Saturday, July 31, 2010

Salmon - Garlic Chipotle Spiced, Mango Glazed Salmon

Sweet and heat... The key to a beautiful balanced dish.

Remember these???

Mango Glazed Bacon ala Bobby Flay.

They are beautiful things on their own, and proved to be very useful...  PIZZA - Walnut Pesto with Mango Glazed Bacon Pizza.  AND Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops.  Certainly worthy of the bragging you have read.

But also, the glaze is a winner.  I started pondering what I could do with the little bit I had left over from the bacon.

Here's a quick reprint of the Glazing recipe...
Mango Glaze

1 cup Sugar
1 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 ripe Mango, pealed, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 TBS Honey
Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Combine sugar and vinegar in a small sauce pan and cook over high heat until the sugar is melted.  Add the mango and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by half and the mango is soft, 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.  Add the honey and season with the Salt and Pepper.
I had about 1/3rd cup of the glazing sauce left after I made a pound of bacon.  I also had a couple of nice pieces of Salmon.

the recipe is simple, 

2 pieces Salmon, about 6 oz each
1/3rd cup Mango Glaze Sauce
2 roasted cloves Garlic smashed and pureed
2 pinches Chipotle Pepper spice
Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Line a baking pan with parchment paper, and lay the salmon on the sheets.
  3. Spread the Garlic on the fish and sprinkle the spice on the garlic
  4. Brush the Mango Glaze on the top
  5. bake for 10 minutes, until the fish flakes, but is still moist.
  6. Add a pinch of salt and some fresh cracked pepper

Oh my, sweet from the Mango.  But the back of your throat has that heat spice from the Chipotle.  Of course, roasted garlic has it's own taste that always blends well with the meaty fish  taste of the salmon.  Each bite has a total well rounded seasoning.  A little something for everyone!.


Friday, July 30, 2010

PIZZA - Walnut Pesto with Mango Glazed Bacon Pizza

I am getting a bit introspective about my blog lately.  Pondering where it's been, where it's going and what I've learned from it.

Well, here's something I learned....

Menu Planning.

It was around a year ago I first read the term, menu planning.  My idea of menu planning has changed.  At first, I thought it was a way to save trips to the store.  Decide 7 days in advance what you want to make, plug your menu ingredient lists into a data base and shop once a week.

This not only kept my pantry stocked, it forced me to be a disciplined cook.  It saved money.  And i always had a plan for the day.

I hated every week (OK, only 2, but I hated those two weeks) I did this.  Took all the spontaneity and joy out of my cooking.  Look, I know I have a luxury many of you all don't.  I spend my day cooking three squares a day for my wife and me, and the rest is spent playing on-line poker, walking the island, swimming, sun bathing, reading and catching up on West Wing and Smallville reruns.  I don't work outside the home.  Cooking for me is a hobby, not a family necessity.  If I were cooking for children, I would probably view cooking different.  But, for me, I like waking up in the morning with no real plan.

But I still menu plan.  In fact, my idea of menu plan is closer to Iron Chef.

Surprise, here's an ingredient, now make something...

Food is very expensive here.  But even if it were free, I would still try to be a good steward of the earth, and not throw food away.  I am ashamed at the thought of my attempts to menu plan the old way, and the amount of food I threw away at the end of the week.

So, for me, menu plan means to use what I have.  If I have vegetables about to go bad, make a stock.  If I have milk and bread going bad, make a bread pudding.  Good stewards do not waste good food.

BUT, also, for me, menu plan means to use up the leftovers in creative ways.  If you make 2 pounds of mashed potatoes (last night), don't be boring and just warm them up in the microwave... Play Iron Chef and ponder what you can do with them.  Shepherd's pie, fried cheesy potatoes are in my data base, but who knows what I can find or create?

