Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Tiki Time: Hawaiian Chicken over Ginger Coconut Rice

A few tips on chicken for the grill before we get to the recipe.  Dark meat will always be more flavorful and tender than white meat.  Marinated dark meat chicken will be moist and delicious when grilled.  I can honestly say this was the best grilled chicken I've ever eaten.  

Thanks to www.thegirlwhoateeverything.com for this great recipe.

3 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 cups low sodium soy sauce
2 cups water
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1/4 cup of white onion, chopped
1/2 t. minced garlic
1 t. sesame oil
1 (13.5 oz.) can of coconut milk

Trim the chicken of any visible fat.  Mix ingredients in a large bowl and add chicken.  Marinade chicken for at least 4 hours or overnight to make sure flavor is infused.

Grill chicken on low heat so that the marinade doesn't burn.  Cook for 5 - 7 minutes per side or until done.  Serve over a platter of coconut/ginger rice.*  Garnish with sesame seeds.  Serve with additional soy sauce if desired.

*Coconut ginger rice can be made be replacing half of the water in your rice recipe with coconut milk.  Add 2 t. grated ginger to the rice after cooking.

Tiki Time: Pork and Veggie Kebabs

I realize that Kebabs are originally Middle Eastern in origin, but every Polynesian Food website I went to had kebab recipes.  So I chose pork tenderloin and veggies for mine. 

An original Lolly marinade recipe: 

1/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 T. pineapple juice
1/2 T. granulated garlic
1/2 t. sesame oil
1 T. rice wine vinegar
6 T. Kikoman roasted garlic teriyaki marinade

Combine all ingredients and marinate 1 inch cubed pork tenderloin for a minimum of 3 hours.  Soak bamboo skewers for several hours in water.  Choose whichever veggies you'd like.  We used red and green bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and white onions.  Cube the veggies up thick enough that they won't tear when being placed on the skewers.    Carefully thread the pork and veggies on the skewers.

Cook the kebabs on a medium high heat on the grill until the pork is cooked through and the veggies are tender.  Enjoy!

Tiki Time: Spam Sliders with Tropical Fruit Salsa

Hawaii and Spam.  Spam and Hawaii. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. Did you know that? There are restaurants all through the Islands serving Spam in all sorts of variations.  

I thought a Tiki Party needed to include these neat little sliders. But what to top them with? Tropical Fruit Salsa of course. Trust me this salsa rocks! Not only was it wonderful with these sliders, but was also great with the Pork Kebabs and the Hawaiian Chicken. 

For the sliders, get your grill hot and ready to go. Slice Spam into appropriate size for whatever buns/bread you're using and grill until hot through and through. Remember Spam is actually SPiced hAM. Do not be afraid of the Spam. 

Now for the salsa ingredients:
1 cup finely diced papaya
1/2 cup finely diced mango
1/3 cup finely diced white onion
3 T. chopped freshly chopped cilantro
1 T. fresh orange juice
1 T. fresh  lime juice
1 finely diced jalapeno
1/2 t. salt

Stir together all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thanks to www.epicurious.com

Tiki Time: Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Orange Dipping Sauce

Adapted from Food Network's recipe.  Yes, I made some changes.  I'm claiming this one!

Let's make the dipping sauce first.
12 oz. orange marmalade
2 T. rice wine vinegar
3/4 t. red pepper flakes
dash of salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat.  Heat until marmalade is melted, about 5 minutes or so.  Remove from heat.

Now for the shrimp:
1 pound medium or large shrimp, shelled and deveined
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
dash of cayenne
2/3 cup water
2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and cayenne.  Add the water and whisk until smooth.  Let the batter sit and rest for 15 minutes.

In a wide, shallow bowl combine the coconut and panko.

Heat peanut oil in a deep fryer or a large, heavy pot to a temp of 325 degrees.

Dip a few shrimp at a time in the batter and remove one at a time.  Dredge in the coconut/panko mixture, pressing gently to help the coating stick.  Fry the shrimp in batches until shrimp are opaque and the batter is golden brown.

Serve the shrimp with the dipping sauce.    

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tiki Time: Shrimp Toasts

This dish didn't quite work out the way I planned.  The recipe (from Party Swizzle) sounded great.  I followed the instructions, but had major issues with the oil.  

If the oil isn't hot enough, your toasts are going to soak up WAY too much.  If it's too hot, the bread will get too brown immediately before you can flip them over.  It's a delicate balance to get the oil a perfect temp.  

Also, only fry one or two at a time.  If you put too many in the skillet at once, you can't get them turned quickly enough.  Learn from my mistakes.  : )

Next time I'll try these in the deep fryer.  I think that would have made all the difference.  The taste was perfect, just the execution needs a little work.  At least for Lolly. 

