Thursday, August 29, 2013

Coconut Chicken Tenders with Apricot Dipping Sauce

I made these in the hopes of finding a new chicken recipe my daughter Maddie would like. Knowing that she loves chicken nuggets, but not knowing how she felt about coconut, I figured I had a 50/50 chance with these. Turns out the girl likes coconut and loved these! Score one for me...and I needed one, believe me. Lately it feels like that little nose has been in the locked and upright position come dinner time. Which makes me wonder, does turning your nose up and looking down your nose mean the same thing? I think Maddie has been doing both lately just to cover her bases.

Yield: 8 servings

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (or canola oil)
8 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
2 eggs
½ cup coconut milk
1-2 dashes Tabasco (to taste)
1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon fine salt
skewers for serving (optional)

1.      Preheat oven to 400º F. Grease a baking sheet with coconut oil.
2.      Slice each chicken thigh into 3 or 4 long pieces (chicken tenders).
3.      Whisk together the eggs, coconut milk and Tabasco.
4.      Ina separate bowl, mix together the shredded coconut, panko and salt.
5.      Dredge the chicken tenders in the egg mixture, then in coconut/panko mixture.
6.      Arrange on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

adapted from (submitted by WANTS2B1HOTMAMA)
chicken thighs
cut into strips
dipping in egg mixture
dipping in coconut/bread crumb mixture
coated and ready to bake
coconut chicken tenders

Makes about 2 cups

1 3/4 cups apricot jam
2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
3 tablespoons finely chopped scallion greens
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or to taste
dash of Tabasco, or to taste

Melt jam in a small saucepan.Stir in remaining ingredients with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm. Can may be made 2 days ahead, cooled, then chilled, covered. Reheat over low heat, stirring.

from Gourmet
scallions and lime
everything mixed

My apricot preserves had chunks of apricot in it,
which I didn't bother straining (I just avoided
the chunks when dipping).

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Deanie's Seafood BBQ Shrimp

I saw an episode of Man vs. Food recently where the host was in New Orleans. I like that show because the host often takes on food challenges where he eats ridiculous quantities of food. I can't say I think that's a good idea, but watching him stuff his face does makes me feel better about how much I ate that day (the same way watching Hoarders makes me feel better about the state of my living room). Anyway, one of the places visited was Deanie's Seafood, which is known for its bbq shrimp. Now apparently in New Orleans, bbq shrimp has absolutely nothing to do with barbecuing, barbecue sauce or using a grill or smoker of any kind. It's all about the buttery, spicy sauce...which is amazing for dipping fresh crusty bread. So good.


½ lb. butter (Deanie’s uses margarine)
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons whole sweet basil
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon hot sauce
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup chopped green onion, plus more for garnish

1 lb. raw head-on Louisiana jumbo shrimp
French bread for dipping

1.      In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add all ingredients for the sauce.
2.      Once combined, add shrimp and spread out so they are not on top of each other.
3.      Cook for 3-4 minutes on one side, then flip each shrimp and cook other side for another 3-4 minutes.
4.      Remove from heat, transfer to shrimp and sauce to deep dish, garnish with green onion and serve with French bread for dipping.

barely adapted from Deanie’s Seafood (New Orleans, LA)
all the sauce ingredients

The recipe says whole basil, but I chopped mine.
sauce mixed

On Man vs. Food, they seemed to make their sauce
ahead of time (in the form of a compound butter).
That way they just melt it in the pan and add the shrimp.
raw shrimp added

I just can't bring myself to use the head on shrimp. I know
it adds tons of flavor that I'm missing out on, but still.
shrimp flipped
Deanie's Seafood bbq shrimp (sort of)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Broccoli, Grape & Pasta Salad

This pasta salad has such a great mix of flavors - it's crunchy, sweet, salty and tangy. I think it will be a real crowd pleaser, but I can't back that up with much proof. My husband liked it, but my 8-year-old daughter wouldn't go near it. I guess it just looked too weird. I can't put much stock her opinion though (anyone who wears leopard print pants, a NY Yankees t-shirt and zebra socks with pink crocks has lost all credibility with me).

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 cup chopped pecans
8 oz. farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

1.      Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
2.      Prepare pasta according to package directions.
3.      Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Peel away tough outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems.
4.      Whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, onion, vinegar and salt in a large bowl. Add broccoli, hot cooked pasta and grapes, and stir to coat.
5.      Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.

mayonnaise, sugar, red onion, vinegar and salt
dressing mixed
adding broccoli

Make sure the florets are very tiny (it really
improves the texture since the broccoli is raw).
adding cooked pasta and halved grapes
broccoli, grape & pasta salad
ready to serve (bacon and pecans added)