Category Archives: Party Pleaser

Shady Grove’s Tortilla Crusted Queso Catfish

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This is one of my favorite comfort food dishes! After moving quite a ways away from Shady Grove in Austin- Evan and I started making our own (about once or twice a year). If you can’t make it there this should cure your craving!

 

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It’s worth the work! Trust me on this… Just make sure you go for a longggg walk before you have it so you don’t feel too guilty 😉

 

Prep Time:  30min

Cook Time: 10-12 min per batch of fish

Serves: 4

 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1oz Franks Hot Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 4  5-6oz Fish Filets, you can use catfish or cod, we like both. Cod is really nice and substantial for frying…
  • 2.5 C. Flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • 2.5 C. Buttermilk Full Fat
  • 2.5 C. Corn Tortilla Strips, sliced thin.
  • Peanut Oil for Frying
  • 6 oz Chili Con Queso, I like to make a green chili variety.
  • 4 oz Pico de Gallo
  • Lime Wedges to garnish

Instructions:

  1. Whisk the lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, and pepper together in a shallow bowl. Dip each fish fillet in the lemon juice mixture. Dredge fish in seasoned flour, followed by buttermilk, and then corn tortilla flakes to coat completely.
  2. *I make the hubby my Fry Daddy, and usually request him to do it outside… 🙂 Pour peanut oil into a large, deep saute pan until it comes about halfway up the sides of the pan. Heat oil to 350 degrees F. When oil is hot, carefully add fish fillets to pan, in batches if necessary, and deep-fry until golden brown, about 10 minutes total. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
  3. Place a drizzle of queso on top of each fried fish. Then top with pico de gallo on top of the fish. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

Enjoy!

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Kiwi and Mango Nigiri : It’s Easy Being Green : Marx Food Contest!

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marxZestyBeanDog has entered another Marx Foods Contest!  They are just too much fun to not partake in! Marx Foods send you a box of sample sized goodies and the rules are simple:  You have to use at least two ingredients and then blog the recipe. This time around there will be 2 winners, one from internal vote and one from public vote (that me means YOU, my dear friends). Voting will begin on Tuesday at which point I will add the new link to my blog. Then you can check out all the recipes and vote for your favorite one!  The winners get $100 in Marx Food Store Credit and you know I need that BAD!!! I’m all out of  YUZU juice! 😉

I chose to use the Bamboo Rice, Cardamom, and the Mint Herb Crystals to create a Kiwi and Mango Nigiri. This was a tasty and whimsical play on dessert and sushi that I will be making it again for sure, probably for a dinner party. The cardamom infused bamboo rice was subtle yet alluring and the slight crunch of the crystalized mint paired surprisingly well with the mango and bamboo rice.  I couldn’t resist doing kiwi not only because it’s green but also because I love it and the little seeds gave a great texture to the nigiri. The nigiri was then served with a orange honey marmalade and rice wine sauce. Overall it was a fun dish, to eat and to make!

Nigiri

Prep Time: 60 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Serves: Makes 8 Nigiri

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Boil 1 Cup of water add crushed cardamom pods and seeds, let sit for 10 min on simmer. Strain and reserve water for rice. 
  2. Add rinsed bamboo rice to water bring to a boil, add 1 tsp rice wine vinegar, cover and simmer for 20 min or until done.
  3. Cut up kiwi and mango thinly to arrange on top of rice.
  4. Let rice cool for about 20-30 min.
  5. Make 8 nigiri mounds with your hands and place fruit on top and garnish with crystalized mint and real mint.
  6. Serve with honey orange marmalade with a splash of rice wine.

Enjoy with a glass of wine!

Goodies

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The Best Fried Chicken in the WORLD right from your kitchen!

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We don’t eat fried chicken a whole lot but every once in awhile Evan or I will get a hankering for some good ole fried chicken. Usually when this happens we hit up our “go to” place = Max’s Wine Dive.  It’s always an expensive trip (the wine always gets us damn it…) and it’s quite far from us now that we live out in the boonies. This time we gave it a go at home. It was awesome!

Prep: 24 hrs (if you can wait that long)

Cook Time: 15-17 min per batch

Serves: 4 with sides

Finger Lickin'

Ingredients:

  • 4 Thighs and 4 drums (separated) with the skin on.
  • 2 Cups Buttermilk
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • More salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Blend jalapeno, buttermilk, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor.
  2. In a large glass mixing bowl: add marinade and chicken and cover with plastic wrap, let sit overnight.
  3. Heat peanut oil up in fryer to 325 degrees F.
  4. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper to flour.
  5. Take chicken out of marinade and let sit for about 20 min on a baking sheet just to warm them up a bit so the fryer oil doesn’t drop drastically. Pat dry, dredge in flour, then egg wash, then flour again.
  6. Fry pieces in several batches, how many will depend on your fryer’s size. Fry for 15-17 min.
  7. Place on wire rack and keep warm in oven if you are doing several batches.

Serve with cayenne honey and a side of collard greens and a starch 🙂 I did mashed sweet potatoes. Mmmm!

