pickled Shrimp for a party

Pickled Shrimp, a great make-ahead dish
Pickled Shrimp, a great make-ahead dish

It was our turn to host movie night last weekend and I wanted to make an appetizer that could be done ahead (it’s even better done the day before) and still taste and look great.  I made this pickled shrimp dish on Friday and served it on Saturday in a large bowl, but it would have been equally as good served in individual glasses.

A different king of shrimp cocktail
A different king of shrimp cocktail

Pickled shrimp

2# medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Vegetable oil for sautéing

2 cloves chopped garlic

½ of a red onion, sliced thin (about ½ a cup)

1 yellow or orange sweet bell pepper, sliced thin

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

¾ cup olive oil

¼ cup fresh lemon juice, peel in long strips and reserve the rind (no pith please)

½ cup of red wine vinegar

1/2 cup  Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh chives, chopped

Pat the shrimp dry and season with salt, paprika, cayenne and garlic powder.  Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan and heat over medium/high heat.

Sautee the shrimp with garlic in batches until they turn pink and curl.  Cool the shrimp in the refrigerator, then, layer the shrimp with onions, peppers and lemon rind.

Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar Worcestershire sauce and oregano and pour over the shrimp mixture.

Marinate the shrimp in the refrigerator overnight up to 2 days. Add fresh chopped parsley and chives when ready to serve.

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Beets…by D

beets n eggs 3beets n eggs 2

This beet and pickled egg wrap was so DELICIOUS!! The raw beets were marinated for 2 days in salt, olive oil, honey and spices making them a bit more tender. The provolone frico black pepper is crispy and sharp.
This beet and pickled egg wrap was so DELICIOUS!! The raw beets were marinated for 2 days in salt, olive oil, honey and spices making them a bit more tender. The provolone frico black pepper is crispy and sharp.
marinated beet salad with juicy fresh orange segments, cured olives and salty, crumbly feta cheese.
marinated beet salad with juicy fresh orange segments, cured olives and salty, crumbly feta cheese.

beets n olives 3

Beet salad- basic recipe ( adjust all measurements to taste)

2 beets about 2 inches in diameter peeled and grated in a food processor

1  teaspoon salt, more or less to taste

¼ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed between your fingers

2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

½ teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon  olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

Mix together and store in the refrigerator.  The beets become a bit softer as they sit

Variations:

Crumbled feta

Kalamata and  Cerignola olives

Fresh mint

Chives

Orange segments

Pickled eggs ( I’ll give the pickled eggs recipe later this week)

Aged provolone  cheese ( make a frico by grating the provolone onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  I cracked black pepper over it and baked at 400 degrees for 5-6 minutes until just lightly browned.  It will be pliable for a few seconds so you can bend it into shapes)

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Snow Crab Boil for a lazy dinner

No recipe for this really , just a big tall pot and 3 inches of water. Add chunks of smoked sausage, thick pieces of potato and pieces of corn.  simmer until potatoes are almost tender and add crab and simmer for about 7 minutes
For 4 pounds of crab.  No recipe for this really , just  fill a large pot with 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add chunks of Cajun spiced smoked sausage (about a pound), thick chunks of potato and 5 pieces of corn. Simmer until potatoes are almost tender then add crab and simmer for about 5-7 minutes more, occasionally adjusting the crab to heat it evenly .  This feeds my family of 4 pretty well.
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The Steakover, results edition

Firefighter Kenny Huchinson

Firefighter Kenny Huchinson grilling his Southern Sizzle Steaks for the Steakover

firefighter Danny Pinto cooking his smokey Steaks with Sweet Onion Marinade
firefighter Danny Pinto cooking his smokey Steaks with Sweet Onion Marinade
Danny Pinto's steak, "team Yellow"
Danny Pinto’s steak, “team Yellow”
Kenny Hutchinson "team Black"
Kenny Hutchinson “team Black”
the votes are IN
the votes are IN

AND THE WINNER IS!!!

093
Madison from B98.5, our host for the day, announcing the winner. Check out her GUNS!! My goodness they are FANTASTIC!

