Tag Archives: Peppers

Lemon Garlic Shrimp w/ Spaghetti Squash

Lemon Garlic Spaghetti Squash

So we are well into the New Year, and it’s definitely time to up my game and start smashing my fitness and healthy cooking and eating goals for this year.

I’ve joined a new gym, hired a Personal Trainer and committing to doing Yoga, Pilates, Barre and weight training plus lots of walking at least 4 times a week from now on. I’m also focusing on lower carb eating for a while – cutting out sugar, processed foods, carb loaded foods. And drinking more water, getting more rest and taking my vitamins. The list goes on! Gosh, getting healthy and in shape is not easy.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

I decided to make a lighter version of Lemon Garlic Shrimp Spaghetti that’s normally loaded. I swapped out healthy spaghetti squash roasted with olive oil, sea salt and pepper instead of pasta to lighten up the carbs and calories.

Spaghetti Squash

Then I simply shredded it into spaghetti strands with a fork…

Sautéed Lemon Garlic Shrimp

and sautéed some sliced fresh garlic and shrimp in olive oil, butter, red chile pepper,  fresh parsley and a big splash of fresh lemon juice. YUM!

Lemon Garlic Roasted Spaghetti Squash

It’s so light and delicious i don’t even miss the pasta or bread (truly!) This lovely dish is also low in calories and high in protein – two staples to losing weight. Not to mention staying full and energized without the sugar highs and lows from eating all those heavy carbs.

You can also add more veggies to the dish if you like..try sautéing some mushrooms, zucchini, cherry tomatoes or bell peppers and adding them to the mix. I absolutely love the possibilities of this dish! Who needs pasta when you have delicious buttery strands of squash instead? Please add your comments below on how you would make or alter the dish – creativity is good!

Hope you enjoy the recipe and here’s to happy and healthy New Year to all of you. xx

Lemon Garlic Shrimp w/ Spaghetti Squash

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: Makes 4-5 cups Spaghetti Squash and approximately 3 cups of Lemon Garlic Shrimp, serving 2.

This light and healthy dish is made with roasted spaghetti squash topped with sautéed shrimp, garlic, olive oil, chile flakes, lemon and parsley. Super easy and tasty and low on the carbs!

Ingredients

  • Roasted Spaghetti Squash:
  • 1 (3-pound) spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon Garlic Shrimp:
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (16-20 ct)
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch of red pepper chile flakes
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Roasted Spaghetti Squash:
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds and inner membranes. Drizzle and rub squash with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the halves, cut side down, in a large baking dish and roast squash for 35-45 minutes until tender.
  5. Remove squash from oven and turn side up, letting it cool for about 10 minutes.
  6. Scrape the inside of the squash with a fork to make spaghetti strands and serve with the Lemon Garlic Shrimp.
  7. Lemon Garlic Shrimp:
  8. Heat oil and butter over medium-high heat in a skillet until shimmering, then add the sliced garlic and cook while stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
  9. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring constantly, until shrimp are slightly cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. Add the lemon juice, red pepper flakes and parsley; toss to combine.
  10. Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve immediately over roasted spaghetti squash.
  11. Garnish with additional fresh parsley and grated parmesan cheese, if desired.
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http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/01/31/lemon-garlic-shrimp-w-spaghetti-squash/

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Elderberry Lime Chicken & Veggie Kabobs + Heirloom Tomato, Peach & Mozzarella Salad

Grilled Chicken and Veggie Kabobs

I love grilling in the Summertime – and there’s nothing easier, tastier and healthier than Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs!

Heirloom Tomato, Peach & Mozzarella Salad

I also love a delicious salad using the fruits and veggies of the season – try my Heirloom Tomato, Peach & Mozzarella Salad which is bursting with fresh flavors!

