Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Paprika Shrimp with Orange and Avocado Salsa

I rarely pick up cooking magazines in stores because, although the food on the cover looks delicious, I figure I'll just go to the Internet.  However we were stuck in a Home Depot or Lowe's checkout line a while back, and I just kind of had to have the issue of Fine Cooking that was staring back at me.  It took the better part of a year for me to actually get to making anything because I was worried about recipes being too complicated, and again, the Internet.  This was really, really good.  The shrimp is spicy, the avocado is creamy and the orange is sweet.  I would make this again if I was trying to impress someone with my cooking skills, and, better yet, it was actually really easy once the prep was done.

Paprika Shrimp with Orange and Avocado Salsa
from Fine Cooking

2 medium navel oranges
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 ripe avocado, cut into medium dice
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions (about 4)
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 1/2 lb large shrimp (21-25pp), peeled and deveined

Position an oven rack 4 inches from the broiler and heat to high.  Slice the ends off each orange with a small, sharp knife.  Stand the orange on one end and slice off the skin in strips, cutting below the white part.  Cut the orange segments out of the middle white membrane.  Slice over a bowl to catch extra juice.  Cut the slices in half, crosswise.  Add 2 tbsp of olive oil, 3/4 tsp salt, the avocado, scallions and lime juice to the bowl and toss gently to combine.  In a medium bowl, combine 3 tbsp of oil, paprika, cumin, Tabasco and 1 tsp salt.  Stir well and add shrimp, tossing to coat completely.  Arrange shrimp on a foil-lined baking sheet prepared with cooking spray.  Broil until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through, about 4 minutes.  Serve shrimp on saffron (yellow) rice, topping with salsa.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spicy Mango Shrimp with Coconut Sauce

I've said before that the Fresh 20 doesn't provide an overwhelming number of recipes that make me want to run right out to get ingredients.  But I was in a little bit of a rut and needed a new idea for shrimp, so this made the cut.  It was very good, and seconds were had for lunch the next day.  Serve over rice (not in picture).

Spicy Mango Shrimp with Coconut Sauce
adapted from Fresh 20

1 lb medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
Cayenne pepper to taste
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin slices
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 14 oz can light coconut milk
1/4 tsp salt
2 ripe mango, cut into small dice

Season the shrimp with cayenne, salt and pepper on both sides.  Heat a large saute pan or wok over medium-high heat and add oil.  Add shrimp and cook about 2 minutes on one side, do not cook through.  Remove the shrimp to a plate and set aside.  Add the onion, pepper, carrots, ginger, garlic, cilantro, coconut milk and salt to the pan.  Stir to combine and reduce heat.  Simmer 3-4 minutes or until it begins to reduce and thicken.  Add the shrimp back to the pan and simmer for 2 minutes, or until shrimp is cooked through.  Spoon the shrimp, sauce and vegetables over right and garnish with chopped mango.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Baked Bang Bang Shrimp

I know I've posted Bangin' Shrimp before, but this is mostly pretty different.  I just love the flavor combinations in these dishes. 

Baked Bang Bang Shrimp
from Jo Cooks

1 lb jumbo shrimp (21-25pp), peeled, cleaned and deveined
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 egg
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/3 tbsp hot sauce
salt & pepper to taste
Panko breadcrumbs

1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce (Frank's, obviously)
1/2 tbsp Frank's hot sauce
1 tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Mix all sauce ingredients together and refrigerate until serving.  In a medium bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.  Add hot sauce, egg and buttermilk and whisk until batter is smooth.  Add the shrimp and make sure each is coated in batter.  In another bowl, add about a cup of Panko.  Coat each shrimp with breadcrumbs and place on the baking sheet.  Bake about 10 minutes, then flip shrimp and bake for another 5 minutes or until the breadcrumbs turn golden-brown.  Plate, drizzle with sauce and serve.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chili Lime Scallops

More fish on a stick!  What a surprise, I'm sure.  We rarely eat scallops, which is my fault, because I don't like to OD on the flavor.  I also feel the same way about bananas.  To me, those flavors can get overwhelming and I want to continue to enjoy them.  Skewering and grilling fish gets complicated for me because the fish always seems to fall off the skewer and stick to the grill.  I'd do this over foil next time.

