Tag Archives: butter

24 vs. 48 Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast

14 Jan
24-Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast

24-Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast

I’ve been slowly learning the best methods and temperatures to cook meat via the sous vide method. For those of you not familiar with this, I’ll give you a cheat link over to Wikipidia: Sous Vide Cooking.

So about three weeks ago I decided to cook a piece of chuck roast for 48 hours at 149 F, but about halfway through the cooking time my foodie friend and sous vide guru Stefan gave me the sage advice that I would achieve the results my hubby desired in said chunk of meat by cooking it only 24 hours at a higher temperature. Horrors, what was I to do? So I threw caution to the wind and bumped it up to 165 F for the last 24 hours. It came out out fall apart tender and my husband said it was the best chuck roast he had ever tasted.

I had only used half of the chuck roast, so two weeks later I decided to try only 24 hours at 165 F for the second half. It was very tender, but both of us thought the first one had the perfect texture. Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely delicious, the first one was just amazingly absolutely delicious. Was this a controlled experiment? Heck no. I had too many differences with what I did. Was the first chuck roast the better half of the roast? (It was a 6-pound roast initially.) The first one I only seasoned it then seared in a hot cast iron skillet. For the second one I seasoned it then dusted it heavily with flour before searing, as I wanted a thicker gravy than the first one. Did the flour have anything to do with the texture of the meat? I have no idea. But I did get a thicker gravy!

Anyhoot, since I bothered to take the pictures, I’ll go ahead and step you through the process I did for the second roast. Who knows? Maybe it will prompt you to pick up a sous vide circulator and try it out!

24-Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast with Gravy

1 3-pound chuck roast
Seasoning spice mix of choice
Ground black pepper and salt
Flour
1 tablespoon high heat oil, such as grapeseed oil
1/2 cup homemade beef stock

First, fill a large pot with water, insert the sous vide circulator, and set the heat at 165 degrees F.

Seasoned Beef

Seasoned Beef

Season the beef liberally with a spice seasoning mix of choice. I used Santorini Sunset seasoning (available from Kouzouna’s Kitchen). Grind a bunch of black pepper over it, and lightly salt if your seasoning mix does not contain salt. Pat the roast all around with flour until it is thoroughly coated.

Coated with Flour

Coated with Flour

Heat a cast iron skillet to high heat and add the tablespoon of oil. Sear the roast on all sides until it is browned and crusty.

Seared Chuck Roast

Seared Chuck Roast

Place the roast in a gallon zip-top freezer bag, then remove all the air by zipping it almost shut and slowly immersing it into the pot of water until all the air is sucked out of the bag, then finish sealing the bag.

Ready to Cook for 24 Hours

Ready to Cook for 24 Hours

Cover the pot with cling-wrap to prevent evaporation. Now go find something to do for the next 24 hours, like eat your dinner, watch a movie, sleep, get up and do laundry, or whatever you find yourself doing for the next day.

Cooked Roast and Juices

Cooked Roast and Juices

About 20 minutes before you want to eat the roast, turn off the sous vide, remove the bag from the pot, and remove the roast from the bag, saving the juices in the bag. Set the roast aside on a plate and cover with foil while you make the gravy.

Showing off my Poppa's Hook

Showing off my Poppa’s Hook ~ I love my meat hook!

Pour the juices from the bag into a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the 1/2 cup beef stock to it. Bring the sauce up to a simmer, and whisk constantly while keeping a simmer until the gravy has reduced and thickened.

Making the Gravy

Making the Gravy

To finish the gravy, add a half tablespoon of very cold butter and stir it in until just melted. Strain the gravy through a sieve (I also line it with mesh or cheesecloth) into a serving bowl.

Smooth Beef Gravy

Smooth Beef Gravy

Serve the fall-apart tender meat with the gravy and sides of vegetables. We had rosemary buttered baby potatoes with green beans.

24-Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast

24-Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

 

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

30 Jan
BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

I rarely try to do copycat recipes as they never come up to snuff to what you expect, but this one scored in my house. Now, probably 99.9999% of my readers don’t even live in my small town nor either close to it, so we’ll just leave it at that I was able to surpass the taste of this amazing shrimp appetizer dish at a local trendy restaurant.

