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Category Archives: Entrees

Recipe: Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry


I’m pretty sure is the third curry recipe I’m posting, but the stuff is just so damn good. This one is a sort of a hybrid of coconut shrimp and Thai curry, hence the name Coconut Shrimp Curry.

Curry is so full of flavor, it’s quickly become one of my favorite dishes. And it’s not that hard to make — especially with the assistance of a food processor.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry blends shrimp, vegetables, pineapple and toasted coconut in a Thai curry.


Ingredients:

For the curry sauce:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, minced
  • 1 TBSP dried chili flakes (less if you don’t want it too spicy)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
  • 3 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 TBSP light brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Gulf Shrimp in Coconut Curry

    Gulf Shrimp in Coconut Curry

  • 1 TBSP ketchup (or tomato paste)

For the curry:

  • 1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1/3 cup dry toasted coconut

Directions:

  1. Place all curry sauce ingredients in a food processor and process well. Alternatively, whisk the ingredients together and stir well to combine.
  2. Pour sauce into a deep pot and heat over medium-high heat until boiling, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium. Add the vegetables, pineapple and shrimp, stirring to mix. Simmer until shrimp look plump and turn pink.
  4. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm while you toast the coconut.
  5. Toasted Coconut in Curry

    Toasted Coconut in Curry

  6. Place dry shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat. “Fry” the coconut, stirring continually until it turns golden-brown and is fragrant. Then turn off heat.
  7. Add half of the toasted coconut to the curry and stir to combine.
  8. Taste for salt and sweetness, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough, and more brown sugar if you want it sweeter. Also, you can also add chili sauce if you’d like it spicier.
  9. To serve, transfer curry into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the rest of the toasted coconut on top of each dish and serve (over rice if desired).

As I live in New Orleans, I’m lucky enough to have access to fresh Gulf shrimp. They really make this dish stand out from using frozen shrimp, but you gotta use what you have access to. I recommend fresh over frozen any day.

As this is a curry, it goes great over rice, but it’s good enough to eat it without. The choice is yours. Enjoy this Coconut Shrimp Curry!

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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, One-Pot Wonders, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Silken Tofu with Kimchi

Silken Tofu with Kimchi

Silken Tofu with Kimchi

Looking for a vegetarian entree or appetizer that’s full of spice and loaded with nutrition? Look no further. This recipe for Silken Tofu with Kimchi is delicious and takes about 15 minutes to make.

Kimchi is a Korean dish that’s a spicy blend of spicy peppers, cabbage and other Asian vegetables. I used storebought kimchi I got from our local Asian market, but feel free to make your own. Here’s a recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 block silken tofu
  • 1 cup kimchi, minced
  • 6 tsp soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)
  • 4 tsp chili oil
  • 1 TBSP sesame seeds
  • Silken Tofu with Kimchi

    Silken Tofu with Kimchi makes a great entree or appetizer

  • Chopped scallions, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Boil a pot of water and add tofu and simmer until the tofu is warmed through. This should take about 5 or 6 minutes.
  2. Drain the tofu.
  3. Divide the tofu evenly between 2 bowls (or 4 if making as an appetizer). Drizzle each portion with half of soy sauce and half of chili oil. Divide kimchi evenly atop both bowls of tofu.
  4. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, then serve.
Silken Tofu with Kimchi

Silken Tofu with Kimchi serves 2 to 4

I was surprised at just how much flavor is in this dish given the limited amount of ingredients and easiness to prepare it. The only problem is that I was left wanting more.

While this can be served as an entree or an appetizer, it’s probably better as an appetizer as the portions are small. I chose to eat mine as an entree as I had a tennis match to play an hour later so I wanted something light. This Silken Tofu with Kimchi definitely fit the bill.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Appetizers, Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Turkey and Quinoa Mealoaf

Turkey and Quinoa Meatloaf

Turkey and Quinoa Meatloaf

This recipe for Turkey and Quinoa Meatloaf is a great alternative to a ground beef recipe. You’ll cut calories and add texture and health benefits of the ingredient exchange.

The quinoa in this meatloaf really adds a nice, but subtle, crunch. And you won’t miss the ground beef once you’ve traded it out for ground turkey.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 package (at least 20 oz.) of ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 TBSP hot sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 TBSP ketchup
  • 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TBSP light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Turkey and Quinoa Meatloaf

Turkey and Quinoa Meatloaf is a healthy alternative to ground beef meatloaf.