For example, make a pound of Mango Glazed Bacon.  I did (see Mango Glazed Bacon ala Bobby Flay).  Now, I could have taken that bacon and eaten a piece here, a piece there.  I tried a slice when it was finished just to see what it tasted like.  Next, I used them for the purpose I originally had in mind, Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops - Mango Glazed Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops.  But then, one with an egg in the morning, one for a morning snack, two for a morning snack, three for  a morning snack (they are that good), and in no time, these beauties that you spent time cooking are gone.  Or, you can guard them, hide them from your wife (who wanted a piece for her morning snack, and we all know what a slippery slop that can be).

And ponder what an island Iron Chef would do with these...

Oh, one more thing... Earlier in the week, you should make OHIO PESTO (a basil pesto made with black walnuts instead of pine nuts).  Since basil here comes in HUGE bunches, I made a HUGE batch of Pesto.  I baked some on a flatbread with tomato and goat cheese, for an Economical Gourmet Treat from "the Long Quiche Goodbye" .  And the next day, I served some "raw" as a bed for Polenta with Talegio Cheese.  But even after using the pesto twice, I still had some left.

Oh, and one more thing... PIZZA NAPOLETANO dough.  I had a batch of the dough in my freezer.

A menu planner looks at what is in the refrigerator, and ponders how to "Iron Chef" the leftovers into something new, different and delicious.  I got tired of microwave leftovers.  

So, here you go.  It's not Iron Chef TV quality, but it is new, different, and makes me feel like a cook.

1 batch of PIZZA NAPOLETANO dough.
1 1/2 cups OHIO PESTO.
3 pieces of Mango Glazed Bacon ala Bobby Flay (diced)
3 pinches of sweet Paprika
3 ounces Fresh Mozzarella Cheese sliced

  • pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
  • 1 batch of pizza dough will make 3 - 6 inch pizza rounds, thin crust.
  • sprinkle the paprika around the edges to add color
  • top with 1/2 cup of pesto on each round.
  • top with 1 ounce of mozzarella, center the slices so some of the pesto shows around the edges (pretty)
  • add the bacon
  • Bake for 10 minutes
  • Pretend to your wife that you had this planned all week, and that you wanted to do something special for her (she likes pizza).

Some may call it serving leftovers... 

I call it menu planning...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops - Mango Glazed Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops

Remember these little beauties from yesterday???  Mango Glazed Bacon!  Sure, they are great, but they are just a little sweet.  One of these with a stack of silver dollar pancakes, and you are satisfied.  Which leaves plenty of them for leftovers!  In reality, I had this dish planned, so it really wasn't leftovers.  I made a pound of these, ate 1 slice on it's own (well 2, I shared with Jackie (she did bring me to paradise after all).  I made 3 dishes with these gems.  This is the first... And a mighty good dish it was... um is!

The trick when making bacon wrapped items that will go into the oven is to cook the bacon al dente.  Just a bit under cooked, so they finish with the wrappee.  And speaking of the wrappee; scallops are gentle creatures.  When gently cooked properly, they are buttery soft and delicious.  Moist and tender, practically melt in your mouth.

BUT, over cook them, and they turn south real fast.  What was melt in your butter is now chewy shoe leather.  If you were to fry these, you could see the scallops turn from a soft translucent white color to a more solid white.  When you can watch, they are easy to spot that fine line between cooked and overcooked.

BUT, we are going to bake these.  So, time and internal temperature are critical.  
  1. Once these were wrapped in the al dente cooked bacon, 
  2. pinned closed with a toothpick,
  3. brushed with a bit more of the Mango Glaze and then  
  4. moved into a preheated 350 degree oven
  5. 10 minutes, I checked and the internal temperature had reached 140 degrees... DONE!
  6. These were pretty small scallops, larger ones could take a few minutes more.
Do not over cook.  Once you have tasted a properly cooked scallop, you will hover over the stove making sure that line from butter to leather is not crossed.

It really is simple.  Just takes a little awareness, and anyone can cook these up!  Beyond good!