It probably doesn’t even taste the same, since I never bought their expensive $16 bottle of the sauce to compare it to. (Who buys a $16 bottle of BBQ sauce, what??) All I know is that it exceeded our expectations of how it would turn out. I’m in LOVE! My husband swooned! (OK he didn’t literally, but he loved it too so I had to say it.)

I tried searching for the copycat recipe from our local restaurant (Zydeco Kitchen and Cocktails), but all it ever came up with was a copycat recipe for Zydeco 5, which is apparently in the Midwest or thereabouts. So, I googled for New Orleans BBQ Shrimp. Whoa! Too much information. However, what I gleaned from it all is that there were two camps in how to prepare it. Either marinating for a long time then oven cooking, or cooking quickly in a cast-iron skillet. I chose the former after my research.

I printed out several of the recipes that went in both camps, then combined all the ingredients into one full recipe. I got a little confuzzled at one point when I scratched out on one and then switched to the other then went back to the other. OY!

Instead of making grits or polenta cakes from scratch (for time reasons), I went with an organic refrigerated garlic and basil polenta tube from a local grocery. Trader Joe’s sells a similar tube of this product.

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

Note: I’ve offered to bring this to Super Bowl next week as an appetizer, and THEN make it again a few weeks later as the main course for a dinner party. Am I nuts??? LOL. But will be glad to do it.

Second note: I have a high heat/spice tolerance, so adjust seasoning amounts as needed.

This recipe serves two people, adjust amounts if serving more. On to the recipe!

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili sauce (found in the ketchup aisle)
3 tablespoons Worcesterhire sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (I used Stubb’s)
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Cajun (Creole) seasoning
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried spicy oregano
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Generous amounts of ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 pound large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Prepared refrigerated polenta
1 tablespoon butter
Chopped parsley and green onion, for garnish

Preparing the BBQ Sauce

Preparing the BBQ Sauce

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add all the ingredients through to the ground pepper. You may want to add the spicy spices a little at a time until the spice level suits your tastes.

Spicy BBQ Sauce

Spicy BBQ Sauce

Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until it’s reduced just a tad. Add the shrimp to a casserole dish, then pour the sauce over it, stirring around to coat. Spread the shrimp around so they’re in a single layer.

Marinating the Shrimp

Marinating the Shrimp

Cover and place in refrigerator for up to 4 hours or overnight.

About a half hour before you are ready to eat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When preheated, place shrimp dish uncovered in oven for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the polenta into 1/2-inch or so cakes (I wasn’t very precise in that case). Add butter to a skillet over medium-high heat, then fry the polenta cakes on each side until slightly browned.

Fried Polenta Cakes

Fried Polenta Cakes

Place two polenta cakes in a bowl, then add desired amount of shrimp over the cakes, pouring generous amounts of the BBQ sauce over it. Garnish with additional chopped parsley and green onion. Serve with a crusty bread, for sopping up all the sauce. Try not to fight over who gets to mop up the last of the sauce out of the casserole dish.

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Indian Butter Chicken

26 Sep
Indian Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken

An absolutely wonderful friend of mine sent me a large package of garam masala earlier this year. I even had the pleasure of rooming with her this past weekend for a charity fundraising event in Minneapolis.

OK, it was a big party with lots of shenanigans, laughing, and tears of joy. But a fundraising event nonetheless where the proceeds of the event go to the MODs Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization dedicated to supporting wildlife conservation, education and art. Oh, so where was I? Yes, the garam masala. This is a food blog, right?

I actually made this back in July when we had a short spurt of unseasonably cold weather, just before it zoomed right up into the triple digits. It didn’t feel right posting about it while everyone was sweating buckets and craving cool salads.

Now that fall has arrived, it’s time to introduce you to one of the many dishes to come using garam masala, a wonderfully complex spice used commonly in North Indian and South Asian food. It’s a perfect dish for a cool fall night.