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Bring the quinoa and 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute; remove from heat to cool.
  4. Stir the ground turkey, cooked quinoa, onions, ketchup, hot sauce, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire, eggs, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until well combined. The mixture will be very moist.
  5. Shape into a loaf in a loaf pan.
  6. Combine the brown sugar, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire, and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Rub the mixture over the top of the meatloaf.
  7. Transfer squash to prepared baking sheet and roast, turning occasionally, for 20 minutes or until tender and lightly golden. Let cool slightly.
  8. Bake until no longer pink in the center, about 50 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to assure the meatloaf has cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160F. Let the meatloaf cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

I’ll admit that this meatloaf doesn’t photograph well, but I can promise you it’s full of flavor. I served mine with some mashed new potatoes for a classic Americana pairing.

Feel free to play around with different spice blends if you want to give it an extra kick. Sometimes salt and pepper are all you need for seasoning, sometimes you want more. Either way, just about any spices will go well wit this Turkey and Quinoa Meatloaf.

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

I must confess I really miss good Tex-Mex cuisine. Living in Texas for 11 years definitely spoiled me. And as much as I love New Orleans, it’s not a hot spot for Tex-Mex.

So I have to do it myself. Last week I had a very specific craving for Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas so I made some. Here’s my recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cooked chicken meat, shredded
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 1 dozen corn tortillas
  • 2 cans diced green chillies (4-ounce cans)
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Chicken Enchilada Filling

    Chicken Enchilada Filling

  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 2 TBSP paprika
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 cups shredded cheese (Cheddar, Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack)
  • Salsa (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9×13 casserole dish.
  2. Heat 2 TBSP vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Fry tortillas for 10 seconds on each side. Then place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  3. In a separate skillet, heat 1 TBSP vegetable oil over medium heat. Saute onion and jalapeño for 1 minute.
  4. Add chicken, 1 can of the green chillies and 1 TBSP paprika. Stir together.
  5. Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas Before Baking

    Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas Before Baking

  6. Add heavy cream and 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir. Allow mixture to bubble and get hot then turn off heat and set aside.
  7. In a separate large skillet, melt butter over medium heat and add in flour. Whisk together and cook for a minute or two.
  8. Pour in remaining chicken broth, whisk together and cook for an additional one to two minutes.
  9. Stir in remaining can of green chillies, reduce heat to low and add sour cream. Add 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese and stir to melt.
  10. Add 1 TBSP paprika and salt and pepper to taste.
  11. To assemble, spoon chicken mixture on to tortillas, individually. Top with cheese then roll. Place rolled enchiladas seam side down in 9 x 13 casserole dish.
  12. Pour cheese mixture on top of prepared enchiladas. Top with any remaining cheese you have.
  13. Bake for 30 minutes. Then let cool slightly, top with chopped cilantro and serve.

Feel free to add in more green chillies or jalapeño if you want a spicier version. These can be made ahead and reheated before serving. I served mine with refried black beans, half a sliced avocado and of course a fresh margarita.

These definitely conquered my craving, but I wish more New Orleans Tex-Mex options were available. Until then, I’ll have to make my own Tex-Mex.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Cold Fried Chicken

Cold Fried Chicken

Cold Fried Chicken

To me, there are some foods that are just as good served cold as they are served warm/hot. Spaghetti, pizza, steak and fried chicken all come to mind. So I decided to try out a recipe for fried chicken, but to serve it cold — hence, Cold Fried Chicken.

The prep work for serving it cold is obviously no different than serving it warm. However, once cooked, you must make sure the chicken cools to room temperature before refrigerating. This helps the batter keep its crunch and prevents sweating between the batter and chicken meat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces (2 wings, 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 breasts)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 6 cloves garlic, roasted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 TBSP hot sauce
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP black pepper
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP red pepper
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 1 TBSP cayenne pepper
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • Peanut oil, for frying

Directions:

  1. Rinse the chicken pieces and dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, water, honey and roasted garlic. Then soak the chicken pieces in the buttermilk mixture for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  3. On a large platter, place flour and mix in spices. Mix well so the spices are nicely incorporated into the flour. Taste flour and adjust seasoning as you see fit.
  4. Roll the marinated chicken pieces in the flour mixture until well coated. Dip chicken back in buttermilk mixture and coat in flour again.
  5. Heat 1 inch of peanut oil in large skillet or Dutch oven to 375F. While oil is heating, leave chicken sitting in flour mixture.
  6. Cold Fried Chicken

    Fried Chicken is popular with my taste buds.

