Tag Archives: fried

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

2 Jul
Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

What can I say? This dish is simply AH-MAZING! I am a huge fan of artichokes, but fried? And also jumbo shrimp? Shut the door and lock me in! When I saw this recipe over at Meals with Mel (please stop on by her site to check it out. Hi Melody!!) I knew I just had to make it and went on a mission to do just that. My only regret is adding only two cans of artichokes, as I do believe I ate at least one can of said artichokes before they even met the shrimp and pasta.

While not something I’d indulge in often while watching the waistline, this is definitely a meal I will make again. My husband loved it too and wow Mel, thanks for the introduction to a plate of heaven!

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta
Adapted from same recipe at Meals with Mel

2 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts, quartered
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 handful thyme sprigs
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 pound jumbo shrimp (16/20 count)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 large shallot, diced small (about 1/3 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped and divided
2 teaspoons fresh spicy oregano, minced
1/8 cup capers plus 2 teaspoons of the brine
1 large lemon, halved
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 to 6 ounces dried Linguine
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Pecorino Romano, grated, for serving

Drain the artichoke hearts until they are almost completely dry. I squished them down in the colander with paper towels then let them set for about a half hour, blotting with more paper towels periodically.

Artichokes and Thyme Ready to Fry

Artichokes and Thyme Ready to Fry

Arrange the artichoke hearts in a single layer in the bottom of a cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet. Pour just enough olive oil over the artichokes to cover them. I used a cup.

Toss in the smashed clove of garlic and thyme sprigs. Turn the heat on to medium-high and allow the artichoke hearts to fry for about 30 minutes.

Artichokes Halfway Through Frying

Artichokes Halfway Through Frying

After about 10 minutes gently move the artichokes around to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom. After about 20 minutes carefully turn the artichoke hearts over to ensure even browning. After 30 minutes they should be golden brown, but don’t let them burn.

Remove the artichokes from the skillet and transfer to a paper towel-line plate. Lightly salt the hot fried artichoke hearts. Set aside and try not to eat them all. Trust me.

Fried Artichokes

Fried Artichokes ~ Maybe I should have moved them further away from my work space

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook to your preference according to package directions. Remove a cup or two of the cooking water and reserve, then drain the pasta

In another large skillet add about 2 tablespoons of the artichoke “frying” oil and a tablespoon of butter. Add the shallot and cook over medium heat until tender, about four minutes. Add in the garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, capers and brine, half the chopped parsley, and the juice and zest of half the lemon. Season with a little salt and lots of ground black pepper, to taste. Cook for two minutes until fragrant, then add the white wine and reduce by half.

Cooking the Jumbo Shrimp

Cooking the Jumbo Shrimp

Add the shrimp and cook just until the shrimp turn pink, just a couple minutes per side. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the shrimp and fried artichokes and toss to combine. Loosen the pasta with the reserved cooking water.

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

Pour the skillet contents into large serving bowl and toss with the remaining parsley, the other lemon half squeezed, and a little fresh grated Pecorino Romano or other high-quality hard cheese. This is dinner-guest worthy! Enjoy!

P.S. I have been super busy the past few days getting our house and patio ready for a 4th of July party. I hope you all have a safe, memorable and enjoyable holiday weekend!

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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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!

 

 

Fried Cinnamon Apple Chimichangas

27 Feb
Fried Cinnamon Apple Chimichanga

Fried Cinnamon Apple Chimichanga

My teenage daughter asked if she could make these about a week ago. She showed it to me online, and I said that was fine, so we went and bought the ingredients. She’s discovered Pinterest, and while most of her browsing is on nail and fashion boards, she does browse the foodie boards here and again and glommed onto this recipe and pinned it. As we started making it for our Sunday dinner dessert, she said, “Mom? Can you put these on your blog?” Wow, I didn’t think she even read it or had one iota of interest in this site of mine. Now I’ve probably completely embarrassed her by saying all that, but oh well. So here you have these incredibly delicious, incredibly oil-splattering messy but oh so good dessert (or breakfast — hey they have apples!) Chimichangas. They really were not that hard to make and the process took probably an hour total if you don’t include the cooling time of the filling. It’s just that when you have an inexperienced cook/fryer who needs assisted a lot, making them does take a while longer. If you know how to roll up a burrito and fry food, then you’re good to go. Just a note, the original recipe said this will make 8 to 10 Chimichangas using small flour tortillas. We ended up with 17 of them! Either our apples were really big or our tortillas were really small, or maybe both. I’m going to try to freeze some or take some to work for my office mates, if my daughter and husband don’t polish them all off soon.

Fried Apple Chimichangas
Adapted from Juanita’s Cocina, recipe here: Apple Cinnamon Dessert Chimichangas

For the filling:
1 1/2 to 2 cups water
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 apples, any kind, cored and chopped bite-sized (We used 2 Fuji and 2 Granny Smiths)

Apple Filling

Apple Filling

In a large skillet or saucepan, mix the all the filling ingredients except the apples and bring to a boil. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes until the mixture becomes really thick. Add the chopped apples, cover, and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the apples are tender. The original recipe called for 10 minutes or so, but ours took closer to 20 minutes. I’m sure that was due to our high altitude. We also had to add an extra half cup of water to the mixture partway through to compensate for the longer cooking time. Once the apples are tender, set the mixture aside until cool. At this point dinner was ready so we let it sit through dinner and that clean up, which was about a half hour.

For the Chimichangas:
8-17 small flour tortillas (sorry for the wide range! Just get a 20-c0unt or more package)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Oil for frying

First assemble your Chimichangas by spooning  some filling in the top third half of the tortilla. I’m laughing now because that’s how I taught my daughter to do it, and the original instructions say the bottom half. I wonder if it’s easier the other way? I don’t know, that was just how I instinctively did it. Anyways, flip in the sides of the tortilla partway over the filling then start rolling top-down, making sure the sides stay tucked in. This part was one of our issues, as daughter had a hard time keeping the sides tucked in as she rolled. I do think a majority of our splatter mess was due to the filling leaking out.

Platter of Fried Apple Cinnamon Chimichangas

Platter of Fried Apple Cinnamon Chimichangas

Once they are all assembled, now add the rest of the sugar and cinnamon to a wide bowl or plate and mix up, then set aside. Next, add about a quarter inch of oil for frying in a large heavy bottomed or deep cast iron skillet. We used plain vegetable oil. Heat it until medium-hot. (I don’t use a temperature gauge, I use the old-fashioned trick of sticking the tip of a wooden chopstick to the bottom of the pan. If it sizzles and bubbles right off the bat from the bottom, then it’s ready.)  Using tongs, lower two to four Chimichangas into the hot oil one at a time. My daughter could only handle frying two each batch as the splatters freaked her out, so that took us a bit longer too. We did use a splatter screen! Let them fry for maybe 30 seconds per side (really!) then move them off to drain on a paper towel once golden brown. Some were done more than less than others but don’t fret, it’s all good. Don’t let them sit too long or the sugar coating won’t stick! Roll each one around in the cinnmamon sugar mix while still moist, then put on another plate while you fry and coat the rest. Once done, feel free to sprinkle more cinnamon sugar over the top, and do eat them while warm! I will have to experiment on the best way to warm them up. Toaster oven? Microwave? Not sure yet as of this writing. I hope you have a chance to enjoy this dessert, as I don’t post many at all here. I’m a savory kind of gal, but one of these really hit the spot after dinner! And if you think flour tortillas would not be crispy or too floury tasting for this, well you have another think coming. I was amazed!

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