Chili Lime Scallops
adapted from Eat Spin Run Repeat

15 medium scallops (that's how many came in the frozen bag), thawed
1 zucchini, cut in 1/4" rounds
about 1 cup pineapple, cut in 1" pieces
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
zest of 1/2 lime
a few pinches of crushed red chili pepper flakes

In a resealable bag, combine vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, lime zest and red chili pepper flakes.  Add the scallops and marinate at least 15 minutes.  Add the pineapple and zucchini and toss to coat.  Thread the scallops, pineapple and zucchini onto the skewers and preheat grill to medium heat.  Grill for 2-3 minutes a side, until scallops are completely white.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Citrus Marinated Flank Steak

This was so good.  And a really nice alternative to how we usually cook steak (balsamic vinegar and Montreal steak seasoning).  I barely got a picture before we devoured it.

Citrus Marinated Flank Steak
from Jan's Sushi Bar

Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp chipotle chili powder (I used Mexican-style chili powder because I couldn't find this)
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
2 lb flank steak (I used London Broil)

With a small, sharp paring knife, score the steak on both sides.  Combine all other ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.  Place the steak in a large resealable bag and pour the marinade in.  Seal the bag and marinate at room temperature for at least 2 hours.  When you're ready to cook, heat your grill to high heat (to sear meat).  Drain the steak and discard the marinade.  Sear the steak on each side 3-4 minutes.  Turn the grill down and move the steak away from the direct heat.  Cook until the internal temperature reaches 135F.  Remove the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Grilled Crispy Beer Wings

Wow!  I really was not expecting this to taste so good!  I was really expecting bland and boring, but the flavor really kicks!  I'll make these again for a crowd.

Grilled Crispy Beer Wings
adapted from Zestuous

15-16 full wings
2 bottles of beer
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot, divided
4 tsp baking powder
4 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper

The night before, place wings in a resealable bag (I divided 8 wings in 2 bags).  Pour a bottle of beer and a 1/4 cup of hot sauce in each bag and toss to coat wings.  Refrigerate overnight.  Eight hours before cooking, remove the wings from the marinade (discard) and pat with paper towels to dry (don't rub, just lightly pat).  Combine baking powder, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper.  Spread out the wings on a baking sheet and sprinkle both sides with spice mixture, patting a little.  Place in the fridge for 8 hours.  When you're ready to grill, turn half your burners to medium-high.  Place the chicken on the other side of the grill (indirect heat).  Grill for 10 minutes, flip and grill for 10 more.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Pancetta

I already like roasted Brussels sprouts on their own, but adding pancetta?  Genius!  I made them twice in one week.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Pancetta
from Onion Rings and Things

1 lb Brussels sprouts
2 oz pancetta, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp olive oil
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.  Cut the brown ends off the Brussels sprouts and cut the biggest ones in half.  In a bowl, combine sprouts, garlic and olive oil.  Season liberally with salt and pepper.  Add the pancetta and toss everything together.  Lay the sprouts on a foil-lined, cooking-sprayed baking sheet and spread out evenly.  Roast for 35-40 minutes until the outsides are crisp and browned.

Grilled Caprese Chicken

I love the mozzarella-tomato-basil combination all year long.  It feels really summery, especially when you have fresh, ripe tomatoes from someone's garden.  I haven't gotten any good tomatoes from the farmer's market yet, but hopefully soon.  This was to-die-for.  I made yummy noises the whole time I was eating.

Grilled Caprese Chicken
from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

4 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste
4 1/4" slices fresh mozzarella
2 chicken breasts (thin, or pounded to even thickness)
1-2 tomatoes (4 slices)

In a small bowl, combine basil, vinegar, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Slowly whisk in the oil until it is incorporated.  Transfer 3 tbsp of the vinaigrette to another bowl and add the mozzarella, tossing to coat.  Set aside.  Reserve the remaining vinaigrette.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Grill the chicken until it is cooked through.  Right before you take the chicken off the grill, lay the tomatoes on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes a side, or until soft and slightly charred.  Top the chicken with the mozzarella and close the grill to let it melt.  When nicely melted, add the tomatoes to the top of the chicken and remove from grill and serve.  Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Waffle Fries

Pretty much everything I've posted lately has been relatively healthy.  Now here's this.  This came up on foodgawker or tastespotting or something and I had to have it.  This. Is. Ridiculous.  It's really easy to throw together for a weekend lunch/snack, or even a weeknight dinner.

