8.01.2014

Low Country Boil In A Bowl

It's been pretty hot here these last few days and I've been trying to stick to my healthy eating.......but just the thought of turning on the stove......
WHEW!!!!!

Now that I'm down to my last serving of Salmon Chowder, I've decided to carry myself through the rest of the sweltering week with a big ole pot of Low Country Boil In A Bowl!! 

Spicy, savory, packed with seafood.......and tastes WONDERFUL both  hot & cold!!!


Low Country Bowl In A Bowl
  • 8 ounces (about 8 slices) bacon, chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • onion, chopped 
  • orange or red bell pepper, chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth 
  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 4 medium) Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 to 1 piece of canned chipotle chile* in adobo, minced 
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp 
  • 1-2 pounds crawfish 
  • 1 pkg. Andouille Sausage, sliced
  • Garnish: fresh parsley leaves 
  • *1/2-1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning & 1 Bay Leaf may be used instead of chile

Directions

Cook Time: 
Prep Time: 
  1. 1. Cook bacon in a large (8-quart) soup pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Remove bacon from pot with a slotted spoon, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pot; set bacon aside.
  2. 2. Add butter to bacon drippings in pot, and melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and next 4 ingredients; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. 3. Stir in broth, potatoes, and chile* (start with 1/2 chile). Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in corn, crawfish & sausage; cook 5-8 minutes. 
  4. 4. Add shrimp; cook 3-5 minutes or until shrimp are just cooked through. Stir in reserved bacon. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Garnish, if desired. Remove bay leaf before serving. 
(*Adapted from recipe by Julia Dowling Rutland, Coastal Living 
November 2012)

That's it!! Serve piping hot or let sit a day in the fridge for the flavors to meld. The seafood and sausage are also good in salads, on sandwiches, or over scrambled eggs!!



This should hold us until it cools down enough to turn the oven on again......



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7.28.2014

Salmon Chowder

One thing that has helped me eat better this month is.....soup! Not that sodium & fat laden stuff in a can, but fresh, flavorful, homemade soup....made by my very own hands!

The possibilities are ENDLESS when it comes to making a pot of soup for yourself! You don't have to follow a recipe, but if you do......this one is one of the BEST I've found!

SALMON CHOWDER!!!!


Doesn't it look yummy?!?

I happened across this recipe two years ago in an issue of Coastal Living Magazine and once I tweaked it a bit, it was perfect for me!! Heres the recipe....

Salmon Chowder 
*adapted from recipe found in Coastal Living Magazine 2012

3 tablespoons bacon fat, rendered
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 to 1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh fennel fronds
6 cups reduced sodium chicken broth or stock
2 cups diced yellow potatoes
1 to 3 tablespoons hot sauce
1.5 cups heavy cream
1 pound skinless wild salmon, cut into pieces

Directions

1. Render fat from bacon on low heat; reserve 3 tablespoons. 
2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add bacon fat, onion, celery, and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until translucent. 
3. Add flour, and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in garlic powder and next 4 ingredients; cook 1 minute. 
4. Stir in chicken stock and next 3 ingredients. Bring to a simmer; cook 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through. Add salmon; cook until done. 
Add salt to taste. 
Makes 6 to 8 servings. 

THAT'S IT!!!!

It's so easy and only takes about 30 minutes to make! I like mine with fresh warm french bread slathered in butter and honey...........yum!!!

I've even added shrimp & mussels like this variation seen below;



Either way, it's the perfect meal to take you from flab to flyy......any month of the year!! 



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5.09.2014

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Last weekend, among other things, I made Spinach Artichoke Dip!! The hubby enjoys it as much as I do, so for the big fight, I made him his own batch. A few days ago I posted a pic and you guys asked for the recipe! So here it is.......


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4.29.2014

Chinese Chicken Wings

   October-January is my favorite time of year!!! Halloween, Thanksgivng, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Years's Day are all a cause for some type of gathering....big or small....in our family. For some of you the flurry of the holiday season has come to an end! You are sadly packing away the decorations, putting the tree at the curb, and already longing for Christmas 2014!! 
Luckily at my house......It. Ain't. Ovah!!!!!