1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 T. water chestnuts
1 t. minced ginger root
1 t. sesame oil
1 t. cooking sherry
2 t. soy sauce
1 T. slightly beaten egg
1 t. cornstarch
1 scallion finely chopped
1/2 cup sesame seeds
10 slices white bread
24 oz. peanut oil for frying

Cut the crusts off the slices of bread and set out for a few hours to dry out.
Pulse shrimp, water chestnuts, ginger, sesame oil, sherry, soy sauce and egg to a coarse puree.  Stir together with cornstarch, scallions and 1/4 tsp salt.  Spread the mixture on the bread and cut each slice into quarters--half squares and half triangles.  Pour the sesame seeds on a plate and take one of the quarters and press into the seeds, shrimp paste side down.

Repeat for half the squares and half of the triangles, and leave the rest plain.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until ready to fry.

Heat 1-inch depth of oil to very hot, but not smoking. A few bread crumbs dropped in should sizzle right away.   Fry the quarters a few at a time by lowering them paste side down into the oil with a slotted spoon for about 1 minute.

Flip them over and fry a few more seconds.  Drain on paper towels.

Best served immediately, but you may fry ahead of time and reheat 5 minutes in a 300° F oven.  They also may be frozen then heated in 325° F oven for 15 minutes.

Tiki Time: Edamame Salad with Sesame Wasabi Dressing

This dish was a big hit at the Tiki Time party.  Very quick to assemble and fresh tasting.  Next time I think I may add some diced water chestnuts for a little crunch.

1 bag frozen Edamame Beans
1 cup of baby corn sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1/8 cup chopped pomento
4 oz. radishes, diced
1/4 cup chopped green oinions
Bottled Asian sesame seed dressing (I used Kraft's)
touch of wasabi powder (1 tsp.)
1 tsp. of soy sauce

Steam bag of Edamame Beans (Soy) for 6 minutes in microwave. Then shock the beans in cold water.  Add in veggies.  Stir gently to mix.  Add dressing, wasabi and soy sauce.  Stir again and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tiki Time: Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Chunks

I'll go on the record now as not being a fan of pineapple. I love pineapple juice in drinks and punch, but to eat plain pineapple, not so much.

But as always, bacon makes everything better. I did enjoy these little munchies. This is a quick and easy appetizer. I cooked them in the toaster oven and didn't have to heat up the kitchen with the big oven. 

1 can pineapple chunks
Bacon (slices cut in half)
green onion strips

Drain pineapple. Wrap one half strip of bacon around pineapple chunk. Tie a green onion strip around the bundle. Secure with a toothpick.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 - 17 minutes until bacon is cooked. Remove toothpick. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tiki Time Beverages

We started with Mai Tais

Moved on to Blue Hawaiians....

And finished up with Pina Coladas!

Tiki Time!

It's Spring time in Alabama!  Everything is blooming and gorgeous and warm.  I had planned on having a Tiki Party during the drab days of February, but we had a very mild winter here in the Southeast.  So what better time to celebrate the beginning of Spring than with a trip to the Islands!

Here's the table....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fresh Apple Cake

My long time friend Juanee gave me the recipe for this beauty. I  made one cake for a meal with friends last Saturday and it disappeared. Quickly. I made another one Tuesday night. Another disappearing act. You want to make your family and friends happy? Bake this cake!

Fresh Apple Cake

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups self-rising flour
3 cups peeled, chopped apples (whatever kind you like best, I used Fuji)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 stick unsalted butter (NO MARGARINE)

Mix oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add flour a little at a time. Mix in cinnamon.  Fold in apples and pecans. Pour into well greased and floured bundt pan. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Topping: Combine brown sugar, milk and butter in saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Pour hot glaze over hot cake. Leave in pan for 2 hours then carefully release onto cake plate.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Grillades and Grits

Grillades (gree-yads) is a favorite brunch item in New Orleans. Pieces of beef or veal are simmered long and slowly in a gravy made of onions, bell peppers, celery, tomatoes and beef stock. After the long simmering time, the meat will literally melt in your mouth. Serve these alongside cheese grits. Perfect for a lazy weekend morning.

4 pounds boneless beef or veal round steak, about 1/4 inch thick
1 T. salt
1 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 medium yellow onions, chopped
3 medium green bell peppers, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 cups crushed tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 bay leaves
1/2 t. dried tarragon
1/2 t. dried basil
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions (green part only)
3 T. finely chopped fresh parsley

Remove any fat from the beef or veal.  Cut the meat into 2 inch squares.  Combine the salt, cayenne, black pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl.  Have the flour at hand.

Lay several pieces of the meat on a cutting board and sprinkle with the seasoning mix and a little of the flour. With a meat mallet, pound each piece of meat until slightly flattened. Flip the pieces over and repeat the process. Do this with remaining meat.