Buffalo Chicken Waffle Fries
slightly adapted from Buns In My Oven

1 cup roasted chicken, shredded (I used rotisserie)
1/2 cup Frank's Wing Sauce (or more to taste)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
blue cheese dressing for drizzling (or ranch)

Preheat oven to 425F.  Spread fries in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake fries about 20 minutes.  In a bowl, combine the wing sauce and the chicken.  Toss to coat evenly.  When the fries are done, remove from the oven.  Top the fries with chicken, and both cheeses.  Bake 5 more minutes.  Remove from the oven and drizzle with blue cheese or ranch dressing.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

This makes me so happy!  Why have I never thought of this before??  You probably saw my picture on Facebook and here's the recipe.

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans
from Low Carb One Day

1 lb green beans
pack of bacon
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder

Preheat oven to 375F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray.  In a medium goal, mix together oil and spices.  Add the green beans and use your hands to toss and coat evenly.  Grab a handful and wrap with a piece of bacon.  Place the bundles on the baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes, then carefully flip the bundles and bake another 5-10 minutes, until bacon is crisp.

Asian Orange Chicken

The orange flavor in this chicken is outstanding.  It's really nice and sweet, and the chicken turned out really tender.  I should have crisped up the skin a little bit more than I did.  I also didn't get the sauce to thicken enough, but it would be great if it were not so runny.  Oh, look, my shadow hands are in the picture.

Asian Orange Chicken
adapted from Paleo Newbie

2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp sesame oil

Chicken and Sauce:
1 cup water
2 chicken breasts, skin on
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/3 cup Mirin
1 tbsp orange zest
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 red pepper flakes
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp water

Mix together the marinade.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Pour the marinade over the chicken and marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.  When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350F.  In a pan, heat some oil and fry chicken, skin side down for about 7-10 minutes, until browned.  Prepare a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray.  Place the chicken on the sheet, skin side up.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Remove from oven and let rest.  Meanwhile, back in the frying pan, combine water, orange juice, honey, Mirin, soy sauce, orange zest, ginger, red pepper flakes and garlic powder, stirring frequently.  Mix the water and the corn starch in a small bowl and add it to the pan.  The sauce should thicken up, reduce heat.  Plate chicken and pour orange sauce over it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Grilled Salmon Kebabs

A new way to cook salmon!  Good thing this came along because I was getting bored.  The salmon had a nice hint of lemon, and the spice mixture is good.  Next time I would toss the salmon pieces with the spices and squirt with a little lemon juice (as I've described below).  This came out pretty well, but it still tasted a little too salmon-y for my taste.

Grill Salmon Kebabs
adapted from Skinnytaste

2 tbsp oregano
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 lbs salmon, cut in 1" pieces
2 lemons, very thinly sliced into rounds
olive oil cooking spray
1 tsp salt
lemon juice
skewers (if wood, soak them)

Heat the grill to medium heat and spray the grates with oil.  Mix oregano, sesame seeds, cumin, salt and red pepper flakes in a small bowl to combine.  In a larger bowl, combine the salmon with a splash of lemon juice and the spice mixture and toss to coat evenly.  Thread the salmon and the lemon slices (folded in half), alternating on the skewers.  Spray the fish lightly with oil.  Grill the fish, turning occasionally, until fish is opaque throughout, about 8-10 minutes total.

Kale Chips

Our local farmer's market has a vendor that sells the most enormous bunches of kale for $3.00.  I can't even get it all in the fridge, there's so much.  We ended up giving some to the neighbors because I didn't know what to do with it all.  The neighbors say they plant and grow it in late August, so they can store it for winter.  I think I'm going to need to learn more about food preservation.  Anyway, on to the crunchy, salty goodness!

Kale Chips
adapted from The Roasted Root

1 large head of kale
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 300F.  Prepare a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray.  Tear the kale into manageable pieces.  Put the leaves on the baking sheet and toss with oil, using your fingers to rub it in.  Add salt and toss to coat.  Spread the leaves on the baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes, or until crispy.  Let cool 5 minutes so they're easier to remove from the pan.

