Friday, July 29, 2011

Spicy Eggplant Spread

1/2 c plus 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 eggplant, each about 12 oz., peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1/4 tsp ground cumin
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
juice of 1 lemon
  1. In a 4-quart deep sauté pan over medium heat, warm 1/4 cup of the olive oil until nearly smoking. Add half of the eggplant and sauté, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter and repeat with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and the remaining eggplant. Transfer to the platter.

  2. Warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil in the pan. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring often, until just golden, about 1 minute. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the chili flakes and cumin until blended and return the eggplant to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the eggplant is very tender and almost mushy, 6 to 8 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

  3. Transfer the eggplant mixture to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper, and stir in the parsley, lemon juice and the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Transfer to a sealable container and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.
I made this as a dip for a party over Memorial Day weekend and I'm very glad that I made a lot extra. It was very good the night I made it, but it was even better a few days later, cold spread over crackers. I recently made it and spread it over crusty bread along with Parmesan cheese to make into a panini. It is very, very good.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fried Pickles

As I mentioned on my other blog, my father-in-law was in town this weekend and he bought us a deep-fryer while he was here. We decided on Sunday night to fry up a bunch of stuff and it did not disappoint! The shrimp was just your basic egg and panko breading combination (and turned out awesome), but the pickles were made from scratch!

The shrimps.

Fried Pickles

1 (16 ounce) jar dill pickle slices
1/2 c buttermilk
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c fine cornmeal
1 tsp seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay™
1/4 tsp Cajun seasoning, such as Tony Chachere's
1 quart canola oil for frying

1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 (12 ounce) jar buttermilk ranch dressing
salt and black pepper to taste

We fried some sandwich stackers along with the regular pickle slices.
  1. Heat fryer to 400 degrees F. In a shallow dish, combine buttermilk, salt, and pepper. Drain pickles, place in buttermilk mixture and set aside.

  2. Pour the flour, cornmeal, seafood seasoning, and Cajun seasoning into a large, resealable plastic bag; shake to mix well.

  3. Remove pickles from bag and drop in hot fryer. Be careful not to overcrowd fryer so pickles cook evenly. Fry until breading is golden brown on all sides. Mix together ranch dressing and Cajun seasoning and set aside.

  4. Place pickles on plate lined with paper towels and serve hot with Cajun ranch dipping sauce.
We also made hush puppies that were from a mix. They were very, very good!

We don't fry a whole lot in our house, but after all is said and done, a deep fryer is definitely the way to go. It was so much easier than it is to try and fry in a pan on the stove. You just have such an even temperature when using a fryer as opposed to a pan.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Shrimp Pad Thai

I made this recipe the other night and while it didn't necessarily satisfy my craving for authentic Shrimp Pad Thai, it was still yummy. I think I'm still going to keep looking for a Pad Thai recipe, but this was an easy weeknight dinner and I will definitely make it again.

16 oz. uncooked spaghetti
1/4 c teriyaki sauce
5 tbsp peanut sauce (I used Bangkok Padang Peanut Sauce)
1/4 tsp Sriracha sauce
2 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tsp minced garlic
4 c snow peas
1/3 c chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 c chopped dry-roasted peanuts
5 lime wedges
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain and set aside.

  2. Combine teriyaki sauce, peanut sauce, and Sriracha, stirring with a whisk.

  3. Heat the sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic, and saute 1 minute. Add shrimp; saute for 2 minutes or until shrimp are almost done. Add teriyaki sauce mixture, and cook for 2 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add pasta and snow peas; cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring well. Sprinkle with cilantro and peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.
I served this with frozen egg rolls and sweet and sour sauce for dipping.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Strawberry & Buttermilk Ice Cream

If you read my other blog, This American Wife, you have heard all about my trip to my Hometown and the stops AJ and I made along the way. One of the stops was at the urging of my bloggy BFF, Moe. She told me that we would no longer be BFFs if I didn't make a trip to Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams when we passed through Ohio. I'm so glad we stopped there. I had some of the best (and most exotic) ice cream I've ever eaten.

When I told my Aunt that we were planning to go to Jeni's she was excited. They live near a few of Jeni's locations and had been a few times. When AJ and I got back from our outing, my Aunt handed me an article she had found in a magazine. It was about Jeni's! When I saw the recipe for ice cream base, I could not pass it up. I carried the article with me for 2 weeks until I got home and was able to make it.

If you have an ice cream maker, you MUST, I repeat, you MUST make this recipe.

Strawberry & Buttermilk Ice Cream

1-1/2 c whole milk
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 oz. (4 tbsp) cream cheese, softened
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1-1/4 c heavy cream
2/3 c sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 c buttermilk

1 jar canned strawberries
  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

  2. Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heat-proof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

  3. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add all the strawberries and syrup from the jar and the buttermilk and blend well. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

  4. Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy. Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours. Makes about 1 quart.
This ice cream is so creamy and delicious, I wish we had more leftover! Its obviously not health food, but what dessert is healthy?

I hope you all enjoy this as much as we did, and if you're ever in Central Ohio, definitely make sure you check out Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Pan Fried Shrimp with Creole Mayo

I made this tonight and served it with cucumber, tomato, and leek salad and homemade garlic potato salad. It was the perfect summer meal (other than the frying). Seriously though, the taste far outweighed the inconvenience of frying.

1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp Creole seasoning (such as Tony Chachere's)
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 c fat-free buttermilk
3/4 c dry breadcrumbs
1 lb peeled and deveined large shrimp
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 tbsp mayonnaise
  1. Combine flour, 1 tsp Creole seasoning, and salt in a shallow dish. Pour buttermilk into a shallow dish. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Dredge shrimp in flour mixture; dip in milk. Dredge shrimp in breadcrumbs; shake of excess breading.

  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the oil to pan and bring up to temperature. Add half of shrimp; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and shrimp.

  3. Combine mayonnaise and remaining Creole seasoning in a small bowl. Serve Creole mayonnaise with shrimp.
Mmmmmmmmm. Yummy!