Grilled Chicken & Veggie Kabobs

I developed these recipes for my client Seven Barrels, who makes spectacular infused olive oils and vinegars. I wanted to create a refreshing recipe for their Summer promotion, so I created a marinade for the kabobs and a vinaigrette dressing for the salad using their Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar and Lime Olive Oil – a delicious combination!

Heirloom Tomato Peach Mozzarella Salad

Hope you’re enjoying your Summer and enjoy these recipes at your next cookout! 🙂

Check out Seven Barrels website for more product information

Grilled Chicken & Veggie Kabobs

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4 to 6

Grilled chicken and summer veggie kabobs in an Elderberry Lime Marinade - perfect for Summer!

Ingredients

  • Grilled Chicken & Veggie Kabobs:
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs (skinless), cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 bell peppers (red, yellow, orange or green), cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large red onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into large chunks
  • 1 large yellow squash, cut into large chunks
  • 1 cup Elderberry Lime Marinade (recipe follows)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Elderberry Lime Marinade:
  • ½ cup Seven Barrels Lime Olive Oil
  • ½ cup Seven Barrels Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup Seven Barrels Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil or parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Grilled Chicken & Veggie Kabobs:
  2. Place chicken and vegetables in large plastic ziplock bags and pour 1/2 of the Elderberry Lime Marinade over each, letting marinade in the fridge for at least two hours up to eight hours.
  3. Pre-soak wooden skewers in water for at least 15-20 minutes, and preheat grill on medium-high heat.
  4. Thread the chicken and vegetables evenly spaced on separate skewers and discard the marinade except for a small amount to use while grilling.
  5. Lightly oil the grate and grill chicken skewers until opaque and juices run clear (about 12-15 minutes) and the vegetable skewers for about 8-12 minutes until soft and beginning to brown. Turn and brush with extra marinade frequently. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Transfer the skewers to a warm platter and serve immediately.
  7. Elderberry Lime Marinade:
  8. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, basil or parsley, garlic salt and black pepper. Cover and set aside until ready to marinade the chicken and vegetables.
  9. Makes 1 ¼ cups.
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http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2016/08/03/elderberry-lime-chicken-veggie-kabobs-heirloom-tomato-peach-mozzarella-salad/

Heirloom Tomato, Peach & Mozzarella Salad

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6-8

A gorgeous Summer salad made with heirloom tomatoes, fresh peaches, mozzarella, basil, arugula in an Elderberry Lime vinaigrette dressing topped with sunflower seeds.

Ingredients

  • Heirloom Tomato, Peach & Mozzarella Salad:
  • 2 large handfuls of baby arugula
  • 2 peaches, cut into wedges
  • 1 Heirloom tomato, cut into wedges
  • ½ cup cooked corn
  • ½ cup cucumber, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 ball of burrata or fresh mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • Fresh basil
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Elderberry Lime Vinaigrette:
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup Seven Barrels Elderberry balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup Seven Barrels Lime Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Heirloom Tomato, Peach & Mozzarella Salad:
  2. On a large plate, arrange the arugula, peaches and heirloom tomato wedges. Sprinkle corn and cucumber over the salad.
  3. Carefully rip the ball of burrata or mozzarella into pieces and scatter on top of the salad along with the cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with toasted sunflower seeds, salt and pepper and a few basil leaves.
  4. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of the Elderberry Lime vinaigrette and serve immediately. Serve with extra dressing and additional salt and pepper, if desired.
  5. Elderberry Lime Vinaigrette:
  6. Combine all the ingredients except the olive oil in a medium bowl and whisk together well. Once combined, stream in the olive oil and continue to whisk until the vinaigrette comes together. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
  7. Note: The dressing can be stored and refrigerated for 1 week.
  8. Makes approximately 3/4 cup.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2016/08/03/elderberry-lime-chicken-veggie-kabobs-heirloom-tomato-peach-mozzarella-salad/

 

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Seafood Corn Chowder

Seafood Corn Chowder

Now that summer is coming to an end, I thought it would be appropriate to make one last dish to celebrate the season. And what would be better than something with fresh seafood and something that requires minimum cooking effort in this scorching weather?

