Cheese and Garlic Biscuits

biscuits3

We were lucky enough to receive a gift card to Lobster Gram, a company that delivers live lobster and other super tasty seafood across the country.  I really enjoyed the Lobstergram experience, and I’ll tell you about that soon!  We received lobster tails, many many many lobster claws, and some incredible lobster bisque as part of our package.  To go along with the bisque, I wanted to make some biscuits – reminded of the Red Lobster biscuits that complement seafood anything so well.

I’m not much of a baker – that’s Sharon’s expertise – so I’ve never made biscuits before.  I could not believe how easy and quick they were to make!  They came out moist and rich – just the perfect bite or few to go along with the bisque.

biscuits2

Cheese and Garlic Biscuits
(makes about 10 biscuits)

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tbs butter, at room temperature
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 clove garlic, finely minced

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Mix  flour, salt, baking powder and butter together.  Combine with your hands until the butter is well mixed and the mixture is crumbly.  Add the milk and cheese and knead until a dough has formed.  Form dough into small balls, approximately 3 inches in diameter, and place on a greased cookie sheet, pressing down to form a biscuit shape.  The biscuits will bake for a total of approximately 15 minutes, or until slightly browned.

While the biscuits bake, melt remaining butter and mix with garlic.  Pour a teaspoon of butter on each of the biscuits after about 13 minutes of baking, and bake for another 2-3 minutes so the biscuits are shiny and golden.

food on,
-Shirley

biscuits1

Advertisements

Crab Cakes

_DSC0327
Growing up in New England, seafood was always abundant.  Lobster Rolls, Crab cakes, New England Clam Chowder, and the list goes on and on.  Most of these items are popular on menus throughout restaurants in every corner, but sometimes, it’s fun to take these items and make them at home.  It allows you to pick the ingredients, modify based on any preferences, and let’s face it, keep it a little bit healthier (How many cups of butter and heavy cream made up that chowder anyways?!).

One of the first seafood items that my mom brought home and made for us was crab cakes.  It allows you to control exactly how much crab (and what kind) goes into the mixture.  Enter crab cakes with  full of large chunks of crab and not so much fillers. I promise you won’t feel the urge to pay $15 for a jumbo crab cake at the local seafood restaurant anymore!!!

Crab Cakes
(makes 8 cakes)

1/2 onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic
1 cup vegetable oil
4 cans premium crab meat, drained
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs
2 tsp seasoned salt

Saute the onion and garlic with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in medium heat until the onion begins to caramelize and become clear.  In the meantime, in a large bowl, combine crab meat, hot sauce, breadcrumbs, eggs and seasonings.  Once the onions and garlic are ready, combine them with the other ingredients.  Add the remaining oil to a pan, ensuring oil is about 1-2 inches in height.  Turn pan on high heat and allow oil to get hot.  Once hot, use your hands to shape about 3/4 cup of batter into a ball, flatten with your hands, and place into hot oil.  Place 4-6 cakes into the pan, depending on size.  After approximately 5 minutes, flip each cake, and cook again for about 5 minutes, until both sides are nicely browned.  Remove from heat and enjoy with ketchup, tartar sauce, or your favorite condiment!!

food on,
– shirley

_DSC0309

baked & breaded tilapia

IMG_0582
I can’t say enough great things about this meal.  This is the quickest filling dish that I have ever cooked.  K and I walked in the apartment this evening, and from the time it took to take these filets out of the shopping bag and onto our plates, just 10 minutes had passed.  And that was with a side of roasted asparagus.  Can you imagine?!

Another great thing about this meal is that it is very versatile.  I tend to favor tilapia because I like the taste and I think the portion size is ideal.  However, I’ve made this [successfully] with scrod and cod as well.  I use Italian-style bread crumbs with the fish, because, well, it’s an easy fix for when I’m lazy.  But I do think it’s the perfect seasoning for this gentle fish.  However, you can definitely use unseasoned bread crumbs and season the fish with salt and pepper however you wish.

