Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bang Bang Shrimp

Welcome to the post where I talk about Hooter's!  Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined blogging about Hooter's, but here we go...My parents recently took us out to dinner for my Father's birthday (NOT at Hooter's). We all raved about this appetizer! This recipe is the combination of a few copycat recipes that I've found online, mainly this one.  
I was amazed at how simple this recipe was, and I actually already had all of the ingredients on hand, with the exception of the Hooter's breading mix. I had no idea that the whole Hooter's chain was even still in existence. Thankfully, I only had to make a trip to the grocery store to get my mix :) This was absolutely delicious!! Serves 4.

Bang Bang Shrimp
1 lb. raw shrimp, deveined and peeled
3/4 c. Hooter's Brand breading mix (a lot of the recipes simply use cornstarch)
vegetable oil for frying

1/2 c. mayo
1/3 c. sweet chili sauce
2 t. siracha sauce

2 heads of romaine, roughly chopped
scallions for garnish

Mix mayo and chili sauces to make dressing. Set aside.

Peel and devein shrimp. Heat oil 350-375 degrees  in large skillet (I used my electric skillet). Use enough oil to cover shrimp completely. Bread shrimp in mix and fry until golden brown.  Transfer fried shrimp to plate with thick layer of paper towels to absorb the oil.
Toss shrimp in dressing and serve over romaine. Garnish with scallions.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Crock Pot Enchiladas

I love enchiladas- my husband, not so much. So, over the years I have made a lot of enchilada recipes in search  of "the one" that the hubby would really like. This is it! I use home made enchilada sauce from this recipe. I really think the homemade sauce is the key. This is a versatile recipe that can be used to make traditional enchiladas, or as a casserole type dish in the crock pot. You can also use ground beef, shredded chicken, or ground turkey like we do.

Crock Pot Enchiladas
Source: Passionate Homemaking

1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1lb. ground turkey
29 oz. enchilada sauce (I use a little less than 29 oz.)
2 c. black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. greek yogurt (or sour cream)
8 whole wheat tortillas
shredded cheddar (about 2 1/2 c.)

Heat small amount of oil in large skillet. Saute onion and garlic until lightly browned. Add meat and brown. Stir in enchilada sauce, beans and greek yogurt. Spread thin layer of sauce in bottom of crock pot. Then layer tortilla, sauce and cheese repeating until sauce is gone and ending with cheese. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Greta and Miles rating: They both love this recipe. It is a little spicy, but they just drink a lot of milk with it!

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is a great healthy-ish muffin recipe.While it does have chocolate chips and sugar, it doesn't have oil, and has some whole wheat flour...not bad considering the end result. I really think the coconut milk adds a little more moisture than cow's milk would. If you haven't tried coconut milk yet, go for it! My kids love it and it is the only milk that I drink.

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 c. Flour
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3 T. cocoa powder
1 1/2 chocolate chips, separated

1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 c. coconut milk (or cows milk, soy milk, or almond milk)
1 egg
1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 375. Combine dry ingredients and 1 c. of chocolate chips. In separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Stir dry and wet ingredients until just combined.  Pour batter into 12 muffin cups and sprinkle each with additional 1/2 c. of chocolate chips. Bake approximately 15 minutes or until muffin springs back when gently pressed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chicken in Mustard-Cream Sauce

Ok. This is a really, really good recipe. I would be very pleased to be served this dish in a restaurant. I can not believe how simple it is. This would be the perfect dinner to serve to last minute dinner guests. It is elegant and packed with flavor, but extremely simple to make. Oh, and did I mention that I don't even like mustard?? :)

Chicken in Mustard-Cream Sauce
Source: Fresh Food Fast

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T. Olive oil
1/4 c. dry white wine
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 t. dried tarragon

Season each chicken breast liberally with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.Add chicken and saute until cooked completely- 10-12 minutes, turning once. Transfer to plate and keep warm.

Pour the wine into hot skillet and cook stirring until reduced (about 1 minute). Whisk in cream, mustard and tarragon. Cook, whisking about 2 minutes, or until thickened. Right before serving drizzle sauce over chicken.

Greta and Miles rating: (5 year old and 3 year old) They could not eat this fast enough!

Easy Meringues

I have not been baking as much as I usually do. In an effort to lighten things up a bit- I made this recipe for meringues. I made a few vanilla and a few chocolate. They are light, delicious and everyone loves them. At around 35 calories a piece, they are hard to beat! With only a few ingredients, they are a snap to throw together. They do however require a little extra time to just sit and dry out.

