity is wreaking havoc on my allergies, too, so I've been pretty miserable lately. With my watery red eyes, itchy stuffy nose, and nearly-constant sinus headaches, I am the absolute picture of summer fun, let me tell you. So, I'm sorry I haven't been around much, but I just haven't been feeling the greatest.

I could certainly use a sandwich like this to clear out my sinuses. The spicy buffalo chicken would definitely do the trick, and not only that, it would be absolutely delicious. If I had to define my perfect sandwich, this one would be it. It's loaded with spicy buffalo chicken strips, cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and a generous drizzle of ranch dressing. 

I mean, come on. Does it get any better than that?

Buffalo Chicken Cheddar Bacon Ranch Sandwiches 

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour
8 chicken tenders (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot
3 tablespoons melted butter
8 strips of bacon, cooked to desired crispness
4 slices cheddar cheese
4 hoagie rolls, split and toasted
Ranch dressing

1. Place buttermilk and flour in separate bowls; season flour with salt and pepper. Set out a rimmed baking sheet alongside the bowls. 

2. Dip chicken in buttermilk, allowing excess to drip off, then in flour. Shake off the excess flour and place on the baking sheet. 

3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Working in batches, fry the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. 

4. In a large bowl, stir together the hot sauce and melted butter. Add the chicken and toss to coat.

5. Place two strips of chicken on the bottom of each roll. Top with a slice of cheddar cheese, two slices of bacon, a generous drizzle of ranch dressing, and the roll top.