Monday, May 24, 2010

Bang Bang Shrimp

This is one of my new favorite appetizers. But aren't they all?! Because if I am posting it then it's nothing short of delicious aka post worthy.

This appie accompanied the Triple Cheese Mushrooms on Mother's Day when I did nothing but appetizers. They just make me happy. A happy sampling of a little bit of this & a little bit of that. For me, life is a like a buffet of appies, ya never know whatcha gonna get!

These have gained quite the popularity in many restaurants & since shrimp is one of my favorites I knew I had to make them right away. The pan only calls for enough oil to lightly fry the shrimp so don't go thinking of a scary deep fry. This was quite easy & did I mention delicious???!!!!!!!!!!!!!


{ Printable Recipe Here }

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce *
2 teaspoons honey
Kosher salt
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled & deveined (I like tail on)

ake the sauce: Mix the mayonnaise, chili sauce, honey, 1/4 teaspoon salt & 1 tablespoon water in a large bowl; set aside.

repare the shrimp: Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a pan. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl. Whisk the flour, cornstarch & 1 teaspoon each salt & pepper in another shallow bowl.

orking in batches, dredge the shrimp in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess, dip in the beaten eggs, then return to the flour mixture, turning to form a thick crust. Fry the shrimp in the hot oil until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain the oil temperature. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon.

oss the shrimp with the prepared sauce.

{ Food for Thought }

I added quite a bit more chili sauce than what's stated above because I felt there was too much mayo. Just start out with what the recipe calls for & then add more chili sauce & honey according to your own taste. Also, use a good Asian style sauce. 

I also worked in batches so I had a master bowl for all the sauce & then used a separate bowl in which I placed a little sauce to coat each batch of freshly fried shrimp. 

You don't want the shrimp drenched in sauce, just lightly but thoroughly coated.

{ Linking Deliciously to Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays }

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And for Wordful Wednesday, here is something beautiful my boy made for his mama at school.

While other moms were 90 years old & cooked canned beans, he was spot on about everything.

{ Linking to Wordful Wednesdays at Seven Clown Circus }

Monday, May 17, 2010

Triple Cheese Mushrooms

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!!!!! Mine was a very balanced one ~  entertaining with friends who unfortunately are leaving town soon, lots of kitchen & cooking time & some exercising outdoors to keep the energy level up in order to enjoy all those things I just mentioned!

This appetizer is from Paula Deen & one I knew I had to make soon after seeing it. It was one of the appies I made on Mother's Day. We all loved them!!

I absolutely loved making them the day before, only to have to pop them in the oven right before guests arrive.

Triple Cheese Mushrooms

{ Click for Printable Recipe }

2 16 oz pkgs fresh mushrooms
1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

reheat oven to 350° F. Using damp paper towels, wipe mushroom caps clean; remove & discard stems, or save for another use. In colander, squeeze liquid out of spinach until dry.

n large bowl, mix spinach, feta, cream cheese, green onions & 1/4 teaspoon salt until well combined. Fill each mushroom with heaping teaspoon spinach mixture; top with Parmesan. Transfer to 15 1/2-inch by 10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan; bake 15 minutes or until mushrooms are tender & filling is golden brown.

{ Food for Thought }

Make it easy on yourself & assemble the day before. Let sit at room temp for 1/2 hour before baking in the oven.

I kept the filling amount the same & bought (2) 16oz pkgs of mushrooms. I picked the best ones of the group for my stuffed mushrooms knowing I would have some left over yet using all of my filling. 

I also like to take a little 1/4 tsp & use it to carve out more space in the mushroom for the filling, otherwise I feel like there just isn't enough.

I was able to make about 30 mushrooms.

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And now for one of the few things I love more deeply than appetizers:

My handsome boy. It's been too long since I've posted a pic of him.

Tristan ~ 6 yo

Enjoy. Him. The Mushrooms. All of it. Oh, enjoy your week too! 
Can't wait to come by & see you!

{ Linking Deliciously to Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays & Wordful Wednesdays}

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lemon-Raspberry Mousse Squares

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mothers Day weekend!  I didn't chose to sleep in, have breakfast brought to me in bed or get a pedi or facial. All I wanted was to make a few appetizers from my ever increasing list of things to make, while spending the day with family. So that's just what I did. 