Grilled Orange Sriracha Pork

This was so good, I could eat it every day.  I'm going to try it again with chicken, but I really loved the pork.

Grilled Orange Sriracha Pork
from Zestuous

4 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, sliced
3 cherry peppers, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
2 lbs pork or chicken

juice from 3 mandarin oranges
1 tbsp sriracha
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp soy sauce
1 cherry pepper, minced

In a large resealable bag, combine all of the marinade ingredients and pork.  Seal the bag and rub the marinade into the meat.  Marinate 30 minutes at room temperature.  In a small bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients.  Heat the grill to medium-high.  Remove the meat from the bag and place it on the grill.  Grill 5 minutes, then flip and baste with the glaze.  Continue cooking with grill open for 5-8 minutes, flipping and glazing.  Remove the meat to a plate and let it rest 5 minutes.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Balsamic-glazed Steak Kebabs

The weather has been really hot and humid, so it's nice to not to heat up the kitchen with the stove and oven, and mostly cook on the grill.  You can see I've also been loving the kebab recipes.  So simple and so easy.  These were also great leftovers.  I had huge zucchini and yellow squash from the farmer's market and I love them with balsamic vinegar.

Balsamic-Glazed Steak Kebabs
adapted from Chatelaine

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp garlic powder
generous pinches of salt and pepper
1 chipotle pepper in adobo (I omitted, because I'm not wasting an entire can for 1 pepper)
2-3 lbs top sirloin steak (I used London Broil), cut into 1 inch cubes
summer vegetables of your choice
olive oil
ground coriander

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Finely chop the chipotle pepper and stir in.  Add steak cubes to marinade and toss to coat evenly.  Let stand, uncovered for about 30 minutes.  If you're using wood skewers, soak them in water for about 15 minutes.  Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Cut up your veggies and toss them with oil.  Thread the beef on the skewers, alternating beef and veggies.  Place on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes.  Flip and grill another 5 minutes, until meat gets a little charred.  Remove to a platter and sprinkle with coriander.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Holy. Crap.  This was so flavorful and delicious.  I was so sad when my plate was empty.  I didn't know what chile-garlic paste was, so I used sriracha, and it turns out I was right.  This chicken is awesome.

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce
from Chow

For the chicken:
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/2" strips

For the peanut sauce:
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup chunky all-natural peanut butter
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
2 tsp sriracha
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

In a bowl, combine all of the chicken ingredients and the chicken, coat completely.  Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to overnight.  In another bowl, combine all sauce ingredients and cover (can be refrigerated up to 2 days).  When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium-high.  If you're using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 15 minutes.  Let the sauce get to room temperature.  Thread 1-2 pieces of chicken on each skewer.  Place on grill and grill about 8 minutes, flip, grill 8 more minutes.  Remove from grill when chicken is done.  Serve with spicy sauce.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Oven Roasted Parmesan Garlic Potatoes

I made this last night and I'm already posting it because these potatoes are EVERYTHING.  I want to make them again and again, but I'm really trying to watch my carb intake.  Next time I will also add sweet potatoes to the mix.

Oven Roasted Parmesan Garlic Potatoes
from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

3 tbsp olive oil
5-6 cups red potatoes with skins on, cut in 1" pieces
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 big cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary

Preheat oven to 425F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.  In a bowl, mix the potatoes with 2 tbsp oil and sprinkle with a lot of salt and pepper.  Spread on the baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and drizzle with 1 tbsp oil.  Sprinkle Parmesan, garlic and rosemary and gently toss.  Spread them out again.  Bake about 15 minutes more until potatoes are brown and tender.  Serve immediately.

Italian Dressing Pasta Salad

This was my starter pasta salad and you can make it a bunch of ways.  Here is my favorite.

Italian Dressing Pasta Salad
by me

1 box rotini or rotelle, cooked and drained
diced fresh mozzarella
1 bag Hormel Pepperoni Minis
1 each, diced: green bell pepper, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, yellow bell pepper
1 bottle Italian dressing (I prefer Ken's Light Italian Dressing)

Mix together in a bowl and chill for at least an hour to let the flavors blend.  Add more dressing before serving.