Seafood

I decided to make a delicious Seafood Corn Chowder, chock full of seafood – lobster, scallops, crabmeat, shrimp, fresh corn,

fresh veggies

and all kinds of fresh veggies – multi-colored bell peppers, onions, potatoes, garlic and spices, all cooked in a chicken stock finished with cream and garnished with fresh chives and parsley.

Seafood Corn Chowder 2

I made this chowder in my gorgeous KitchenAid® Professional Seven-Ply 8-Quart Stockpot, which is perfect for making soups, stews, chili, and one-pot dishes for a crowd.

Pour Cream

It’s extra large and made out of multi-layered stainless steel so it’s sturdy and heats up quickly and evenly. It also has optional pasta and steamer inserts, which I love, that fit right inside the large pot and lid. This is definitely one of my favorite go-to pots that I use for everything and it all fits conveniently together with a stainless steel lid to seal in moisture and heat.

Seafood Corn Chowder 3

It’s heaven in a bowl, really.

READ THE FULL STORY & GET THE RECIPE ON THE KITCHENAID BLOG HERE

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Savory Herb and Cheese Scone Calzones with Sausage, Veggies & Cheese on the KitchenAid blog!

KA_Blog_SconeCalzone

 

Baked calzones are one of my favorite Italian dishes to make when I want an alternative to pizza or pasta. Calzones are savory turnovers filled with meat, veggies and cheese, baked into little pockets of tasty goodness, served with a side of fresh tomato sauce for dipping.

For a recent KitchenAid recipe challenge for the Kitchenthusiast blog, I made some delicious Savory Veggie and Cheese Scones Filled with More Cheese & Meat – stuffed, baked calzones, but made with an herb and cheese scone dough that is light and buttery and super tasty.

They are filled with tons of fresh veggies: tricolor peppers, onions, garlic and spinach with a little spicy Italian sausage and more cheese inside.

 

KitchenAid Food ProcessorI made the scone dough with my new KitchenAid 11-cup Food Processor that I absolutely love – it does everything from making the dough, to chopping the veggies to shredding the cheese and making the homemade fresh tomato marinara sauce!

 

Check out the blog post and get the recipe and more photos here!

 

Scone Calzones

 

Scone Calzones

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Crunchy Chicken Fajita Wraps w/ Habanero-Green Chile & Pepper Jack Cream

Crunchy Chicken Fajita Wraps w/ Habanero, Green Chile-Pepper Jack Cream
Crunchy Chicken Fajita Wraps w/ Habanero, Green Chile-Pepper Jack Cream

This is an easy, tasty dish I whipped up the other night that is a spin on Chicken Fajitas. The main difference being that these have a crunchy, toasted tortilla that you eat the Fajitas on – either flat like a pizza, rolled up like a burrito or wrap, or folded in half like a big taco. I kicked up the heat a little bit by adding some green chiles, hot Indian red pepper (which is like Cayenne but hotter!), sliced jalapenos, and made a spicy Habanero, Green Chile and Pepper Jack sour cream to give it some more flavor and heat. The dip mixes I bought from a company called Gourmet Creations at the Corn Hill Arts Festival Upstate NY. You can also purchase their seasonings online, or flavor the sour cream with anything you like – a regular onion dip or veggie dip mix would work too. What I love about the mixes from Gourmet Creations is that they are all gluten-free, and are handmade with all natural dried ingredients and they can be used not only for dips and sauces, but to use as spice rubs on fish, veggies, poultry and meat, and they make excellent herb butters, too. I bought about 10 different flavors from them – sooo good!