I made a dip, 4 appetizers & 1 dessert. I prepped whatever I could in advance & since I was bringing out an appie every hour or so I had time in between. I could just live on appies, can't you?! 

This dessert was definitely a hit & perfect for the hot summer to come. Easy to make, in under a 1/2 hour, pretty to look at & delicious to boot. Light & lemony but not too much, it was perfect!


{ Printable Recipe Here }

48 reduced fat Nilla Wafers

3/4 cup boiling water
1 3oz pkg lemon flavor gelatin
1 cup ice cubes
8oz pkg reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
8oz Cool Whip Free
1/3 cup raspberry preserves
1 1/2 cups fresh fruit such as strawberries, kiwi, raspberries

tand 16 wafers around edge of plastic wrap-lined 8 inch square pan. 

(You can see they hardly stand up but just see my notes on that)

dd boiling water to gelatin mix; stir 2 min until completely dissolved. Stir in ice until melted.

eat next 3 ingredients in large bowl with mixer until blended. Gradually beat in gelatin. Whisk in 2 cups Cool Whip.

our half the gelatin mixture into prepared pan; cover with 16 wafers. Microwave preserves on high for 15 sec or until melted. Brush onto wafers. 

Top with remaining gelatin mixture and wafers.

efrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Invert dessert onto plate. Top with remaining Cool Whip and fruit.

I didn't take a picture of it once cut so here's an idea of how pretty it is.

{ Food for Thought }

The wafers won't want to stand at first so just keep the upright as much as possible. When pouring the 1st half of the gelatin mixture stop halfway & let the mixture act as the glue to keep the wafers up. You may have to adjust them more & stand them up as the pan gets filled.

{ Linking Deliciously to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday }

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Braised Paprika Chicken

Healthier dinners like the one below have helped me keep a good attitude along with doing the treadmill in the early morning. With sour cream being the only naughty ingredient, I get a satisfying meal but without the guilt. And I love how the sour cream helps to make the sauce a light but creamy one!

I have also become such a huge fan of the sweet Hungarian paprika in this dish, thanks to my amazing blogger turned real life friend Kacey. I am even visiting her & her family for the first time in just a few weeks. She once sent me a recipe where I needed to have this kind & only this kind of paprika. So don't skimp on it. It's worth it!!!!!

I re-wrote the recipe here since I made quite a few changes to this dish, making it lighter & faster by skipping the butter & using boneless chicken tenders instead of bone in chicken pieces, thereby cutting the cooking time in half.

BRAISED PAPRIKA CHICKEN  Adapted from Eating Well         

1 1/2-2 lbs boneless chicken tenders
3/4 tsp coarse salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tblsp olive oil
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 chopped green bell pepper
Pinch of sugar
16 oz pkg mushrooms
2 tblsp tomato paste
2 tblsp sweet paprika
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tblsp all-purpose flour
Dried parsley for garnish

S eason chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper. Heat oil in a large heavy pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bell peppers, mushrooms & sprinkle with sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies are soft & light brown. Stir in tomato paste, paprika & crushed red pepper.

A dd the chicken & stir it gently into the veggie mixture. Sprinkle with marjoram & add broth. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid or foil & simmer over medium-low heat until the chicken is very tender, about 20 minutes.

A t the 15 min mark, just before the chicken is done, whisk sour cream, flour & the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl until smooth. Stir the sour cream mixture into the sauce; return to a simmer & cook, stirring, until the sauce coats the spoon. This will make the 20 minutes cooking time for the chicken. Serve garnished with parsley, dill and/or chives, if desired.

Food for Thought }

The original recipe called for 3 1/2 lbs of bone in chicken pieces, Canola oil instead of olive oil, the addition of butter & 4 cups of onions. I love onions but they bother some people in the family so I took them out altogether & have been since. I also upped the bell peppers & added mushrooms.

A little thought: recipes call for diced veggies often but in dishes like this I love to actually see the veggies so I just do a rough chop. It looks pretty & it saves on time!!!!!!