Season with bread crumbs.  Add butter.  Pop into the oven for 7 MINUTES.  Dinner is served!

Baked & Breaded Tilapia
(Serves 2-3)

4-5 filets of tilapia, about 1 pound
about 1 cup italian-style bread crumbs
1/4 cup salted butter, diced into small pieces

Preheat oven to 360 F.  Line a baking dish with aluminum foil.

Arrange the filets flat on the baking dish, side by side.  Add a thin layer of bread crumbs evenly on top of all the filets.  Then add the small pieces of butter over the bread crumbs, evenly spacing the butter throughout each filet.

Bake in the oven for 7 minutes and serve immediately.

– food on,
Sharon

IMG_0590

shrimp pad thai

pad thai 1

I have a confession for you guys.  And no, this one isn’t about being able to eat a pint of ice cream at any given moment, or the fact that I eat dinner just so that I don’t feel guilty about the brownie (or 6) I’ll eat after.  This one is about my obsession with Pinterest.  To this day, Sharon refuses to sign up, because she has seen how debilitating it’s been for me.  I’m sorry but I can’t help but spend hours scrolling through boards, planning my next meal or dessert, and of course don’t forget about my (dream) house that will have a 2 person shower, a giant meticulously organized kitchen, and of course a back yard pool, waterfall and jacuzzi.  I can’t help it.

One of the discoveries of Pinterest is this dish.  I was inspired by it because it looked so good, and involved flavors that I liked, but was not used to grouping together.  Shortly before I found this inspiration, we found a local Thai restaurant that. is. the. bomb.  So this dish only motivated me to recreate their tasty pad thai.  If you haven’t had Thai food before, check it out or make some at home.  It is the perfect mixture of other Asian flavors, with a home-y and comfort food feel to it.  Think of it as a chinese food take out kind of night, kicked up a notch.

Shrimp pad thai
(makes 2 servings)

8 ounces flat rice noodles
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
3 tbs soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp  Sriracha sauce (adjust based on spice tolerance)
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 red pepper (I used sweet pepper) cut into thin, 3 inch pieces
1 jalepano, thinly sliced
2 large eggs, light beaten (optional)
10 large shrimps
1/4 cup chopped peanuts or cashews

Prepare noodles according to package instructions and drain.  In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce and Sriracha.  In a wok (or saute pan), melt the coconut oil over high heat.  Add jalepano pepper, pepper, and any other vegetables you want and cook for about 1 minute, mixing frequently.  Move vegetables out of direct heat, and add eggs.  Scramble the eggs together and continously mix until the eggs are cooked.  Then, mix the vegetables into the egg, and add the shrimp.  Once the shrimp are cooked (or if using frozen shrimp, until they are hot), add the sauce and noodles.  Top pad thai with peanutes or cashews and a slice of lime.

pad thai 2

food on
– shirley

shrimp, asparagus, and tomato sauce over spaghetti

IMG_0499
I have a very special place in my heart for this meal.  It was the first meal K ever cooked for me.  He went all out, from buying the fresh shrimp, to deveining them one by one, and then watching carefully as everything cooked over the stove.  He did however use store-bought tomato sauce, but I’ve taught him since.  He knows better than that these days!

The flavors in this meal go perfectly together.  Shrimp, asparagus, and tomatoes are the staples, but we’ve added scallops to the mix on numerous occasions.  Aside from the cleaning of the shrimp (which you can have your store do for you, or use frozen shrimp), it’s a very simple dish that tastes amazing and looks equally impressive.

Shrimp, Asparagus, and Tomato Sauce over Spaghetti
(Serves 3-4)

3/4 pound spaghetti
1/2 pound asparagus, tough ends removed and cut into 1-inch segments
1 small onion, diced
2-3 cups of homemade tomato sauce, or about 1 24-oz jar of tomato sauce
1 pound fresh jumbo shrimp, top & bottom deveined, and shells & tails removed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving

Cook the spaghetti according to the directions on the box.  Drain completely and set aside.