Congratulations Kenny!  Kenny Hutchinson will represent the ATL and try to win $20,000 for the Atlanta Fire Foundation

I voted for the yellow team. Danny and his steak were AMAZING.  The seasoning was really zingy, made my mouth water. I was surprised that he didn't win
I voted for the yellow team. Danny and his steak were AMAZING. The seasoning was really zingy, made my mouth water. I was surprised that he didn’t win

http://bit.ly/Z1soU8  for both recipes

The guys were nice enough to answer a few questions for me, the following is a brief interview with Danny and Kenny:

Me, asking Questions

Danny’s answers

Kenny’s answers

Do you all take turns cooking at the firehouse, or do only the good cooks get to cook? Usually 2-3 people who actually enjoy cooking and we just rotate most of the time. Yes ma’am, we have a rotation for a while, but normally, we got guys that want to cook so we let them cook.  They’re usually better at it.
Do you heckle or get heckled by the other firefighters? A few of the guys give me a hard time, you know all the preparation, I’m taking my time to cook and they give always give me a hard time “ aw, we’re not going to eat until 8 o’clock” That’s part of the job, you’re going to get heckled no matter what you do at the fire station, whether its cooking, cleaning or training if it’s not just how they like it they’re going to heckle you.  It’s all in fun, though.
What kind of support would you like from the community? We go to the grocery store ourselves and we pay for our own food.  Some members of the community will come by and drop off some sweets, cupcakes things of that nature. Yesterday at my station, station 21 we had a member of our community cater Moe’s in for us.  But that’s voluntary, we don’t ever ask for it. The neighborhood that surrounds our station is awesome, they always come by and offer they drop gift cards off, at Christmas they drop stuff off for us. Actually the neighborhood assists us in mowing and taking care of our lawn.  We have a really great community.
Is this your favorite cut of steak, the ribeye? No, Filet Mignon or sirloin.  I like my steak a little bit more lean.  I like to grill my steak over charcoal or on a flat top.  I’m really select in my choice of meat, I look at how the fat is distributed, and I cook it over medium heat, on the top rack of the grill. Yes ma’am it is, I like a filet, too
How would you adapt this recipe to serve it as a romantic dinner? I would cook a filet with grilled asparagus and grilled corn. I leave the cork in the husk, soak it in water and put it on the top rack to cook until its tender. I put the corn on before I put the steak on I’d have candles out here and not all these guys!
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What’s Happening around the A? The Steak Over Challenge, that’s what

Chef Danny Pinto's entry for the Steakover challenge-photo credit COPYRIGHT 2012 JOHN LEE PICTURES
Chef Danny Pinto’s entry for the Steakover challenge-photo credit COPYRIGHT 2012 JOHN LEE PICTURES

Chef Jeff Schultz's entry for the Steakover Challenge-photo credit-COPYRIGHT 2012 JOHN LEE PICTURESChef Jeff Schultz’s entry for the Steakover Challenge-photo credit-COPYRIGHT 2012 JOHN LEE PICTURES

I do love a good steak and this weekend Walmart is hosting a big steak cook-off .  I love a good firefighter, too so I’ve got the best of both worlds.  Firefighters from two Atlanta firehouses are firing-up the grill to go head-to-head in the Walmart Steak-Over Challenge presented by Kingsford Charcoal, Dr. Pepper and A.1. on SaturdayApril 20 from noon – 2 p.m. at the 1550 Scenic Highway N Walmart store parking lot.

It’s Danny Pinto from Station 21 and his “Smokey Steaks with Sweet Onion Marinade” versus Station 11’s Jeff Schultz ( Kenny Hutchinson will represent station 11) and his “Southern Sizzle Steaks.” Both sound delicious and I can’t wait to taste them.

Here are the recipes if you can’t make it out to cast your vote:

Smokey Steaks with Sweet Onion Marinade-Danny Pinto

Makes:                        4 servings

Prep time:       10-15 minutes

Cook time:      10 minutes

YOU’LL NEED

3-4       Walmart Choice rib-eye steaks, about 24-32 ounces total

Chicago steak seasoning, to taste

1          20-ounce bottle Dr. Pepper®

¼         cup of olive oil

2          tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

¾         cup minced onion

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the steaks in a shallow dish, and sprinkle with Chicago steak seasoning on both sides.  Mix the Dr. Pepper, olive oil and Worcestershire sauce together, and pour over the steaks, turning to coat both sides with the mixture. Cover the steaks with the minced onions, and marinate for one hour.

 

When ready to cook, prepare a charcoal grill for direct high heat (450-500 degrees F) using Kingsford® Charcoal.

Remove the steak from the marinade and wipe off onions. Season on both sides with more steak seasoning.

Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the steaks with the lid closed as much as possible, turning once or twice, until cooked to your desired doneness, 6 to 8 minutes for medium rare.  Remove steaks from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe created by The Atlanta Fire Department on behalf of Walmart.

