Margarita Marinated BBQ Shrimp Caesar Salad

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Margarita Marinated BBQ Shrimp Caesar Salad

After riding our bikes from Midcity to Greek Fest, Scott and I were sun-burned and tired from our canoe ride on Bayou St. John. We had riden along Lake Ponchatrain and I started craving Gulf shrimp.  We luckily had some in the freezer so when we got home, Scott threw them in the marinade and I made Caesar dressing for this perfect dish on a HOT New Orleans Sunday.

Ingredients

Shrimp marinade

24 large head on shrimp
1/4 cup of margarita mix
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp of salt
2 ounces of tequila

One head of romaine lettuce

1/2 Packet of Cajun King BBQ Shrimp Seasoning

Croutons

Directions for Shrimp

Skewer and grill marinated shrimp about 10 minutes (depends on heat of grill). Remove from skewers and finish on stove top with 2 tbsp of butter and 1/2 packet of bbq shrimp seasoning mix.

Caesar Dressing
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 anchovies
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup shredded parmesan

Directions

Add salt and pepper to the salad bowl. Using the back of a soup spoon, grind the garlic against the wall of the bowl until it becomes a paste. Then add the anchovies, and grind them into a paste. Follow the same procedure, adding the Dijon, egg yolk, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce, 1 at a time. Toss with a couple of chopped heads of romaine. Place grilled shrimp on top of greens.

Inspired by: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/AUTHENTIC-CAESAR-SALAD-DRESSING-50000232#ixzz2Vm3u3iXA

Crock Pot Pork Carnitas

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Crock Pot Pork Carnitas

This one is super easy and such a great use of your crock pot!

Ingredients:

2-4 pounds pork shoulder (bone or no bone)
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 Tb lime juice
1 Tb lemon juice
1 Tb olive oil
2 tsps oregano
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Rinse and dry pork. Salt and pepper liberally. Mix olive oil with oregano and cumin and use it as a rub. Cover the pork with it and place into crock pot. Cover with chopped onion and garlic. Add lemon and lime juice. Cook on high setting for 4 hours, then reduce to low for a couple hours if in a hurry, or just leave it on low for 8-10 hours. When done it will fall apart effortlessly.

(No you don’t need to add any other liquid to this)

Inspired by: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/pork-carnitas-recipe/index.html

Chicken and Cauliflower Tikka Masala

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Chicken Tikka Masala

Marinade Ingredients:

1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot curry powder
1 teaspoon ground tabasco pepper (Cajun Kicker)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (cut up into skewer size pieces)
4 long skewers

Sauce Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 cup chopped cauliflower
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons hot curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground tabasco pepper (Cajun Kicker)
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup half and half or cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

For marinade combine yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, curry powder, tabasco pepper, black pepper, ginger, and salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Get your grill going. When grill is ready put chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5-10 minutes on each side, depending on the heat of your grill/coals.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with cumin, paprika, hot curry powder, ground tabasco, and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken and cauliflower, and simmer for 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Commentary: The use of Coussou’s Cajun Kicker Pure Ground Tabasco really gives this traditional Indiana dish some nice Louisiana heat (some other hot ground pepper will do fine as a replacement though), and the cauliflower acts as a curry sponge which is awesome. Also, doing this with skewers really results in a wonderful flavor and tenderness for the chicken if done right.

Inspired by: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-tikka-masala/

Whole Wheat Sugar-Free Waffles with Pomegranate Syrup

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Whole Wheat Sugar-Free Waffles with Pomegranate Syrup

Waffle Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps baking powder
2 Tbs Splenda
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
3 Tbs melted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Mix all the dry ingredients while your waffle iron heats up. Beat the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine and mix well. Ladle about a half a cup of batter for each waffle, depending on your waffle iron of course. Makes about 5 waffles, perfect for two people or one waffle addict.

Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/classic-waffles/

Pomegranate Syrup Ingredients:

2 cups pomegranate juice
1/3 cup sugar

Directions:

Bring the juice and sugar to a boil, then let it simmer down until it gets thicker. This takes about a half hour or so.

Commentary: Waffles love you. Give them some love back.

Brined Roast Turkey

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Brined Roasted Turkey

Ingredients

  • 1 (23 lb.) frozen  turkey
  • Oven bag

For the brine:

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:

  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 leaves sage
  • Olive oil

Directions:

2 to 3 days before roasting:

Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you’d like to eat:

Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey’s cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with olive oil.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven.  Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 23 pound bird should require a total of 4 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

Inspired by: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe/index.html