Friday, May 23, 2008

Grilled Herb Shrimp

Tonight we're having company...yay. I love to entertain. Plus I haven't seen my brother and his family in months, so it should be fun catching up and seeing how much my neice has grown. Tonight I'm making grilled shrimp, mushroom pasta, salad, bread, and lots of Prosecco (yummy sparkling wine) with dinner. Dessert is simple, but lovely - Vanilla Cupcakes with Raspberry Cream.

Grilled Herb Shrimp
Adapted from Food Network's Ina Garten - Barefoot Contessa
2 pounds large shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined (see note)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, small-diced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
Combine all the ingredients and allow them to marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Skewer the shrimp. I use 3 or 4 shrimp on a 12-inch skewer for dinner. Heat a grill with coals and brush the grill with oil to prevent the shrimp from sticking. Grill the shrimp for only 1 1/2 minutes on each side.
Note: Ina leaves the tails on when peeling the shrimp.

Raspberry Cream Cupcakes
adapted from Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis
1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
1 1/3 cups water
3 large eggs whites
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 (6-ounce) containers fresh raspberries, cut in half or 1 (16-ounce) container fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting
Line 18 muffin cups with muffin papers. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using an electric mixer, beat the cake mix, water, egg whites, melted butter, almond extract, and vanilla extract in a large bowl for 2 minutes, or until the batter is well blended. Using about 1/3 cup of batter for each cupcake, spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake the cupcakes until they are very pale golden on top, about 15 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely on a cooling rack.
Using a fork, coarsely mash 1 1/2 containers of raspberries in a medium bowl. Beat the cream and 1/3 cup of powdered sugar in a large bowl until firm peaks form. Fold the mashed raspberries into the whipped cream.
Remove the muffin papers from the cupcakes and cut the tops off of each cupcake. Spoon the raspberry whipped cream atop the cupcake bottoms. Place the cupcake tops on the cupcakes. Dust with more powdered sugar and serve with the remaining berries.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Stuffed Pizza

These pizza rolls are a fun and interesting alternative to the normal pizzas that we enjoy around here. I used our standard pizza dough but I rolled it out thinner and then spread it with toppings/fillings before rolling. This one happens to be a sausage, cheese, and onion pizza roll...but nearly any combination would work. These are also great because each one can be individualized to meet each diners' taste.
Once they are filled and rolled they should be placed seam-side down, brushed with egg, topped with sesame or poppy seeds, and baked at 500 until golden. I would also suggest having a little extra sauce on the side for dipping.

Pizza Dough

¼ cup white wine
1 tsp. salt
1 cup warm water
1/2 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp olive oil

In a bowl combine everything except flour. Let mixture sit for 4-5 minutes. Next, stir in flour ½ cup at a time until mixture comes together and forms a ball. Continue adding flour until the dough is not sticky. Turn out onto floured counter and knead until dough forms a smooth ball. (2-3 minutes) Rub a small amount of olive oil on dough and place in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and then cover with a towel. Place in a warm spot for 1-2 hours. Dough should double in size.When you are ready to make the pizza, roll out dough and add desired toppings. Bake pizza in a 500 degree over until cheese is browned and bubbling.
(I never follow a recipe when I make this you may have to tinker with the measurements until you get it the way you like it.)
(This is a breeze if you have a stand mixer. Simply combine all ingredients except flour and mix with the dough hook. Then gradually add in flour until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. After that just leave the mixer on for 4-5 minutes to knead the dough. Follow above instructions from this point on.)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Sticky Buns

Gabe and I are on our own this week and I've been trying to keep things fun to make it easier on both of us. Today we made sticky buns together and enjoyed them while watching cartoons on tv.
Of all the dough recipes I've tried for cinnamon rolls or sticky buns I have to say this is the most fantastic one I've come across. This is the same dough recipe I shared a few weeks ago for the challah bread we made...but here it has been transformed.

You should definitely give this recipe I try. It is so easy and delicious...the only drawback is that it's hard to stop eating them!!! Check out this Steamy Kitchen blog post for an in-depth tutorial on making and assembling these rolls.

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