Posts Tagged ‘dinner’

Cajun Kick – Remoulade & Shrimp Po Boys

It’s winter and here in the Mid-Atlantic it can get a bit cold and dreary. I decided that the best way to warm myself up this winter was to cook some good ‘ole cajun food. What better, easy weeknight meal than homemade remoulade sauce and shrimp po boys?! It was a really fun meal because it was easy and quick and both recipes were great!

Remoulade Sauce

Adapted from: http://m.foodnetwork.com/recipes/22725

Ingredients:Creative Crops Po Boy1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish mustard
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process for 30 seconds. We used ours the same night but the leftovers did keep for a few days. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Shrimp Po Boy

Adapted from: http://www.closetcooking.com/2010/02/shrimp-po-boy.html

Creative Crops Shrimp Po Boy

Ingredients: 
1 pound shrimp (shelled and deviened)
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon creole seasoning (below)
1 baguette (cut into 4 sandwich sized lengths)
1 cup shredded lettuce
2 large tomatoes diced
1/4 cup remoulade sauce

Directions:

Coat the shrimp in creole seasoning and oil. Skewer and grill the shrimp. Load up your sandwich with shrimp, lettuce, tomato and remoulade sauce.

Creole Seasoning

Adapted from: http://www.closetcooking.com/2010/02/shrimp-po-boy.html

Ingredients:
2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
1 teaspoon dried leaf thyme

Directions:
Mix everything 🙂

Creative Crops Creole Seasoning

Martha’s Weeknight Shrimp Jambalaya

My husband loves spicy food, anything with a good kick he automatically moves to his favorite food list. I’m not as into the spicy overtones in food and tend to get overwhelmed by spice quickly. We were in the hunt for a recipe that had some spice, but not too much AND was easy for a weeknight when we forgot to defrost meat which is how we stumbled upon Martha’s Shrimp Jambalaya. Since I’m not Martha I, of course, modified her recipe to fit our flavors and worked based off of her reviews online. Below is our version of Martha’s Shrimp Jambalaya. It wasn’t too spicy for me and my husband added some extra spice to his own dish to better suite his palate. It was quick and easy to make, required no defrosting of anything and contained ingredients we generally alwasy have handy in our kitchen. Definitely a great recipe to add to the weeknight rotation!

creative crops recipe, shrimp jambalayaIngredients

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of salt and ground pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
8 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 pound medium shrimp (about 30), peeled, deveined, and tails removed
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
2 cups water

Directionscreative crops recipe, shrimp jambalaya

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally while it cooks until onion starts softening which will take about 5 minutes. Stir in paprika; cook about 1 minute (Martha suggests until it is fragrant).

Add tomatoes, rice, and water to skillet; cover, and simmer over medium heat until rice is cooked and has absorbed all water, about 15 minutes. Add shrimp and cook, covered about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper, as desired. Garnish the dishes with your scallions before serving!

Shrimp Jambalaya creative crops

Jazzy Jalapeno Cauliflower

Apparently I’m on either a side dish or veggie kick here, I’m not sure which…In any case here is another great way to prepare Cauliflower. One of our favorite ways to eat cauliflower was as part of a pasta and sauce dish that I previously blogged, but this is a great way to use cauliflower as a true side dish. It’s not too spicy but does still have some great flavor to offer. As with most of my recipes it doesn’t take too long to make, which is really everything you could want and more in a side dish!

This was heavily adapted from: http://www.marthastewart.com/317655/cauliflower-jalapeno .

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower florets – cut into small pieces
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 small clove of garlic diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1/4 chopped red onion
  • 1 finely chopped jalapeno (the more seeds the spicier!)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves

Directions

Preheat your oven to 450 F. Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet (mine are always lined with parchment paper to aid in a quick cleanup) and drizzle with about half a tbsp of olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Roast the cauliflower for 5 – 10 minutes until it is golden brown in color.

In a medium bowl combine your roasted cauliflower, onion, jalapeno, the remaining olive oil, rice vinegar and the diced garlic and toss to combine. Add cilantro as a finishing garnish just before you serve.