Avocado Chicken Enchiladas

We didn't really care for this.  But it was pretty, so I took a (bad) picture, and other people might really like it.  I'll stick with my regular enchiladas.

Avocado Chicken Enchiladas
from Six Sisters Stuff

Enchilada Sauce:
1 tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup mild or medium salsa verde
1/2 cup fat free sour cream

3-4 cups cooked chicken breasts, chopped or shredded
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
3 avocados, peeled and chopped
flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 375F.  In a sauce pan, saute garlic in butter for about 1 minute on medium-high heat.  Stir in flour and let it cook 2 more minutes.  Stir in the chicken broth, cumin, salt, pepper, and simmer.  Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream, salsa verde and cilantro until smooth.  Prepare a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray.  Add about 1/2 cup sauce to the bottom of the dish and coat evenly.  Lay out a tortilla and add chicken, shredded cheese and avocado, and roll up.  Place the rolled tortilla seam-side down and repeat until the pan is full.  Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas.  Cover with remaining cheese and bake 20 minutes, until cheese is bubbling.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hummus Taco Dip

Does it sound weird?  Because it's totally not.  It's a great spin on that regular 7 layer taco dip that's totally overdone at parties and baby showers (I am also guilty of this).

Hummus Taco Dip
adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Container of Sabra Supremely Spicy Hummus
6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp taco seasoning
1/4 cup salsa

Optional toppings:
chopped tomato
shredded cheddar
shredded lettuce
diced avocado
sliced black olives
sliced jalapeno

Spread hummus on the bottom of a pie plate.  Mix taco seasoning with Greek yogurt.  Spread on top of hummus.  Put salsa on top, then follow with remaining chosen topics.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ground Chicken and Blue Cheese Burgers

I've been on a little bit of a burger kick lately.  After I bought a bag of burger buns, I felt compelled to make sure we didn't just use two and toss the rest when they went bad.  Meanwhile, in the nail salon I go to, they always have the Food Network on and one week some show featured some really good looking burgers.  I came to the internet to find them, didn't, but I did find this.  I grilled the burgers, rather than sauteing and baking.

Ground Chicken and Blue Cheese Burgers
adapted from Food Network

Tarragon Aioli:
1/2 cup mayo
1 tbsp roasted garlic puree
1 tbsp minced fresh tarragon
salt and ground white pepper to taste

Chicken Burgers:
1 lb ground chicken
6 oz blue cheese
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper

For the tarragon aioli:  whisk together the mayo, garlic puree and tarragon.  Taste and season with salt and white pepper (I used a lot of white pepper).

For the burgers:  Form the chicken into 4 equal patties and form a pocket in the center of each burger.  Fill the center with a quarter of the blue cheese and fold the edges to seal the cheese in the burgers.  Sprinkle the burgers with salt and white pepper.  Place on preheated grill and grill until 165F inside.

Toast the buns on the grill and layer the bottom bun with some tarragon aioli.  Top with tomatoes and baby spinach leaves, if you want.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Chinese-Style Ribs

Holy crap, these were delicious.  Next time I make them, I'll make more of the marinade for brushing on them during/after grilling.  These need to be dripping in sauce and they'll be even more delicious.

Chinese-Style Ribs
from Onion Rings & Things

3 lbs pork baby back ribs
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
3/4 cup plum sauce
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/3 cup orange juice
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes
seasoning salt to taste

Prepare ribs by trimming fat and pulling the membrane off the underside.  Cut between the bones, as evenly as possible, separating into individual ribs.  Place in a 9x13 baking dish and season with seasoning salt to taste.  In a bowl, combine plum sauce, barbecue sauce, orange juice, vegetable oil, garlic, cumin, red pepper flakes and ginger.  Mix well and separate 1/2 cup for basting.  Pour the rest of the marinade over the ribs, cover and marinate overnight in the fridge.  When you're ready to grill, preheat grill to low heat (350F).  Remove ribs from marinade and discard it.  Grill ribs over low heat for 60-90 minutes or until meat is fork-tender.  Turn often and baste each time with reserved marinade.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Dip (plus variations!)