I served these with a Polenta and Taleggio and Basil served on a bed of OHIO PESTO!

The recipe for the polenta is in the back of "the Long Quiche Goodbye".  As I discussed in my post a few days ago, PESTO and an Economical Gourmet Treat from "the Long Quiche Goodbye" for Two for Tuesday; Avery Aames has written a fun read and provided gentle education for me.  The recipe introduced me to a new cheese (Taleggio, not your grandmother's Brie), a new recipe and a new mystery series.

But for that story, you need to head over to OUR KRAZY KITCHEN for my weekly posting.  Today I am bragging on this polenta recipe I made from Avery's suggestions.

And come back tomorrow for another use of the Mango Glazed Bacon!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mango Glazed Bacon ala Bobby Flay or Bobby's Pork Porn Part 1

Consider this post Pork Porn Part 1... Pork Porn Part 2 will be what I do with these... And that will come tomorrow.

I got an order from over the weekend.  In addition to a couple of murder mysteries, I ordered a couple of cook books that I have had on my wish list for a long time.  Why, you may ask (oh wait, that's not you, that's my wife asking), am I ordering 10 pounds of books when I have to get them back to the states in only a couple of weeks?

Good question.

Well, in order to get free shipping on the two paperback murder mysteries I was really ordering, I needed to order just one more book.  I just couldn't decide which I wanted more.  So, in the words of my wife, "When we have to pay a fee for over weight luggage, that free shipping will be pretty expensive".

What a killjoy.

So... The only way to justify this weighty extravagance is to cook from the books before I leave.  And just a sample of the bacon was enough to make my wife agree that I was a wise man.  Wise beyond my years.  She practically worshiped at my feet with each bite.  If her mouth wasn't full, she would have sang my praises to the island.  And for any husband out there who believes any of that, I have a bridge in the Virgin Islands to sell you.

But she did like the bacon, she just ate it with a superior tilt of the head.  You know how you women get.

So, let's talk Bobby Flay and the MESA GRILL Cookbook...

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL BOOK!  In all seriousness, I am working on my presentations.  I even got a complement or two recently on how my photographed food looks.  Bobby's Mesa Cookbook has an illustration for most of the dishes, and every one is worthy of a magazine cover.

WHAT A USEFUL BOOK!  Again, in all seriousness, Tex-Mex, southwestern cuisine is not a specialty of mine in any sense of the word.  The fist 20 pages of the book has ingredient list, definitions, pantry stocking tips and basic techniques explained clearly and in a handy place to find when you run across a term or ingredient you are not familiar with.  While the recipes are a bit exotic and many of the ingredients are not in my standard pantry; I can envision at least an attempt to follow the directions armed with the first 20 pages.  He even has a section to help you find some of the more exotic ingredients.

WHAT A COLLECTION OF RECIPES!  If you watch Bobby on the Food Network, you have probably seen his Throwdown show, or maybe his Grillin' It with Bobby Flay show.  When I watch these, I always get the impression that he wants you to succeed.  His choices for chapters and recipes continues to give that impression.  In addition to the 20 pages of basics, he has chapters on sauces, relishes and vinaigrettes; Drinks, soups, salads and even a terrific section on Brunch (breakfast) dishes.

Which is where I found this gem...

Mango Glazed Bacon

1 cup Sugar
1 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 ripe Mango, pealed, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 TBS Honey
1 pound thick sliced Bacon
Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Combine sugar and vinegar in a small sauce pan and cook over high heat until the sugar is melted.  Add the mango and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by half and the mango is soft, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.  Add the honey and season with the Salt and Pepper.
  4. Place the bacon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush the bacon on both sides with the glaze.  Bake, brushing the bacon with more glaze every few minutes until golden brown and just crisp, 10 to 12 minutes

You'll have to come back tomorrow to see my recipe for Mango Glazed bacon wrapped Sea Scallops.  And I have a few more ideas with what to do with more of this candy bacon!