  7. Working in batches of 3 or 4 pieces, add chicken to oil skin side down.
  8. Fry for 5 minutes then turn to other side and fry for an additional 5 minutes. Continue to turn and fry 5 minutes per side for a total of 20 minutes (two 5-minute periods per side) until golden-brown. Use a meat thermometer to ensure chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165F.
  9. Remove the chicken from the skillet and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  10. Repeat frying process with remaining pieces.
  11. Once all chicken is cooked, let cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Refrigerate for several hours before serving cold.

This is some damn good fried chicken that keeps its crisp whether it’s hot or cold. It’s perfect for a summer picnic.

This is one of those dishes that’s actually better on the second day once it’s sat in the refrigerator for a while. After trying this Cold Fried Chicken, you may not want to go back to eating it hot.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

I always enjoy the “challenge” of cooking vegetarian. I use challenge in quotation marks, because it’s pretty damn easy, but I find it scares most people.

Using the fresh eggplants and mushrooms I had on hand, I decided to make a Pappardell with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu. There are a lot of simple flavors in the dish, but what really sends it over the top for me are the fresh garnishes of orange zest, parsley and ricotta cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes (peeled or skin-on)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 TBSP chili flakes
  • Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

    Eggplant is the Key Ingredient

  • 2 TBSP kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 lb. pappardelle
  • 1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • Grated orange zest
  • Fresh parsley, minced

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Put the olive oil in a large skillet (I used a Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. When oil is heated, saute the onion and garlic for 1 minute, careful not to let the garlic to burn.
  3. Add the eggplant, chili flakes and Kosher salt. Lower the heat to medium. Saute, stirring occasionally until the eggplant is nearly tender.
  4. Add the red pepper and mushrooms then cook for 3 or 4 more minutes. Pour in the red wine, and continue to cook until the eggplant is fully tender. Reduce heat to very low so ragu comes to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

    Simmering the Veggies in a Dutch Oven

  6. Boil the pasta according to package directions (usually about 5 minutes). Drain the pasta, but reserve 1 cup of the water. Toss the noodles with the ragu, gradually mixi in some or all of the pasta water to achieve a light glaze on the noodles.
  7. Plate the pasta then divide the ricotta, placing a few dabs on each plate. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, orange zest, parsley and black pepper then serve.

This is a delicious vegetarian dish full of some classic flavors. The veggies, garnishes, cheeses and pasta work together in perfect harmony.

If you can’t find or make pappardelle, I would suggest boiling lasagna then cutting it into strips. Make sure you use all of the garnishes, they really elevate this Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Peach-Pepper Jelly Pork Chops

Peach-Pepper Jelly Pork Chops

Peach-Pepper Jelly Pork Chops

I like most of my recipes, but I’m in love with this recipe. I used the fresh ingredients I got from the farmer’s market to take this pork chops to another level.

Full disclosure: I used pineapple pepper jelly from the farmer’s market. However, I’m sure any regular pepper jelly will do.

I highly recommend using bone-in pork chops. The flavor is really intense if you cook them with the bone in.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bone-in pork chops
  • 3 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • Peach-Pepper Jelly Reduction

    Peach-Pepper Jelly Reduction

  • 1 peach, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup pepper jelly
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Season pork chops with desired amount of salt and pepper..
  2. Bone-In Pork Chops Cooking

    Bone-In Pork Chops Cooking

  3. Melt butter in a skillet with the olive oil over medium heat.
  4. Drop in pork chops and cook, turning to cook all sides evenly. Pork chops will be ready when a meat thermometer registers a temperature of at least 145F.
  5. Remove pork chops from skillet and place in an oven to keep warm.
  6. In the same skillet over medium-low heat, sauté peaches and pepper jelly until a reduction has formed.
  7. Remove pork chops from oven, plate and spoon peach-pepper jelly reduction onto each one then serve.

This is a pretty easy dish with a lot of flavors. These Peach-Pepper Jelly Pork Chops are perfect for a summer dinner party. I served mine with fresh green beans from my mom’s garden.

If you can find pineapple pepper jelly, use it. If not, don’t be discouraged and use whatever you can get to create this sweet heat pork chop dish.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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