This recipe is brought to you by request of one of my oldest friends, and it's her birthday!  And I didn't just mean to call you old, but uhhhhhh, yeah... no digging myself out of this one.  Because my friend is a much more fancy cook than me, I've included two variations and a link to a dip I've been wanting to try, but I have not brought myself to actually browse the beer aisle for the ingredients (also something she's way better at).


Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup Frank's Red Hot
1 cup ranch dressing
2 cups cooked and shredded/chopped chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar

Preheaat oven to 350F.  With a hand mixer, blend together cream cheese and hot sauce until well blended.  Mix in ranch dressing.  Fold in chicken and cheese.  Spread in a 9x13 baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Variation #1:  Taco Chicken Dip
Subsitute taco sauce for hot sauce and Mexican cheese blend for cheddar.

Variation #2:  BBQ Chicken Dip
Subsitute BBQ sauce for hot sauce and Monterrey Jack for cheddar.

And for my final birthday gift:  Buffalo Chicken Beer Cheese Dip!  I am completely overwhelmed by the beer terminology in the text.  But if anyone would actually like to tell me what beer to buy, I'd be willing to attempt it.

Korean Beef ('Cheater'-style)

I was introduced to Korean BBQ a few years ago and I really don't get down to the closest restaurant enough.  It's well over an away from my house, and really worth the drive if I would just bite the bullet.  They also send out a lot of coupons, which is great.  But since I can't get there often, this recipe is going to be a frequent flyer whenever I'm having a craving.  The flavor is so spot on to what I like to order (forgive me, I make my friends order from the picture menu for me since they know what I like). 

Korean Ground Beef
from The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ginger, minced
1/2 - 1 tsp crushed red pepper (depending on how spicy you want it)
salt & pepper to taste
5 green onions, chopped

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add sesame oil and ground beef.  Before the beef is fully cooked through, add the garlic for the last few minutes.  When beef is cooked, drain the fat and return to pan.  Stir in the brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Stir and simmer a few minutes to blend the flavors.  Just before serving, add green onions and toss.  Serve over brown rice or lettuce.

I'm thinking this would also be good in a lettuce wrap, like the Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  The flavor is totally different and it's such nice packaging.

Oreo Birthday Cake Blondies

I'm really not a baker.  Over the years it seems my sweet tooth has become a savory tooth, so I don't really make a lot of sweet treats.  Flipping through my Google Reader I found this recipe and just had to go for it when we had company one Saturday night.  So glad I did.  I personally could only eat one, but there were none left come Sunday at noon.

Oreo Birthday Cake Blondies
from I Wash, You Dry

8 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup self-rising flour
8 Birthday Cake Oreos, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line an 8x8" baking dish with parchment or foil.  In a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light a fluffy (you could also use a stand mixer).  Add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated.  Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go.  Fold in Oreos and sprinkles.  Transfer to the baking dish.  Bake 20-25 minutes, until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool, serve, and stand back from the mob that's gathered.

This would be a great alternative to birthday cake for someone who hates cake (HINT!)  And definitely needs a big glass of milk on the side!

Broccoli Salad

This is a frequent summer weekend staple for us, especially when we have company and cook out.  I love the mix of savory and sweet in this salad.

Broccoli Salad

1 large bag Broccoli Wokly (cut down to crowns only, break up large pieces)
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
6 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
3/4-1 cup shredded mozzarella (whatever looks right)
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar (a little less)

Mix vinegar, mayonnaise and sugar in a large bowl..  Add broccoli, onion, bacon and mozzarella and mix well, completely coating broccoli in mayo mix.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to blend flavors and serve chilled.

Funny (to me) story:  I made this to take to a friend's house the other week because she told me not to bring wine (uh, what else is there to bring??).  I had to do something, so I threw this together in a pinch.  I followed the written recipe I have that I found who-knows-where and it called for 8 oz (a bag - 2 cups) of mozzarella.  I didn't have any at home, so I stopped at a grocery store in a rush, on my way to her house.  I threw the whole bag into the bowl and shook it up there in the parking lot.  I got to the house and looked in the bowl... it was now shredded mozzarella salad with a hint of broccoli.  It still ended up being really good, despite having to pick around the cheese a little bit.  Lesson learned, hence the above 3/4 cup.  You really have to eyeball it based on how much broccoli you have.  Although it can always support more bacon!

