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Need an idea for a savory dish, next-level appetizer or unique food gift? Find it all in Sara Stirs’ Holiday Recipe Box

Editor’s note: Sara Stirs is contributing to My Buckhannon on an occasional pop-up basis to give readers an exclusive look at some of her favorite recipes she’s perfected over time. For more content, follow her on Instagram at @sarajstirs.

Pineapple Green Chili Chicken Taquitos

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken (breast or thighs)
  • 1/2 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced thinly
  • 8 ounces crushed pineapple in juice
  • 4 oz green chilies (fire roasted is preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Juice of 1 lime (use 2 if they are dry)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • Green hot sauce or taco sauce to taste
  • Small flour tortillas
  • Oil for cooking

Directions:

For the pressure cooker:

  1. Place chicken, onion, Jalapeño, pineapple, green chilies, salt, coriander, chili powder, and cumin in the pot and pressure cook for 30 minutes.
  2. Use quick release.

For the slow cooker:

  1. Place chicken, onion, Jalapeño, pineapple, green chilies, salt, coriander, chili powder, and cumin in the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.

For both methods:

  1. Once the chicken has cooked, shred it and add it back to the cooking liquid. If there is lots of liquid drain some, you want moist chicken but not soggy.
  2. Stir in green onions, cream cheese and green sauce to taste.
  3. Roll chicken mixture in tortillas.
  4. Rub the taquitos in a little oil. Skillet crisp over medium heat until crispy or place on a baking sheet and bake 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes, turning part way to crisp all sides.

For the dipping sauce: In a food processor, pulse 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons whole milk, juice of 1 lime, 1 jalapeño, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1/2 an avocado and salt to taste (3/4 tablespoon ranch powder optional) until smooth.

Elevated Boursin Appetizer

These Pineapple Green Chili Chicken Taquitos make the most perfect and vibrant holiday dish. (Photo by Sara Jeran)

Elevated Boursin Appetizer

Ingredients:

  • 1 round of Boursin herb and garlic cheese
  • 3 tablespoons fig jam
  • 1 onion, sliced very thinly
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • A splash of red/white wine or balsamic vinegar Kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Sauté onions in butter over medium-low heat.
  2. Toss in thyme and season with salt. Stir often and allow to slowly develop a deep amber color.
  3. Cook until the onions have a jammy consistency, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add a splash of wine or vinegar and deglaze the pan. Cook the remaining liquid off. (The onions may be cooked in advance and reheated before topping the cheese.)

For assembly:

  1. Top the cheese round with fig jam.
  2. Layer caramelized onions on top of jam.
  3. Garnish with fresh time and flaky salt and erve with hearty crackers or crostini. 
This Elevated Boursin Appetizer will take your holiday party to the next level. (Photo by Sara Jeran)

Italian Giardiniera

Ingredients (quantities are easily adjustable):

  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 2 sweet bell peppers
  • 5-6 Serrano peppers**
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 4-5 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • Dried oregano
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • White vinegar
  • Vegetable oil

**Jalapeños may be substituted for a milder flavor

Directions:

  1. Dice all vegetables very fine.
  2. Place veggies in a large bowl and sprinkle liberally to cover with kosher salt (if you are using table salt, use less).
  3. Pour water over veggies until they are submerged. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (the closer to 24 hours, the better).
  4. Drain and rinse. Place drained veggies back in the bowl. Sprinkle dried oregano and red pepper flakes to taste over and toss to combine.
  5. Pack very tightly in jars. Fill jars 3/4 full with canola oil. Top the remaining 1/4 of the space with white vinegar. The relish is best if given a couple of days to marinate before serving. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 month.
This Italian Giardiniera is perfect for food-gifting this Christmas. (Photo by Sara Jeran)

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