Tag Archives: The Kitchen

Coconut Fried Shrimp with Mango Sauce and Coconut Pineapple Rice

Coconut Fried Shrimp with Mango Sauce and Coconut Pineapple Rice

  • Servings: 2-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Coconut Fried Shrimp with Mango Sauce and Coconut Pineapple Rice
IMG_0949IMG_0952IMG_0947IMG_0946IMG_0944
Last Saturday on Foodnetwork’s “The Kitchen” they did a show titled “Winter Escape” where they made food from the Caribbean. You know lots of coconut and Pineapple flavored stuff. They brought in Caribbean chef named Julius Jackson
who made some of his coconut fried shrimp with the mango dipping sauce. It just looked and sounded really good to me so I gave it try. Sunny did a marinated skewered pork with a side of coconut pineapple baked rice. So I made that too.

I was an admitted shrimp hater when I heard them described as the roaches of the sea but I came back around and now will have them on occasion. One of the best things about them is how fast and easy they are to cook. You can whip up a batch in no time.

This turned out well. My only complaint was my crust didn’t stick as well as I wanted. I didn’t have enough oil to submerge the shrimp so it’s really my fault because I had to jack with them while cooking to make sure they fried evenly. So I likely did most of the damage but the crust that did stick was delicious with that pop of sweet and chewy coconut shreds in the batter. I thought the sauce was good but a little too tangy and could have used a little more sugar and more heat. As for the rice it turned out great with this mellow coconut back not with a punch of sweet from the pineapple. Also this was the first time I baked rice outside of a casserole and it turned out nice and fluffy. I hope you enjoy it.

Ingredients:
6-10 Shrimp per person (peeled, deveined, butterflied, tail in tact)
Peanut or Vegetable Oil to cover 5 shrimp at a time.

Batter (wet)
3 eggs
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1/4 cup of Sriracha
pinch of Cayenne
2 tsp of Paprika
Kosher Salt

Batter (Dry)
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup + of sweetened shredded coconut
1 tbs of corn starch
1 tbs of white sugar
1 tbs of paprika
1 tsp of cayenne

Mango Sauce
1 mango skinned and diced
2 limes juiced
1 tbs of sugar
1/4 cup of Sriracha (less if you want)

Coconut Rice
1 cup of Jasmine Rice
2 tbs of Butter
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of canned diced pineapple
pinch of cumin
2 pinches of Paprika
Pinch of Kosher Salt and Pepper

Directions:
1. The rice takes the longest so I started with it by preheating my oven to 350 degrees. In a sauce pan heat up the coconut milk, butter, water and spices until they simmer. Rinse your rice until it becomes clear. Pour the rice into your simmering liquid and then pour that mixture into a 8 x 8 baking dish. Add the pineapple and spread everything until its even. Cover tightly with foil and cook in the over for about 30 minutes. Don’t peak until 25 minutes passes.

2. For the shrimp.. heat your oil in a pot that will contain/fry about 5 shrimp a time without touching. You want your oil to heat to 350-375. Your shrimp are likely going to be cold so take that into account. I mixed my wet batter ingredients in one pie dish and the dry batter ingredients in another pie dish.

As I shelled, deveined and butterflied my shrimp, I placed them into my wet batter mixture as if it were a sort of marinade. If you haven’t deveined shrimp I will try to describe it but you could also probably find a video on youtube. I grip the tail and remove the shell keeping the last part of the shell in tact near the tail’s end. Carefully with a sharp and small knife make strokes right in the middle of the curled side of the shrimp. You will see the vein and simply grab it and pull it out and should remove in one piece. Small stroke your knife until the large part of the shrimp lays flat on that big end. The reason for this is it not only looks cool but it gives you more surface area so you have more crust.

3. Once your oil is hot, take five shrimp at a time and remove them from the wet batter and put them into the dry batter until fully coated. Carefully lay them into the oil and cook for about 3-5 minutes when the crust is nicely browned. Remove them and place them on a wire wrack to drain. Work in batches until done.
IMG_0936IMG_0939
4. For the sauce I put everything in a blender and blended until smooth.

Fluff your rice and plate everything up. Enjoy.
IMG_0950IMG_0941

The Texas Burger

The Texas Burger

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

The Texas Burger
IMG_0078IMG_0081
Today is National Burger Day. So there is that… That is not why I made this burger. I did so because one of my favorite shows to watch is the “The Kitchen” on Foodnetwork. Geoffry Zakarian is my guy. I end up picking up great tips, recipes and ideas from their show.

