Saturday, March 30, 2013

Green Goddess Dip

This is an easy to make dip and it is SO flavorful.  Nice ripe avocados are a MUST so it does take some planning.  I had some ripe avocados and I didn't have the ingredients to make a guacamole, so I whipped this up and I was pleased with it.  

  • 2 Hass avocados
  • 1 envelope of Ranch Dip Mix
  • 1 (16 oz.) sour cream
  • 1 t. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  1. Cut the avocados and mash with a fork in a bowl.
  2. Combine the sour cream with the Ranch Mix, then the Creole Seasoning in another bowl.
  3. Fold the avocados in last.
  4. Refrigerate for 2 hours and then serve with tortilla chips or veggies.
Tips and Tricks:
  • Be sure to buy your avocados a few days before you want to make this dip.  You want the avocados to be VERY ripe and creamy.
  • I use light sour cream.
  • I serve this dip with cucumbers, French green beans or asparagus and bite size tortilla chips.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cashew Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas

This is my attempt to make Oriental food at home.  I really liked the flavor of this dish and it was 6 generous servings.  I didn’t add salt or MSG (I think the soy sauce made it salty enough).  I got this recipe from Kevin at “Closet Cooking”.
  • 8 chicken tenders or 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. peanut butter
  • ¼ C. soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced and zest
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T. fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 T. chili sauce
  • 2 t. sesame oil
  • ¼ C. cilantro, chopped
  • ½ C. cashews
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 lb. Sugar Snap Peas
  1. Cut all fat, skin, or tendons from the chicken and cut into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the chicken and saut̩ until cooked through about 5 Р6 minutes.
  4. Mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, chili sauce, and sesame oil in a bowl.
  5. Pour the mixture over the chicken and toss to coat. 
  6. Add the cilantro, cashews, green onions and Sugar Snap Peas and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Serve over rice.
Tips and Tricks:
  • I used Sambal chili sauce but you can use Chili Garlic Sauce as well.
  • The Sugar Snap Peas and cilantro are not necessary ingredients, but they both give the dish a great flavor.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Crawfish Boil

This is my Dad’s recipe.  He liked the combination of the citrus and the liquid and powdered crab boil.  We like it, too!  
  • 5 onions, cut in half
  • 5 lemons, cut in half
  • 5 oranges, cut in half
  • 5 heads of garlic, top cut off
  • 1 C. Zatarain's liquid crab boil, concentrated
  • 1 sack size container (4.5 lbs.) Zatarain's powdered crab boil
  • 2 C. salt
  • 3 lbs. new potatoes
  • 30 - 40 lbs. crawfish
  • 1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into bite size pieces
  • 12 mini ears of corn, frozen
  • 1 lb. of Crimini or button mushrooms
  • 10 lbs. ice
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  1. Place the crawfish in a cooler and fill with fresh water, allow the crawfish to sit in the water for a few minutes while you prepare the boiling pot.
  2. Fill the boiling pot with water, half-full.  Allow the water to come to a full boil while you squeeze the lemons and oranges into the water.
  3. Drop the onions, garlic, liquid crab boil, powdered crab boil, salt, and potatoes into the pot.
  4. Drain the water from the cooler, if it is murky; rinse the crawfish again with fresh water.  If the water is clear, the crawfish are ready for the pot.
  5. Once the water comes to a boil, allow the potatoes to boil for 15 minutes, and then add the crawfish and the sausage.
  6. Allow the water to come back to a boil and then cut the heat.
  7. Add the frozen corn, mushrooms and the ice.  Put the cover on the pot and allow the crawfish to sit for at least 25 minutes, and then fish a few out of the pot to test their texture and spicy level.
  8. If they are difficult to peel, they may need a little more time, if they aren’t spicy enough, you can add some cayenne pepper to the water at this time, maybe ½ C.
  9. Drain the ingredients and serve hot!
Tips and Tricks:
  • We use 4 boiling bags: one for the veggies and citrus, one for the potatoes, and one for the sausage, and one for the corn and mushrooms.  It makes it easy to pull the bags out of the pot and makes it easy to keep things separated.
  • You will need about 4 lbs. of crawfish per person.
  • If you are boiling more than 30 – 40 lbs. of crawfish, you can use the same water for the second boil.  We use the same recipe, but keep in mind the crawfish are usually salter and spicier on round two.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Shrimp Salad

This is a great way to serve up some leftover boiled shrimp.  It is a Barefoot Contessa recipe.  The amount of mayonnaise is adjustable.  It should be creamy, but not soupy.
  • 2 lbs. boiled shrimp, chopped
  • ½ C. red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 C. celery, finely chopped
  • ¼ C. dill, finely chopped
  • 1 C. mayonnaise
  • ½ T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. white wine vinegar or white wine
  • 1 t. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • ½ t. black pepper
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, onions, celery, and dill.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all other ingredients until well incorporated.
  3. Pour the small bowl into the medium bowl and mix well.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but best overnight.
  5. Serve over a bed of lettuce or with crackers.
Tips and Tricks:
  • This is great to make when you have some leftover boiled shrimp. 
  • I use apple cider vinegar, if I don’t have white wine vinegar or white wine.
  • Sometimes I add 3 or 4 boiled eggs to this recipe, also.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Coconut Curry Chicken Soup (Curry Mee)

I had this soup for the first time at a Saints party.  I have been planning to make it for over a year and I finally did.  On my first attempt, I used rice noodles not glass or cellophane noodles, well the rice noodles soaked up all of the liquid and I was left with a soggy stew-like paste (very tasty paste, but paste all the same).  Round two: glass noodles, and wait till the soup is served to place them in the bowl.  Much better!
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 C. onions, finely chopped
  • 1 T. ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 T. red Thai curry paste (more or less depending on your heat level)
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into bite size pieces (about 2 breasts or 5 tenderloins)
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans coconut milk
  • 1 qt. (4 C.) chicken stock
  • 2 T. fish sauce
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 2-inch strips
  • 1 C. sugar snap peas
  • ½ C. green onions, finely chopped
  • ¼ C. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 8 oz. glass noodles
  1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the onions and ginger in the vegetable oil until soft about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and the curry paste and cook for one minute.
  3. Add the chicken and stir fry for two minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk and incorporate the curry paste into the milk.
  5. Add the chicken stock, fish sauce, sugar, red bell pepper and sugar snap peas.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer until the chicken is cooked through about 10 minutes.
  7. While the soup simmers, prepare the glass noodles by boiling in water for 4 minutes.  Rinse and drain.  Reserve.
  8. Add the green onions, cilantro, and lime juice to the soup and allow to simmer for an additional 3 minutes.
  9. Place the glass noodles in the bottom of the soup bowl and ladle the soup over the noodles.
  10. Serve with sambal (chili paste) for those who like extra heat!
Tips and Tricks:
  • If you use leftover chicken for this recipe, you’ll need about 2 C. chopped.  Just wait and add it when you add the snap peas and bell pepper.
  • Don’t be tempted to add the noodles to the soup pot.  They soak up all of the soup.  (I know because that’s what I did.)
  • This soup freezes great!