Lightly oil a large frying pan at medium-high heat.  Add the onion and let cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the asparagus to the pan and mix.  Let cook for about 5 minutes.  Next, add the raw shrimp and mix.  Season with pepper.  Let the ingredients cook for about 5 minutes more, or until the shrimp is pink and the asparagus is tender.  Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil.  Serve the sauce over a bed of spaghetti, and garnish with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.

– food on,
Sharon

IMG_0500

poke

poke

About six months ago, J and I traveled to Hawaii.  While both of us had been there before, we were lucky enough to have some amazing hosts while we were there.  Brandon and his wife Jen are some of the most giving and wonderful people we have had the pleasure of spending time with.  They were amazing hosts.  And not to mention I’m pretty sure I wanted to take their (beyond) cute 2 daughters home with us at the end of the trip.

Between workouts (J was teaching judo in Hawaii and I tagged along), hikes, and laying on the beach, Brandon and Jen showed us a great time and took us to all the local hangouts.  This is just like why I like venturing off the beaten path when we travel – we got to taste some amazing, truly local cuisine and favorites.  One of the things that we ate was poke.  Poke is a japanese dish – raw tuna seasoned with spices, soy sauce, etc. and it tastes amazing.  It’s a great new way to enjoy Japanese food when eating sushi and sashimi gets boring.

While I’ve had Poke before, I returned from the trip missing the amazing flavors of Hawaii and inspired to recreate some myself.  Mission accomplished!  The tuna should be sashimi grade to make sure it’s fresh enough to eat raw.  The best bet for this is either a fish market, or for me, the asian supermarket that has a seafood section I could spend hours wandering through.  I also like to make this the day before to let the flavors marinate together.

Poke
(makes 2 servings)

1 pound sashimi grade tuna
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 green onion, cut into small slices
1/2 tsp grated ginger
3 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame seeds
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tbs sesame chili oil
3 cups white or brown rice, cooked

Cut tuna into small, 1 inch cubes.  In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients.  Add tuna and mix carefully using a spoon to completely cover the tuna.  Refrigerate overnight. Serve over rice, if desired.

poke2

food on
-Shirley

sausage and seafood jambalaya

jambalaya2

When J and I lived in upstate new york, we used to hit up the Bayou Cafe.  It was It was a local hangout for sure, and we normally would eat lunch there while we were the only people at the restaurant, while a few…errr…colorful folks hung out at the bar.  Our favorite dishes there were the jambalaya and their sweet potato fries.  They were both so good we still talk about them.  So a few weeks ago when we were reminiscing about our sweet old time in Scotia (ha!), I decided that jambalaya tastes too good to not eat more often, and set out on creating the dish on my own.

This is another recipe I like because it’s really versatile and I can make it with the things I have at home.  For proteins, I try to stick with some seafood and sausages.  Trader Joe’s has a frozen seafood mix with scallops, shrimp, and calamari that I love using for this recipe since it’s a one stop shop.  Although, if you have it on hand, any seafood (preferably 2+ kinds) would work.  For the sausage, I use the same idea, I’ve made it with hot or sweet italian sausage or (ideally, since it tasted so great) with andouille sausage.

Sausage and seafood jambalaya
serves 2-3

2 tbs coconut oil
1 jalepano pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, cut to 2-3 inch strips
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp chipotle pepper seasoning
1/2 tsp cumin
2 cups seafood
2-3 andouille sausages
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup chicken stock
3 cups brown rice, cooked

In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil).  Add jalepano pepper, garlic and onion and saute until garlic is fragrant.  Add red pepper and saute for an additional 2 minutes.  Slice sausage into 1/2 inch thick slices and add to skillet, along with seafood.  Continue to cook until sausage and seafood are cooked (depending on whether your protein is fresh, cooked, or frozen, you may need to add it earlier or later). Add seasoning, tomato sauce and chicken stock, mix, lower heat to low and bring to a simmer.  Serve over cooked brown rice.

jambalaya

food on
-shirley