Indian Butter Chicken
Adapted from Indian Butter Chicken at foodiecrush

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
2 cups Half and Half or cream
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
Lime wedges and cilantro, for garnish
Cooked rice, for serving

Cut and Seasoned Chicken

Cut and Seasoned Chicken

Cut the chicken into one-inch chunks and season with salt and ground black pepper, to taste. In a very large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the diced onion and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until translucent.

Onions in Oil and Butter

Onions in Oil and Butter

Add the garam masala, ginger, and chili powder and cook for several more minutes, stirring often.

Garam Masala and Other Spices Added

Garam Masala and Other Spices Added

Whisk in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, and bay leaves and cook for a few more minutes. Add the half and half or cream, stirring until it comes to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 5 more minutes.

Simmering the Creamy Tomato Sauce

Simmering the Creamy Tomato Sauce

Meanwhile, add the remaining oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to another large skillet and cook the chicken over medium-high heat until the chicken is lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. (Somehow I missed a photo of that step.)

Chicken in Creamy Tomato Sauce

Chicken in Creamy Tomato Sauce

Transfer the chicken to the creamy tomato sauce and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Add the peas and remaining butter to the sauce and continue cooking until the butter has melted.

Peas and Butter Added to the Sauce

Peas and Butter Added to the Sauce

Oh my gosh, just look at that beautiful BUTTAH!

Melting Butter

Melting Butter ~ Divine!

Serve over cooked rice and garnish with lime wedges and cilantro leaves.

Indian Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Spanakopita

2 May
Spanikopita

Spanakopita

My sister made this wonderful authentic Greek dish for the family one night when she was here visiting last week. It was so much fun being able to snap some photos while she explained every step of the recipe and demonstrated the “technique” of this dish. This recipe came from her boyfriend’s mother who hailed from Greece, Zora St. Martin (her Greek maiden name was Zaharias, she married a French Canadian). Zora died about two years ago at age 88, and had a successful catering business in Newport, NH. Before she passed on she wrote down the recipe for her son, which I have shared below. As a bonus, she also included the recipe for Tiropita, which is similar to Spanakopita but doesn’t have spinach.

Spanakopita and Tiropita Recipes

Spanakopita and Tiropita Recipes

The first thing my sister said before making this was to correct my pronunciation of the dish. I’ve been saying it wrong all these years! It is span-uh-KOH-pih-ta, NOT span-uh-koh-PEE-ta. This also makes a very large amount. She said whenever they cook this at home, they wrap up individual packages to give to friends. They actually have friends calling them asking them when they are going to make it again, it is that good! This also makes a wonderful breakfast or brunch. It took us a few days, but we ate every last bit of this! My sister also found some cute little lamb chops on sale at the store, which she marinated in soy sauce, honey, and red chile flakes and grilled them up as a nice “side” to the Spanakopita. Thank you Molly for an awesome dinner!

Spanakopita

1 package Filo (Phyllo) dough, thawed in refrigerator
3 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed
1 bunch green onions
Handful of fresh dill sprigs
16-ounce container cottage cheese
24-ounces crumbled Feta cheese
6 well-beaten eggs
2 sticks melted butter (1/2 pound)

Spanakopita Ingredients

Spanakopita Ingredients

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the thawed spinach in a colander and squeeze out as much liquid as possible with your hands. Literally grab bunches of the spinach and wring it out like a wet washcloth. My sister demonstrated this beautifully:

Squeezing the Water Out of the Spinach

Squeezing the Water Out of the Spinach

Chop the green onions…

Chopping the Green Onions

Chopping the Green Onions

then mix them thoroughly with the spinach in a large bowl.

Mixing the Onion and Spinach

Mixing the Onion and Spinach

Mince the dill, then add to the spinach mixture along with the cottage and Feta cheeses and the beaten eggs. Combine thoroughly.

Spanakopita Filling

Spanakopita Filling

Brush a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with some of the butter. Layer 5 or 6 Filo sheets in the bottom of the pan, including up the sides.

First Layer of Filo Sheets

First Layer of Filo Sheets

Press in 1/4 of the spinach mixture in an even layer.

First Layer of Spinach Mixture

First Layer of Spinach Mixture

Layer 3 or 4 more sheets of Filo, then coat with butter evenly with a brush.

