Thursday, August 28, 2014

Shrimp Scampi with Linguini

Sometimes when you make a recipe you immediately want to post it. This is one of those recipes. I've never made a recipe by Tyler Florence, but maybe I should start making more. This Shrimp Scampi was EXCELLENT! Seriously, it tasted like a restaurant quality entree. I did make it a couple weeks ago, but it was too late to take pictures. So, I made it again tonight and it was just as good as the first time I made it. It has a ton of flavor thanks to the butter, olive oil, lemon juice, and wine. Plus, the addition of red pepper flakes gives it a nice kick. I highly, highly recommend this recipe for your next dinner. It's that good! Enjoy!

1 pound linguini
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 shallots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c dry white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c finely chopped parsley leaves (or basil)

Boil the linguini (or spaghetti) in a large pot of water with a bit of salt and olive oil. When the pasta is al dente drain into a colander and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil at medium-high heat. Add in the shallots and garlic and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the shrimp and add to the skillet. Once the shrimp has turned pink (after 3 minutes or so) remove from the skillet and set aside. Add the lemon juice and wine and bring to a boil. Then, add in the remaining 2 tbsp butter and olive oil. Add back the shrimp and pasta to the skillet. Sprinkle the parsley or basil into the skillet. Season with salt and pepper if needed and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Asian Fried Chicken Salad

Oh, Applebee’s. I remember in my hometown for awhile, Applebee’s was actually a decent choice for a restaurant (it was the Midwest). When my friend turned 21, it was the logical place to take her and we spent the night testing the limits of a newbie bartender (I had the the worst, and strongest, Long Island Ice Tea of my life.) But today, Applebee’s is not a place I would visit under normal circumstances. Especially since Richmond has so many great non-chain restaurant options. Still, I wanted to try this copycat salad, which I found on a blog named “Tastes Better From Scratch.” It looked good whether it came from “the neighborhood” or not.

It turned out great, surprisingly. Nice crispy chicken that could have maybe used a touch more salt. The slaw and salad mix was different, but a nice way to add crunch without going full slaw. And the dressing was really good. Sweet with an Asian flair. I liked that it was a meal salad so that was a good way to get us to eat relatively healthy (fried part aside). It was a lot of steps though, so I don’t think this would go into my “easy dinner” pile.

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornflake crumbs (I used Parmesan Herb crumbs)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 chicken breast
3 cups vegetable oil, for frying
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
Bag of rainbow or broccoli slaw
1/2 cup chopped red cabbage
1/2 cup chopped napa cabbage
1 carrot, shredded

1 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cucumber (optional)
1 Tbsp sliced almonds (optional)

3 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/8 tsp sesame oil

Start by whisking your dressing ingredients together in a small bowl, making sure they mix completely. Refrigerate this until you’re ready to use it. Get out two more small bowls (lots of dishes, sorry) and in one beat the egg and milk together. In the second mix the flour, crumbs, salt and pepper. Cut your chicken into long thin strips, as evenly as you can.

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, preheat your oil. I don’t think you need the full 3 cups of oil, just enough to make about a half inch in the pan. Heat the oil to about 350 degrees. One by one, dip your chicken strips in the egg mixture, and then the flour mixture, making sure they get completely coated, then CAREFULLY put them into the oil. Don’t just plop them in or you’ll have hot oil going everywhere and that’s a danger to everyone. I did about 4 chicken strips in each batch so I could watch them. You want to fry for about four minutes, turning over halfway through to get a good golden brown on the crust. Then set them aside on a paper towel.

Ok, that’s most of the work. Now you just have to mix together the salad ingredients, add the chicken on top and pour some of the dressing over the whole thing. It’s a great meal, and you don’t have to deal with the strange folks eating at Applebee’s to enjoy it.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pizzette with Fontina, Tomato, Basil, and Proscuitto

One of our Iron Chef alum is moving to we had a going away party in her honor. The theme was cheese and wine. Yum. But, I decided to bring a little appetizer to the party. After all, cheese isn't the most filling food in the world. I perused a couple of my cookbooks before settling on this recipe from Bon Appetit. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to put the prosciutto on the pizza but they still came out pretty tasty. I also used Trader Joe's pre-made pizza dough which definitely saved me some time. I also used a biscuit cutter to make little round pizza bites. Overall, I thought this was quite a tasty little appetizer. I will definitely make the next time I need to bring an appetizer to a party! Enjoy!

1 13.8 oz refridgerated pizza dough
3/4 c grated Fontina cheese (about 3 oz)
8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 c thinly sliced fresh basil
1 1/2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely torn into strips

Preheat your oven to 475. Lightly sprinkle rimmed baking sheet (or pizza stone) with flour. Next, roll out the dough on a floured surface and use a 2 1/2 inch cookie or biscuit cutter to cut the dough rounds. Arrange the rounds on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the Fontina cheese on the rounds. Divide equally. Next, place 2 tomato quarters on each round, pressing gently into dough. Sprinkle tomatoes with grated Parmesan cheese. Place in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes or until the cheese is a golden color. Remove from the oven and drizzle with olive oil and then top with the basil. Then, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Drape prosciutto strips over. Serve immediately.

Friday, August 22, 2014


I've been craving pancakes for a while now, and the other night I decided to satisfy that craving. I've made homemade pancakes before, and they turned out okay. But, I wanted to try a different recipe in hopes that I could find a way to make a light and fluffy yet tasty pancake. I decided to peruse the web in hopes of finding a recipe that would accomplish this. After reviewing a couple recipes I ultimately decided on this recipe by Bill Hilbrich. It received 5 stars, and people seemed to love this recipe. I decided to give it a try but tweak it a bit. I added the juice of one lemon to the milk and about 1/4 tsp of vanilla to the batter. Man, these pancakes turned out friggin awesome. I'm not even joking. They tasted like pancakes you would get at your favorite Pancake House. The pancakes were indeed light and fluffy and tasted great. I had plenty of batter left over, so I decided to freeze it. I had them again about a week later, and they still tasted great. I highly, highly recommend this recipe the next time you want pancakes. They're easy to make and sooo much better than a pancake mix. Enjoy!

  • cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • tablespoons baking powder
  • eggs, beat them separately before adding to mixture
1/4 cup butter, melted (1/8 of a pound)

  • tablespoons sugar
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla optional
  • Juice of one lemon added to the milk (optional)
Take out a medium bowl and combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Set aside. Take out a small bowl and add the milk and juice of one lemon. Set aside for one minute. Add the eggs to a large bowl and beat well. Then add the melted butter and the milk. Stir well. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Set aside for ten minutes. I use an ice cream scooper and scoop out the batter onto your griddle. Make sure it's set at medium-high heat. Once the pancake batter starts to have bubbles forming and has a golden color flip over to the other side. Serve warm with butter and syrup.