Now, I’m a total spice-head and LOVE spicy food so if you aren’t interested in making the Fajita Wraps hot, just omit the Indian or Cayenne Red pepper, hot sauce, jalapenos and serve with regular sour cream and cilantro. Another idea if you want a more grilled flavor, is you can grill the chicken and corn first and then add it to the sauteed peppers, onions, chiles and Fajita mix. You can even char the green chiles over a grill or gas flame if you want to get super fancy! This requires a little more time and effort but anything grilled adds a nice charred smoky flavor to the dish.

I recommend a Spanish or Mexican rice to go with the Fajitas, and a smashing Margarita to make it official and douse the flames. Enjoy.

Crunchy Chicken Fajita Wraps w/ Habanero Green Chile-Pepper Jack Cream

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 large or 1 small-med sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 packet of Fajita seasoning
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh or 1 can green chiles (mild)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen, cooked)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper (cayenne or hot Indian red pepper)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4-6 large tortillas (corn, whole wheat, flour - whatever you prefer)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 package Habanero-Chile dip mix
  • 1/2 package Monterey Jack dip mix
  • Dash of hot sauce, (optional, for garnish)
  • Cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute peppers and onions for about 5-6 minutes until soft and onions are translucent. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. Add additional tablespoon of oil to skillet and saute chicken until browned about 6-8 minutes. Add water and Fajita mix and stir together with chicken. Return sauteed peppers and onions to the same pan.
  3. Add green chiles, cooked corn, fresh ground black pepper, red pepper or cayenne and lower heat to a simmer. Cook ingredients for another 5-10 minutes on low to heat through, allowing sauce to thicken and flavors to blend together.
  4. Heat another large skillet over medium-high and add 1 teaspoon of oil or spray with cooking spray.
  5. Cook tortillas, one at a time in skillet for about 1-2 minutes, flipping each side, until crunchy and browned. You may also heat the tortillas up in a 400 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes or so if you prefer.
  6. Mix 1/2 package Habanero-Green Chile seasoning mix and 1/2 package Monterey Jack seasoning mix into a medium bowl with 1 cup of sour cream. You can also make the seasoned sour cream mix ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to serve (recommended as the flavors blend better the more they sit!). Another cool idea is to chop up some Chipotle peppers and add these with some Adobo sauce to the sour cream, or even just some extra taco seasoning, or pureed cilantro if you like a cooler creamy topping.
  7. Serve tortillas with Chicken Fajita mixture; top with Habanero-Green Chile & Pepper Jack cream, sliced jalapenos, a dash of hot sauce and chopped cilantro, if desired.
  8. You can roll these up like a burrito or wrap, put the Fajita mixture on top of a flat crunchy tortilla like a pizza or tostada, or fold it in half and eat like a big Chicken Taco! Any way you serve it, it's delicious! Enjoy.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/07/26/crunchy-chicken-fajita-wraps-w-habanero-green-chile-pepper-jack-cream/

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A Delish Father’s Day Menu

Summertime is always my favorite time of year – when the sun is always shining, a warm breeze is in the air, and all the flowers, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables are in full bloom. Everyone is out grilling BBQ, visiting the farmer’s markets, having picnics in the park and enjoying the sunny, lazy days with friends and family. With Summer quickly approaching, I created this great Father’s Day Menu you’ll love: Grilled Rosemary and Garlic Steak with Portabella Mushrooms and Peppers, a Bistro-Style Herbed Potato Salad and a refreshing Watermelon-Strawberry Salad.

Roasted Garlic Rosemary Steak
Roasted Garlic Rosemary Steak

This is an easy and delicious recipe for Grilled Rosemary and Garlic Steak with Portabella Mushrooms and Peppers that has a tangy garlic and red wine flavor. Start with Tavern Direct Roasted Garlic Cabernet (or any red-wine and garlic vinaigrette dressing) to marinate the steak and veggies before grilling to give it a tender robust flavor. After grilling, top it all off with Steak Sauce, fresh rosemary and a bit of Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper for a healthy, tasty Summer BBQ!