Brushing the Filo with Butter

Brushing the Filo with Butter

Repeat layers of spinach, Filo, and butter. The top layer should be at least 5 or 6 sheets of Filo. Pour any remaining butter over the top and brush around.

Brushing the Last of the Butter Over Top

Brushing the Last of the Butter Over Top

Bake in the preheated heated oven for 45 minutes until the top is golden-brown. If it starts to get too brown you can lightly cover it with a piece of foil. After 45 minutes, turn oven down to 350 and bake for 15 more minutes. Remove from oven, and let sit for about 15 minutes before serving.

Spanakopita Out of the Oven

Spanakopita Out of the Oven!

While the Spanakopita was resting, these pretty babies were thrown onto the grill for a few minutes on each side.

Marinating Lamb Chops

Marinating Lamb Chops

Dinner is served!

Spanakopita and Lamb Chop Dinner

Spanakopita and Lamb Chop Dinner

 

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Dungeness Crabbing in Oregon

21 Sep

My husband and I just spent a fabulous week of fishing and crabbing on the Siletz River and Bay, so figured it would be a good time to reblog one of my very first posts about crabbing in Oregon. We pulled in 31 Dungeness crab between three of us in just a few hours! Sadly, no salmon were interested in our lures/bait the entire time we fished all week, although we saw others bring some in. The water is still a bit too warm for them to be running hard upriver. But a big storm is heading that way this week, so hopefully on our next trip I’ll finally land “The Big One.”

anotherfoodieblogger

One of the finer things about living in the Pacific Northwest is the bounty of food you can catch for your dinner, whether it’s a glistening rainbow trout from the deep cold lakes of the Cascade mountains, or hauling in bustling pots full of meaty Dungeness crabs from the bays and jetties of the Pacific Ocean. Commercial crabbing season is in full swing right now in Oregon, but you can privately catch Dungeness crab year round if you have a license, crab pots, and a tolerance for getting wet!

Crabbing can be seriously fun if you have the right combination of weather, tides and luck. We’ve had several friends go crabbing with us on the Siletz Bay and say it was the best time they’ve ever had on the coast! While we don’t limit out every time we head to the bay to crab, it is rare that we don’t…

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French Onion Soup with Brie Cheese

1 Jan
French Onion Soup with Brie Cheese

French Onion Soup with Brie Cheese

First off, Happy New Year 2014! Here I am in my third year of food blogging, and loving it! Yes, I soaked my Black-Eyed Peas last night, and will be cooking them up today for dinner. I cannot start out the New Year without a big mess o’ black-eyed peas. But my recipe today is the classic take on French Onion Soup, with a couple of changes. For one, I didn’t have any Gruyere cheese, but I did have a big hunk of Brie cheese. I had a slight “argument” the other night with a friend of mine who said you can’t shred Brie cheese as it’s too soft, but I have pictures as proof! You just need to have it chilled really good.

Grated Brie Cheese

Grated Brie Cheese ~ See, You Can Really Grate Brie Cheese!

The other change I made was to simmer it in my Crock Pot instead of over the stove, because, I’m all about easy! There are a few things I would change about this recipe next time I make it. For one, I would use ALL beef broth instead of a combination of chicken and beef broth. I think I would prefer the richness of all beef broth. Next, I would use a really dry wine instead of the sweet white wine I used (because that is all I had at the time). The caramelization of the onions already adds sweetness, and the sweet white made it a tad too sweet for me. I tempered that by adding some salt to my bowl and topping with some Parmesan cheese in addition to the Brie.

Next time I’d also splurge on some Gruyere cheese. The Brie was nice, but a bit too mellow. And last, the recipe I based this on said to use four to six medium onions. After four onions I deemed I had enough, but I really think I should have used five and maybe even six instead. But still, all in all a decent recipe, and I loved using the oven to caramelize the onions instead of sweating and stirring constantly on the stove. It worked out great!

