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Breakfast of Champions

In honor of the New Orleans Saints being in the Super Bowl, I made Shrimp and Grits for breakfast. It’s fairly easy to make and if you want, you could even make the grits in advance (slow cooker) and it will be ready for you in the morning.

ngredients

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 30 jumbo shrimp, head on, preferably from Louisiana, peeled and deveined
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Prepared Creole seasoning, such as Zatarain’s
  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped andouille sausage
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped piquillo peppers
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 cups Basic Shrimp Stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • Grits
  • 1/2 cup fresh chervil sprigs
  1. In a large high-sided skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Season shrimp with salt and Creole spices. Add shrimp to skillet and cook until they just start to brown. Remove shrimp and set aside.
  2. Add sausage, garlic, shallot, peppers, and thyme to skillet; cook until garlic and shallots are softened and fragrant. Add shrimp stock and bring just to a simmer. Stir in butter and continue to cook until reduced and thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Return reserved shrimp to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through. Stir in lemon juice, tomatoes, and chives.
  4. To serve, place a heaping 1/4 cup cooked grits into each of six shallow bowls. Divide shrimp evenly between bowls, standing up and tails facing towards the center of the bowl. Spoon sauce around grits and garnish with chervil; serve immediately.

From The Martha Stewart Show, March 2009

Coconut Lime Bars

Recipe from http://gastronomyblog.com/2009/03/13/coconut-lime-squares/

* 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
* 1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted and cooled
* 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt

For custard

* 4 large eggs
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 5 limes)
* 1 tablespoon freshly grated lime zest (from about 2 limes)
* 1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted and cooled

Make crust
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan (knocking out excess flour) or line with an aluminum foil “sling” and coat with non-stick spray.

In a bowl blend together with fingertips flour, butter, coconut, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until mixture resembles coarse meal. Pat mixture into prepared pan and bake in middle of oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Make custard
In a bowl whisk together eggs and granulated sugar until combined well and stir in flour, lime juice, and zest.

Pour mixture over crust and bake in middle of oven 20 minutes. Top custard with coconut and bake 5 to 10 minutes more, or until just set. Cool confection in pan on a rack and chill 1 hour.

Makes 16 two-inch squares.

I blame John Besh for making me crave shrimp and grits.

I’m a sucker for this chef (I still think my meal at August was one of the best nights ever….mmmm fois gras and duck…mmmmmmmmmmm), so when I heard that Besh would be on Martha Stewart’s show, I immediately went to my DVR and recorded it.  After circling Rouse’s for the ingredients, I put on some loud music and cooked tonight’s dinner. Martha and John would be extremely proud of the smells that came from my kitchen tonight.

Mirliton Salad

Mirliton Salad

Serves 6.

  • 2 mirlitons, peeled, halved, pit removed, and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Red-Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup mixed baby greens
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill sprigs
  • 1/4 cup fresh chervil sprigs

Directions

  1. In a medium-size bowl, add mirlitons and vinaigrette; season with salt. Add chives and shallot; toss to combine. Transfer mixture to a second medium-size bowl.
  2. In the first medium bowl, add greens, dill, and chervil; toss to combine.
  3. Divide mirliton mixture evenly between each of six plates. Top with greens; serve immediately.

Red Pepper Jelly Vinegarette
Makes about 1 3/4 cups

  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red-pepper jelly
  • 1/2 teaspoon sambal chile paste
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup canola oil
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, jelly, and chile paste; season with salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in canola oil until mixture is well combined.
Shrimp and Grits
Shrimp and grits

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 30 jumbo shrimp, head on, preferably from Louisiana, peeled and deveined
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Prepared Creole seasoning, such as Zatarain’s
  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped andouille sausage
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped piquillo peppers
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 cups Basic Shrimp Stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • Grits
  • 1/2 cup fresh chervil sprigs

Directions

  1. In a large high-sided skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Season shrimp with salt and Creole spices. Add shrimp to skillet and cook until they just start to brown. Remove shrimp and set aside.
  2. Add sausage, garlic, shallot, peppers, and thyme to skillet; cook until garlic and shallots are softened and fragrant. Add shrimp stock and bring just to a simmer. Stir in butter and continue to cook until reduced and thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Return reserved shrimp to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through. Stir in lemon juice, tomatoes, and chives.
  4. To serve, place a heaping 1/4 cup cooked grits into each of six shallow bowls. Divide shrimp evenly between bowls, standing up and tails facing towards the center of the bowl. Spoon sauce around grits and garnish with chervil; serve immediately.
Good Night!!!
Din din

Pizza! Pizza!

It’s not delivery…it’s digorno’s..wait, it  isn’t even that.

Before

After!

Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna

From http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Artichoke-Spinach-Lasagna/Detail.aspx

INGREDIENTS (Nutrition)

  • cooking spray
  • 9 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 (14 ounce) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
  • 1 (28 ounce) jar tomato pasta sauce
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  3. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes, or until onion is tender-crisp. Stir in broth and rosemary; bring to a boil. Stir in artichoke hearts and spinach; reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in pasta sauce.
  4. Spread 1/4 of the artichoke mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish; top with 3 cooked noodles. Sprinkle 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese over noodles. Repeat layers 2 more times, ending with artichoke mixture and mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, and bake 15 minutes more, or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

King Cake!!!

I made this during the start of Mardi Gras. It took a long time to rise (which is why I am scared to bake with yeast) but I was very pleased with the results. It tasted like a fluffy cinnamon roll. Too bad king cake season is over!

Source: wwl-tv.com

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all purpose shortening
2 large eggs
1 cup liquid milk (at room temperature)
2 packs active dry yeast
1 teaspoon flavor (lemon, orange, vanilla or butter)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 small plastic baby, optional

Cream sugar, salt and shortening well. Add eggs and continue creaming. Dissolve and add milk, yeast and flavor. Add flour and mix until smooth.

Knead by hand until dough is smooth and pliable. Dough temperature out of the mixer at 80 degrees F. Allow dough to rest for approximately 1 1/2 hours.

Roll out in an oblong piece. Paint with vegetable oil. Add heavy cinnamon sugar; fold to hold sugar in. Cut into three strips; plait (braid). Let rest until it can be stretched easily and made into a circle. DOUBLE IN SIZE.

Mix colored sugar (purple, gold and green) using granulated sugar and paste color. Put on cake just before it goes into oven. Bake at 370 degrees F for approximately 12 to 15 minutes.

White Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Cookies

White Chocolate chip and cranberry

I freaking love these cookies. It a basic chocolate chip cookie base with white chocolate and cranberries. During the holidays, I would suggest soaking the cranberries in rum ( because the holidays are a perfect time to spike your food up!)

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and brandy. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. For best results, take them out while they are still doughy. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.