My husband is a sports fanatic! Sure, he has his favorite teams in each sport, but he's always down to watch a game whenever....wherever! For him, New Year's Day is just an indication that he doesn't have to wait long for the Super Bowl!!!
And by Super Bowl, I mean Super Spread!!!!

He has already placed his order and is happily anticipating it's arrival. So far, he has requested;
1. Chicken Wings
   - Honey BBQ
   - Buffalo
   - Chinese Style (baked or fried)
2.  Loaded Potato Skins
3.  Mega Veggie Platter
4.  Bacon Cheddar Sliders
5. Cinnamon or Orange Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
6. Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
........and of course, his favorite beer. 

Whether you cringed at the fat laden menu in horror or stared at it in longing makes no difference....he's gonna eat it anyway! LOL!!

Sure, you can google any and all of the things above, but since I haven't shared one of my personal recipes yet, humor me and just follow along!! 


You may have noticed above that he requested his Chinese Chicken Wings either baked or fried. I prepare them two ways because one is reminiscent of our favorite Chinese food restaurant, and the other is a more hoitty toitty version you might expect at an nice luncheon or upscale baby shower. 


For efficiency sake I will be making the fried version the day of the game since I will be doing more than one flavor and I need the oven for the sweet rolls. You aren't outta luck though.....because either way you choose to prepare the chicken, it's gonna be good!! Now let's get started.…


Chinese Chicken Wings
25-30 Chicken Wing Segments
2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
2 cups Fresh Orange Juice
1 cup Honey
1/2 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4-1/2 tsp. Chinese Five Spice
1/2 cup Chopped Garlic
1/2 cup Fresh Ginger
1/4 tsp. Cornstarch
1/4-1/2 tsp. Crushed Red Chiles (optional)
Zest 1 Orange
Green onions, sliced
Black & White Sesame Seeds; for garnish


1. Prepare segmented wings by method of choice; let cool slightly. 
2. Sauté garlic in sesame oil until fragrant. (about 1 minute)
3. Add remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine and bring to a boil. 
4. Reduce & Simmer for about 10 minutes until thick. 
5. Dissolve cornstarch in small amount of cold water & add to pot. 
6. Cook 5 more minutes to thicken. Remove from heat. 
7. Let cool about 10 minutes, then toss wings in desired amount of sauce. 
8. Garnish with green onion, sesame seeds & orange zest. 
9. Enjoy!!




Enjoy!



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4.28.2014

Oven Roasted Crab Legs

   I LOVE Red Lobster, but alas.....our love can never be! The amount of salt in their meals makes me swell and gives me massive headaches! Who's gonna go through all that for some damn Admiral's Feast?!? Not me......that's who!!

I decided to try my hand at combining my two favorite flavors......crab legs and scampi......to recreate my favorite meal.....without adding salt!
It. Was. AWESOME!! 

I even added Parmesan & Garlic Red Mashed Potatoes and plates the crab over my salad so when I drizzled them with pan drippings, I wouldn't need salad dressing!

All you'll need is:
- Crab Legs
- Olive Oil (1/2-1 tsp.)
- Garlic ( pressed, minced, or grated)
- Salt Free Seasoning
- Lemon Wedges

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare crab legs by slightly cracking shells and claw. 
2. Drizzle crab lightly with Olive oil. 
3. Sprinkle with seasoning & garlic to your preference. 
4. Roast 15-20 minutes or until shells start to blister. 
5. Baste halfway through with pan drippings. Do not let garlic burn!
6. Remove from oven. Drizzle with pan drippings, lemon juice, or both! 
Enjoy!

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3.31.2014

The Apple Pie of my Eye

I like pie. 
Apple pie...to be exact.
Warm.
With rich French vanilla ice cream.
Like this.....

Image
I mean, the perfect blend of flaky, yet slightly doughy, crust.....thick cinnamon filling...firm aromatic apples...served warm next to smooth, rich, creamy & cold French vanilla ice cream.....
....all intended to create a puddle of gooey, appley, creamy decadence in the bottom of the bowl at the end.

JESUS.

The world seems to be on a fitness kick this time of year so I set out to find some recipes that would give me the experience with less of the guilt. 
Not that I have any guilt whatsoever.....but you may not be as committed to your love affair with pie, so I'mma look out for you.
There are a million and one pie recipes out there, but I wanted to share some of the few that I find to be unique.