French Onion Soup with Brie Cheese
Adapted from Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, French Onion Soup

4 to 6 medium yellow onions, sliced thin
1 stick of butter
1 cup of white wine (preferably dry)
4 cups each homemade or low sodium chicken and beef broth (or all beef!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 splashes of Worcestershire sauce
Thick slices of French baguette bread
Butter for bread
Grated Brie or Gruyere cheese, for topping
Additional Parmesan for topping
Salt to taste, if needed

French Onion Soup Ingredients

French Onion Soup Ingredients

I forgot the butter in my ingredients photo! But it’s not hard to forget once you start cooking. Start out by peeling then slicing your onions thin. It helps to have a really sharp knife. I’m not a great slicer of even thicknesses, but it all works out.

Slicing the Onions

Slicing the Onions

Next, add the butter to a large soup pot or dutch oven and melt it. After I took this shot of the elusive butter, doesn’t it look like the butter is melting over the planet earth from space? No? I’m very strange in that way.

Melting the Butter

Melting the Butter ~ On Planet Earth!

Next, begin preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, add that big mess of sliced onions to the melted butter, stir around to coat, then cover and cook over medium heat, covered, for 20 minutes. Here they are after coated in the butter. It looked like plenty of onions to me at that point!

Pot of Sliced Onions

Pot of Sliced Onions

After giving a good stir after 20 minutes, add the covered pot to the 400-degree oven, cracking the lid a bit to help the browning. Since the lid to my pot was round, I had a hard time getting it to crack properly. After 30 minutes, I deemed cracking the lid was useless so uncovered it completely at that point, so you might want to too, if you have a round pot you are using. I gave them another good stir, then cooked for about 45 minutes more or so, stirring occasionally, until they were nice and brown.

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions

Once your onions are all nice and brown and caramelized, take the pot out of the oven and put it over the stove top over medium heat. Add the cup of wine, then deglaze the pot, including scraping all the brown stuff off from the edges. Cook for about five more minutes until the wine reduces about half. Add the chicken and beef broths (or all beef), plus the two splashes of Worcestershire sauce and garlic.

Pouring in the Broth

Pouring in the Broth

At this point you can either simmer it for about 45 minutes on the stove top, or do like me and pour it into your slow cooker and keep it on warm until ready to eat. I made this during the daytime, so opted for the crock pot method, as it was way early to eat at that point. Plus, as I said, I like easy, and getting the main bulk of dinner out of the way early is good in my book!

Soup Simmering in Crock Pot

Soup Simmering in Crock Pot

About 10 minutes before you are ready to eat, slice up the French bread baguette (enough for topping individual ramekins for the amount of people you are feeding), then butter them.

Buttering the Baguette

Buttering the Baguette

Put them on a rack in the oven on broil, until browned and crispy. Ooh these look delish!

Toasted Baguette Slices

Toasted Baguette Slices

Now ladle some soup into individual ramekins, top with baguette slices to fit, then top with the cheese(es). Broil for several minutes until melted and browned. Remove (carefully!) from oven, and serve immediately. This is a great basis for a good French Onion Soup with about half the fuss, so if you take my suggestions and prepare this the suggested way, it’s sure to please! For the printable recipe, scroll down below and click on the PDF link image. Happy New Year!

French Onion Soup with Brie Cheese

French Onion Soup with Brie Cheese

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Tarragon Chive Lemon Butter on Grilled Steaks

16 Jul
Tarragon Chive Lemon Butter on Steak

Tarragon Chive Lemon Butter on Steak

My parents have made it back to town for the summer to escape the sizzling heat of Texas, only to bring their sizzling heat with them. OK so high 80s/low 90s is not exactly sizzling by Texas standards, but when you have no AC that’s hot enough, thank you.

We invited them for dinner this past weekend and figured we’d grill them up some steaks, but I wanted to make their welcome-back dinner a little more special. So I tried my hand at making a compound butter with some of the fresh herbs from my planter garden.

Butter, Lemon, and Tarragon

Butter, Lemon, and Tarragon

This was so gosh-darn easy. OK I take that back. I do not have a proper zester and it frustrated the heck out of me to finally get at least a teaspoon of zest from the lemon on my cheese grater. I was so frustrated that I finally took a photo of my pitiful attempt before getting that amount (minus the chives, those were added last minute). But I finally got ‘er done!

This herbed lemon butter can be used for more than steaks, such as fresh steamed green beans or asparagus. In fact, I must try that!