Cauliflower Jalapeno, creative crops

Not-so-Boring Brussels Sprouts

brussels sprouts creative cropsBrussels Sprouts, the veggie everyone loves to hate, until now. Here lies a truly delicious brussels sprouts dish, one that your family will like and even ask for seconds of! My family and I first debuted this recipe on Thanksgiving and then gave it some minor tweaks for Christmas. Since Christmas we have all made this a handful of times because it is just that tasty! Cooking the brussels sprouts as we do below really cuts much of their bitterness leaving a really nice tasting vegetable.

My recipe below was adapted and inspired by Real Simple’s November 2012 Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon article.

Ingredients:

1 ‘stalk’ of brussels sprouts. If you’re buying them individually about 1 pound will dobrussels sprouts creative crops
3 tbsp breadcrumbs (we use panko style)
3 tbsp olive oil ( I use 1tbsp garlic infused olive oil and 2 tbsp evoo)
1 clove garlic smashed, or 1 tbsp minced garlic
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 tbsp butter, melted

Directions

Trim and half your sprouts. Preheat your oven to 425 F. In a medium pan or skillet stir in the oil and sprouts. Cook for about 10 minutes on the stove. Add the garlic, salt and pepper, and creativecrops brussels sproutshalf of the breadcrumbs to the pan and toss.

Stick this pan in your preheated oven. You will want to stir everything once, about 10 minutes into cooking. Leave in the oven 15 – 20 minutes until tender and browning occurs with the sprouts.

Transfer everything from the pan into your serving bowl and add the remaining breadcrumbs and melted butter. Toss to combine, serve and enjoy!

Don’t forget to eat your veggies!
brussels sprouts, creative crops

Minnesota Hot Dish: Beef Stroganoff

For all of my friends from the Midwest I will be sure to make this clear: as much as I would like to have grown up or even just been born in the Midwest, I sadly did not. I am from NJ, nowhere near the Midwest, but after hanging out with my Minnesota friends too much I can develop a bit of a Midwestern accent, so I’m going to count it. Here is how this ‘Midwest’ gal cooks up a classic Hot Dish: Beef Stroganoff! This recipe is slightly tailored but originates from The Great Minnesota hot dish book by Theresa Millang.

What You Will Need: 

3 tbsp butter
2  lbs sirloin steak cut into thin 1 inch slanting strips (season with salt & ground pepper)
1 large thinly sliced onion
1 lb sliced fresh mushrooms (this amount is really to your taste so feel free to use less)
3 tbs all-purpose flour
1.5 cups beef broth
1/2 cup dry red wine (or apple juice)
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried dill weed
pinch of ground nutmeg
3 minced gloves of garlic
1 cup dairy sour cream (you can use less, I only use a few tablespoons in mine)
Cooked egg noodles
pinch of minced parsley

Directions: 

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Melt butter in a large saucean. Add beef, stir and cook until browned. Place the browned beef into a 3-quart glass baking dish.

In the same saucepan, stir and cook onion and mushrooms until they are both tender. Stir in flour until blended. You will want to stir in the flour a little bit at a time so that it is easier to blend. Stir in remaining ingredients except sour cream, noodles and parsley. Quickly bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the beef.

Cover the glass dish and bake for 1.5 hours or until meat is very tender. After removing from the oven gradually stir in the sour cream. Serve over the cooked noodles and garnish with the parsley. Serve & Enjoy!!

BLT Pasta

I am a huge huge fan of BLTs, just absolutely love them (hold the mayo!), my other great love is definitely pasta. BLT pasta was just a no-brainer. This is a quick and different pasta dish that is really easy to pull together and makes a fun side that everyone likes.

Ingredients: 

– 1 box of pasta – rigatoni or penne are best
– 1/2 a package of cooked bacon (about 6 pieces, more if you want extra bacon)
– about 7 oz of baby spinach or arugula
– 1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes – we have used chopped up beefsteak tomatoes in a pinch too
– 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

To Bring it all Together: 

I like to cook up my bacon first, that’s just a personal preference. While I’m getting my bacon ready I start to boil my water for pasta. Since it doesn’t matter as much to me if the bacon gets only lukewarm I cook that up first and place the cooked bacon on a plate with a paper-towel to soak up the extra grease. Once your bacon is done cooking, do not wash out that pan! Empty out most of the bacon grease from the pan and put your washed arugula/baby spinach into that pan on low. Stir that around until your spinach/arugula starts to wilt. Once it looks like it is starting to wilt transfer it to your serving bowl. Next put your quartered cherry or grape tomatoes into the pan from the bacon and cook them for about 2 minutes. I usually add just a small pinch of olive oil to the pan at this point to ensure that the tomatoes don’t stick. Once the tomatoes are warmed up add them to the bowl with the arugula/baby spinach. At this point your pasta should also be done, drain your pasta, add to the bowl with the spinach/arugula and tomatoes and the 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Mix them all up well and then crumble the bacon on top to serve.

