Pineapple Chicken Stack Ups

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(Becky, the Mama)

I have literally been making this recipe for 30 years!

As a newlywed and college student,  one of my best friends was Brenda Scott.  We both married young (I was 17 and she was 18),  so we swapped recipes and sometimes cooked together, too, trying to learn our way around the kitchen. One day we whipped up chocolate chip cookies in my small duplex kitchen. We  each took a bite of a cookie at the same time, then both ran to spit it out in the sink, reaching for water to quench our sudden thirst.

 “Becky, what did I do wrong?” Brenda asked, her Texas accent thick. “These taste like pure salt!”

I held up a clear canister that I’d filled with salt. (I never bothered with pesky things like “labels.”)

She looked at me, her eyes wide with confusion.  “Who keeps salt in canister?”

All I could do, since I was laughing so hard, was to point to myself and shrug.

Eventually we both had children,  and on a visit for lunch in her home,  our kids everywhere around us, Brenda served this sweet-savory dish called Pineapple Chicken Stack-Ups.  She thinks she may have found the recipe on the back of a Dole Pineapple can.  Wherever she found it, for me, it was love at first bite. The toasted English muffin is smeared with a savory mayo dolled up with dill and chopped green onions, then layered with  pineapple slices (fresh or canned),  a piece of cooked boneless chicken (thighs or breasts or even tenders),  a little more sauce and sprinkle of grated cheese… popped in the oven for about 10 minutes, and dinner is served.   (All you need is a simple salad on the side.)

I went home from Brenda’s house and made this recipe that very evening and have been making them on a regular basis for 30 years now, as long as Brenda and I have been friends, as long as we’ve been laughing together about our own foibles .  (I should mention she went on to become one of the finest nurses you can imagine.  Since I still forget to label things, I decided not to inflict my personality on the medical world, and eventually turned to writing humor as a career.)  I mentioned these Pineapple Chicken Stack Ups to Rachel  the other day and she said, “I loved those! And see? There’s proof you DID actually cook for us when we were kids.”  My youngest son, Gabe, chimed in as well.  “I loved those things, too!”

 You can make as many “stack ups”  as you want (and can fit) on a cookie sheet by increasing the recipe, which is really easy to do.  Because they spend very little time in the oven, they make a nice summer meal.   Perfect for fancy ladies luncheons, too, as you can construct them ahead of time, and then pop them in the oven to heat and melt at the last minute.  This recipe is also easily veganized by subbing Veganaise for the mayo;  cooked vegan chik’n cutlets, and vegan cheese.   I used fresh pineapple this time, but when the kids were young, and time short,  I reached for a can of pineapple rings and the results were still yummy.

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Brenda’s Pineapple Chicken Stack Ups

Makes 4 servings   (If your gang is hungry, they might eat 2 of these each, making the yield just 2 servings)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Ingredients:

2 English muffins, split into 4 halves, and lightly toasted (I prefer multigrain)

4 boneless chicken thighs or smallish chicken breasts , seasoned with salt & pepper,  and cooked on both sides, in a skillet, in a little olive oil until golden brown (or a vegan “chik’n” substitute)

1/2 cup mayonnaise (vegans use veganaise )

2 T. chopped green onions

1 T. dried dill or 2 T. fresh dill

4 fresh or canned pineapple slices

1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese (vegans use a dairy-less cheese)

Directions:

Mix mayo, green onions and dill together in a small bowl.  (Don’t skip the dill, it is truly what makes this dish special!) Spread the toasted muffin halves, cut side up, with a heaping Tablespoon of the may0-dlll-onion sauce.  Place the muffins on a cookie sheet or large baking pan, leaving at least 2 inches between them.  Next, place a slice of pineapple on each muffin.  Then carefully lay  one piece of boneless cooked chicken on top of the pineapple, followed by another scant tablespoon of mayo-dill-onion sauce and finally a heaping tablespoon of grated cheese on top of it all.

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Stack Ups Ready for the Oven!

Carefully pop in the oven and let heat through until cheese is melted on top for about 10 minutes.

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The Title: Pineapple Chicken Stack Ups
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This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook


Tomato Basil Stackers

Last week I picked up some vine ripened tomatoes and my heart went pitter patter when I cut one open and saw that they were just as vibrantly red in the middle as they were on the outside. Better yet, they were sweet and flavorful and tasted like a tomato should taste. Blah tomatoes make the winter feel so long, don’t they? I can taste summer coming around the corner when I bite into my first juicy tomato.

To me, there is no better way to enjoy a nice ripe tomato than letting its flavors shine in between fresh basil leaves and sliced avocado on a garlicy toasted English muffin. Garlic toast brings any savory sandwich up a notch. It has amazing health benefits too. My mother swears that garlic cures everything from a head cold to a stumped toe. When she came to visit last week I had a sinus infection, and she made me swallow a garlic pill every time she caught my eye. Her parting gift to me was a bottle of odorless garlic tablets. I am now cured.

Mother knows best.

Anyway, I could eat this simple sandwich every day. I always buy the Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain English Muffins.  You can find them in the freezer section of most stores that carry the Ezekiel line of breads. Not only does their nutty flavor taste delicious when toasted, but they bring 8 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and a mere 160 calories to the plate.

Ezekiel English Muffin toasted to perfection with EVOO and garlic


Rachel’s
Tomato Basil Stackers

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted English Muffins, sliced through the middle
1 Garlic Clove, Minced
1 tbs EVOO
1 Vine Ripened Tomato
6 Fresh Basil Leaves
1/2 Avocado
Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Drizzle of High Quality Olive Oil

Directions

Turn your oven on broil low, in a small bowl mix EVOO with minced garlic. Spread garlic and oil onto the inner side of the english muffin slices. Place on the top rack of your oven and broil until the edges just start to brown and crisp up. Stay close, it won’t take long.  You don’t want this to happen.

Meanwhile, slice the tomato and avocado into slices, and gently tear the basil leaves a few times to release their flavors.

Layer the avocado, basil, and tomato onto one slice of the toasted english muffin. After each tomato layer, sprinkle with salt, fresh cracked pepper, and a small drizzle of high quality olive oil. When finished layering top with the other side of the English muffin.

I like to layer it like this: bread, avocado, tomato, basil, tomato, basil, tomato, basil, avocado, bread. I kind of spread the avocado onto the bread to keep it from sliding off. But layer to your hearts content or do two open faced ones if you don’t like a high stacker.  I like to stack it high and then just lean over my plate and dive in. It will be messy, but oh so delicious!

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Tomato Basil Stackers
The URL: https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/03/13/tomato-basil-stackers/
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