{In case you're wondering, that means "Everyone to the table to eat!" in Italian}

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Parrot Bay Coconut Shrimp

This is the copycat recipe of Red Lobster's Coconut Shrimp. I got it from Todd Wilbur's cookbook Top Secret Restaurant Recipes. I've been wanting to try it for a while now, but neither Dustin nor I wanted to go to the liqueur store to get the necessary rum for the recipe. So while we were in El Paso, I asked Ray to get me some. Sarah and I tried the recipe that night and, oh my, was it delicious! Dustin, Sarah and Ray all proclaimed it as good as the original.
Parrot Bay Coconut Shrimp
For the pina colada dipping sauce:
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. pina colada mix (liquid)
1/4 c. crushed pineapple
2 tb. sugar
For the shrimp:
6-10 c. canola oil (enough to deep fry)
12 lg. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 c. flour, divided
2 tb. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
2 tb. Captain Morgan's Parrot Bay Coconut Rum
1 c. panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 c. shredded coconut
Mix all pina colada sauce ingredients together, put in refrigerator to chill. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Butterfly the shrimp by making a cut about 2/3 of the way through the shrimp where the vein was. Put 3/4 c. flour in 1 bowl. Mix other 3/4 c. flour, sugar, salt, milk and rum in 2nd bowl. Let rest 5 minutes. Mix panko and coconut in 3rd bowl. Dip shrimp in flour, then batter, then coconut/panko mixture. Fry in hot oil for 2-3 minutes, or until shrimp are golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with pina colada dipping sauce. YUM!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mandarin Spinach Salad

I love making this salad as a side, but it's also great with meat in it as a full meal. I served it with home-made bread and jam. You can use any meat you like, and whatever fruit is in season. I usually make a home-made fruit viniagrette with jam, olive oil, red-wine vinegar, salt and pepper, but you can also buy a fruity viniagrette in the salad dressing section.
Mandarin Spinach Salad
1 bag baby spinach
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 c. chopped apples or pears, sliced strawberries, or whole blueberries or raspberries
1/2 c. glazed almonds, pecans or walnuts
1 c. chopped ham, chicken or turkey
Your choice fruity viniagrette dressing
Mix baby spinach, fruit, meat, and nuts in large bowl. Place on plates and top with dressing. Serve with bread or rolls. For a side dish you can just leave out the meat. It is very yummy!

Cranberry-Orange Sauce

I love whole-berry cranberry sauce, and it's even better home-made! So yummy on turkey sandwiches, too! It only takes about 15 minutes to make.
Cranberry-Orange Sauce
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. water
Mix all ingredients in saucepan. Bring to boil , turn heat to low. Simmer 10 minutes, or until most skins are cracked on cranberries, stirring occasionally. Cool, store in refrigerator to set up.

Peanutty Asian Noodles

I got this recipe from my friend Sara Muir, and I added the edamame to the recipe. The kids love it and it's chock-full of veggies and protein! Plus it's easy!
Peanutty Asian Noodles
8 oz. spaghetti (I use whole grain), cooked and drained,
reserve 2 tb. cooking liquid
1 lb. chicken, cut into cubes & sprinkled w/ salt
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
2 tb. sesame seeds, divided
1 tb. brown sugar
2 tb. rice vinegar
2 tb. soy sauce
1 tb. lime juice
1/2 tsp Tabasco
2 tsp. canola oil
2 c. matchstick carrots
1/2 c. sliced green onions
1 c. shelled edamame, cooked
Heat oil in large fry pan or wok. Meanwhile, combine broth, p.b., 1 1/2 tb. sesame seeds, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice and Tabasco. Cook chicken in hot oil for about 3 minutes. Add carrots and green onions, saute 3 minutes more. Stir in sauce, pasta, edamame, and reserved 2 tb. cooking liquid. Toss and heat just until sauce thickens. Top with remaining sesame seeds.

Turtle Pumpkin Pie

Thought it would be fun to try this recipe from Kraft instead of the traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving this year. It was really good, especially if you are a caramel/nut lover!
Turtle Pumpkin Pie
1 graham cracker pie crust
1/4 c. caramel topping
1/2 c. pecan pieces
1 c. cold milk
2 sm. pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 sm. tub cool whip
Pour caramel topping into crust, sprinkle w/ pecans. Beat milk, pudding, pumpkin and spices. Stir in 1 1/2 c. cool whip. Spread into crust. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Top w/ remaining cool whip, and more caramel and nuts if desired.

White Bean and Ham Soup

Okay, finally, here is the recipe for the soup that I make using the leftover hambone. You could use any kind of beans you like, or lentils or split peas, I just like white beans best.
White Bean and Ham Soup
1 lb. white or other beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
1 meaty hambone
1 sm. onion, chopped
2 cubes chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1 bay leaf, salt and pepper
Rinse and drain your soaked beans. Place all ingredients in a crock-pot. Fill with enough water to cover beans (about 6-8 cups). Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours. Remove bay leaf and bone, chop meat into small pieces, and add meat back to soup. Serve with hot bread or rolls.