Just as pretty as you can imagine, but more importantly, it is like bacon candy, sweet, salty and lick your lips GOOD EATS (ooops, that's the other book (the really heavy one), and a discussion for another day)

The book retails for $35 (save over $10), is full size, full color, LOTS of full page photo illustrations.  Worth every dime!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

PESTO and an Economical Gourmet Treat from "the Long Quiche Goodbye" for Two for Tuesday

A little flatbread, a little sliced tomato, a little fresh made Basil Pesto and Chevre Cheese!

Dress it up a little, and you have an "economical gourmet treat".   BTW, Chevre Cheese is a fancy name for goat cheese (3 is a magic number).

That was the ingredient list and instructions for the first mention of food in a NEW murder mystery series.  I can't imagine anything more exciting than an authors first published book.  Avery Aames has authored, "The Long Quiche Goodbye".  That's the first in a planned series of books set in the cheese shop (Fromagerie Bessesse is the actual name, but everyone in town calls it "The cheese Shop").

I was very excited when I first heard of Avery's book.  First, she is "one of us".  Some of you may know her as one of the Six merry murderesses from The Mystery Lover's Kitchen.  All six of the contributing authors of the blog are published authors, all mysteries, and all their books have food themes, most with recipes included in their books.  The blog posts daily, with recipes and glimpses into their lives.  Fun daily read (and for contest whores fans among us, they have more give aways than any other blog I know of... but I digress).  My fellow bloggers out there, if/when you get a book deal, sign me up as the first to buy.  We should support our own!

But my new found blog buddy's setting for the series really turned my crank.  I am pretty good with basic cheese knowledge.  I no longer buy bags of shredded cheese (the more air that gets to the cheese, the faster it losses it's taste and goes bad, shredding adds surface area, so more air gets to the cheese... buy the bricks and shred yourself, cheaper, tastes better and stays fresh longer... but I digress).  I also buy "real" cheese, and not the low fat versions (half the amount of "real" cheese will add a fuller flavor than twice the amount of the less tasty substitute.  Half the amount is the tastiest way to cut the calories, not pretending you are getting the same taste... But now I am ranting and digressing... Back to "the long Quiche Goodbye").  But aside from the basics, I still buy most of my cheeses from the tiny cheese section of my store.  My knowledge of better quality cheeses is lacking.  Much the way people of my generation still hum "3 is a magic number", soft education is a great way to learn without the burden of schooling (extra points if you caught the "Schoolhouse Rocks" reference.  That's where I was gently educated about math, while watching the Wonder Twins powers activate.  Think the "Cheese Shop Mystery series will do for cheese what Schoolhouse Rock did to teach me how a bill becomes a law???).  

And sure enough, in one of the recipes Avery provides in the book, I traveled to the only cheese shop on the island and found a new (well, it is at least 11 centuries old, but new to me) cheese... Taleggio Cheese Polenta is on my menu plan for the week, and you will be seeing that soon.  3 IS a magic number!

Let's take a look at my lunch I made from an idea I got from the book...

Oh wait... One quick story... Why, you might ask, am I making a dish from a line in the book, instead of one of the several recipes printed in the book... Why, because I am a dummy and couldn't find the recipes.  My fault, I never flip to the back of a book to see ahead.  But I do know that often in "foodie" mysteries, the recipes are either included in the body of the story, or are at the end of the book.  I did flip to the last page, saw it was text and not a recipe, so I went back to the beginning, and assumed I would hit a recipe soon.  Well, 200 pages in, I found out that the last few pages are a preview to her next book in the series, "Lost and Fondue".  the recipes are indeed at the end of "the Long Quiche Goodbye" story, but before the preview.


But, that was a happy accident.  As I felt inspired by the throwaway line of a snack Charlotte (the owner of the shop) had planned for her Grandfather...

Inspired to see what I could do with this...

For a couple of the ingredients, I needed to do a bit of research.  First, Flatbread...