Southern Sizzle Steaks-Jeff Schultz

Makes:                        4 servings

Prep time:       5 minutes

Cook time:      10 minutes

YOU’LL NEED

3-4       Walmart Choice rib-eye steaks, about 24-32 ounces total

McCormick® Montreal® Steak Seasoning, to taste

1          cup Dale’s® Steak Seasoning sauce

½         cup Dr. Pepper®

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the steaks in a shallow dish, and rub with plenty of steak seasoning on both sides. Pour the steak seasoning sauce and the Dr. Pepper over the steaks, turning to coat both sides with the mixture. Cover the steaks and marinate until they come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

 

When ready to cook, prepare a charcoal grill for direct high heat (450-500 degrees F) using Kingsford® charcoal. Brush the cooking grates clean.

Remove the steak from the marinade. Place on the grates, and grill with the lid closed as much as possible, turning once or twice, until cooked to your desired doneness, 6 to 8 minutes for medium rare. Remove steaks from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe created by The Atlanta Fire Department on behalf of Walmart.

1 Comment

Dare All and Prevail

Such a moving video for a great cause. Staplehouse – casual fine dining with a purpose. Here’s a quote from their campaign:

Staplehouse is now the flagship of The Giving Kitchen, a casual fine dining experience with a purpose. A restaurant dedicating all (after tax) proceeds to The Giving Kitchen Initiative, a 501c3 organization dedicated to providing financial assistance to those in the hospitality industry, who find themselves in crisis.  Here’s the link to the video => http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/377351/wdgi

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Beets, because I read somewhere that they’re good for you

Beets, I'd like to paint a room in my house this color...maybe not the whole room, maybe just a wall....or maybe a dress this color...
Beets. I’d like to paint a room in my house this color…maybe not the whole room, maybe just a wall….or maybe a dress this color…

So, I know you hear reports everyday about this study or that study saying that this thing or that thing  is good for you. I usually don’t pay much attention because often its some nonsense like beer has anti-viral properties, but you would have to drink 30 beers a day to see any benefit. Totally useless for regular folks, this is only meaningful if you are a manufacturer of multi-vitamins and are working on a beer pill to take with your fish oil everyday.

But this morning I read an article about beets and blood pressure that caught my eye.  A promising  small study in which a few people with high blood pressure (but who were not taking medication) were given a cup of beet juice a day had a significant drop in blood pressure ( check out the article here =>   http://huff.to/1192FHY   )  . It takes about 2 beets to get one 8 ounce cup of beet juice.

This hits close to home because as many as 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure including members of my family.  I was inspired to make a beet recipe for good health…plus beets are yummy.  I’ll post the beet recipe as soon as I’m done.

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Super Fast Shrimp and Broccoli

Get this delicious Shrimp and Broccoli dinner on the table in less than 25 minutes
Get this delicious Shrimp and Broccoli dinner on the table in less than 25 minutes

Get a delicious dinner on the table FAST! I think I’m wearing my rice cooker out, it didn’t want to start for me this time but I finally coerced it into working.  Start the rice first, then stir fry the rest.

Ingredients for Shrimp and Broccoli Dinner: Broccoli, Soy Sauce, Apricot Preserves, Shrimp and Sausage...the rice cooker is in the back
Ingredients for Shrimp and Broccoli Dinner: Broccoli, Soy Sauce, Apricot Preserves, Shrimp and Sausage…the rice cooker is in the back
1 large skillet with a lid….or use foil to cover

 

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 pound sliced smoked sausage (a spicy one if you like)

1 pound of peeled and deveined shrimp

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger

4 cups of broccoli florets

1 tablespoon soy sauce

3 tablespoons apricot preserves

1 tablespoon  rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons of water if necessary

 

Heat oil in a medium/hot skillet and sauté sausage.  Add shrimp and cook until it just turns pink. Remove shrimp and sausage from the pan.

Add the finely chopped ginger, broccoli, soy sauce, apricot jam and vinegar stir and cover. Let the broccoli steam for 3-5 minutes.  Add up to 2 tablespoons of water if needed to keep from burning.  Add the shrimp and sausage, stirring to coat with the sauce.

Serve over rice.

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Family Farm VS Factory Farm Chicken Challenge Video, part 3- the Eating

fried chicken
To watch part 3 of the Chicken Challenge click here 

So here it is, the final part of my factory farm versus family farm Chicken Challenge, the EATING.   What could be better than that??….NOTHING, that’s what.   I’ve cooked the chicken two ways, I fried the legs wings and thighs and pan roasted the breasts.  In the video I describe the frying and roasting techniques used .

Does the $17 chicken taste better than the $4 chicken? Check out the Video and see

chicken breast, pan roasted chicken, family farm, factory farm
Pan roasted chicken breasts. The chicken breast on the top is from a factory farm, the chicken breast on the bottom is from a family farm
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