Easy Meringues
Adapted from: All Recipes
2 egg whites
1/2 c.sugar
AND one of the following:
 1 t. vanilla-to make vanilla meringues
1 1/2 T. cocoa powder- to make chocolate meringues
2 t. instant coffee granules- to make espresso meringues

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Gradually add in sugar and beat until mixture is no longer gritty when tested between fingers. Fold in desired flavoring.  Spoon into pastry bag or ziplock (with small hole cut in one of the corners). Squeeze mixture in mounds onto cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn oven off, but leave meringues in oven for about 2 hours to dry out.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Asparagus & Gruyere Tart

This recipe is simple and impressive. It is elegant, yet easy enough to throw in the oven at a moment's notice. Nothing says spring like asparagus and our family could not get enough of this dish. While this may not be the most healthy thing you'll eat all week, I guarantee it will be one of the best!

Asparagus & Gruyere Tart
Source: Martha Stewart

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 1/2 lb. asparagus, cleaned and rough edges trimmed
11/2 c. Gruyere, shredded
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll pastry dough into a 16x10" rectangle. With sharp knife, score dough 1" in from outside and using a fork prick the dough every 1/2".
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden and remove from oven. Sprinkle with cheese, top with asparagus, alternating end and tip. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until asparagus is tender.
Greta and Miles rating: They loved this and we actually ran out. I think they would have ate an additional 2 pieces. Best way I've found to get Miles to eat asparagus.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Skillet Lasagna

The fabulous Joelen strikes again! My lasagna hating husband loves this lasagna. I just love how little effort this dish requires. It's also a little more interesting than your run of the mill lasagna. I have made a few changes to the original. This is how we like lasagna at our house...

Skillet Lasagna
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 t. salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 t. red pepper flakes
1 lb. ground turkey
10 whole wheat lasagna noodles (dry and broken into 2" pieces)
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 c. mozzarella, shredded
1/2 c. Parmesan, shredded- plus additional for garnish
1 c. ricotta cheese
3 T. chopped basil

Pour undrained diced tomatoes  into 1-qt. liquid measuring cup. Add water until mixture measures 1 qt..  Set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and 1/2 t. salt. Cook until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ground turkey (beef or sausage would work as well) and cook, breaking apart meat, until no longer pink.
Scatter pasta over meat but do not stir. Pour diced tomatoes with juices and tomato sauce over pasta. Cover and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low.Simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender, about 20-22 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in cheeses. Season with additional salt and pepper. Dot with heaping tablespoons ricotta, cover, and let stand off heat for 5 minutes. Garnish with basil and additional Parmesan.

Greta and Miles rating: OK, so my kids really do not care for red sauces. They did OK with this one.

Macaroni Grill Bread

I used to love the Macaroni Grill. I haven't been there to eat in years, but I remember going there to eat after working on wedding flowers and eating insane amounts of their bread. We would dip it in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese and a little freshly cracked pepper. Sometimes, we would go and just order a Caesar salad so we could have an excuse to pig out on bread. This recipe is not identical, but is pretty darn close. The original recipe is a bread maker recipe, but I have successfully made this in the oven as well.  I make this recipe exactly like the original, but when it is freshly baked I rub the crust with olive oil and give a little sprinkle of sea salt. Yum!

Macaroni Grill Bread
1 c. warm water
1 1/2 t. yeast
1 1/2 t. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
3 T. olive oil
1/4 t. Italian seasoning
1 T. rosemary
1/4 t. pepper
2 1/2 c. flour

Add all ingredients as directed in bread maker instructions. Bake on white bread cycle.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Roasted Shrimp with Feta

Another hit from Annie's Eats! I even botched this recipe by accidentally opening and dumping in a can of tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes. My little glitch didn't matter though because the flavors in this dish are divine. I served this over cous cous, but it would have been wonderful over pasta as well!

Roasted Shrimp with Feta
3 T. Olive Oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 c. dry white wine
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce (original calls for diced tomatoes, plus 2 t. tomato paste)
1 1 /2 t. dried oregano
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 c. bread crumbs (I used panko)
1 t. lemon zest
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
5 oz. crumbled feta
juice of lemon
lemon wedges for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute onion in 2 T. of oil over medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant or about 1 minute. Add wine and cook until liquid has reduced by half.

 Add tomato sauce, salt, pepper and oregano. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes.
Combine lemon zest, bread crumbs and remaining 1 T. of oil.

Pour tomato sauce into baking dish and place shrimp, tail side up, in tomato sauce. Top with feta and then bread crumb mixture.

Bake 10-15 minutes or until shrimp is done and topping is browned. Squeeze lemon juice of dish and serve with additional lemon wedges.

Greta and Miles rating: Greta loved this, and Miles loved the flavor of the sauce, but is not a fan of shrimp that has not been breaded :)