Flatbread is usually unleavened bread (but not always).  There are hundreds of flatbread recipes, but it boils down to bread that has a small rise, and is served... flat (Duh again).  I found an Italian flatbread recipe that sounded awful familiar.  It was the recipe I use for my PIZZA NAPOLETANO dough.  I had a batch of the dough in my freezer, so that part was solved.

Next, a little research on pesto.  Pesto is very easy to make, the usual recipe is Parmesan cheese, LOTS of Basil, garlic, olive oil and pine nuts.  Well, I refuse.  Not the idea of pesto, but the idea of pine nuts.  Even in the under-priced grocery store I shop at in Kansas, and ESPECIALLY at the over-priced grocery stores here in paradise, the price of pine nuts is... NUTS.  Especially considering pine nuts do not have a very distinctive taste.  Maybe buying pre-made pesto makes this an economical treat, but buying pine nuts to make your own pesto is a budget buster for me.

So, more research later, I found "permission" to use walnuts!  I LOVE walnuts.  Besides being on my "always have in the pantry" list, they have a very distinctive taste.  BUT, even better, Charlotte (remember, the heroin of "The Long Quiche Goodbye") and the Cheese Shop is located in Ohio.  Ohio is famous for their black walnuts, Charlotte prides herself on supporting local farmers and local small business owners (like pesto makers).  So, it makes sense to me that Charlotte's pesto would indeed be an...

 Ohio pesto...
2 cups fresh Basil Leaves
4 cloves Garlic
1/4 cup Walnut pieces
1/2 cup Extra Virgin olive Oil
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan Cheese

Combine the basil, garlic, and walnuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

I like my pesto less wet than most people.  You may prefer to add more EVOO so that it is wet and spreadable.  Mine is more dipable.

Add the sliced tomato, and the goat cheese, and you have a pretty impressive snack.

Charlotte did say it would be a gourmet treat.  So, without the benefit of photos or clear instructions, I did fancy it up a bit...

First, I divided the dough into 4 equal amounts.  Three of the balls I made into mini-pizza size.  They were @1/2 inch thick.  Thick enough to be chewy instead of crispy when cooked, but still considered flat.  I baked these until they are al dente done... only about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

While that is cooking...  The 4th ball I rolled much flatter.  These I cut into leaf shapes.  Freehand, it is easy, one parenthesis shaped cut about 1 inch long.  Close the parenthesis with the tips touching.  A few simple accent cuts and it should look like a leaf.  If you have a mini cookie cutter set, you can use that for the decorations.  I have a set of Noah's Ark figures, African animals and a boat.  those would look fun ringing the treat.  Be creative.

Once the pizza shapes are cooked slightly, pull them out of the oven, top with sliced tomatoes, and the pesto (I like roasted pesto, instead of the fresh "raw" version Charlotte had planned for Grandpere (French for Grandfather... see 3 is a magic number, soft education).  Ring with the decoration, and brush the sides of the dough with an egg wash.  The egg makes things shine nice, as well as allows the decoration pieces of dough to stick.  Brush the decoration pieces bottom sides with the egg as well, and arrange in an attractive (gourmet looking) manor.  Brush the tops of the decorative pieces with the egg.

Return to the oven for another 10 minutes and top with a dollop of goat cheese..

Chevre Cheese Flatbread Snacks
with Ohio Pesto and heirloom Tomatoes
An economical gourmet TreatFrom "The Long Quiche Goodbye"

I am 200 pages into the book, and am really enjoying it!  I plan to finish today, cook the recipe for the Taleggio Polenta and do a proper review on Thursday for my weekly post to Our Krazy Kitchen!  But at the least, the idea for this recipe was worth the price of the book!

Thanks Avery, and congrats on the first book!  

It's Magic!

