Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shrimp Taco Salad

This recipe (which is actually called chipotle rubbed shrimp taco salad) is from the August Cooking Light. A taco salad really isn't much of a recipe but the dressing was, I suppose. This was a really quick dinner - 20 minutes or so.

We both like taco salads - Jason orders them out on occasion. Since I can eat salads right now, I enjoy them too. I'm a fan of shrimp but Jason said he would prefer just plain ol' taco meat next time. Only I would marry someone who would prefer hamburger meat over shrimp...

Shrimp Taco Salad
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons minced shallots
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons honey
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 refrigerated (8 inch) flour tortilla taco salad shell kit
1 pound peeled, deveined jumbo shrimp
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
6 cups packaged prechopped romaine lettuce
1.5 cups chopped peeled ripe mango
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 radishes, quartered
*I also added diced avocado and drained/rinsed black beans. Jason smothered his in cheese.

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly.

Bake tortilla shells at 350 according to package directions.

While shells bake, heat grill pan over med-high heat. Combine shrimp, chili powders, and salt in large bowl. Toss well to coat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shrimp to pan and cook 2 minutes on each side or until done.

Place lettuce and other toppings in tortilla shell and drizzle with vinaigerette. Toss.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cilantro Shrimp

This is from the August issue of Cooking Light. We both really liked this - though don't attempt it if you aren't a cilantro fan. It had a lot of flavor, a little heat, and took as long as the rice takes to cook (for white rice, just 15 minutes) to chop everything and cook it.

Cilantro Shrimp
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
3 cups (1 inch) slices green onion
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3.5 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste) or hot sauce
2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
3 cups hot cooked brown rice (we used white)

Heat wok or large skillet over high heat. Add oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add onions, ginger, and garlic to pan. Stir fry 1 minute. Add shrimp, stir fry 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce and chile paste; stir fry 1 minute or until shrimp are done. Remove pan from heat; add cilantro, stirring consistently until cilantro wilts. Serve over rice.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Grilled Burgers with Meyer Lemon Butter

This burger recipe is from Bon Appetit and was really good. A nice change from the typical grilled burger and the butter made the burger extra moist. I liked the subtle lemon flavor throughout the burger and the surprise lemon pop in the center. I, sadly, did not find Meyer lemons at my store so just used regular.

Grilled Burgers with Meyer Lemon Butter
6 tablespoons butter, room temp
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon fresh Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated Meyer lemon peel or regular lemon peel
1.5 pounds ground beef (15% fat) - I used a little over 2 pounds
Hamburger buns
Toppings: sliced onion, lettuce, tomato, etc.

Mix butter, all herbs, lemon peel, and lemon juice into bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Measure out 1/3 cup butter; transfer to sheet of plastic wrap (leave the rest in the bowl for spreading on buns). Using plastic wrap as aid, form butter into 3 inch log. Wrap to seal and place in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. Cut crosswise into 4 rounds. Fatten rounds into 2 inch diameter discs.

Divide meat into 4 equal parts (I made 5 patties). Form each piece into a ball. Using thumb, made deep wide indentation in center of each ball. Press 1 lemon-butter round flatly into indentation, then press meat securely over butter to enclose. Flatten each burger into 3.5 inch diameter patty, leaving butter rounds horizontally in center of each burger.

Brush grill with oil (or spray) and bring to high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the burgers with salt and pepper. Spread remaining butter over cut sides of the buns. Grill burgers until cooked through, 4-6 minutes on each side. Grill buns until slightly charred, about 1 minute per side.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Brisket, Ranch Style Beans, Napa Cabbage Noodle Salad

Tonight I tried three new recipes. Brisket was on sale so I thought I'd try my hand at it. The multitude of recipes out there sent my head spinning! I don't have a smoker so I considered oven vs crockpot and decided on a highy rated oven recipe on AllRecipes. It took hours but very little work on my end and was very tender and tasty. Jason thought it tasted like pot roast... I'm not sure that's good or bad. He used botted BBQ sauce on his and said it was good. I liked a little pan sauce on mine and dad ate his without. It was not dry at all - perfectly cooked, tender, and flavorful.

