Shrimp Scampi Dip

What’s not to love about this? Shrimp in a creamy dip – a delicious and filling appetizer that will make your guests feel like they’re eating gold. OK, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but they will definitely perk up when they’ve heard you made a shrimp scampi dip and you give them some nice toasts or crusty bread to dip with.

I will warn you that this is super filling. We had a little bit leftover that I have now sitting in the freezer. I’m looking for the perfect opportunity to defrost this and repurpose it for an amazing pasta sauce.

I actually came across this recipe on Facebook. I saw it as a Food Network video. (Here’s the link to the recipe.) I thought that the directions were specific enough that I mostly copied and pasted them here with a couple of adjustments.


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

  • 4 tablespoons plain dried breadcrumbs

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter

  • 1 pound large peeled and deveined shrimp, tails discarded, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • Slices of crusty bread and/or crackers, for serving

Beat the cream cheese, mozzarella, sour cream, mayonnaise, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs and 1/2 teaspoon salt until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to add the shrimp.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shrimp, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes, and cook until the shrimp start to turn pink. Add the wine, bring to a simmer and cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. (there will be some liquid left in the skillet). Remove the skillet from the heat, and let the shrimp cool completely.

Meanwhile, mix together the parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon melted butter, the lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.

If you want more of this crust, I would suggest doubling the ingredients for this part. In fact, I think it would be delicious with some of it mixed right into the dip.

Once the shrimp has cooled, stir the shrimp and its liquid and cream cheese mixtures together to combine; transfer to a baking dish. (The dip and breadcrumb mixture can be covered and refrigerated overnight separately at this point. This is actually what I did until guests were starting to arrive.)

Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the dip, and bake until hot and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Switch the oven to broil, and cook until the top is golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes, then serve hot with bread and/or crackers.

I chose to serve this with ritz crackers and garlic melba toasts. Don’t be afraid when you scoop it; it will be a bit more watery than you expect, especially when it’s still hot. I hope you and your guests enjoy this hot and yummy dip!

Sincerely,

Fu’d

Cilantro Lime Pinto Beans

We recently had Jake’s dad over for dinner and we were having some of Jake’s smoked ham. I’m usually in charge or appetizers and sides and decided on this bean dish. Unlike most of my other recipes, I actually found this in my Bon Apetit magazine. I really liked this side and it had a unique flavor. However, I should have realized that it very much has a latin foods flavor, especially with the cilantro and lime. I would definitely make this again and probably double the recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • One 28 oz can of pinto beans, drained
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium shallots (finely chopped)
  • 1 small buch of cilantro, steps finely chopped and separated from leaves coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 lime – you will need zest and the juice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

First, cook the shallots, garlic, and cilantro stems in a saucepan on medium heat with a bit of oil. (You’ll notice in my photo that I have some cilantro leaves at this step. That was my mistake for not separating the stems and leaves to start with. It all turned out A-OK, though!)

Once contents of the saucepan are softened a bit, add the beans, butter, and 3/4 cup water. Stir together and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occassionally.

Finally, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cilantro leaves, lime zest, and lime juice.

Give it a taste and add salt and pepper, as desired.

In the end, you’ll end up with sort of a thicker paste-like bean. I imagine you could thin it out a bit by adding more water or lime juice.

I hope that you enjoy this twist on a bean side dish!

Sincerely,

Fu’d

Roasted Carrot Garlic Hummus & Tomato Basil Hummus

In the past, Jake had purchased hummus every week to include in his lunch. He had stopped it for a while, but recently, he had the urge to bring hummus back as a staple into his diet. No opposition here! I really don’t know how healthy the store-bought ones are, so I decided that I would make my own. I tried to find recipes that had basic ingredients.

I landed on a chickpea, roasted carrot and garlic hummus that doesn’t require any tahini. (Here’s the link to the recipe.)

The other one I chose was a tomato basil hummus. (Here’s the link to the recipe.)

Both were really good and we even used them in some zucchini hummus wraps for dinner one night.


Roasted Carrot and Garlic Hummus

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup chopped orange carrots (about 3 medium sized)
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 can of cooked chickpeas/garbanzos,
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1.5 tablespoons of canned chickpea water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • dash of black pepper

First, peel and chop the carrots and place with the garlic cloves in the oven at 400 degrees Farenheit. Roast until the carrots are soft, about 15 minutes. The original recipe doesn’t call for additional cooking of the garlic cloves, but I would recommend cooking those for a bit longer. The garlic flavor in the end was very overpowering and I think roasting the garlic a little longer would’ve helped give it an even better flavor and tone down the raw garlic taste.

Once the carrots and garlic are done roasting, peel the garlic and plop it all into a beldner. Add the other ingredients: the chickpeas, chickpea water, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Blend well until the consistency is as you would like. You may choose to keep it a little chunky or try to get it smooth. And that’s it! Very simple. This had a deep flavor and was pretty thick/substantial (in a good way). I was surprised, since it didn’t require any tahini!