Herbed Butter Log Ready to Chill

Herbed Butter Log Ready to Chill

Tarragon Chive Lemon Butter on Grilled Steaks

1 stick of unsalted sweet cream butter (8 tablespoons)
Zest of one lemon plus about a teaspoon of the lemon juice from it
2 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon fresh chopped chives
1 steak per person (we used New York Strip, any good steak cut will do)

Let the butter sit on the counter for a few hours to soften and bring to room temperature. Add the softened butter to a small bowl, then add the rest of the ingredients (except the steak, ha!). Using a fork, combine and squish and mix around until it’s all incorporated well. Plop the butter mixture onto wax or parchment paper, then roll it around until it’s the shape of a large tootsie roll. Seal it on the ends and then refrigerate until the butter hardens. In the interest of time I put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes then transferred to the refrigerator.

Grill up those steaks seasoned lightly with salt and lots of black pepper, then top with a pat of the herbed butter. Put the butter on while the steaks rest for five minutes, so it starts melting all over it. YUMM! This added such a fresh taste to the steaks, and my mom even used more of the butter for her baked potato. I loved the fact that nobody asked for any kind of bottled steak sauce! You will not be disappointed.

p.s. We are leaving again for a trip to our RV property on the coast for four days on Thursday after work. I don’t know if I’ll have time to write that one before we leave, but if not, you’ll see a fab new recipe early next week!

Melting Herbed Butter on Steak

Melting Herbed Butter on Steak

Spicy Shrimp in Garlic Butter

12 Jun
Spicy Shrimp in Garlic Butter

Spicy Shrimp in Garlic Butter

I do love it when my husband cooks for me! He came home with some huge shrimp the other afternoon when he could see I was stressing with work and would have no time to cook on “my day to cook.” This recipe is so simple yet packs a lot of flavor. I did not witness nor help in the preparation of this, but was able to prompt the ingredients out of the hubs. He served this to me with corn on the cob and dill potato salad.  Not exactly a conventional combination but I didn’t complain!

Spicy Shrimp in Garlic Butter

12 large shrimp (16-20 count size)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 large lemon, squeezed
1/8 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
Handful of chopped cilantro

Peel, devein, and rinse the shrimp and set aside. Heat a large skillet to medium and melt the butter. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Mix in the lemon juice, paprika and Sriracha. Add the shrimp in one layer and cook for a few minutes on each side. Do not overcook! Last, stir in a handful of chopped cilantro. Plate and serve.

Spicy Shrimp in Garlic Butter

Spicy Shrimp in Garlic Butter

Bay Scallops and Shrimp Scampi

17 Apr
Bay Scallops and Shrimp Scampi with Rice

Bay Scallops and Shrimp Scampi with Rice

Our daughter is not a huge fan of seafood (bless her heart) but the hubby and I really enjoy a good seafood dinner here and again. She was off spending the night at a friend’s house this past weekend, and gave us the perfect chance to make us a seafood meal that doesn’t consist of frozen fish sticks, which inexplicably she does like to eat. A seafood scampi basically calls for a lot of butter, garlic, and lemon juice. Seeing as we were in an indulgent frame of mind, we used all that, and then some. Hey, you only live once, and we do try to eat healthy but in my mind the scallops and shrimp balanced out the fact we used real butter. Yes, you have to use real butter for this. Your results may vary, if not. We tag-teamed on this meal, helping each other out to get this on the table without overcooking it.

Bay Scallops and Shrimp

Bay Scallops and Shrimp

We prepared rice cooked in a deep golden homemade chicken broth to serve this over. You can use any kind of rice cooked in water or any broth, or even pasta. There is enough liquid to moisten up any accompaniment. Heck, sop up the juice with a big thick slice of crusty bread. Serve with a side salad, and all is good and well in the world for that time being.

Turning the Shrimp

Turning the Shrimp ~ My husband keeps his nails groomed nicer than mine!