Strawberry-Watermelon Salad
Strawberry-Watermelon Salad

This Watermelon and Strawberry Salad is a simple combination of fresh watermelon, strawberries and a few blueberries mixed in with a little bit of lemon juice, sugar and water to make a simple refreshing syrup to macerate the fruit. This is how we traditionally make the fruit salad but you can also toss the fruit in a citrus-infused balsamic vinegar for a tangy contrast with the sweet fruit – I recommend Tavern on the Green Citrus Balsamic– a refreshing blend of orange, tangerine and lime essence.

Bistro-Style Herbed Potato Salad
Bistro-Style Herbed Potato Salad

The French-Bistro Herbed Potato Salad is made with salt potatoes and fresh herbs, a lightened up version from the heavier mayonnaise-laden salads from our family picnics of the past. It calls for salt potatoes (red or yellow), shallots, parsley and thyme tossed in an oil, vinegar and Dijon mustard base making it light and tangy. Fresh parsley adds some green…and the sweet shallots mixed with thyme, dill and onions gives it a nice tangy flavor. I added some dried dill (you could also use fresh) and a few chopped green onions for an extra dash of flavor – enjoy!

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Steak with Portabella Mushrooms and Peppers

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 23 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 steaks (T-bone, NY Strip or Ribeye), about 1 ½ inches thick
  • 3 red, yellow & orange peppers, julienned
  • 3 Portabellos, stems removed, sliced
  • 1 cup Tavern Direct Roasted Garlic Cabernet Marinade (or red-wine vinaigrette dressing)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Steak Sauce, for serving if desired (Tavern Direct or desired brand)
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary, snipped

Instructions

  1. Preheat a charcoal grill or grill pan to medium high. Preheat a separate medium-sized sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Place steaks in a baking dish or large freezer bag and pour marinade over steaks, coating evenly. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper and rosemary and let marinate for up to 1 hour at room temperature uncovered.
  3. Slice bell peppers and Portobello mushrooms and marinate in separate mixing bowls. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both and mix through, marinating for approximately 30-45 minutes.
  4. Spray the sauté pan with cooking spray or olive oil. Sauté the sliced peppers until soft and slightly browned about 5-7 minutes. Remove and cover with foil.
  5. Spray the grill or grill pan with cooking spray or olive oil and place Portabella mushrooms on grill. Cook approximately 5-7 minutes per side until soft and grill marks appear. Remove and cover with foil on a separate plate.
  6. Let the charcoal grill or grill pan heat up to high again. Spray with oil and cook steaks approximately 5 minutes per side (for medium rare), 7-8 minutes per side (for medium).
  7. Remove steaks from grill and let sit for 5-10 minutes under foil tent to let juices redistribute. Plate and serve steaks with mushrooms and peppers.?Drizzle the Steak Sauce over steak, if desired.
  8. Sprinkle Kosher salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh rosemary.
  9. Serves 4.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/06/14/a-perfect-summer-fathers-day-menu/

Bistro-Style Herbed Potato Salad

Serving Size: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds salt potatoes, halved (or new potatoes)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper?
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (light yellow, not extra virgin)
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon or grainy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • ½ teaspoon dried Fines herbes
  • 1/4 small Vidalia onion, chopped fine
  • 1-2 green onions, sliced

Instructions

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot of cold salted water so that potatoes are covered approximately under 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Cool potatoes under cold water then drain and set aside.
  3. To make the salad dressing: whisk together oil, mustard, vinegar, shallot, and herbs in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add cooked potatoes and chopped onion and 1/2 of the green onions to the dressing and toss to combine.
  4. Let salad cool and marinate at room temperature, then garnish with additional green onions and parsley for serving.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/06/14/a-perfect-summer-fathers-day-menu/

Strawberry-Watermelon Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 watermelon, cubed
  • 3 cups strawberries, halved
  • 1/2 pint fresh blueberries
  • fresh mint or micro greens, for garnish

Instructions

  1. To make the simple syrup, bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, let simmer for about 5 minutes and cool.
  2. Place watermelon, strawberries and blueberries in a large bowl and add the syrup, mixing well. Add a dash of lemon juice and garnish with mint or microgreens.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/06/14/a-perfect-summer-fathers-day-menu/

*Chef’s Note: The only thing missing is dessert and wine to make it a full meal: I recommend a lovely lemon or pistachio gelato for dessert, and a bold Cabernet or hearty red wine to pair with the Steak and salads. 