So they have a contest around burgers by state. So I started thinking about The Texas Burger. Houston’s Hickory Burger is one of my favorites. It has BBQ sauce which is very Texan. We are also known for beef and BBQ brisket so I thought I would make a brisket/pot roast and grind it up into my 80/20 ground beef mixture. Got to have some local Texas bacon. Cheddar cheese and finally an ode to Chuy’s Mexican Food I whipped up Jalapeno Ranch. All of that Texas goodness between…. you got it.. Texas Toast. Drops the Texas mic, grabs belt buckle and spits. Okay none of that happened.

Such a great burger! I was worried the Texas Toast my have trouble standing up to the BBQ sauce and Jalapeno Ranch so I put them under the broiler to toast them up and to give them some structure. No sides needed for this burger. A Shiner Bock is all you need.

Ingredients:
J-dawg Sauce (recipe in the blog) with an extra kick of BBQ sauce in it and a little mustard.
Jalapeno Ranch (recipe in the blog)
Mexican Pot Roast / Brisket (recipe in the blog)
1 lbs of 80/20 free range organic Texas beef
Texas thick cut Bacon (2 slices)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Texas Toast
Shiner Bock Beer

Directions:
1. Make your sauces, shred your cheese.

2. I re-ground my 80/20 ground beef with my cooked brisket. You obviously wont use all the brisket in this mixture so grind in about 1/4 or 1/2 pound. I made four patties. I also loosely packed my meat..a tip I picked up from GZ on his burger he made a while back. IMG_0075

3. I crumbled my crispy bacon on top of my patty. On my toasted Texas Toast I slathered Jalapeno Ranch on the bottom and my BBQ sauce on top. Topped my bacon covered patty with fresh extra sharp cheddar cheese (not melted).
IMG_0081IMG_0084

Grilled Chicken with Arugula and Lemon Vinaigrette

Grilled Chicken with Arugula and Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Grilled Chicken with Arugula and Lemon Vinaigrette
IMG_9912
Super easy and healthy chicken salad recipe that is great for a easy night recipe. Katie Lee has a new cook book coming out and made this on Foodnetwork’s “The Kitchen”. Jill commented that she wanted me to put that on the menu this week.

It’s very springy, light, bright and easy. You can whip this up in about 7 minutes. There is a technique called “Paillard” which is basically flattening the chicken to and even thickness so cooking is fast, consistent and juicy because you aren’t drying out 80 percent of the chicken to cook the thickest part perfectly. It’s always worth using this technique on any meat you can for consistent juicy proteins.

Ingredients: 2 people
2 Air Chilled Free Range Chicken breast
1 box of Arugula (8 cups)
Radishes
Red wine vinegar
Sugar
Walnut
Honey
Juice of half a lemon and zest
1/2 teaspoon of grainy mustard
1 tbs of Olive Oil
Dusting of Granulated Garlic, Pepper, Kosher Salt
Shaved Pecorino and Manchego cheese

Directions
1. Clean and slice radishes. Put them into a small bowl and cover them with white wine vinegar and then mix in about a tsp of turbinado sugar. Refrigerate. IMG_9910

2. Wrap your chicken in plastic wrap and with a mallet lightly pound the thick part of the chicken breat until the entire thing is the same thickness. Remove the plastic wrap and salt, pepper and garlic dust both sides of the breast. Bring a grill or grill pan to medium heat. When hot, add the breasts and cook about 4 minutes per side.

3. While your chicken is cooking, I heated up a small pan and toasted some walnuts. I removed them from heat and put them on parchment paper and covered in honey and let them cool. Top with a little Kosher salt.

4. Flip your chicken, and make your vinaigrette by putting your lemon juice, olive oil, grainy mustard in a bowl and whisk until incorporated. IMG_9911

5. Remove chicken and let it rest for a few minutes. Cut on the bias and plate the chicken. In a large bowl mix your greens and vinaigrette. Stir with tongs 20 times. Plate on top of the breast or next to it. Add your radishes and honey walnuts.
IMG_9908IMG_9909IMG_9917

Spaghetti and Roasted Meatballs

Spaghetti and Roasted Meatballs

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

IMG_9541
IMG_9536
While watching FoodNetwork’s “The Kitchen” show, they were siting that their poll states that spaghetti and meatballs is the number one comfort food. I love a good spaghetti and meatballs but in the south I would bet that fried chicken, dumplings, BBQ or some casserole would top the list.

When I think of Spaghetti and Meatballs, I think of my brother. My mom makes every kid’s favorite dish for his or her birthday. It’s funny because once she locks in that it is “your” favorite she doesn’t depart. My brother must have said he liked her spaghetti and meatballs in high school and to this day when we get together for birthdays you can bet that on my brothers day he is getting his spaghetti and meatballs.