Bay Scallops and Shrimp Scampi

1/2 pound bay scallops
1/2 pound shrimp
Hungarian or regular paprika, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 green onion, diced
1/8 cup lemon juice, about 1/3 large lemon squeezed
1/4 cup white wine (or sub with chicken broth)
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon dried parsley, or fresh chopped if you have it, for garnish
Extra green onion chopped, for garnish
Lemon wedges, for garnish

Make your rice or pasta ahead of time and keep warm, as well as make a salad or whatever green you want with this. Rinse the scallops and shrimp, and pat dry. Put in separate bowls, and season them to taste generously with paprika. I used the sweet Hungarian variety —  it packs a lot of flavor! In a large cast iron or heavy skillet, heat the oil and butter over high heat until fairly hot. You want to sear the scallops, not “steam” them. I ended up with half-seared and half-steamed, as you can see by the photo. You might want to do this in batches to achieve the seared effect, but I was impatient and stuck them all in at once.  Cook for about one minute,  (seriously!) and then flip them over and cook for about another minute more. With a slotted spoon, remove from skillet and place on a plate and tent to keep warm.

Simmering Scallops

Simmering Scallops ~ I should have done in batches!

In the same skillet, add the garlic and green onion, reduce the heat to medium and saute for just a few minutes until the onion starts to soften and the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the lemon juice, white wine or chicken broth, then add the shrimp in a single layer. Season with ground black pepper to taste, and cook the shrimp for two minutes or so on each side. Basically after you get them all in, you’ll have to start flipping over the first ones you added over to cook on the other side. This is a quick process! Now dump in the scallops, then toss everything around until simmering again and warmed up. You don’t want to overcook these puppies, or they will get tough. Put on your quick dancing shoes for this dinner  (God Bless you Donna!), as it all goes quite fast. Remove from heat, garnish with dried or fresh parsley, green onion, lemon wedges, and serve it over rice, pasta, or just plop in a bowl and eat it and sop up with a crusty bread. And don’t forget your nice crisp side salad to balance it all out.

Bay Shrimp and Scallops Scampi

Bay Shrimp and Scallops Scampi

Buttered New (or Red) Potatoes with Green Beans and Rosemary

7 Feb

Fresh New Potatoes and Green Beans, Before Cooking

This is another one of my comfort foods. I do love to make this when green beans are fresh in season, but I was able to come across some fairly decent looking ones at the store the other day that weren’t too fat or stringy looking. I had bought the potatoes last week to make this but then forgot to look for the beans. Ever since then any of the beans I found were just not right until I spotted some nice ones on Saturday while shopping for avocados.

Now you may look at me funny wanting to find fresh green beans when all I’m going to do is cook the hell out of them in a pressure cooker, but believe me the taste just isn’t the same without them. I have tried. Trust me on this. Even though the green beans do get a bit overcooked (by 3 minutes in the pressure cooker world), the taste is still fantastic.

Cooked Potatoes and Green Beans

Now how this dish comes out all has to do with the end preparation with liberal amounts of butter and enough liquid and some milk to make a creamy broth after mixing it all around. The crushed dried rosemary cooked in with it all just makes this divine! It’s not the prettiest dish when it’s all said and done, but your  taste buds will thank you for trying this. There are rarely leftovers in this household.

Buttered New Potatoes with Green Beans and Rosemary

1-2 pounds of new or red potatoes
1-2 pounds of fresh green beans
1/2 -1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 1/2 cups water
2-4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup or so of  milk
Black pepper to taste

Scrub the potatoes and snap the ends off the green beans. If you have the small new potatoes, cut them in half. If you have the larger red potatoes, quarter them. Put the water in the bottom of a pressure cooker with the rack at the bottom. Add the potatoes and green beans. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the the dried rosemary a bit to break it up and mix it in with the vegetables. Put the pressure cooker on high heat, and once the jiggler on top starts rocking and rolling, set your timer for five minutes. On the mark, immediately cool the pot under cold water until the pressure is relieved. Open the pot and pour out all but about a half of cup of the water and dump the contents (minus the rack) into a bowl.  Add the butter, milk and pepper to taste.  Stir well until some of the mushy parts of the potatoes break apart and mix into the butter and milk to make a creamy broth. Serve with a meat of your choice. Last night I just heated up some leftover turkey from the freezer. So simple and delicious!

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