Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mozambique Shrimp Re-Mixed

I had this idea of making Mozambique Shrimp again, this time omitting the beer. I think the Goya spices combined with the onions, garlic and hot sauce is really the secret to this dish. Plus I'm trying to cut some calories and carbs and came up with this new version. The first thing I always have on hand is the Sazon Goya "Con Azafran", found in the international aisle of your grocrery store.

And of course you need shrimp. So let's get the cutting board out and start the prep.  Here's what you'll need:

Mozambique Shrimp sans Beer
3 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 pound shrimp (16-20 count) peeled and deviened
2 small onions chopped
4-5 garlic cloves chopped or grated
2 packets Goya Con Azafran
1-1/2 tsp tomato paste
2 T srirscha sauce (or any other hot sauce that rocks your boat)
12 oz water
Juice of one lemon

In large sauce pan, heat the butter, olive oil, onions and garlic on low for about 5 minutes. Make sure the heat is low enough so you just sweat them. Add the tomato paste (I love the paste in the tube), sriracha sauce, Goya seasoning and water. Bring to a boil.

Now add the prepared shrimp and lemon juice, bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes.

Mozambique shrimp is ready to be served. How easy is that? I paired this with brown rice and garnished with cooling diced cucumber and cilantro. I'd love you to try this- so tasty and simple. Let me know what you think.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

I have a few favorite banana bread recipes and make them when I have ripe bananas and feel like treating myself. A few months ago I came across a recipe called "The Most Creamy Banana Bread" and obviously I was intrigued because it contained cream cheese, which I love in all my cookies, cakes and breads, and the ratings were A plus. So what's a gal to do on a snowy Saturday with 3 extra ripe bananas sitting on my kitchen counter? I got to work and made this simple, delicious bread. Easy prep and 45 minutes cooking time, I couldn't be happier. This recipe originated from Tracey Stephan, a blue ribbon winner at JAP. Tracey had a topping on her bread- nuts and brown sugar. I decided to eliminate the topping and just add my favorite add in-mini chocolate chips into the batter. This is a treat you don't want to miss. Let's put this baby together, with a few pictures to help you along.

Cream Cheese Banana Bread
use a 9 x 5 inch bread pan

Cooking spray
1/2 cup butter softened
8 oz cream cheese softened
1-1/4 cup sugar (I used Splenda no calorie)
2 eggs room temp if possible
3 bananas mashed (Tracey used 1 cup, I added a little more)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups AP flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees and mist bread pan with cooking spray. I like to get all my ducks in order before I bake so first thing I did was combine my flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium size bowl.

In large bowl beat with hand mixer the cream cheese and butter. Now add the sugar and mix well.

Add your eggs one at a time and mix. Now add the mashed bananas and vanilla extract.

It's time to add the flour mixture. At this time I put my mixer away and stir the ingredients with my wooden spoon. The "Joy of Baking" claims that the less you mix your batter, the more tender your bread will be. So fold in the flour mixtue gently by hand. Add the chocolate chips and combine.
Pour or spoon batter into prepared baking pan.
Bake in pre heated oven for 45 minutes. At first I thought this wasn't enough time for this amount of bread, but I was wrong. Forty five minutes does the trick. Bake this little baby up and enjoy!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Potato Soup

As I do every new year, I cut out the carbs for a few weeks then go back to eating properly. So my first treat to myself this February was a simple potato cheese soup. I've never even made potato soup before but figured, how hard could it be? Answer... simple simple, quick, and yummy to boot.  Here's the recipe:

Simple Potato Cheese Soup
will feed 3 or 4

4 slices of turkey bacon- I would have used real bacon, but the turkey was half the price
1 tsp canola oil
1 medium onion diced
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
2 Russet potatoes peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 can 14.5 oz chicken broth - I use the no fat, low sodium
1 can 14.5 oz water
8 oz low fat Velveeta cheese chopped in 1/2 inch pieces- I think any other cheese of your choice would work, I just love the meltability of Velveeta
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
Toasted bread

This is so simple, so get ready to cook and eat shortly afterwards. Really, it's that fast. Brown bacon in fry pan until crisp. Chop into bite size pieces.

With whatever fat is left in the pan, saute onions and Old Bay. I must say, I was disappointed in how little fat my bacon gave off and had to add a bit of canola.

Now it's time to cook the potatoes. In small to medium pot simmer potatoes for about 15 minutes. They should be cut small enough so they don't need a lot of cooking time.

Drain potatoes (I didn't even rinse mine), set aside and get ready to make the soup. In large to medium soup pot add stock, water and onions. Now add potatoes and bring to simmer. Add cheese, half the chopped bacon, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted and soup is hot. Dinner's ready. Serve with toasted bread and remaining bacon. Yummmm. This was so quick and satisfying. I think you'll enjoy.

Re-mix- Add a small can of evaporated milk to soup for an even creamier texture. And I'm even thinking a can of corn would be a nice addition.