Coconut Shrimp

With the Summer season nearing a close, I figured it would be a nice time to try something a little tropical. In this particular case I went ahead and made some homemade coconut shrimp.

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Hours before even doing anything on the side of cooking, I made a marinade mixture of lemon juice, lime juice, ancho chile pepper, salt, and cracked pepper. I let the shrimp marinade for about 6 hours. Initially to the shrimp, I put them in a bowl, added flour and mixed good until a nice coating and the outside of the shrimp were on the dry side. I then took a few egg yolks, some shredded coconut, some bread crumbs and combined with the shrimp until a nice thick coating was on the shrimp. In a large pan, I poured in some grape-seed oil and brought to high heat. I then tossed in the shrimp and cooked on both sides until browned.

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Though it is hard to see because of the bowl, as a side dish I made some Kaniwa, which is a South American grain close to quinoa. I put them in simmering water, added some butter, some diced up mango, salt and pepper and cooked until the water had fully soaked in. I placed a layer of the kaniwa in the bottom of the bowl. I then placed a thin layer of savoy cabbage and finally topped with the shrimp.

As a sauce, I took some mango I had diced up, added some sugar, some lemon juice, some balsamic vinegar, some white wine and brought to a simmer. I then covered and let simmer for about 10 minutes. At this point, the mango was soft enough I could mash it with a spoon to make a thick mango puree.

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Enjoy.

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Some Stuffed Chicken

Today I kept it simple on the side of prep work but still be able to combine various flavors.

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I started off with some boneless chicken thighs which I stuffed with some pea-shoots and some cheddar. I folded the thighs over and made a rub of sweet paprika, ground mustard, salt, pepper, and wasabi powder. I put the thighs in an oven dish which I poured in a mixture of water-soy sauce and let cook in the oven.

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While this was cooking, I made a “pancake” of millet, pea-shoots, egg, salt and pepper. I did this in my 8 inch pan with some grape-seed oil and cooked until slightly browned on each side. I then drizzled honey on the pancake (placed some on the side as well) and placed the chicken on top. With the earthy and spicy flavors found in both the pancake and on the chicken, the honey provided a refreshing contrast.

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Enjoy.

Branzino…A Summertime Fish

A big part of my summertime eating experiences is broadly characterized under the category of seafood. However there are a few specifics which to me are part of what is defined as genuine summertime meals and tonight’s dish is one of those.

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Most of the time I would be fine with either a fish filet or fish portion. In this particular instance, I must have the whole Branzino aka European Sea-bass aka Bronzini. My take on it tonight was rather simple. Butterfly cut the whole body, I sprinkled in some ancho chili powder, some pink salt, layered inside some organic pea shoots and thin slices of fresh lime and then closed it up. On top I made some thin lemon slices and topped with halved heirloom tomatoes. This was then broiled in the oven with a coastal white wine/ olive oil blend.

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My first side dish was broccoli rabe with shiitake mushrooms and coriander seeds. Initially the rabe and mushrooms went into a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes. It was then drained and placed into ice water. In a pan I added in some butter, coriander seeds, pink salt, sliced garlic, and sauteed the garlic. Upon slightly browning of the garlic I added in the rabe and mushrooms and sauteed them in the pan for a few more minutes.

My second side dish was golden mashed potatoes. A rather simple dish with a few added flavors of truffle infused olive oil and some fresh asiago cheese. This was then topped with some organic pea shoots.

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Enjoy.

A mixed variety day stemming from breakfast foods to snacks to Risotto

With the way rotating shift schedule is in the lab this happened to be the week where I have the “midweek weekend” while next week I will have a 3-day weekend. So on the second day of being off, I was getting a little too bored and started some extra meal/meal planning.

The midday point started off with making some muffins. I figure with the way the work schedule is (and the fact that until I move in October I have an hour or so commute) quick foods are the best bet and nothing is quite like homemade muffins (can also be frozen for future usage).

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I first started off with some blueberry-strawberry muffins with some added honey to the batter which turned out quite tasty (the berries inside were moist and juicy when first out of the oven. The second type I made was more of “hmm, what do I have lying around from other projects, snacks, etc.” so I gathered some bananas, some walnuts, and a white chocolate bar and made a muffin batter with said ingredients as well as some spices and boy were they tasty.

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On to the next food creation of the day. While at Wegman’s, I was in the mood for a good craft beer so I picked up some Ommegang Hennepin (highly recommended, awesome for this time of year with the spices of coriander, ginger, and orange peel. An all-around amazing Saison). So what would go good with this? How about some homemade salsa.

