Super (Bowl) Stuffed Jalapeños

The older I get, the more I crave spicy food. I’ve recently become obsessed with stuffed jalapeños. They are versatile, quick to put together, inexpensive bites of hot yumminess. Continue reading


Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

In honor of last night’s mid-season premier of The Walking Dead, I made Roasted Shrimp with “Bloody” Cocktail Sauce and it was bloody delicious!  If you’re looking for a quick, easy, make-ahead recipe for Valentine’s Day tomorrow, look no further.  The traditional way to cook shrimp for shrimp cocktail is to boil them in seasoned water.  This recipe, from Barefoot Contessa, roasts the shrimp, which I think makes them tastier and easier to work with than a giant pot of boiling water.  I used 21-25 shrimp per pound, instead of the super jumbo shrimp she suggests, and if you choose to go smaller too, just remember to reduce the cooking time to about 5 minutes. The cocktail sauce takes all of 2 minutes to put together and it’s out of this world with a great kick to it.

“Cooking done with care is an act of love.” – Craig Claiborne

Quinoa Arancini

Perhaps you’ve heard of arancini – basically a delicious fried ball of risotto with cheese in the middle…  I’ve made these before and they are amazing, however, in an effort to eat less white rice, I wanted to make a similar version of these, but with quinoa instead of Arborio rice.  I made this without writing anything down (bad food blogger), but here’s the jist of it:

I made some quinoa according to the package directions, with vegetable stock instead of water – and I added a pinch of salt.  I let this mixture cool in the fridge, then added an egg and some fresh herbs, chopped chives and parsley.  I happened to have goat cheese in the fridge, so I made little balls of cheese and molded the cold quinoa around it.  Then I put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan and cooked the patties (I make patties instead of balls, because it’s easier to pan fry these) until lightly browned on both sides.  These were very yummy – I enjoyed the crisp quinoa on the outside, the chewy quinoa on the inside, and the tangy goat cheese in the middle.  Next time I’d like to try making them with cubes of mozzarella (not fresh, it’s too watery for this) because I like the gooey quality of it.  I highly recommend taking any leftover grains that you have in the fridge and mixing them with some herbs and an egg and wrapping it around some cheese and giving it a little sauté.  You can also dip the cakes into egg and then into panko breadcrumbs or cornmeal before sautéing – although this is definitely easier to do with rice, than with the crumbly quinoa.  And, these are great for a picnic – enjoy!

Baba Ghanoush

This goes out to all my Dearborn peeps.  I absolutely love the smokey flavor of baba ghanoush and I am not embarrassed to admit that I can down an entire bowl of it in one sitting.  I have tried 3 different ways to cook the eggplant: grilling it, baking it in the oven at high heat, and charring it over a gas burner on my cook top.  BY FAR, the best flavor comes from charring it over the gas burner.  Here’s my recipe:

Baba Ghanoush

1 large purple eggplant


garlic cloves

lemon juice

kosher salt

olive oil

Turn one of your gas burners on your cook top to high and put your eggplant on top of the grate.  Cook, turning occasionally, until the skin of the eggplant is charred all over.  (It will get a little stinky- it kind of smells like pot, – and it will get messy, but it is well worth it!)  Put the eggplant on a plate and let cool, then peel off the charred skin and try to get rid of the big burned bits.  (Small bits are fine).  In the bowl of a food processor, process 2 garlic cloves until chopped.  Then add eggplant, 1/4 cup of tahini, a tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and a drizzle of olive oil.  Whiz around until blended.  Taste and add more of whatever you think it needs.  It should be nice and smooth, like baby food, but with more texture.  It’s great with some good pita bread, but also delicious with cucumber slices if you are trying to low-carb it.  Enjoy!