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Grilled Shrimp with French Green Lentils and Roasted Carrots, Fennel, and Shallots

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This healthy and earthy dish is very satisfying and simple to make. You will be happy you tried it 🙂 I used the carrots and fennel from our CSA from JBG

 

Prep : 25 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Serves: 2

Shrimpy

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup cooked green lentils
  • 10 Large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, leave tail on.
  • 1/2 Cup carrot, cubed
  • 1/2 Cup fennel, shaved
  • 1/4 Cup shallots, shaved
  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • Pinch of dill pollen
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Make a vinaigrette with balsamic, 1 TBS olive oil, pinch of dill pollen, pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well.
  2. Roast veggies on foil lined pan with 1 tbs olive oil and salt and pepper pinch for 20-25 min. Reserve in foil to keep warm. 
  3. Heat medium skillet to high and saute shrimp in a TBS of olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Mix roasted veggies, lentils, and vinaigrette together and serve shrimp on top.
  5. Enjoy!

Crockpot Chicken, Carrots, and Mushrooms with Lentils and Wild Rice

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This a great healthier  week night meal that is easy to set up and can cook in as little as 4 hrs in the crock while you are off at work or running errands.

This is not the greatest photo, but it was late and I was hungry 🙂

Chicken and Lentils

Prep: 10 min
Cook Time: 4-8 hrs
Serves: 4 ish

Ingredients

  • 6-8 organic chicken thighs, remove fat (the ones I had were small so we had 2 each)
  • 2.5 cups no sodium chicken stock ( I like homemade or Kitchen Basics)
  • 1 cup blend of wild rice and lentils (pick your favorite)
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • .5 cup chopped carrots
  • .5 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon thyme
  • .5 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Instructions:

  1. Place stock in pot, add rice, veggies,oil, and herbs: stir.
  2. Add chicken thighs to pot, season lightly with salt and pepper. 
  3. Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. ( I do 4 on high)
  4. Serve, salt and pepper to taste. 

Sous Vide Herbed Lamb Loins

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If you haven’t noticed…I’m absolutely loving my Sous Vide Supreme. The lamb loins were on sale at my local grocer so I bought 3 instead of 2. Normally one is enough for me (they are about 5 oz each with the bone). The sous vide ensures that these little lamb loins will be cooked to a perfect 134 degrees.

Lamb Loin

Prep: 5 min
Cook: 2-4 hrs
Serves: 2

Ingredients.

  • 2-3 lamb loins
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
  • .5 TBS fresh thyme, remove from stem
  • .5 tsp sea salt
  • .5 tsp pepper
  • Butter

Instructions

  1. Heat sous vide to 134 F.
  2. Chop garlic and herbs and blend together with salt and pepper.
  3. Coat loins with herb and garlic mixture on both sides.
  4. Cut 3 slices if butter and place on top of loin
  5. Vacuum seal loins separately in bags
  6. Submerge in water bath for a minimum of 2 hrs and max of 4 hrs.
  7. Once done seat on hot oiled grill for 1 min on each side.

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A “Lighter” Version of Crawfish Étouffée That Will Keep Your Waistline Happy :)

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Using a stick of butter or even a half a stick of butter just doesn’t sound very appealing to me especially after the holidays. So I made one of my favorites with a quarter of the fat and it turned out awesome!  You will notice I served this in a “bread boat”, this is how Evan likes it. You can do it plain, in a boat, or on top of rice-your choice!

Boat

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Serves: 4-6 People

Mmm

Ingredients:

  • 1lb Crawfish meat (shelled and deveined)
  • 1 C. Celery, chopped
  • 1 C. Red and Green Bell Pepper Mixture, chopped
  • 1 C. Sweet Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Bay leave
  • 1/2 C. Chicken Stock, no sodium
  • 2 TBS Butter
  • 1 TBS Coconut Oil
  • 1 TBS Favorite cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 TBS. Jalapeno (fresh), minced
  • 1 tsp. Black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1.5 TBS Flour dissolved in water

Instructions:

  • Heat butter and coconut oil on medium, once hot add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add the Holy Trinity: Bells, Onions, and Celery! Saute for 12-15 min
  • Add Crawfish, seasoning, bay leave, and chicken stock and simmer for 10 min.
  • Add flour to thicken sauce and season to taste with salt or more cajun seasoning.
  • Serve over white rice or in a bread boat.

Enjoy!

Pizzettes with Fried Brussel Sprout Leaves Tossed with Crispy Bacon and Golden Raisins

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Mini pizzettes for everyone! These are cute and delicious little pizzas that are sure to please any party guests. I have been on a pizza kick for my just about my whole life… I LOVE pizza! Ever since I learned to make my own dough- we no longer eat “delivery” pizza because it’s ALWAYS a disappointment for many reasons, it’s $$ for what it is, it makes you feel like crap, and it’s just simply not. that. good. We still enjoy going to local pizza places like Salvations and Rounders but that requires driving all the way into town which is not close.

Next time you need an appetizer plan for guest, try these babies out! You will not regret it!