Find the yummy recipe here!
This version is made without pie crust and only takes about 10 minutes!!! 

This next recipe delivers the goods in a smaller package! I found this Mason Jar Apple Pie a la Mode recipe at Hello Giggles!
Mason Jar Apple Pie a la Mode
This is a great example of portion control. Most dessert servings are way too big anyway and after the first few bites, your tongue is incapable of savoring what you are eating as intensely as it did the first bite. The key to paring down successfully is to trade size for style!

If you prefer your pie to pack a little more punch.....these next two recipes will blow your pie loving mind!!!


What could I say BESIDES, TRY IT!!! Recipe 
  
If you prefer something a bit more unorthodox but no less intense.....Apple Pie Moonshine by Foodie with Family!!
A dab will do ya!! Recipe here!!

Of course, I couldn't leave out the ones that may prefer to go a more...shall we say, gentle route.....
Make these with the kids!! Recipe here!

...And if you prefer, here's a SHOCKER!!! LOL! Apple Pie a la Mode Protein Smoothie by Lexi's Clean Kitchen!!! 
This one is sooo good! Recipe here!
I must admit that this was my recipe of choice last night during my INTENSE craving!!! I had to test it for you guys!! It really hit the spot and left me satisfied........I wouldn't have made it through The Good Wife without it!! Thanks Lexi!!

You can try one....or all of the recipes I've shown you today.......or thank the pie loving gods for your immense self control and strong will!! I, on the other hand, am not built to live without sweets.....or tell myself that I will, for that matter!! You may have different views, but I refuse to use this blog to debate several things.....including, but not limited to;
-Politics
-Homosexuality
-Social Justice
-Natural Hair Types & Associated Hierarchy
-Pie Consumption & Global Impact

I say, eat what you like, but be kind enough to yourself to own the responsibility for it's consequences on your life and health.

I mean, how are you going to enjoy yourself if you are living in the state of DENIAL?!?

They don't even serve pie there!!!! 

So, the next time you can admit the need to indulge....and do so responsibly.......give good 'ole apple pie a try! 









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3.05.2014

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Imagine my surprise when I posted a pic on Instagram of my BBQ chicken and some sweet soul actually wanted the recipe!!!
As promised, I am going to share the recipe with you and I hope to the heavens you like it!! It was a struggle figuring out what measurements I use.....since I don't actually measure! LOL! 
Somehow, I managed to get it done, so here you go!

Sweet & Smoky BBQ Sauce
(makes 5-6 cups)

- 2 cups Ketchup
- 2 cups Tomato Sauce
- 1 cup Clover Honey
- 1 tablespoon Yellow Mustard
- 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 4 teaspoons Liquid Smoke (hickory flavored)
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil *see note*
- 1/2 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder 
- 1/4 teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 
- 1/8 - 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons salt free seasoning blend


(*Note: if you are going to use the sauce on chicken with skin or ribs....omit the above mentioned oil. If you choose to use this sauce in other applications, follow the directions above.)

Directions

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until well blended. If using as a marinade, skip to step 3.

2. Transfer desired amount to a pot and let simmer for 20- 30 minutes or  until desired thickness. Serve warm or cool to room temp for marinade. 

3. Use 1-2 cups to marinate raw meat and allow to sit, covered or sealed, for 4-24 hours. 

4. Drain excess marinade BEFORE cooking!! Baste meats the last 30 minutes of cooking time with fresh sauce and pan drippings. 

5. Store cool & unused sauce in an airtight container in the fridge (7-14 days) or freezer (up to 3 months)







Easy as pie......or chicken, for that matter! This sauce goes well with just about .....anything! Have it over quinoa.....use it in place of soy sauce in fried rice......try it in a stir fry.......even use it to wake up an egg white omelette!!

The base of this BBQ sauce can also be morphed into a meatloaf glaze or a great sloppy joe sauce I just may share with you as well! Try it and tell me what you think!

So, the next time you're struggling to make food that's good for you and tastes......uh, good......
.......make a batch of Sweet & Smoky BBQ Sauce to save the day!  

Enjoy!
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