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the meat, several pieces at a time and brown evenly on both sides. As the meat is cooked, transfer it to a platter. When all the meat is browned, return it to the pot. Add the onions, bell peppers and celery and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the broth, wine, bay leaves, tarragon and basil. Stir to blend and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If the mixture becomes dry, add a little water or more broth.

When ready to serve, remove the bay leaves and add the green onions and parsley. Serve with baked cheese grits.

From Cooking Up a Storm

Baked Cheese Grits

I've tried many different recipes for cheese grits. This is, BY FAR, the most delicious cheese grits I've ever eaten. I made these to go along with Grillades (recipe to also be posted).  If you remotely like grits, try these. Please. And then come back and post lots of thank yous. I know you will.

2 cups yellow grits, cooked according to package directions
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 pound cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup milk
1 stick butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

After the grits are cooked, add the eggs, cheese, milk and butter and stir until well blended and the cheese and butter are completely melted. Pour into a 2 quart baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes, until the mixture sets.

From Cooking Up a Storm

Corned Beef & Cabbage Soup

When I came across this recipe in the March 2012 issue of Food Network Magazine, I knew what I would use the St. Patrick's Day corned beef leftovers in the next day.

I added a teaspoon of caraway seeds and next time may substitute 2 cups of Killian's Irish Red for 2 cups of the water. 

1 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 T. unsalted butter
1/4 t. allspice
1 - 14 oz. can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups low sodium beef broth
4 cups water
4 cups chopped green cabbage
3 small Yukon gold potatoes, diced
3/4 cup quick cooking barley
1/4 pound corned beef cut into thin strips (use leftovers or deli meat)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t. caraway seeds

Melt butter in large Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add onions, carrots, celery and allspice and cook until vegetables are slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, beef broth, cabbage, potatoes, barley and water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Uncover, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes and barley are tender, about 20 minutes.  Stir in the corned beef and season with salt and pepper and caraway seeds.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Chunky Creamy Crawfish Bisque

When this month's Louisiana Cookin' magazine arrived, this recipe caught my attention immediately. I added about a half a cup of chopped shrimp and didn't add any of the Italian cheese the recipe called for on this photo op. However, Sweet Harold added it to his bowl and loved it. And no, I have no idea how they rationalize that something can be both chunky and creamy.  

If there had been any left, I was planning on serving over rice. But alas, the two of us will be fighting over the meager 1/2 cup which was left.  es, it was that great. 

4 T. extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup chopped onion, celery, green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely diced portabella mushrooms
1 can cream of shrimp soup
1 pound Louisiana crawfish tails
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 t. seafood seasoning
6 T. unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (for garnish)
2 cups Italian shredded 6 cheese blend

In a medium Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on high until it just begins to smoke.  Then drop in the onion mix and saute, stirring constantly, until it wilts and begins to soften.

Next, toss in mushrooms and quickly stir them around in the seasoning mixture. Then stir in the can of undiluted soup, taking care to thoroughly mix all the ingredients into uniformly blended.

At this point, drop in the crawfish tails along with the heavy cream and stir until all the ingredients are completely blended. Immediately reduce the heat to medium low and stir bisque continuously to fully blend cream. Sprinkle in the salt, pepper and the seafood seasoning and simmer 8 - 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

When you're ready to serve, whisk in the butter pats to create a creamy consistency, ladle out generous portions into warm soup bowls and garnish with green onions and a handful of shredded cheese.  

Chargrilled Oysters

I love oysters in every form:  raw, steamed, broiled, fried, in soups, in dressing.  But chargrilled are my most favorite way. 

Here's a recipe from Drago's in New Orleans.   If you don't think you like oysters, try this version.  I bet you'll fall in love with them like I did!

Drago’s Style Charbroiled Oysters Recipe

The Sauce:
1 Stick Unsalted Butter, very soft
1 Pinch Kosher Salt
1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
4 Tbsp Pecorino Romano
1 pinch Cayenne
1 pinch White Pepper
1 Spritz Lemon Juice
1 tsp Minced Italian Parsley
Whisk together all ingredients.

For the Oysters:
1 dozen large freshly shucked oysters on thehalf shell
1 recipe of the Sauce, above
Pecorino Romano to finish
Minced Italian Parsley for garnish
Fresh Bread
Lemon wedges
Mix together all of the ingredients.

Heat a charcoal or gas grill until very, very hot.  Place the oysters on the hottest spot on the grill and let them cook in their own juices for a few minutes, just until they start to bubble and the edges curl.

Top each with a generous portion of the sauce, enough to fill up the shell.  When the sauce starts to bubble and sizzle sprinkle each oyster with about a tablespoon of Pecorino Romano.  Let the oysters go until the sauce on the edges of the shells gets nice and brown.  Garnish with minced parsley.

Serve while still sizzling with lemon wedges and fresh bread.

Note: The more sauce that oozes onto the plate the better for mopping up with the bread.  Also, don’t be as foolish as me and just make half a dozen, 3 dozen is more like it.