Tag Archives: cooking

Haku Smoked Shoyu Seared Scallops And Firecracker Shrimp

Haku Smoked Shoyu Seared Sea Scallops

I wish you could have smelled the aroma of this smoky soy sauce in my kitchen as I was searing the scallops ~ it was heavenly! As promised here is one of my favorite recipes using the Haku Smoked Shoyu Soy Sauce that I bought at Fresh Market (also available on-line). This is a SUPER easy recipe!

Haku Smoked Shoyu Seared Sea Scallops

2 appetizer size servings

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons Haku Smoked Shoyu Soy Sauce + 1 teaspoon for finishing

6 large (10 scallops to a pound) sea scallops

2 crisp celery stalks, but into strips on a mandoline slicer

1/2 lime

Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Place vegetable oil and 2 teaspoons soy sauce in a medium size saute pan. Heat until sizzling. Place scallops in hot oil and sear on one side. When the scallops have a nice caramelized sear on one side, turn the scallops and sear on the other side. Place strips of celery on top of the scallops and drizzle some of the oil over the celery. Spritz the scallops with the juice of the lime. Placed the scallops on appetizer plates for service.

Tips for searing scallops:

  1. Make sure the oil is sizzling hot.
  2. Use dry sea scallops. They have enough surface area for a nice sear.
  3. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels before searing.
  4. The scallops will stick to the pan until they are ready to turn. Nudge the scallop with a metal spatula and if it doesn’t easily give then it is not ready to turn.

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Firecracker shrimp are super easy to make!

Firecracker Shrimp

Firecracker Shrimp

2 appetizer size servings

1/2 cup flour

2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

1/2 pound peeled deveined shrimp (26-30 count)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup Asian sweet chili sauce (I like Grama’s sweet chili sauce for this recipe – available at Fresh Market or on-line)

Juice and zest of 1/2 lime

Place flour and Old Bay seasoning in a plastic bag, seal and shake the bag. Place the shrimp in the bag, seal and shake to cover the shrimp.

Heat the oil in a medium size saute pan to sizzling. Add shrimp and cook until lightly browned then flip the shrimp to brown the other side. Remove the shrimp from the pan and discard the oil. Return the shrimp to the pan and cover with Asian sweet chili sauce. Stir to coat the shrimp with the sauce. Spritz the shrimp with lime juice and sprinkle with lime zest. Serve on appetizer plates.

Bloody Mary Chili

Bloody Mary Chili

When I woke up this morning the temperature was in the single digits. As I stayed snuggled under the covers I thought about what we would have for dinner. I found the answer when I opened the Parade magazine in the newspaper.  Food Network Chopped judge Maneet Chauhan’s Slow-cooker Bloody Mary Chili was in the “What America Eats Celebrity Kitchen” section. I made it this evening and it is delicious! I love the addition of fresh grated ginger in the recipe. The ginger gives it a bit of an Asian twist which may account for the slightly sweet taste of the chili. I added the entire small can (6 ounces) of tomato paste because I end up throwing out the rest of the can if I don’t use it all in a recipe. I also added 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy this winter:

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Slow-Cooker Bloody Mary Chili

By MANEET CHAUHAN

  • SERVES 6
  • ACTIVE TIME 20 min.
  • TOTAL TIME 4 hr. 20 min.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1½ lb ground turkey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste (I used the whole can)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (32-oz) bottle Bloody Mary mix (I used Mr. and Mrs. T’s Bold and Spicy)
  • 1 (15-oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-oz) can black or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chopped green onion, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt (if desired, this is my addition)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion, bell pepper and celery; cook 4 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add turkey; cook 5 minutes, stirring with a spoon to crumble. Season lightly with salt and black pepper. Stir in ginger, tomato paste and garlic; cook 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Transfer mixture to a slow cooker. Stir in Bloody Mary mix, beans, green onion, cilantro, paprika and cumin. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or until thickened. Adjust seasoning as needed. Serve garnished with cheese, additional green onion, cilantro and lime wedges.
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Super Dips For The Super Bowl

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I just posted lots of yummy dip recipes to serve at your Super Bowl party ~ February 3 ~ on the Roanoker Magazine (Behind the Page) Blog: theroanoker.com https://theroanoker.com/blogging

Monte Cristo Dip ~ Jarlsberg cheese with raspberry habanero, Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip, Italian Artichoke Dip with crispy bacon on top. Plus one of my favorite “man cave” dips ~ Sausage Queso Dip that has only 4 ingredients…so easy and delicious!

Today I found a recipe on The Novice Chef Blog for Hot Crab, Corn and Bacon Dip. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make and the flavors are fabulous! This will be another super dip for the Super Bowl!

Here’s the link to the Novice Chef Blog: https://thenovicechefblog.com/

COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES

HOT CRAB, CORN AND BACON DIP

TOTAL TIME: 30 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large jalapeño, minced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large shallots, diced
  • 1 lb lump crab meat
  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 5 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled
  • 4 oz shredded parmesan
  • 4 oz shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • crackers, for serving

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 1 (or 1.5) quart casserole dish with non stick spray, set aside.
  2. Add olive oil to a small sauté pan over medium high heat. Add jalapeño, garlic and shallots, cooking until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together remaining ingredients (including the crab) — saving a little cheese to add on top of dip. Add in jalapeño mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Transfer dip to prepared casserole dish. Top with the cheese you set aside.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbling at the edges. Serve hot with crackers (it’s great with Ritz!).

