My cousin and I emailed back and forth planning a family dinner at her house last month. I suggested a modified Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe our family loves: chicken breast, pounded flat, wrapped with prosciutto and a little swiss cheese, smothered with a mixture of butter, garlic, dijon mustard. Bake at 400 degrees 20 minutes or so, until chicken is done.
She made it and it was fantastic, yet different from my version. She added artichoke hearts, one of my husband's favorite things. Brilliant!
Here's another suggestion for modifiying a classic combination of ingredients, inspired by one of my favorite appetizers: Buffalo chicken wings and celery sticks served with bleu cheese dressing. One of the best things about Super Bowl parties.
Melt a pat of butter in a skillet over medium heat.
Mix in a few tablespoons of Frank's Red Hot Sauce.
Add some diced, cooked chicken and celery and stir to coat.
Continue to heat and serve warm,or remove from heat and serve at room temperature.
Sprinkle some crumbled bleu cheese on top, or if you don't like bleu cheese, maybe a drizzle of Ranch dressing (this looks like a good recipe).
Make enough for yourself for lunch, or make a big batch for dinner.
Add what you will, leave out what you don't like.
Make it and make it your own.