Cajun Shrimp Pasta

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Yesterday I tweaked the Cajun Shrimp recipe and served it over pasta. Like the original recipe I poached the shrimp in the water, wine, pickling spice mixture. I also sauteed up a bunch of veggies like peppers, tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and spinach. You could add any other vegetables you want. To make the sauce I combined four tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup sherry, 2/3 cup shrimp stock, and 2 tablespoons Cajun spice; stirring until the butter melts and everything is incorporated. When you saute the vegetables use the Cajun sauce instead of butter or oil. Cook the shrimp, vegetables and pasta then mix together and pour sauce over. This was a last minute throw together dish last night that turned out surprisingly well. It’s relatively simple and allows for a lot of creativity, Enjoy!

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Pan Cooked Chicken with Honey Beer Pan Sauce

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Here is a quick and easy dinner to make on a weekday night.You will find the recipe for the honey beer sauce below. The ingredients are pretty common and because it is a pan sauce you can have some fun experimenting with other ingredients. This chicken goes well with sauteed spinach and wild rice especially if you put some whole grain mustard in with the sauteed spinach. Enjoy!

Pan Cooked Chicken with Honey Beer Pan Sauce

Garlic and Herb Crusted Leg of Lamb

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I came across an extra leg of lamb in the freezer the other day and was inspired to use it in an upcoming dinner. I did a bit of research on a few recipes and came across this recipe from Food and Wine that I used as inspiration. I added more vegetables to the roasting pan and tweaked the cooking instructions a bit. Instead of pulling the lamb from the oven when the internal temp reads 145 take it out when it hits 140, it will reach 145 as it sits. This recipe is a bit time consuming but is very simple and turns out a delicious leg of lamb. I also have to give credit to Jamison Farm, we order our lamb from these guys for Easter and usually throw in a few other cuts into the shopping cart. They have fantastic quality lamb and I would recommend checking them out. Enjoy!

Garlic and Herb Crusted Leg of Lamb

Chicken Hot Chili Noodles

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I have become a big fan of using rice noodles in Asian dishes. They are much lighter than pasta and have a great soft texture. I mostly use them when I make pad thai. However, last night I decided make a new dish using rice noodles. This dish is based off of the hot pepper noodles recipe from Bon Appetite. I was a bit skeptical of this dish when I started making it. I thought it would be overwhelmed by the chili garlic sauce but the sauce had a subtle heat and great flavor. The oyster sauce, soy sauce,ans chili sauce blend well together. This quick and easy dinner is great to make during the week. Enjoy!

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Chicken Hot Chili Noodles

Soft Shell Crabs

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I was in the grocery store last week and saw that they had some soft shell crab. I bought a few and decided to fry them up for dinner. I decided to go with a simple tempura style batter. The batter was very light and turned out much better than I thought it would. The next time I make this I would try to incorporate some panko bread crumbs into the batter. I also threw together a nice Asian coleslaw to serve with the crabs. You can find the recipes below.

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I had a few crabs left over and decided to make a soft shell crab sandwich the next day. The coleslaw worked well with the crab and I made up a nice wasabi soy mayo to put on the bread. It turned out to be a great way to use up the left over crabs. Enjoy!

Tempura Soft Shell Crabs

Asian Coleslaw

Avocado Fries

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A few weeks ago I was at Triumph Brew Pub in Philadelphia and tried the avocado fries they had on the menu. I was surprised at how good they were, crunchy on the outside with a nice smooth and creamy texture on the inside. This past weekend I decided to take a stab at making them myself. The recipe is very easy, hardest part is breading the avocados. They turned out just like I remembered the Triumph ones tasting. Give them a try if you are looking for a healthy alternative to french fries!

Avocado Fries

Surf and Turf: Ribeye Steak and Scallops

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Earlier this week I made up a nice surf and turf with a ribeye steak and some sea scallops. I also experimented with some grilled potatoes that I marinated in a chipotle sauce. For the steak I just sprinkled on some kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper then cooked it to a nice medium rare.

For the potatoes I wanted to try something different and looked up a few ideas for grilled redskinned potatoes. Most of the recipes I found were pretty basic so I modified a few to add some spice to the potatoes. I thought they turned out quite well and were a nice change up from a regular baked potato.

I cooked the scallops on Himalayan salt blocks. If you can I highly recommend getting one. They cook some of the best scallops I have ever eaten. They are also good with tuna and thinly sliced pieces of beef. The most important part of cooking with a salt block is to make sure you heat it correctly. You need to take your time to not damage the block. I go over the proper way to heat a salt block in the recipe for the scallops.

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The salt blocks give the scallops a fantastic sear and a light and salty seasoning. Enjoy!

Seared Scallops on Himalayan Salt Block

Chipotle Grilled Red Potatoes

Blackened Chicken with Vegetable Pasta

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Tonight for dinner I made blackened chicken with a vegetable pasta. To make the pasta I took a few vegetables that I had in the fridge and sauteed them. I cooked some pasta and when it was done I tossed it with the vegetables. I’ve been working on this blackened chicken recipe for a while now, the rub works both with this method of cooking it and with grilling the chicken. I personally prefer the grilled blackened chicken but it was storming quite heavily today so I made it in a cask Iron skillet today. The rub delivers a good flavor and a subtle heat that doesn’t overpower the chicken. Enjoy!

Blackened Chicken

Grilled Squid with Spicy Asian Chili Sauce (Sotong Bakar)

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Whenever I think of squid I think of the classic fried calamari at most Italian restaurants. The other day I saw a recipe for grilled squid in Cooking Light magazine and adapted it with what I had available. Instead of making the chili sauce I used a chili garlic sauce you can find in most grocery stores then added a few spices and other things to it. This dish is very simple to make. You throw the marinade together, put the squid in it and let it sit, then start up the grill and cook the squid for 2 minutes a side.

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The squid came out with a great texture, not the rubbery overcooked texture you find out there. It cooks very quickly so the 2 mins a side will give the squid good grill marks and cook it perfectly. If you are looking for a new way to have squid or calamari give this a shot!

Grilled Squid with Spicy Asian Chili Sauce (Sotong Bakar)

Crab Feast 2013

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This past weekend I went down to Baltimore with my roommates from college for our annual crab feast. The past few years we have gone to a crab house but this year we decided to buy the crabs from a seafood market and have them at our buddy’s house. We got the crabs from The Crab Depot, The crabs were steamed perfectly and the crabs were all quite sizable.

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To go with the crabs we grilled up some corn and other veggies then put down the newspaper and started the feast. It turned into an epic battle of man versus the sea and lasted over 3 hours. It turned out to be a great weekend full of good food, good beer, lots of beer, and good friends. I can’t wait till next year!