Coconut Bread

This is one of those recipes that I have to get out of the house and give to other people as quickly as possible.  We had a little piece at home and then I took it to work where my coworkers devoured it and asked for the recipe.

Coconut Bread

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp coconut extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened coconut

Coconut Syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup water
1 tsp coconut extract

Preheat the oven to 325F.  Grease a 9x5" baking pan.  In a bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, oil and coconut extract.  In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add the buttermilk to the dry mix, then stir in the egg mixture.  Add the coconut and stir in.  Pour the mixture into the greased pan.  Bake until a tester in the center comes out clean - about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

When the bread is almost finished, combine the sugar, butter and water in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat and stir in the coconut extract.  Pour the syrup over the hot bread.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

South Beach Chicken with Tarragon

You know I love my South Beach meals!  Sadly, I'm running out of SBD recipes to share... I didn't have that many to begin with.  This is another good one.  Super simple, fast and really tasty.

South Beach Chicken with Tarragon
from the South Beach Diet

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp fresh tarragon
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.  Chop tarragon and garlic together with olive oil to make a paste and massage into chicken.  Place chicken in a 9x9" baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add chicken broth, white wine and mushrooms (don't pour directly on chicken - do it around it so the tarragon-garlic paste doesn't totally strip off).  Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes.  Remove foil and baste with dish juices.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Grilled Potatoes and Peppers

I'm always looking to mix up our dinner sides.  Unfortunately for the "diet" I pretend I'm still following, this popped up in my AOL Reader (bye bye, Google Reader! Sob!).  With all the grilling we've been doing, I was glad to switch up from our usual summer veggies.  The potatoes came from our local farmer's market.  Leftovers were awesome for a side for a weekend breakfast!

Grilled Potatoes and Peppers
from Real Mom Kitchen

8 medium red potatoes, cut into wedges
1 green pepper, sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced in thin wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
5 gloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp Montreal steak seasoning
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste
heavy duty aluminum foil

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients until well coated.  Divide mixture onto pieces of foil that can be sealed tightly.  Grill over medium heat for 40-45 minutes, until potatoes are tender.  Turn over halfway through the grilling process.  Open foil carefully to let the steam out.

Teriyaki Pineapple Turkey Burgers

I'm only a little bit obsessed with pineapple right now.  I didn't know I liked it until recently.  Now we're eating it with dinner weekly.  I was clipping coupons one day and came across this recipe.  Perfection!  And the leftovers were also so good!

Teriyaki Pineapple Turkey Burgers
halved from Dole Foods

1 can (20 oz.) Dole Pineapple Slices
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup Panko
4 hamburger buns
4 slices Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

Drain pineapple and keep 1/4 cup juice.  Stir together teriyaki sauce and pineapple juice in a small bowl.  Mix together turkey, ginger, Panko and 1/8 cup teriyaki mix.  Make 4 patties.  Grill patties brushing with remaining teriyaki mix, until cooked through.  Place pineapple slices on the grill and cook until there are light grill marks.  Serve on buns, top with cheese and pineapple.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Grilled Pineapple Pork Chops

I've been on a crazy kick with pineapple lately.  I love it with pork and shrimp!  I really had no idea I liked it so much.  I'm not really into eating it raw.  I definitely like it warmed through.  I've made this recipe a couple of times and finally I remembered to take a picture before diving in.

Grilled Pineapple Pork Chops
from Six Sisters' Stuff

1 20 oz. can pineapple rings, juice reserved
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4-6 pork chops

Mix together the pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce and garlic powder together in a large resealable bag.  Add the pork chops and close.  Marinate in fridge overnight.  When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Remove pork chops, reserving marinade to baste while grilling.  Grill until pork is 165F inside.  While pork is cooking, place pineapple rings on grill and cook until warmed through and have light grill marks on them.  Serve pork chops with pineapple on top.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken

This chicken was so moist and flavorful.  It was perfect for grilling on a weeknight.

Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken
from Chef In Training

4 medium lemons cut in wedges
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp fresh minced thyme
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 tsp fresh minced basil
2 tsp salt
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Squeeze lemons into a large resealable bag, leaving lemon wedges in the bag.  Add the rest of the ingredients and shake to coat completely.  Seal and refrigerate overnight.  When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium.  Remove chicken from bag and grill until 165F inside.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Easy Ranch Carrots

I usually don't eat carrots because they aren't so 'keto compatible,' but I recently came into 3 bags of baby carrots.  My pug, Dexter, has lots of allergies to food and has a condition where his body doesn't break down certain things.  (This is making you really want to try this recipe, isn't it?)  His vet said a long time ago that things like carrots, green beans and marshmallows were all safe to feed him as treats.  It's so easy for us to keep a mini bag of baby carrots in the fridge for him for treat time.  He'll actually lead you to the fridge and stare at them if you ask him where his carrots are.  It's become a running joke among our friends.  He really, really loves carrots. 

So, moving on!  Our friends were visiting and very kindly brought Dexter two bags, I'd just bought a bag to serve a veggie platter, and Dex already had a pretty full open bag.  So what do you do when life gives you carrots?  Make Easy Ranch Carrots!

Easy Ranch Carrots
from Chef In Training

16 oz bag of baby carrots
5 tbsp butter
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 package dry ranch dip/dressing mix

Steam carrots to desired softness.  In a large bowl, combine carrots with butter, brown sugar and ranch mix.  Mix until butter is melted and carrots are evenly coated.  Serve warm.

Chipotle Chicken Skewers with Creamy Dipping Sauce

The first time I made this, I broiled them quickly and then left the house for about an hour.  When I got back, there were only two tiny skewers left.  Not really enough for me to even taste.  So I had to make it again.  The only problem with this recipe is that it only calls for one chili in adobo sauce.  There are like 20 chilis in each can.  I think it's kind of a waste of money to just use one chili out of the can, so I found another recipe that would use up more chilis.  It called for two chilis.  Still wasted chilis/money.  So if you're going to make this, find other uses for the chilis.  Oh, yeah, this is pretty good.

Chipotle Chicken Skewers with Creamy Dipping Sauce
from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used a pack of the Thin Slice)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced
2 tsp adobo sauce
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper

Dipping Sauce:
3/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup lime juice
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp cilantro leaves, minced
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper (add more if you find dip too sour)

Slice the chicken into long, thin strips, about 1/2 inch thick.  In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cilantro, chipotle chili, adobo sauce, salt, chili powder, garlic powder and pepper.  Toss the chicken with the mixture and coat evenly.  Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to 24 hours.  In another bowl, stir all of the sauce ingredients together.  Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, so flavors combine (can also refrigerate over night).  Preheat oven broiler to High.  Prepare a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray.  Weave 2 strips of chicken onto each skewer (make sure you presoak wooden skewers).  Broil 5-8 minutes, until cooked through.  Serve hot with the dipping sauce.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Chicken Caprese "Nachos" with Marinated Tomatoes

I'd just gotten some amazing local (Lancaster, close enough), fresh-picked tomatoes when I came across this recipe.  They were heavenly in this marinade!  I'm so happy to have the farmers market up and running!  Next time I make this recipe (and there will be a next time), I'm going to get the "chips" crispier and use fresh shredded mozzarella cheese.  I hate when each nacho doesn't have a even serving of cheese.  Also, as I've mentioned before, I really need to get better at balsamic reductions.  I'll also take a better picture.

Chicken Caprese Nachos with Marinated Tomatoes
from Iowa Girl Eats

4 burrito-sized flour tortillas (I used Carb Balance from Mission)
1 lb chicken greasts, cooked and shredded (2-3 breasts)
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded or cubed
1 cup balsamic vinegar

For marinated tomatoes:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped (3-4 tomatoes)

Marinated tomatoes:  Whisk together all ingredients except tomatoes in a medium bowl.  Add tomatoes and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes to 24 hours.  Remove garlic cloves before serving.

In a small saucepan, bring balsamic to a boil, then lower heat to medium and simmer until it's the consistency of thin maple syrup, about 15 minutes.  Let cool.

Preheat oven to 400F.  Cut flour tortillas into 8 wedges each.  Place on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet, sprayed with cooking spray.  Spray wedges with a generous amount of cooking spray.  Bake 3-4 minutes or until wedges are getting pretty crispy.  Top with shredded chicken and cheese and bake 4-5 more minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Top with cooled balsamic drizzle and serve with marinated tomatoes.