2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon ground back pepper
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1 (4 lb) beef brisket
1.5 cups beef broth

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and blend thoroughly. Apply rub to surface of brisket. (I tossed some ground dry mustard in as well).

Cook, uncovered, in preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and add beef broth to pan (I also threw in a bottle of dark beer). Lower oven to 300, cover pan tightly with foil, and cook 3 more hours. Let brisket stand for 30 minutes before slicing.

Notes - I added a bottle of beer to the pan and I added dry ground mustard to the dry mix. My brisket had a lot of fat on it so I trimmed a lot off prior and then sliced around it when it finished.  

The beans were also from AllRecipes; I wanted a change from baked beans, which I've made a couple of times. Now, these seemed bland at first bite and then it hit you with a bite of spice and flavor. The three of us weren't sure what it was missing to make it bland - the obvious (salt) didn't make a difference. Otherwise, it was tasty but is missing something. Any ideas?

Ranch Beans
1 pound dried pinto beans
1 quart water
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chile powder
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (I used ground cayenne)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

Place beans in Dutch oven or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain, discarding liquid. Return beans to pan; add 1 quart of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours, or until beans are tender. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1-1/2 hours longer.

Instead of a creamy cole slaw to go with dinner, I wanted the oriental slaw that is served often at church events. I searched on All Recipes and found one that sounded tasty. This was soooooo good. My dad hasn't had this dish before and he declared it "freakin' awesome" and ate several helpings. Cheap, very easy, good for a crowd.

Napa Cabbage Noodle Salad
1 large head napa cabbage, shredded and chilled
1/2 cup olive oil
1 (3 ounce) package ramen noodles, crushed
1/2 cup sesame seeds (I skipped)
3 ounces blanched slivered almonds
1 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons white vinegar

Add olive oil to a skillet over medium heat and brown ramen noodles, almonds, and sesame seeds (you do not need this much oil - I used just a drizzle). Set aside to cool.

Prepare dressing by mixing canola oil, soy sauce, white sugar, and both vinegars in blender until smooth (I didn't want to use a blender so I used a small whisk and did it by hand instead).

About 30 minutes before serving, toss the dressing and cabbage together. Chill. Just before serving, toss noodle mixture and cabbage together.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pasta with Shrimp and Cilantro-Lime Pesto

This is a recipe from Bon Appetit - it's actually in their readers favorite restaurant recipe article and from a restaurant in Minnesota. We all thought it was tasty. Jason picked the cheese out of his serving, which I thought made the dish perfect, but he ate two servings so I guess it was okay without it. Because it uses shrimp, you can cook it in 15 minutes or so. We had garlic bread and salad with it.

The recipe says it's a serving for 4 but 3 of us ate, one had seconds, and there is still a large portion left. For what it's worth.

Pasta with Shrimp and Cilantro-Lime Pesto
1 and 1/4 cups (packed) fresh cilantro leaves plus 1/4 cup chopped
1/4 cup (scant) chopped green onions
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon chopped seeded jalapeno chile
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound linguine
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoon tequila
1/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese or feta cheese (I used feta)

Blend 1 and 1/4 cup cilantro leaves and next 4 ingredients in processor until coarse puree forms. With machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup oil. Season generously with salt.

Cook linguine in large pot of boiling water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy skillet over med-high heat. Add shrimp and cook until almost opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add tequila. Return skillet to heat and stir until sauce is syrupy, about 30 seconds. Add pesto; stir to coat. Remove from heat.