—–

Find Tavern on the Green Products online at www.taverndirect.com – all their products were designed by Lou Bivona, a Rochester native, in conjunction with the legendary NYC restaurant in Central Park, Tavern on the Green. With every sale, a portion of all proceeds goes to the charity National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

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Mardi Gras Celebration: Crab Cakes w/ Spicy Remoulade Sauce

New Orleans is one of my favorite cities in the world because of its rich history, diverse culture, quaint courtyards and wrought-iron balconies, jazz and blues on every corner and most of all the delicious spicy Cajun and Creole food this city is famous for. There is a difference between Cajun (French Louisiana settlers) and Creole (early French and Spanish settlers) and the food is slightly different in style although the ingredients used in dishes are similar – the “Holy Trinity” of green peppers, onions and celery, seafood (crawfish, shrimp, oysters), sausages, roux (flour cooked in fat as a thickening base for soups, stews and gumbos), hot sauce (Tabasco) and Cajun/Creole Spices made of cayenne, salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, mustard powder, basil, thyme and cloves (here’s a great recipe to make your own or Tony Chacere’s is a great one that is pre-made).

Creole cuisine is slightly more refined and lighter in spices and seasonings than Cajun cuisine, based on classical French cooking technique. Creole food has influences from France, Spain, Africa, Germany and Italy and typical Creole dishes include Oysters Rockefeller, Baked Fish Creole, Shrimp Etoufee, Remoulade Sauce and Bananas Foster. Cajun food is considered more of a “peasant country food” and tends to have spicier, more pungent, heavier ingredients and one-pot dishes. Typical Cajun dishes include Gumbo and Jambalaya, Red Beans and Rice, Crawfish Cornbread Dressing and Po-Boy Sandwiches.

Whether its Cajun or Creole, celebrate  Mardi Gras “Fat Tuesday” by cooking up some of these crunchy, golden Crab Cakes with a Spicy Remoulade Sauce and serve it with a Mixed Greens Salad of Endive, Escarole or Chicory, with a Creamy Shallot French Vinaigrette.

Crabcakes with Spicy Remoulade Sauce

Crab Cakes

½ lb jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over (large chunks)
3 tbsp finely chopped red pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
2 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
¼ c mayonnaise
1 egg
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
Tabasco, several dashes (to taste)
Canola oil, for sautéing
Chives and Lemon wedges, for garnish

Combine crabmeat, red pepper, shallots and parsley in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine mayo and egg; season with cayenne and Tabasco. Gently stir in crab mixture and mix to combine. Stir in 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs to make the crab cakes hold together, and if necessary, add another 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs. Form into 4 crab cakes and coat with the Panko. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to fry.

Crab Cakes Ready to Cook

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan.

Frying Crabcakes

Add in crab cakes and cook over medium-high heat until the crab cakes are lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Flip crab cakes over and continue cooking another 2 minutes on the other side, or until lightly golden. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake the crab cakes 10 minutes to cook through.

Crab Cakes on Parchment Paper

Spicy Remoulade Sauce

1 ½ c mayonnaise
3 tbsp capers, drained and chopped
3 tbsp chopped cornichons (small sweet gherkins)
1 tbsp chopped chives
1 tbsp chopped chervil
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp anchovy paste
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3-4 dashes Tabasco

In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, capers, cornichons, chives, chervil, tarragon, mustard, anchovy paste, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover the sauce with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use, up to overnight.