So back to the recipe.. Geoffrey Zakarian showed how he roasted his meatballs. I usually fry mine in a cast iron skillet but typically have to babysit them by rolling around to get a good crust on each side. Roasting is a no fuss way of accomplishing the same thing without the hassle.

GZ has been hitting it out of the park with his recipes. He adds a few unique steps that really make a huge difference. I did depart from his recipe quite a bit. Mine was absolutely fabulous and I am sure his is even better. He used panko bread crumbs but I had two heels of my sourdough loaf left and used them. He also uses ground pork and pork sausage but I didn’t feel like grinding my pork so went with Turkey Sausage (kinda odd but it worked). I did screw up the noodles by over salting my water. The water is supposed to taste like the sea but not the Dead Sea.

Ingredients:
Meatballs
5 tbs of bread crumbs (Panko, I used Sourdough)
6 oz of heavy cream
1/2 cup of finely diced yellow onions
3 cloves of finely diced garlic
1 tbs of finely diced fresh rosemary
1/4 cup of finely diced parsley
1 egg
5 OZ of grated parmsean cheese
1 tbs of canola oil
12 oz of ground veal
12 oz of ground turkey breakfast sausage

Sauce
20 oz of San Marzano Tomatoes or Rao’s jarred Arrabiata Sauce
1/2 finely diced onions
1 tbs of Basil (fresh if you have it)
4 cloves of garlic
1 tbs of Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 cup of Red Wine
1 tbs of tomato paste

Spaghetti noodles cooked al dente
Parmesan cheese to top

Directions:
Here is you tackle this. The meatballs need about an hour to set up so tackle them first. If you like concentrated sauce like I do you can make them and start your sauce right after that and let it simmer OR you can start it right after you put them in the oven.

1. Pulse your bread crumbs in a food processor until they are fine. Now this was odd to me but pour them into a bowl and add heavy cream. the crumbs are going to suck this cream up and you are going to be left with a pretty thick bowl of goo. GZ used panko so I don’t know if they reacted the same as my sourdough crumbs. Don’t freak out.

2. Take the onions with a tbs of canola oil in small pot or the same pan you’re going to use for your sauce. Sweat them out on medium low heat for about 10 minutes. Then chop and add your garlic and rosemary. Cook for about 3 minutes and then remove from the heat to let the mixture cool.

3. Now everything you see in the meatball ingredients goes into a mixer. Mix this until everything is incorporated. You might need to do some hand work on the bread crumbs if you get lumps. Roll the balls into the size you like. I prefer smaller meatballs to maximize the amount of crust I can get with each bite. Put the meatballs onto a sheet pan, cover and let them set up in the fridge for an hour. You can cheat if you’re time crunched. IMG_9525IMG_9526

4. Two stepper… In a preheated oven at 425 degrees place your meatballs in the middle rack. Set your timer to 25 minutes. Right after start your sauce.

5. Stay with me here. You are going to have three pots on the oven. One for cooking the pasta, one for the sauce and the third we are going to use as a landing spot for the pasta.

For the sauce follow the same process you did for the meatballs by sweating your onions in a medium to large pot on medium heat. When onions are soft, add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the rest of your sauce ingredients and let it simmer. If you like rich sauce cook it longer but careful not to burn it. IMG_9527

6. When your meatballs are done, remove them and set them aside. Start your pasta water by bringing it to a boil with salted water. 3 tbs or so of Kosher salt. I don’t know the size of your pot or how high your fill it. Cook to the directions on the box to get them al dente. IMG_9528IMG_9530

7. Ladle in a cup or so of the sauce into the third pan/pot and then take your noodles directly from the pot using tongs and add them to the pan. The point of this it to introduce the noodles and the sauce so that you get full coverage. Add the meatballs to the non-noodle sauce pan to get those two acquainted.
IMG_9531IMG_9534
IMG_9533
Serve by plating your noodles first and then top with the meatballs. You can leave the extra sauce on the side or spoon a little on top. Apparently that technique of putting sauce on top is a “no no” but I don’t see big deal.

IMG_9535
IMG_9542

GZ’s Ricotta Gnocchi

GZ's Ricotta Gnocchi

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

GZ’s Ricotta Gnocchi
IMG_9341
On Saturday morning, I have developed a habit of watching “The Kitchen” on Food Network. This last episode they have a segment called Geoffrey’s Sunday Dinner or something like that. GZ cooked up a really simple ricotta gnocchi that seemed really good or the other hosts were good actors.

