Archive for January, 2013

January 30, 2013

Fried Goat Cheese

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Wow these were good.

One of my favorite restaurants in Portland, Maine is called The Grill Room. There is an appetizer on the menu that we have to order every single time we visit that place, it’s called Steak ‘n Cheese Beef Carpaccio. It is a block of fried goat cheese topped with beef carpaccio, some greens, and red onion. It is incredible. One time I went with some family for my birthday and even convinced my mom to try it. She really didn’t like the idea of trying thin slices of raw beef but she was completely obsessed after one bite. 

I would love to create the whole appetizer at home, but the raw sliced beef worries me (with my luck I would make myself sick). I’ll leave that up to the professionals. The fried goat cheese seemed like the easiest place to start. The goat cheese doesn’t melt too much, it just gets very creamy and the outer layer has a great crunch to it. I decided to try the cheese on top of a simple salad made of shredded carrots, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, oil and vinegar. It worked out great!

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Because goat cheese is expensive and I’m broke, I only bought a 4oz log thus resulting in only 3 discs of goat cheese, waah! I wanted MORE!

I guess you could say this particular recipe is for one person. Or…you could buy an 8 ounce log of goat cheese instead of 4 and then you will have even more! I am good at math.

I had to share with my husband so we each got one whole piece and then half of the last one. Ah well.

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Fried Goat Cheese
{Makes 3 slices}

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 oz log soft goat cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup panko
  • 1/4 olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl, beat the egg until frothy (add some water if you want). In a small dish mix the flour, salt and pepper. Add panko to a third dish.

Slice the goat cheese into three even pieces. With your hands, roll each piece into a ball and squish down with your hands to form a disc.

Lightly dredge the goat cheese into the flour, shaking off any excess. Then into the egg, shaking off excess and finally coat with the panko, pressing to adhere.

In a small sauté pan, heat the olive oil to medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, fry the goat cheese until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side.

Remove from the pan and place onto paper towels to get rid of any extra oil. Serve immediately onto prepared salad or however you like!

**Print this Recipe**

January 24, 2013

Buttermilk Biscuits

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Do you know how stinkin’ easy homemade biscuits are and how much better they taste than store bought?! Well…EASY and SO MUCH BETTER.

When I don’t feel like ordering a bagel with cream cheese at Dunkin’ Donuts, I always go for an egg and cheese on a biscuit. Now the idea of it grosses me out, because those biscuits are not these biscuits. Know what I’m sayin’? No? Well anyway…

Just look at the ingredients:

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You don’t need to wait for dough to rise, you don’t need to knead for hours (or what always feels like hours). I didn’t do anything special to create layers of flakiness, it just happened. I have heard that it helps to handle the dough as little as possible. This is what mine looked like, barely mixed and clumps of butter throughout.

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I wish I got a little bit more creative but I wanted to start with the most basic recipe. Now I want to make them all the time!!

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And there really aren’t too many dishes to dirty!! Can you tell that I am excited? I don’t even want to talk about anything else today besides these GD biscuits. Next time I would love to throw some herbs in and see what happens. I’ve even seen terrific biscuit combos such as cheese and bacon or strawberries and cream. Yum.

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Buttermilk Biscuits {Slightly adapted from these biscuits}
makes 8

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 6 tbsp cold butter (unsalted)
  • 1 cup buttermilk

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 450°F

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Cut the butter into small chunks and crumble it into the flour mixture.

Add the buttermilk and mix (with hands) until JUST combined. Don’t overdo it. It should be on the wet side.

Place onto floured work surface and gently pat the mix until it’s about 1/2 inch thick. Fold it over 4-5 times, patting it down to an 1-1 1/2” thick each time. Try not to work it too much.

Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into 8 circles (or 9 if there’s extra!)

Place them about an inch apart on a very lightly greased baking sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, checking to see when they are golden brown. Devour.

**Print this Recipe**

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January 22, 2013

Baked Coconut Shrimp

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We have been meaning to make our own version of coconut shrimp since we returned from our most recent trip to Florida. We ate at a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and I ordered the “Shrimper’s Heaven”. The description is:

Love Shrimp? This one’s for you! Hand Breaded Coconut Shrimp, Chilly Shrimp, Fried Shrimp, and Japanese style Tempura Shrimp with Fries. And of course great Dippin’ Sauces like Tangy Asian, Cajun Marmalade and Zesty Cocktail.

I ended up swapping out the Chilly Shrimp for more of the Tempura Shrimp. The place was pretty silly but this was the first time I ever tried coconut shrimp (I know, right?) and I really loved it! So did my husband. By the way, his hand is in the first photo and mine is in the last. My nails are WAY better…just kidding.

I would love to take a trip back to Florida and not just for the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.! Although we did have a gorgeous view. Oh wait, I think I have a photo.

420427_615784561330_1017974308_nWell I guess it doesn’t look that gorgeous but to the right was a great view of the water and we were sitting on a deck outside, enjoying the warm weather. It sure beats the views I am seeing today which include snow and gray and brown colors.

We stayed quite a few days in Florida helping my mom unpack and unfortunately (or fortunately) never made it back to that funny little Forrest Gump themed restaurant. Darn.

So here we are, 3-4 months later and I finally made coconut shrimp.

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I read a lot of different recipes and one called for toasting the panko and coconut flakes first. I think it helped make them crunchier in the end or maybe it brought out a more toasted flavor, but what do I know? All I know, is the smell from toasting the coconut and panko was heavenly.

Really easy to make! Here are the ingredients (well, minus the shrimp ha!)

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I ended up double coating mine. It was kind of difficult because a lot more panko ended up in my egg than I would have liked and the panko mixture became really sticky but in the end, there was a nice thick crust on the shrimp which we enjoyed.

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We didn’t make any fancy dip from scratch. Instead I picked up a bottle of Thai Sweet Chili sauce and it was a perfect match.

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We literally didn’t leave the kitchen when these came out. We stood over the baking sheet, dip beside us and ate every single one before I had a chance to plate them. And the good news is that I have everything here to make them again… woo hoo!

Baked Coconut Shrimp {adapted from here}

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 lb peeled and deveined raw shrimp (~16-18 large shrimp)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup panko
  • 3/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk (or water)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2-2/3 cup dipping sauce (we used Thai style sweet chili sauce)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400°F

Heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium. Add the panko and coconut and cook until golden brown, stirring constantly – very important! When finished, remove from heat and place on a plate to cool.

Add the cornstarch to a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with non-stick spray. Take each shrimp and dredge into the cornstarch, shaking off excess, then dip into egg, and then into the coconut mixture. To double coat the shrimp, add shrimp back into the egg and dredge into the coconut mixture a second time. Place onto the baking sheet. When finished with all of the shrimp, place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through and the coating is a deep golden brown. Serve immediately.

**Print the Recipe**

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