Fried Sprouts

Prep: 1hr

Cook Time: 10-15 min

Serves: 8 tapas sized pizzas

Crust/Dough

  • 1 (1/4 ounce) Package active dry yeast
  • 1 C. Warm water
  • 1 TBS. Sea salt
  • 2 tsp Olive oil
  • 2 1/2-3 1/2 cups Bread flour
  • 2 TBS Lemon thyme, fresh
  • 1 TBS Chopped rosemary, fresh

Pizza Toppings

  • Olive oil
  • Fresh whole milk mozzarella slices, small ones (1-2 per pizza)
  • Crispy cooked bacon
  • Parmesan shavings
  • Salt/pepper
  • Golden raisins

Meyer Lemon and Sage Dressing

  • 1 C. Sour cream
  • 4 Sage leaves, chopped rough
  • 1/8 C. Milk
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic, granulated
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh pepper
  • 1 TBS Meyer lemon juice
  • Blend above ingredients with a stick blender or regular blender. Place into ziplock bag and reserve in fridge.

Brussel Sprouts

  • 2.5 C. Whole brussel sprouts,
  • 2 C. Peanut oil
  • Cut bottoms off sprouts and begin to peel the leaves apart, this may take a while, get a helper… place sprouts in a salad spinner or strainer to get water off the leaves.
  • Heat fryer to 350 F
  • Fry sprouts for 30 seconds, do in batches until done. Season lightly with salt add rasins to the batch after frying and toss.
  • Don’t fry in advance do these while pizzas are cooking so they remain crispy 🙂

Instructions:

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl.
  2. Add sea salt, olive oil, herbs, and 2 1/2 cup flour.
  3. Attach bowl and dough hook, turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute.
  4. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to dough hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 5 minutes. If making 2 pies split dough into 2 balls.
  5. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.
  6. Cover, let rise in warmest place in house away from draft until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
  7. Punch dough down each ball.
  8. Divide into 8 balls and roll out 8 little pies.
    * I like to par bake crust for 5-8 min to make it CRISPYYYYYY
  9. Once par baked top with olive oil, mozzarella, and a dash of salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 min until cheese is melted.
  10. Top with fried sprouts, bacon, parm shavings, and dressing!

yum

Enjoy and Cheers!

20 hr Sous Vide Pork Belly with Five Spice Rub on a Bed of Collards and Mashed Potatoes

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This pork belly will melt in your mouth… not in your hand.  I am LOVING my new cooking device, the Sous Vide Supreme, it’s the coolest thing ever!

I made this pork belly for NYE and it was a hit! It’s super simple (if you have a Sous Vide device). 🙂

Sous Vide Pork Belly

Prep: 15 min

Cook Time: 20-25 hrs

Serves: 8 Tapas sized portions

Ingredients:

  • 1.5lbs whole pork belly sliced into 8 same sized portions
  • 1 TBS Five Spice Powder
  • 1/2 TBS Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp. Ground fennel
  • Pam/butter for greasing skillet (not that you REALLY need it, but just for good measure incase your pan is too hot).

Instructions:

  1. Heat Sous Vide device to 160 F
  2. Mix herbs and seasonings together in a small bowl
  3. Coat pork belly portions in rub throughly
  4. Vacuum seal each portion separately
  5. Immerse in Sous Vide that’s heated to 160F for 20-25 hrs
  6. Take out and either sear the belly fat side down on a hot skillet to get a nice browned top or reserve in fridge until ready to fire and serve.
  7. Serve on top a mound of collards or greens and mashed potatoes.

I made a nice tarragon cream sauce to garnish on the side of the plate. It went nicely with the pork and the fennel notes.

Pork Belly

Enjoy and Cheers!

New Year’s Eve 6 Course Meal at the Fawn House

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This New Year’s Eve Evan and I had a dinner party for 6 of our good friends.  We have never been really big on going out to bars/restaurants/ downtown  for NYE, so we decided that we would do a 6 course meal and invite everyone stay at the house.  It worked perfect we all chipped in $20 a person and had a meal that was AMAZING and no one had to drive home afterward 🙂

You may notice something trending in this menu… can you guess what I got for Christmas from my Fry Daddy???

Here’s how it went down…

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Name Tags I made

First Course: charcurterie sampler : chicken liver pâté, NY chorizo, sottocenere with truffles, cheddar farmstead block, olives, hot and sweet pickles and peppers, with a cracker and bread assortment

Charcuterie

Sampler

Second course: pizzette with fried brussel sprout leaves tossed with crispy bacon and golden raisins drizzled with a tarragon and meyer lemon cream sauce and parm shavings

Fried Sprouts

Third course: 20 hr sous vide spiced pork belly on top a collard and mash mound

Pork Belly

Fourth course: 5 wild mushroom risotto with 110 min egg

110 Min Egg

Fifth course: sous vide duck breast topped with  hibiscus flower and fried shallots on a bed of arugula

Sous Vide Duck

Sixth course: strawberry and champagne shortcake with dark chocolate snow and whipped cream sprinkled with pop rocks

Dessert

If you were wondering…I got a Sous Vide Supreme!

 

HAPPY 2013 EVERYONE! CHEERS!