Add pasta to sauce in skillet and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Top each serving with cheese and chopped cilantro.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jason's Casserole aka Yippee Casserole

There is no way to make ground beef and au gratin potatoes look good but I was determined to post a pic anyways. We have no idea what this dish is called; we refer to it as Yippee Casserole because back before we got married, Jason came across this recipe while flipping through a magazine at work. I believe the ad said something like "Your kids will go YIPPEE for dinner!" and he called it Yippee Casserole from then on.
It's a true man meal - meat, potatoes, corn, and cheese. He loves it. Tonight I was at work so he made a double batch of it so he would have plenty for dinner and lunches. He asked if he would get credit for dinner tonight thus the post title.
Yippee Casserole
1 box au gratin potatoes
2 and 1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup canned corn, drained
2/3 cup milk
1/2 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
1 cup shredded cheese (we usually use mild cheddar or taco blend)
Heat oven to 400. Mix potatoes, potato sauce mix, water, corn, and milk in ungreased 2 quart dish. Stir in beef and 3/4 cup cheese. Bake uncovered 30-35 minutes or until top is golden brown. Sprinkle wtih remaining cheese.
You could mix in chopped red/bell peppers if you liked, or onions. The original recipe suggests serving it with tortilla chips and sour cream.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer Turkey Chili

This is a recipe that I married into =) Jason found this recipe in his college bachelor days. It is good and very very easy. Pretty cheap, too. It's a nice change from the heavy beef and tomato based chili recipes we love in the winter.
Summer Turkey Chili
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground turkey
1 tbsp minced garlic
2.5 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 (19 oz) can black beans, rinsed
1 (10 oz) box frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
1/2 cup green salsa (I just use whatever jar salsa I have)
1 cup chopped sweet onion (I skip)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Accompaniments: sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, more chopped cilantro

Heat oil in deep large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add turkey and garlic and cook, stirring to break up meat, 3-4 minutes or until browned. Add cumin, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, 30 seconds.

Stir in broth, beans, corn, rice and salsa. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender.

Remove from heat and stir in onion and cilantro. Ladle into bowls and top with accompaniments.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Flank Steak Marinade

You could use it for any meat, I suppose, but I used it for fajitas tonight. I found the marinade on AllRecipes and actually measured the ingredients just so I would know if I liked it as written or not. It was really good and flavorful. Definitely a keeper!

I didn't bother taking a picture of a bunch of fajita meat but want to make sure I don't lose this recipe.

Marinated Flank Steak
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1.5 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1.5 pound flank steak

Mix all ingredients but the steak. Put the steak in a shallow glass dish and pour the marinade over it. Cover, refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Throw it out when you grill the meat.

Flour Tortillas

These are so incredibly easy, I have no idea why I haven't made them before. Now mine weren't gorgeous; I don't have that smasher machine that Mexican Inn has to make them perfect and round, but they were tasty and that is all that matters. Even Jason seemed impressed, and he's hard to impress.
The recipe doesn't make much so I made two batches. I wouldn't want to make lots of them, since you do them individually, but I made 6-8 for fajitas tonight and it was no big deal. If you wanted to make them just so you can slather butter and salt on them (yum.) this would probably make 5-6 smaller ones. Form the dough into golfball size balls before rolling out. Combine two golfballs to make a fajita sized one. To make a chipotle size burrito you'll probably need the whole batch. And probably then some. No wonder those burritos have no many calories!
I wish I had a big pastry board to roll it out on. Rolling it on my countertop seemed icky (I have germ issues...) so I used wax paper, which crinkled some underneath.
Flour Tortillas
2 cups flour (I used bleached all purpose)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter (I zapped it for 15 seconds or so to soften it up)
1/2 cup water
Combine all ingredients, mush it all together, and roll out portions however large you want your tortillas to be. Make sure it's rolled thinly (one of mine was super thick, I got in a hurry, but it was still good by itself - just not great for a fajita). Fry each one on medium-high heat WITHOUT greasing the pan. You'll know it's done when it gets those browned parts on it (30 seconds or so per side). If you had a tortilla warmer, which I drool over at BB&B and never buy, it would be grand to just stick it in that when finished.
The first batch I made was a little crumbly until I squished it a bit with my hands. Those actually came out better than the second batch, which was a little stickier. You may want to add the water a little at a time until you get the right consistency.

See Aimee Cook

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