Once you stir it all up, each bite will have a great BLT flavor, for an easy and fun side dish any night of the week!

Quick and Easy Cauliflower, Spinach and Pasta

It was a Sunday evening, dinner was planned to include chicken, cauliflower and spinach. Maybe other ingredients but these were on the chopping block so to speak and needed to be used in the meal. I was a bit out of ideas on what to make and decided to turn to the Food Network for some inspiration. After searching for cauliflower and spinach the first result seemed like a winner – “Paccheri Pasta with Cauliflower and Spinach” by Guy Fieri. I scanned the recipe and it looked easy enough, had good reviews and included our ingredients so we went to work. This was an excellent recipe. I say this often but I really mean it every time – we are definitely going to plan on cooking this again. It really took only a half hour so I can envision us making this on a weeknight when we get home a bit later and want something ‘quick’. As with most recipes we did do some modifications, you can find the full recipe from Food Network here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/guy-fieri/paccheri-pasta-with-cauliflower-and-spinach-recipe/index.html , but here is how we made it:

Ingredients
3 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 head cauliflower cut into florets
2 tsp red pepper flakes (or a bit more than a pinch since that’s a ridiculous thing to have to measure out)
1 bunch of fresh spinach
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 lb of pasta – rigatoni would be great, we used Wegman’s Riccioli (http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10052&catalogId=10002&productId=699547)
1 lb of chicken, cubed
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock

To Cook:

Bring water to a boil in a medium stock pot (be sure to choose one large enough to cook your pasta in). Once the water is boiling toss in your cauliflower. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes. While the cauliflower is going, get a medium saute pan (one that is big enough to fit your cooked pasta, cauliflower, crushed tomatoes, etc in) heated up with the olive oil, red pepper and garlic for about one minute. Also start slowing cooking your chicken in another pan. You can also grill your chicken if you prefer, either way get the chicken rocking in a separate pan.

Gather up the cauliflower from your boiling water and add it to the oil and garlic in your saute pan. Do not add any of the cauliflower water, but do not dump it out either, you’re going to use that water for your pasta so leave it warm on your stove for now. Saute your cauliflower with the oil, garlic and red pepper until the cauliflower starts to lightly brown (about 4 minutes). Add your chicken stock to deglaze the pan, add your spinach and cover for about 2 minutes until the spinach begins to wilt.

At this point feel free to start your pasta as your sauce should be ready in about 5 minutes. If your chicken isn’t quite ready then wait until the chicken is nearly finished to cook your pasta. Remember, your pasta should be slightly al dente for this recipe, you definitely do not want to overcook the pasta!

Add your crushed tomatoes to the spinach and cauliflower mixture and stir, reducing the heat to a simmer (also remove the cover at this point). When your chicken is done add that to your ‘sauce’, and after draining your pasta add your cooked pasta to the sauce as well and toss. If you want to add a bit of the starched water from the pasta pot that would also work, some people enjoy the extra flavor a bit of that water adds. Toss everything in the saute pan, and then move to your serving bowl (or if you are lazier like us, throw a trivet on the table and serve!). You can also add cheese, extra red pepper, black pepper, etc to taste. I’m not one to add anything, so I didn’t but Greg did add extra red pepper to give it a kick.

This meal produced a great quantity for two people, so we both had our leftovers as lunch the next day and it was just as good as the night it was served. Again, this took about 30 minutes total, it was easy to get the next/upcoming ingredients ready as the first few steps were moving along and it only took 3 pans for a delicious meal! Definitely recommended by us! If you try it the Guy Fieri original way that we didn’t follow I’m sure it would be just as if not more delicious, at least the recommendations say so! Enjoy everyone!

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