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Tomato Basil Hummus

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • Salt & pepper

I ended up using campari tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes. I think it did alter the flavor a bit from what was intended, but overall it was still really good. Since I used a larger tomato, I cut into smaller pieces and roasted in the oven at 400 degrees Farenheit until cooked and a bit wilted. (You may see from the photo above that I actually roasted these at the same time as the carrots and garlic for the other hummus. These were done first, so I took them out after about 10 minutes.

Then, except for the olive oil, all the ingredients were added to the blender. As the blender was going, I streamed the olive oil in.

This had a brighter flavor than the carrot hummus, so it actually worked really well in the wrap with the more muted flavors of some of the other veggies I used in the wrap.



Here’s a photo of the wrap with the carrot hummus! Yummmmmmm!

I hope you can find some insirpiration with these hummuses like I did and enjoy having something you can use a few different ways for lunch and dinner during the week!

Sincerely,

Fu’d

2 Ingredient Berry Angel Food Cake

This dessert could NOT be any easier. What I particularly like about it is that it actually isn’t too sweet. For a savory food lover like me, it was perfect. The actual cake part is just two ingredients. I additionally made my own whipped cream, but this could be simplified even further by using store-bought canned whipped cream or Cool Whip.

Since this is so easy to prepare, it’s a good option if you’re entertaining. If you’re using your oven for the main meal, mix this and pop it in the oven before you sit down to eat. Then, this will be done and can sit out to cool for a little bit before serving. The timing works out well.

If you’re interested in making your own whipped cream like I did, here is the link to the recipe I used. You just need whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.


Here’s what you’ll need for the cake:

  • One box of angel food cake mix (the kind where you only need to add water)
  • One 21-oz can of pie filling (I used blueberry, but any kind of berry will work)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farnenheit.

Mix the angel food cake mix (just the dry ingredients in the package, no need to prepare per the box instructions) and the pie filling.

Pour the mixture into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. (I chose to rub some butter on the bottom and around the edges of the dish to help prevent sticking.)

Bake for about 30 minutes.

I truly hope you enjoy the simplicity, lightness, and deliciousness of this dessert!

Sincerely,

Fu’d

Fried Chicken (A Tyler Florence Recipe)

Although I love the chicken wings we make in the air fryer, sometimes you really just crave that crispy outer breading layer. I had saved a Food Network video on Facebook a while back (in fact, unknowingly, I saved it twice) for Tyler Florence’s fried chicken. I decided to make it for New Year’s Eve last night and to make it into a chicken and waffles dish.

On top of that, I had previously received a gift of homemade maple syrup from Indiana and this was the perfect opportunity to crack that open. There were a lot of good things going on, but I fear my execution was lacking. I’ll highlight some of these lessons learned as I go along.

Here’s the link to the recipe.

We decided to use a boneless chicken thigh. We decided on boneless so it would be easier to eat with the waffles and decided on chicken thigh for taste. (Tip #1: I think this recipe may have been better eating the chicken right off the bone like in the video I saw, so next time I might try bone-in legs and thighs.)

I brined the chicken in a water/salt bath and let that sit in the fridge for about 4 hours. I then, removed the chicken from the brine, patted it dry, and let it sit out (covered) to get to room temperature before frying.

In the meantime, I prepared the dry ingredients. I didn’t need a full 3 cups of flour, so I just eyeballed that and the seasonings. For herbs, I used what I had on hand – rosemary, thyme, sage, and a few cloves of unpeeled garlic.

When the time came, I poured the buttermilk into a dish for dredging and added Sirarcha. I actually prepared the coating for all the thighs first and set them on a baking sheet until I was ready to fry.

Preparing too far in advance was mistake number one. I think preparing them all first was probably fine, but I let them sit out until guests arrived. I think this probably soaked the dry ingredients too much and caused a little less crispiness. In retrospect, I would’ve prepared them all and then fried right away. (I get anxious and inpatient when people are coming over, so I want to do everything quickly and right away.)

Mistake number two was that I decided to double coat everything. The recipe calls for coating the chicken with the buttermilk/chili sauce and then coating with the dry ingredients. I repeated that one more time for every chicken thigh. I think this also contributed to a thicker and more dense batter/outer layer, meaning less crisp.

I pulled out my deep fryer accessories that came with my Gotham Steel copper set. I used vegetable oil instead of peanut oil. I’m not sure if this made a big difference, but perhaps it did. I first fried up the herbs. Boy, did that smell amazing! Once a bit crisp, I took those out and set them aside. (I didn’t end up using them as garnish because I was making chicken and waffles, but they really fell apart. So, the herbs would’ve been great sprinkled over the chicken, but I’m unsure how they would have held up as garnish.)

Then, I cooked the chicken in batches of 3 or 4 thighs at a time. This took much longer than the recipe mentioned. It took me about 15 – 20 minutes per thigh. (I’m not a seasoned deep fryer and I was a afraid to turn up the temperature of the stove too high – maybe that led to the longer cooking time.)