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Sparkling Holiday Champagne Dinner

man wearing black dress shirt holding a flute glass and black wine bottle

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Champagne Thought Of The Day ~ The Whisper Of Love

The sound of air slowly releasing from the Champagne bottle when de-corked is called ‘the whisper of love’. To hear this noise, place your thumb on the muselet, the wire cage that fits over a bottle of Champagne, and gently turn the bottle left. (Under pressure, the longer a cork stays in the bottle, the smaller and more narrow it becomes.)

Sparkling Holiday Champagne Dinner

I love small plate dinners especially during the holidays. Wine pairing is easy with tiny bites of flavorful foods and no one gets overstuffed with huge portions. Here’s my recent menu from a festive champagne small plate dinner with friends.

We greeted our guests with Charles de Cazanove 2000 Stradivarius Brut Champagne. I served the champagne with delicate Boursin cheese palmliers. These cheese pastries are easy to make, light and airy that compliment champagne.

Boursin Cheese Palmiers

The palmiers can be prepared a day ahead of the party.  Prepare the palmiers, do not bake,  place them on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with vegetable spray, cover with plastic wrap and freeze. Bake them just before service.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1/2 (5.2 ounce package) package Boursin herb and garlic cheese

1/2 cup Italian blend shredded cheese (Mozzarella and Provolone, Parmesan,Fontina, Romano and Asiago)

Melted butter

Place puff pastry sheet on a cutting board that has been dusted with flour. With a rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s 13 by 13-inches square. Spread the puff pastry sheet evenly with the Boursin cheese.  Sprinkle the Italian blend cheese over the Boursin cheese. Roll each short end to the center of the pastry, making sure to roll tightly and evenly. Freeze rolled log for 20 minutes, until very firm but not frozen. Slice crosswise into 3/8-inch slices. Place the palmiers on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with vegetable spray. Brush tops of palmiers with melted butter. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 6 to 10 minutes or until nicely browned. (Watch carefully so that they do not burn.)

champagne lobster

Our first course was Lobster Mashed Potatoes in a cocktail spoon paired with Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne. The lobster mash is super easy to prepare. Marinate lobster tails in Sprite or ginger ale and sprinkle the meat side of the lobster generously with Old Bay seasoning in the refrigerator for two hours or overnight. Broil or grill the lobster until the meat starts to pull away from the shell. Cool the lobster the remove the lobster meat from the shells and chop it into little pieces. Mix a little whipping cream into deli mashed potatoes, place a dollop of the mashed potatoes in appetizer spoon, top with chopped lobster meat, melted butter and chopped fresh chives. Broil until bubbly. Let the spoons cool a little before serving so they will not be too hot to handle. I bought two small lobster tails to serve 14 spoons (2 for each guest) along with 1/2 pound mashed potatoes from the Fresh Market deli.

theroanoker.com

Our second course was Braised Pork Ragout With Pearl Onions And Mushrooms.  The recipe is in the Roanoker Magazine Blog and here’s the link:

https://theroanoker.com/blogging/behind-the-page/how-the-french-warm-up-in-winter-ragout/

We paired the ragout with Isiri Barolo.

Our third course was mini shrimp and grits and fourth course was mini cheeseburger sliders with caramelized onions paired with Silver Oak Alexander Valley.

Pre-dessert is to dessert as amuse bouche is to hors d’oeuvre.  A small dessert-like course served before the main dessert. I served a tiny almond cake with espresso topped with sweetened whipped cream. I found both the cakes and the espresso coffee beans at Fresh Market.
The presentation is a metal electrical box I bought at Lowes covered with decoupage paper.

dessert

And the grand finale…Flourless Chocolate Cake with Sweetened Whipped Cream and Amarena cherries paired with 2004 Haut Charmes Sauternes. Here’s the recipe for this lovely cake. The cherries are available at Tinnell’s Finer Foods in Roanoke or on-line. 

https://bakerbynature.com/flourless-chocolate-fudge-cake/

The next day we had a 14 inch snow. Our cats were fascinated when snow fell off the roof!

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Maharajah Curry Red Lentil Sausage Pepper Soup

Maharajah Curry Red Lentil Sausage Pepper Soup

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + a little extra for frying sausage
  • 3 teaspoons Seasonality Seasonings Maharajah Curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 19 ounces mild Italian sausage
  • 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or more if needed)

Directions

Put olive oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add onion and peppers. Stir and saute for 4 – 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the peppers are cooked.  Add curry powder and salt.  Stir and remove from heat.

Pour a little olive oil in a saute pan.  Add the sausage (any casings removed) and fry until the sausage is completely cooked. If there is a lot of fat in the sausage, drain the fat.  Add the sausage to the onion and peppers mixture in the large pot.  Add the petite diced tomatoes and stir. Add the red lentils and stir. Return to medium heat and add chicken broth. Stir and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add more chicken broth if needed if a lot of the stock is absorbed during the cooking process.