I am linking this to the 2-4-2sDay roundup... "Two for Tuesday" (Click HERE), the only instructions were to post about "real Food".  I think the Pesto qualifies as "Real Food"!  And Charlotte's attempt to stock her store with locally produced cheeses and specialty items certainly makes The Cheese Shop a place 2-4-2sDay fans should want to hang out!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Shrimp Remoulade Po-Boy Sandwich for "the Project"

The end of Remoulade sauce postings for awhile.  I have just a tiny amount left, plan to have a simple egg salad sandwich for lunch.

Not sure why I'm not going to post a simple sandwich like an egg salad, when in reality, this beautiful thing is easier than making egg salad.  With just a tad of advance planning, this sandwich takes less than a minute to create

Biggest part of the planning is to make the bread.  This is simply ENG BREAD, made into the shape of rolls.

Once a week, I have baking day.  Hamburger buns, some crackers and usually a specialty bread.  I had planned to make the remoulade sauce, so I knew that a shrimp po-boy was coming my way.  Po-boys are meant to be served on French bread (Eng bread is a simple French bread recipe, with just a little extra sugar).

To make the roll shape, during the shaping phase, simply form into the shape of a personal pan pizza size round disk and roll up like you are making a cinnamon bun roll.  Pinch the ends and bake as usual.  Comes out looking like a thick hot dog bun!

A simple egg wash, topped with a bit of Parmesan Cheese, some garlic flakes and sweet Paprika.

Leafy lettuce, a big handful of salad size shrimp mixed with a generous amount of the sauce and bingo, bango bongo...

Anyone want to stop by for lunch???

The weather has finally changed to it's usual sunny, highs in the 80's bright blue skies... Down to just 3 weeks before Kansas... Need to hit the beaches today!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Deviled Eggs - Remoulade for "the Project"

I am a bit of a connoisseur of deviled eggs.  I spent my youth in the trenches of culinary challenges, the basements of church potluck dinners.I have seen the empty plates of truly fabulous deviled eggs, and I witnessed the shame of a plate being taken home with half the eggs still in place. The indignity of it all to be judged by your peers.

These gems would be the talk of the kitchen in any church...

Really!  This is no exaggeration, the best I have eaten...

Start with some of the leftover remoulade sauce I made during Shrimp Week.  I had some left over, and did not want to waste it.  The sauce is that good... really good...

Here's my recipe I use to make my own Remoulade sauce...

3 TBS spicy whole grain Mustard
3 TBS BBQ Sauce (can use ketchup)
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup chopped Green Onions
1/2 cup chopped Yellow Onion
1/2 cup chopped Celery
Juice of 2 Lemons
Zest from 1 Lemon
2 TBS Parsley
2 TBS prepared Horseradish
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper

I used a blender, you can use a food processor... Just add everything and process until mostly smooth... about 30 seconds.  You want small chunks of the vegetables in the goo, so do not over process.

Hard boil a half dozen eggs.  Remove the shell and split in half and remove just the yolks, leaving the cooked whites for the base.

Mix the yolks, 
1/4 cup of the remoulade sauce and 
1/4 cup Buttermilk

Fill a small ziplock bag with the mixture and cut one corner of the bag.  You can use this to pipe in the filling.  Easier than using a spoon.

And works like a charm.  the smaller the hole, the fancier you can get with the goo.  I was happy with this wave image.

Top with a bit of fresh cracked pepper.

And tomorrow's post will conclude my uses for Remoulade Sauce.  I can get 4-5 dishes from a making of the sauce.  Each one is a winner, and different enough that no one will get tired of the sauce before you run out of sauce.  As a dip, a flavor or as a base for one heck of a sandwich, this is among my very favorite sauces.

So easy t0 be special!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Passionate Garlic Coconut Shrimp with Remoulade Sauce for "the Project"

Have you all been following along...

I have been making everyone's favorite bar snack, and serving with an underrated (or at least under publicized) Cajun Remoulade sauce!

Click this link to see my Creole Remoulade Sauce for "the Project".  It is a fancy mustard, filled with veggies for taste and texture, and horseradish, BBQ sauce and peppers for an extra KICK!