Jill has been traveling and so I thought it would be a perfect dish to make to welcome her home. For the most part I followed GZ’s recipe. My grocery was sold out of pancetta so while I could have used bacon instead, I went with prosciutto. Given it wont render out the fat that pancetta or bacon would, I added it with the garlic because it will crisp up pretty quickly. I also had a red onion on top for a salad I made earlier so I used that.

This turned out perfectly. Overall really simple but serves and appears sophisticated. The gnocchi is super soft and delicate and the simple tomato sauce is just a perfect comforting dinner. For the guys out there, this might be a good Valentines Day dinner.

The link to Geoffrey Zakarian’s recipe on FoodNetwork.
 http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/geoffrey-zakarian/ricotta-gnocchi.html?oc=linkback
IMG_9349

Ingredients
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups AP Flour
Basil leaves to garnish

Prosciutto Tomato Sauce
1 package of prosciutto diced. GZ used pancetta
1/2 cup diced  red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
smidge of anchovy paste
One 28-ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
1/4-1/2 cup of Red wine (Malbec)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Make your gnocchi by combining the ricotta, Parmesan, olive oil, eggs and 1 tsp of Kosher salt in a bowl.  Whisk until well combined and then add the all purpose flour in the thirds. First third of flour,  stir until mixed together and then the 2nd third, stir and finally the last third of flour.   Make the a ball and set the dough aside. Olive got hit with some flour
IMG_9335

2. Make your sauce by softening the red onion in a oiled pan on medium heat.  Once sweated out add your prosciutto and garlic and stir for another minute or two. Pour in your tomatoes and let that mixture simmer.
IMG_9336

3. Bring another pot of salted water to a boil while prepping your gnocchi.  Dust a counter or cutting board with a little flour. Take your dough in three batches. Roll it into a “snake” shape you used to make when you were a kid playing around with play dough.

Cut little bite sized pieces and place them on a cooking sheet lined with parchment and semolina flour or AP flour.  Once all the dough is cut, cover with a towel until you’re ready to boil them.
IMG_9327

4. Cook the gnocchi in the boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove with a spider and add them into your sauce.  Cook and and let the gnocchi absorb some of the sauce.
IMG_9340

Serve into a bowl and top with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.
IMG_9345

Best BLT inspired by GZ

Seriously the best BLT

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

IMG_8296

I adapted this one from Geoffrey Zakarian on Food Network’s show called “The Kitchen”. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/geoffrey-zakarian/gzs-ultimate-blt.html

We saw their show on tomatoes and GZ whipped up a killer looking BLT that the other chefs were gushing over. We put it on the list for Sunday night dinner. At the risk of committing a hyperbole foul, we will go on record that this is one of the best BLTs we have ever had.

The bacon on the top makes sure you fully taste it in every bite. Also, the open face allows you to experience all the levels of flavors instead of hiding them in the bread. You have the crunch from crisp bacon bookended with the toasted bread. Then the tang from the vinegar and goat cheese and tomatoes complimented by the creaminess of the avocado and mayo set it off. So simple and so fantastically fresh.

Ingredients for two sandwiches.
Crusty loaf of bread. Cut two slices from the middle to get the biggest slices you can.
4 slices of thick butcher cut bacon
2 heirloom tomatoes cut into thick slices
6 plum tomatoes sliced thinly
1 avocado, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 leafs of butter lettuce leaves
8 leafs of lemon verbena (sliced) GZ used tarragon but I had some lv in my herb garden.
1/2 of a red onion sliced thinly
2 tbs fresh goat cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

Directions
Bacon – Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1On a foil lined cooking sheet I laid the bacon down and topped it with onion and plum tomatoes and peppered it generously. I cook it hot for about 10-12 mins and then I turn my oven to 250 and go slower getting it to the texture you like. Turn it periodically. We like crisp bacon so it was in the 250 range for about 30mins in addition to the first 10mins at 400.
IMG_8294

2. GZ sliced his heirloom tomatoes and covered this in salt pulling out some of the juices to coat with the bacon. I had some plum tomatoes that were ripe and used them for the bacon. Drizzle the red wine vinegar and olive oil on top of the slices of heirloom tomatoes and set aside.
3. Slice your avocado and add lime juice to keep from browning.

When your bacon is done, turn on your broiler and put your bread in there to crisp up one side (3-4mins)
4While toasting your bread, and cooling your bacon take your butter leaf lettuce pieces and verbena or tarragon and add some of the bacon grease ( tsp or so with some salt and pepper) Toss and coat it completely,
5 Assemble your sandwich by spreading a generous amount of Dukes mayo on the toasted side of your bread. Add lettuce, top with goat cheese, and then tomato and avocado slices. Finally top with the bacon.

GZ BLT
GZ BLT