Place a dollop of Remoulade with garnishes of chopped chives and sliced lemons with the Crab Cakes. Serve with a crisp white wine and mixed greens (Endive, Escarole or Chicory) with a Creamy Shallot Vinaigrette (recipe follows).

Makes about 1 pint.

Mixed Greens with Creamy Shallot Vinaigrette

Beat 1 egg yolk with 2 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard and 2 tbsp minced shallots. Slowly, in a thin stream, add ¾ c vegetable oil and blend well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over mixed greens such as Endive, Escarole or Chicory.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipes originated from Chef Gail Katz and ICE

Check out Tabasco.com for more great Mardi Gras recipes (Gumbo, Jambalaya, Etoufee & King Cakes!)

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An Everyday, Ordinary Dish – Reinvented

Real Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes

Ever since I got my new Williams-Sonoma cookbook, “Comfort Food”
for Christmas, I decided that Winter is a perfect time for staying in and
cooking and pursuing some comfort amidst the freezing and dismal
weather outside. So I’ve decided to cook my way through the book over
the next few months, and found a recipe for Sloppy Joes – a dish I haven’t
had in a looongg time. In fact, I think I’ve only tried them a handful of times
– growing up when my Mom wanted to make a quick dinner but something
tasty and savory.

Cookbook Recipe

Sloppy Joes have definitely gotten a bad rap, but this version ups the ante and
puts them back on the map for a delicious quick dish you can make on a weeknight
that’s hearty and spicy and filling. The ingredients are simple and basic: ground
beef, onions, peppers, celery and the sauce is a spicy-sweet tomato sauce that is
tangy and savory and just too good!

ingredients

Since I wasn’t able to find bottled chili sauce, I made my own by using 3 parts ketchup
to 1 part Chili-Garlic sauce and a small amount of Sriracha sauce (you can find both of
these in an Asian supermarket). I also added a dash of onion salt and a dash of Paula
Deen’s House seasoning
and a dash of Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning to add a little
extra spice and layer of flavors. If you want to make them a bit spicier, throw in a small
amount of chopped green chiles. Also, if you’re using frozen meat and defrosting it, make
sure it’s completely defrosted before cooking, or you’ll need to omit the ¼ c. of water that
the recipe calls for, otherwise the mixture will become too watery.

The key to making a delicious Sloppy Joe is to have a perfect balance between tangy, spicy
and sweet – not too tomatoey and not too sweet like a BBQ sauce. Also, the flavors meld
together as time goes on, so they actually taste better the next day! They are easy to make
and you’ll have leftovers for a few days if you’re eating for one or two. Serve these guys on
toasted buns with some melted cheese and a side of chips or fries. Mmmm-good!

Ingredients

Canola Oil, 1 tbsp
Yellow Onions, 1, diced
Celery, 1 stalk, diced
Green bell pepper, 1, finely diced
Ground Beef, 1.5 lbs
Tomato Sauce, 1 c
Ketchup-style chili sauce, ½ c.
Worcestershire Sauce, 1 tbsp
Dijon Mustard, 1 tbsp
Cider Vinegar, 1 tbsp
Light Brown Sugar, 1 tbsp firmly packed
Kosher Salt, 1 tsp
Fresh ground pepper, ¼ tsp
Sesame-seed or Whole Wheat Sandwich buns, 6 split, toasted

Preparation

onions and peppers

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and bell
pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.

sauteed ingredients in sauce

Add the beef and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring and breaking up
the beef with a wooden spoon, until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.

cooking flavors together

Stir in ¼ c. water, the tomato sauce, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, vinegar,
sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer,
stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes to blend the flavors.

Sloppy Joes

Toast the buns. Place the bottom halves of the buns, cut side up, on warmed individual plates
and top with the beef mixture, dividing it equally. Cover with the bun tops and serve right away.

Makes 6 sandwiches

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