The sauce pairs great with ... Passionate Shrimp with Remoulade Sauce for "the Project".  Those are gently fried shrimp with a coating infused with a little Passion Fruit liquor!  OMG, that little extra hint really sets it apart from the norm.

About all I could do to improve it would be to add a little coconut and garlic!

here's how...

Please take a second to read over the hints about yesterday's recipe and technique... Passionate Shrimp with Remoulade Sauce for "the Project".  Same steps, just add a third dredging station...

That third bowl has about 1/2 a cup of shredded coconut and  3 TBS of finely minced garlic.  Once you have a shrimp coated in the flour/paprika, soaked in the egg/passion fruit... Just get a gentle coating (not too much) of the coconut...

And fry away... Same as yesterday, only fry as long as it takes the egg to cook.  Watch carefully, and don't let the coconut burn...

I happen to have had my share of bar snacks... These are a favorite, and better than any I have eaten in a bar.  The trick is to not over cook the shrimp.

Oh, and the sauce... 

Remoulade RULES!  More than a mustard, and more than a hot sauce.

Paired with the sweet of the coconut, the meat of the shrimp and the heat of the remoulade...

To steal a phrase... Now that's GOOD EATS!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Passionate Shrimp with Remoulade Sauce for "the Project"

I have a new passion... Alize brand, Passion Fruit Cognac.  Straight, the stuff tastes AWFUL, and I do mean awful (acquired taste, someone must like it, just not me).  But, have you ever taken a swig of straight cooking vanilla... tastes awful doesn't it?  Like straight vanilla, straight Passion Fruit Cognac is most useful if you only use the shot glass as a measuring cup.

And besides, if you add just a bit, you can call whatever you make Passionate ...

Like these beauties.

Passionate Fried Shrimp!(We'll get to the Coconut Shrimp tomorrow)

I made a dozen of these, size 21-25.  Sadly, the best shrimp I have found is the fresh, pre-cooked, shrimp in the freezer case.  Sad but true, but that's OK, just takes an extra step to make it work well.  That is, let them thaw completely.  Then, just before using, pat dry with a paper towel.

Also, since they are pre-cooked, you should only use the cooking process to cook the egg breading (in hot oil, only takes a couple minutes), and to warm the shrimp (same two minutes).

So, armed with this knowledge... We are off to make bar snacks...

Oh, one more thing... The Passion fruit Cognac is my new passion.  Adding a bit of booze to the mix is only a way to add flavor, NOT alcohol.  The alcohol cooks out, and there is zero chance to get drunk, tipsy or even a little loopy.  I am enjoying the passion fruit hint of flavor.  A meaty whiskey, or rye would add a meaty taste, a sweet flavored rum would add a sweet taste.  Splashing in a bit of beer will add a different taste.

First, the easy fried version (without Coconut)

12 medium size Shrimp
1/2 cup Flour
3 TBS Sweet Paprika
2 Eggs
1 shot Alize brand, Passion Fruit Cognac
Canolla Oil to cover 1/2 inch in bottom of frying pan

  • Dry the shrimp with paper towels
  • Add oil to frying pan and heat over medium high heat
  • Set up dipping stations next to the pan
  • In one dish, mix flour and paprika
  • In second dish, whisk the eggs and liquor of choice (Alize brand, Passion Fruit Cognac)
  • HINT: Anytime you do dipping stations, have a dry ingredients hand and a wet ingredients hand.  Everything works faster.
  • Dredge the shrimp in the flour/paprika mix
  • Dip to coat the meat (not the tails) in the egg/cognac mix
  • Fry for 2 minutes per side, until lightly golden brown

Serve with the Creole Remoulade Sauce for "the Project" I bragged about in yesterday's post.  (click HERE)

Bar Snacks!  So easy to make them just a little special.

Come back tomorrow for the Coconut version of Passionate Shrimp!