 

lentil soup in bowl

Please read my wine and recipe blog posts on the Roanoker Magazine website: https://theroanoker.com/blogging 

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Magnolia Table Bacon And Gruyère Biscuits

photography of fruits on a tray

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Today I picked the last of my summer herbs out of my garden since a frost is coming tonight and they will be long gone by morning. I chopped the herbs. Then I mixed chives, oregano, and parsley into fresh creamery butter and added black pepper, a dash of salt and some  Nanomi Togarashi (Japanese hot spice available in Asian markets) to make herb butter to go with my bacon and Gruyère biscuits.

Optimized-magnolia bloom

To make my biscuits I used the Magnolia Table Bacon And Gruyère Biscuit recipe from the cookbook Magnolia Table, a collection of recipes for gathering. I tried making the biscuits in the shape of spoons in a new spoon cookie tray I recently purchased.  I was not too crazy about the shape of the biscuits but the taste was delicious! The biscuits are buttery, savory and crispy. You will love serving these on your holiday table!

 

Bacon And Gruyère Biscuits

1/2 pound thick-sliced peppered bacon

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, but into cubes

3/4 cup milk

8 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 2 cups)

  1.  Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2.  Arrange the bacon slices on a baking sheet. Bake until crispy, about 20 minutes. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels and transfer the bacon to the paper towels to drain.  Set aside.
  3. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, garlic powder, garlic salt, salt, and white pepper. Pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the butter on top of the flour and pulse until the dough resembles coarse pebbles.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the milk and Gruyère. Crumble the bacon into the bowl. Mix with your hands just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.
  6. Use a 4 ounce ice cream scoop to drop uniform biscuit mounds on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the edges are crispy, 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly in the pan on a rack.
  7. Biscuits are best the day they are made, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Warm in a preheated 300 degree Fahrenheit oven.

Makes 6 biscuits.

Note: To make smaller drop biscuits to serve as hors’doeuvres, use a 2 ounce scoop and bake them for the same amount of time as instructed above.

Please read my wine and recipe blog posts on the Roanoker Magazine website: https://theroanoker.com/blogging 

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Lemon Pots de Crème With Almond Brittle Sprinkle

lemon pots de creme

Viva La Local! Please visit the Roanoker Magazine Behind the Page blog:

https://theroanoker.com/blogging/behind-the-page/viva-la-local/

to find new Virginia products offered in local Roanoke grocery stores.  Love supporting local!

sliced of citrus lemons

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Lemon Pots de Crème is one of my favorite desserts because I can make them the day ahead, refrigerate the ramekins, then garnish the desserts right before serving. This recipe is from Fine Cooking magazine with my additions of the sweetened whipped cream (add a little powdered sugar to the cream) and almond brittle sprinkle.

Ingredients

  • Finely grated zest of 4 lemons
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved (or 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract)
  • 10 large egg yolks
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
  • Candied citrus peel or candied flowers, for garnish (optional)

Preparation

  • Put a large pot of water on to boil for the water bath. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Put eight 6-oz. ramekins in a large roasting pan or baking dish with high sides.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the lemon zest, juice, and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla seeds and pod (if you’re using vanilla extract, don’t add it yet) and bring to just below boiling. Remove from the heat.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Gently whisk a ladleful of the hot cream into the yolks and then whisk the yolk mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the cream. Cook slowly, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 170°F on an instant-read thermometer, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the reserved lemon syrup and strain immediately through cheesecloth or a fine sieve. If you’re using vanilla extract, stir it in now.
  • Divide the mixture among the ramekins in the roasting pan. Pull out the oven shelf, put the roasting pan on it (be sure it’s stable), and pour enough boiling water into the pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the ramekins with a sheet of foil (simply lay the sheet on top, don’t crimp the edges) and bake for 25 to 45 minutes—start checking early—until the custards are set about 1/4 inch in from the sides, the centers respond with a firm jiggle (not a wavelike motion) when you nudge the ramekins, and the centers of the custards register 150° to 155°F on an instant-read thermometer (the hole left by the thermometer will close up as the custards firm). Let the custards cool to room temperature in their water bath. Remove the custards from the bath, cover them with plastic, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Garnish with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and candied zest or flowers, if you like.

Make Ahead Tips

Custards may be baked up to two days ahead and refrigerated, covered with plastic.

Garnish

Lemon Zest

Almond Brittle:

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 tablespoons sugar

Slice butter into several slices and place it on a baking sheet (with sides so butter won’t run off sheet).  Place in oven and allow the butter to melt.  Remove the baking sheet from oven and sprinkle the almonds on the butter. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the almonds.  Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 3 – 5 minutes. Watch carefully because the almonds will burn easily. Remove from oven and stir the almonds. Return to oven for more toasting if needed.  When the almonds are toasted remove from oven and allow to cool.

Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of each  pots de crème and sprinkle with crumbled almond brittle.  Sprinkle a little lemon zest over the almond brittle. Serve chilled.

close up dark drop of water droplet

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