Once done, I heated up some frozen multigrain eggos in the oven. I put everything on a serving dish, drizzled with that Indiana syrup. Even through some of the mistakes, people ate it and Jake and I are still having it for breakfast this next morning!

Good luck trying the recipe and maybe adding a few twists of your own!

Sincerely,
Fu’d

Vegetarian Chili – A Crossover for Dinner and Breakfast

It’s been quite a while since my last post, but the holidays were a whirlwind…a very fattening whirlwind. Jake and I have decided to be your stereotypical New Years resolutioners and are trying to start eating healthy again. I promptly went to trusty Pinterest and began pinning all sorts of new healthy recipes. One of them was a vegtarian chili. We happened to pretty much have all the ingredients on hand, so I decided to try it last night. It was good and even better the next day as an open-faced omlet topping. Just add a dollop of sour cream and mmmmm….

Here’s the link to the recipe.

I ended up using black beans and canellini beans becaue it’s what I had available. Otherwise, I would’ve chosen a more typical chili bean, like kidney. I also ended up using one can of whole peeled tomatoes (the Cento San Marzano can) and a box of Pomi chopped tomatoes. This worked out just fine. I also had some butternut squash that was likely only to last a little longer, so I decided to add it to the recipe. This helped, too, because I didn’t have any corn as suggested by the recipe.

I figured the cubed butternut squash might take a little longer to cook through than the other diced vegetables, I decided to throw these in the pot first and cook them for about five minutes. Once they started to cook through a little bit, I took them out and set them aside while I continued on with the recipe.

I sauteed the onions until soft and then added in pressed garlic and the seasonings. I ended up with a somewhat thick mixture.

I then added the remainder of the vegetables to cook down until a little soft. Then, I added in the tomatoes, allowing that to simmer for about 20 minutes. Then, I added in the rinsed beans and added salt to taste. I ended up adding a bit more of the other seasonings, as well, to taste.

Finally, I served in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream and some grated smoked gouda. Feel free to add whatever toppings you like or serve with tortilla chips on the side!

Overall, this dish was easy to make and probably could’ve been easily adapted for the crock pot or the pressure cooker. This made a very healthy portion. We packaged up some of the leftovers and also used some for breakfast the next day. We cooked up a couple of eggs and used the chili as a topping. Of course, we added another dollop of sour cream on top 🙂

Also, I have to say that the chili was even better the next day, after the flavors had a chance to really meld together. If you have the chance to make this ahead of time, I’d say go for it!

Enjoy.

Sincerely,

Fu’d

Turkey and Mushroom Stroganoff

You may have seen in my recent post that Jake and I had a belated mini Thanksgiving meal this year. So, that means I’m a little behind the eight ball on using leftovers for other dishes. Nevertheless, here it is. I found a turkey and mushroom stroganoff. It calls for ground turkey, but I figured it must still be delicious with the fresh citrus roasted turkey we made. (Spoiler alert – I was right!) I had also make some homemade turkey stock using the turkey bones; I used the stock in the recipe, too.

(Here’s the link to the recipe.) I made a couple of modifications based on what I had on hand and what I felt like (not) doing. Haha – I was feeling a bit lazy.

Here’s what I used:

  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
    • Original recipe called for 2 cloves. I just happened to pull out 3 from the fridge and used them all.
  • Chopped up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving
    • I used approximately 3/4 cup
    • Original recipe called for 1 lb of ground turkey
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups broth
    • I used 2.5 cups of homemade turkey stock (with leftover bones from Thanksgiving)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional spice)
  • dash of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 brick of cream cheese
    • The original recipe called for 1/2 cups sour cream (or greek yogurt)
  • 3/4 package of pasta shells
    • The original recipe called for 1 package egg noodles, which I would have used if I had it on hand.

I used a large sauce pot to first cook the onion, mushrooms, and already-cooked turkey pieces in a drizzle of olive oil. I cooked until the onions were translucent and mushrooms were soft.
I then added in the garlic, butter, spices, and Worcestershire sauce. Note that the original  recipe calls for making a rue with the butter and flour separately, but I didn’t want to dirty another dish. So, I put the butter in early with the other ingredients just listed.

Once everything was incorporated and the butter was melted, I mixed in the flour and made sure it was incorporated/coating everything. This should make everything a bit pasty/sticky.
Then, I added in the broth and cream cheese. I broke up the cream cheese and stirred until most of it was melted down.
I let everything simmer and let the flavors incorporate for about 15 minutes.
In the meantime, in a separate pot, I cooked the shells in some salted and oiled water until al dente.
Finally, it was time to serve! We ate this with a side of the leftover green bean casserole and stuffing from Thanksgiving. I had also left a couple of larger pieces of turkey to slice and lay on top. Lastly, I garnished with a sprig of parsley.

This was so good! I would definitely try this recipe again. Next time, I would still keep the cut up turkey breast instead of ground turkey, but perhaps I’d use more and shred it. Also, I would love to try this with sour cream or greek yogurt instead of the cream cheese.

Hope you enjoy!
Sincerely,
Fu’d