Friday, August 27, 2010

Sesame Orange Shrimp

More often then not, my food photos never end up looking as pretty as I wish they would- instead, you just have to trust me when I saw they taste good!

Tonight's dinner was Sesame Orange Shrimp, which I picked out of a copy of Everyday Food. This little food magazine is awesome- I inherited a lot of my grandma's copies, and had a subscription myself for a year. It is from Martha Stewart, and is full of recipes- with pictures for each one!

The Sesame Orange Shrimp not only looked good in the magazine, but more importantly, it tasted good. The only part I did not like about this recipe was peeling the raw shrimp- made me really think about how my dinner was once living...

Other then that, it was fairly easy, and pretty quick. I had another dinner going at the same time (a personal-size veggie pizza for my vegetarian husband), and had no problem cooking two meals at once.

I served this over brown rice. Next time, I'll add a vegetable side dish like spicy broccoli or bok choy.


2 large egg whites
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup sesame seeds
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more if needed
1 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

1.) In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, cornstarch, sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until frothy. Add shrimp, and toss to coat.

2.) Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in two or three batches, cook shrimp until golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minuets per side; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Add more oil to skillet if necessary for remaining batches.

3.) Wipe skillet with a paper towel. Add orange juice, soy sauce, and sugar; boil over high heat until syrupy and reduced to about 1/3 cup, 4 to 5 minutes. Return shrimp to skillet; add scallions, and cook until heated through and coated with sauce, about 1 minute.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Homemade Crispy Baked Chicken Strips

I love crispy chicken- on salads, in a wrap, with french fries, and so on. Sadly, a lot of chicken is coated in so much heavy batter and fried in gobs of oil, that it becomes very unhealthy. Which is why I would limit myself to my crispy chicken cravings.

Not anymore! I found this recipe on, and was happy to see that it used few ingredients so that it is indeed a low fat, and healthy, way to have crispy chicken.

I served it alongside a bunch of fresh veggies cooked in a little bit of olive with garlic powder and oregano. The chicken strips were delicious. Next time, I'll cook them a bit longer to get them even crispier.


2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 egg, beaten
2 cups plain breadcrumbs (I used panko breadcrumbs)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1.) Cut the chicken into thin strips, about 1 inch wide.

2.) Mix the bread crumbs and seasonings in a bowl. Beat the egg in a separate bowl.

3.) Dip the chicken pieces in the egg, then the crumb mixture. Place on a oiled baking sheet.

4.) Bake the chicken strips at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, until crispy on the outside and lightly browned.

*Serve plain or with your favorite sauce.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Spinach Enchiladas

When looking for recipes this week, I found myself really wanting to make enchiladas- I think it was after watching either a Bobby Flay throw down or Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Mexican food. So I went searching for vegetarian enchiladas for both my hubby and I, and found this recipe from Emeril.

They were delicious! Full of spinach and cheese with a little bit of spiciness from the poblano peppers. These were definitely not low calorie though, so next time I'll have to find a recipe that tones it down a bit. But, it's Emeril and he always has to take it up a notch!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chicago-Style Stuffed Spinach Pizza

One of the many things I miss about living in Chicago is the pizza. I think one of the requirements to be a Chicagoen is to love the buttery crust, gooey cheese, abundance of delicious fillers (sausage, spinach, pepperoni, peppers, mushrooms, etc.) and chunky tomato sauce (always on top!) that makes up the deep dish pizza that Chicago is known for serving.
My favorite place to get it is Lou Malnati's, and when I go back home I try to get it as much as possible, because Southern Ohio certainly cannot produce deep-dish pizza. Which means it came to this: I had to finally pull out the long recipe for Chicago Deep Dish Pizza that I had copied a couple years ago.

I don't know if I ever really intended to make it myself- I figured I'd probably always live in the Chicago area and wouldn't need to make my own, but God stepped in and next thing I knew I was in Portsmouth where only thin crust pizzas were provided.

A fair warning: this recipe takes time. The dough is very sticky and hard to shape and form into the pan. It takes time to make the pizza sauce and prepare the filling. BUT- it is totally, 100%, worth it in the end. This is awesome pizza.

It isn't Lou Malnati's, or Giordanos, or Unos, but for a girl who misses one of her favorite comfort foods- it does the job perfectly.

Sadly, I do not know where I got this recipe from. Just trust me when I say it's good!

2 envelopes (1/4 oz. each) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4-6 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes with puree
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3 packages (10 oz. each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup Romano cheese2 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Crust- Dissolve yeast and sugar in water in a large bowl; set aside to stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Stir in oil Stir in four cups of flour and salt til smooth. Stir in remaining flour as needed until a stiff dough forms. Knead on lightly floured work surface until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Put dough into a greased bowl, and turn to coat the top. Let rise, covered, in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour.
2. Sauce- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook two minutes. Stir in tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Simmer, stirring often, until very thick, about 30 minutes.

3. Filling- Set aside 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as you can. Mix the spinach with the remaining filling ingredients in a large bowl. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
4. Punch down the dough and let it rest 10 minutes. Roll 2/3 of the dough into a 16-inch circle. Fit the dough into a lightly oiled 14-inch pizza pan, at least two inches deep. Let the dough overhang the edges of the pan.

5. Sprinkle the reserved 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese over the bottom crust. Spoon the spinach filling into the center of the crust, and smooth it to evenly cover the surface. Roll the remaining dough into a 14-inch circle. Place the dough over the filling. Crimp the edges of the top and bottom crusts together; trim off excess dough. Pour the sauce over the top crust.

6. Bake until sides of pizza are nicely golden and the top crust is firm, 30-40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.
*Serves 6-8 people.

Notes: I did not have a pizza pan. I used a 8 1/2 inch spring form pan. This worked wonderfully. I worked the dough up the sides of the pan to form the crust. What was nice about this was that once I was done baking (I baked it 30 minutes), I could release the spring form pan side, and easily slide the pizza onto the cutting board. If you have a pizza pan, go ahead and use that, but I preferred the spring form.

Chicken Chop Suey

Another Chinese recipe! After the success of the sesame chicken, I decided to try another favorite: chop suey. What I am really liking about cooking Chinese food at home is that I can control the ingredients and what I'm putting in the dish, which means it's healthier then what I get from take-out Chinese, and it still tastes delicious!

This recipe I found from Elli Krieger. She's known for her healthier recipes, and I found that this seemed true with the abundance of veggies, low-sodium, and suggestion of using brown rice. The only issue I had with this recipe is that the wontons DO NOT need to be baked 10 minutes- they will burn! I would say 5 minutes, and be sure to keep an eye on them.

Otherwise, this was another successful homemade Chinese dish! Now I just need to decide what to try next. Any suggestions?