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I kept it simple yet amazing. I utilized some nice heirloom tomatoes, some red onion, scallions, cilantro, lemon juice, fresh avocado, and some poblano peppers (added a nice kick but not too strong as to offset the flavors of all the other fresh herbs and vegetables). A nice afternoon pairing with the ale.

Somewhere in between all of this I made up some homemade buffalo sauce with some very hot chilis (hotter than jalapenos and some mango) but that post will come when i actually make the wings (currently frozen drenched with sauce).

So on to the main course. At first I wasn’t sure what I wanted to add to this, but after a few purchases, I decided to go with a bit of a seafood combination. So the risotto I made had shrimp, squid, asparagus, and shiitake mushrooms (initially sauteed in oil, garlic, and lemon juice).

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The arborio rice was initially put in the deep skillet and slightly heated. For my first liquid addition I did a combination of a white wine/ stock blend (had a homemade chicken stock from a while back chilling in the freezer). I then stirred while it simmered. Overall you do this a cup at a time with the stock until around 5 cups (it takes somewhere around 20 minutes or so to go through that process. Towards the end, I added in the blend of vegetables and seafood and let simmer a few minutes longer as to incorporate all of the flavors.

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Enjoy.

Salmon with a Homemade Honey-Orange Soy Glaze

With having some extra time, I decided to make a nice Salmon dish for dinner. The salmon itself did not take too long to prepare or cook for that matter but the roasted artichoke took some extra time in the oven. However, once it got prepped and put in the oven there was more than enough time to prep and cook the rest of the meal.

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I’ll start off with the artichoke. Cut off some of the outermost leaves and for the rest cut the sharp tips off. I soaked the artichoke in some water and then cut the artichoke in half. I spooned on some lemon juice and then brushed on some olive oil and coated with some cracked peppercorn and some salt. I sliced up an orange and placed the slices on a sheet tray. I then put the artichoke halves on top of the slices (cut side down) and roasted for about 45 minutes on 425.

Staying on par with the citrusy accents, for the salmon I made a quick glaze of fresh squeezed orange juice, honey, and soy sauce. I then glazed the salmon and topped with roasted sesame seeds. In similar fashion with the artichoke I cooked on the sheet tray over orange slices as well (put that on the tray with about 20 minutes or so left on the artichokes).

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The third course was simply wild rice and I threw in some shiitake mushrooms in the boiling process as well as some sage and some chili powder.

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Enjoy.

Borrowed Idea— Apple Strudel

One of the many things I love about having the blog is interacting with fellow bloggers and coming across many ideas which may be good as they are to try or in some cases tailoring recipes to your own liking/cravings.

In this particular case, I had borrowed the recipe by Liz over at MY FAVOURITE PASTIME and made some tweaks to an already amazing apple strudel.

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If you are following the original recipe, nothing really changes with the dough except I added a little vanilla extract at that point. To make it easier for you, here is the original dough:

  • 225g (13/4 cup, 8oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil
  • 4-5 tablespoons tepid water (I added 4 tablespoons water)
  • ½ teaspoon cider vinegar—

I did not use the vinegar instead I just poured in some vanilla extract.

The major changes in my version came a little but in the way of making the filling. To make it easier for you here is Liz’ original filling:

  • 450g (1Ib) cooking apples (I used 4 apples, granny smith)
  • 75g sugar (⅓ cup, 3oz) If you want it sweeter, please suit your palate and double or triple
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 40g (1½oz) flaked almonds
  • 50g (⅓ cup, 2oz) seedless raisins
  • I tablespoon grated lemon or lime rind (I used lime rind)

In my case, I went with Granny Smith apples as well (they are by far my favorite) and in the realm of sugar I did a combination of plain old sugar and some brown sugar. I’m also not a big raisin guy but I do love cranberries so I switched to Craisins. My next major change is how/when I prepared my filling. The original recipe called for making it as close to filling time as possible. Me, I like things to marinate and ferment, so before letting the dough rest for an hour, I prepared the apples (put in bowl with some lemon juice so they do not brown), added the craisins, the almonds, and besides cinnamon I added some ground clove and some nutmeg. To really strengthen what I will call my “fall flavors” I added in a few teaspoons of pot-distilled rum, mixed well and set covered in fridge for close to an hour and a half. I then took the recipe through to the end from that point with using melted butter to close up the strudels and to baste before cooking in the oven.

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Thanks again Liz for a creation worth remaking. Looking forward to many more.

 

*Post Edit: Forgot to mention, after the baking time, I knocked off the roasted almonds off the top, brushed with honey and stuck them back on. Yes I know I could have roasted them on the side however, it was a post baking thought that popped to mind. 🙂