Sunday, August 01, 2010

Asian Shrimp Cocktail

This is similar to my other shrimp cocktail recipe, but this is kicked up another notch. :) I added in Sriracha to spicy it up a bit, and then had some lemongrass and thought "what the heck" and added that as well. Took it to a cookout this afternoon and everyone seemed to like it, including a few who asked for the recipe. So this is my new style of making it, as I'll probably do it like this from now on. :)

  • 2 lbs peeled and cooked 51/60 shrimp - remove the tails and cut across them in half.
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, small dice
  • 1/2 red onion, small dice
  • 4 stalks celery, small dice
  • 2 avocados, medium dice, not too ripe!
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 12 oz jar Heinz Chile Sauce (Chili sauce! not Cocktail Sauce)
  • 3 "stems" lemongrass, minced

Prepare the shrimp and cover with juice of one lime and let sit while prepping other things.

Dice the avocado and cover with juice of other lime.

Prep all the other veggies and when almost done put the shrimp and avocado in a colander and let the excess lime juice drain. If you don't do this the "salad" will end up being kind of souping and will "bleed" after it sits for a bit.

Mix the Chile Sauce and Sriracha. Actually I don't know how much I used... I just squeezed some in... but I *think* it was about 2 tsps. Put some in, taste it and see if the flavor (spicy, heat, etc.) is right for you.

Put everything into a bowl and stir. Stir enough to coat but don't stir too much. You don't want the avocado getting mushy.

That's it! Its important to use chili sauce because it is sweet and not spicy. The sriracha then gets it some heat, but its a Vietnamese/Korean kind of heat, rather than a horseradish flavor.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Vietnamese Grilled Pork/Beef

I used this marinated both on pork chops and on grilled steak. Adapted from a recipe I found on the web.
  • Meat (see below)
  • 2 Tbs minced lemongrass
  • 3 cloves pressed garlic
  • 1/2 Tbs grated fresh ginger
  • 3 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Sriracha

I made the marinade, put it into a gallon size zip-lock bag and then added the meat and let it marinade for about 30 minutes.

One night I used 2 inch thick pork chops. The other night I used 6 round steaks that were sliced very thin. They come 3 to a pack at King Soopers.

The pork chops I grilled for 5 minutes on the first side on high, turned the heat down and grilled them for 10 more minutes on the other side, then flipped them over again and finished them off. I basted them multiple times.

The steak I through on a hot grill and grilled them for about 2 minutes or less per side. They cooked very fast. Once done I sliced them into strips. I think I doubled the amount of marinade for the steak.

The fresh lemongrass, garlic and ginger are a nice combination and you bite into bits of them because they are minced. Might be nice to reduce the marinade a bit or add more honey; to get a sweeter/thicker glaze.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Italian Chicken/Sausage Stew

  • 1 lb Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage, bulk (not brat style)
  • 3 chicken breasts (single breasts), diced in bite size pieces
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 eggplant, cut in bite size cubes
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 19 oz can cannellini (white kidney beans)
  • 2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs basil
  • 1 tbs oregano
  • 1 tbs italian seasoning
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp or so of Savory Salt

I used Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage because it really produces a nice flavor. You could use hot or sweet, or any Italian sausage whose flavor you really like.

Cook in a large soup pan over medium high heat. Break the sausage up and saute it until cooked, continuing to break up so that there are no chunks. Add chicken and cook until done. If there isn't much fat left from the sausage; add a few tablespoons of olive oil so that there is enough to cook the chicken. As the chicken is cooking, cut up the eggplant and add it; then cut up the onion and add it, then cut up the green pepper and add it. Cook until the veggies are mostly cooked.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic and spices. Reduce heat and simmer until... done.

I've made this before, putting it all together and serving it as soon as the tomatoes were hot. This time when I made it for a church I let it simmer for about 1.5 hours, then took it to church and cooked on high in a crock pot for 2 hours. The flavors simmered together very well. So if you have time; let it simmer or crock pot for a while. But if not - you can serve it as soon as you need to.

Also - seasonings are approximate. I just "sprinkle it on till it looks right". :) - So play with them; but I think the above should work. You can add more chicken. I bought a pack of 4 breasts, but needed one for another meal. And you can play with the veggies. I thought about adding zucchini and yellow squash. I would have added just one of each. And mushrooms would have worked. But I was trying to keep it pretty simple because of a church potluck and not everyone likes mushrooms; etc. So basically - add whatever Italian style veggies you and your family like.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Curry Asparagus/Mushroom Risotto

I've been doing a 3 week vegan thing and so tonight I had some cooked rice and some veggies laying around. Threw this together - and then added the curry as it needed some extra flavor. This isn't *really* a risotto, as I made it with cooked rice, but it kind of has the feel. And it could be made as a risotto. Anyway, turned out pretty good and Tif asked for the "recipe", so here it is.

  • 1/3 bunch of asparagus, cut into 3rds - about 2 inches long
  • 8 mushrooms sliced into about 4 slices (fairly thick)
  • 1 stalk of celery minced
  • 2 green onions sliced thin
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs olive oil

Saute the veggies in the olive oil for a few minutes along with salt and pepper. You want them to start to cook but not get to well done; just enough to let the flavors blend. Add enough stock to cover and let them cook a few minutes more. Add in the rice and some of the stock. At this point cook it like a risotto... Add some stock, let it cook off, then add some more. Do this until it gets "right". :) - You want it like a risotto. Not too soupy, but don't let all the stock reduce and the rice start to fry. I think I did this about 3 times. The 3rd time I added the curry powder, let it simmer for about 5 more minutes and then served it.

I know - like most of my recipes, pretty vague. Basically I sauteed some veggies, simmered some rice in it and threw in some curry powder. Had a nice flavor. The onion and celery were minced; with the asparagus and mushrooms being thicker because they were the "stars" of the dish. Also - given the amount of veggies and rice; this wasn't so much a rice with some veggies for accent; but really a dish with quite a bit of veggies and some rice. But simmering it like I did (probably about 15 to 20 minutes total), let it all blend together and still be very much a rice dish.

As always - if interested, give it a try and then adjust over time till it gets to be what you like! :)

As an aside... The way I picture being a big chef and working for say foodtv or something... is that you get to come up with cool stuff like this; without really measuring or anything. You just make some really cool food and then your staff says "OK... we need to figure out the measurements, cooking times, etc. to get it to turn out like that." You just get to make cool stuff and someone else has to figure out how to put it into a cookbook. Would be sweet. LOL