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Easy Baked Stuffed Lobster

27 May

My boyfriend love lobster. He loves lobster rolls, plain lobster and of course baked stuffed lobster. The presentation alone of a baked stuffed lobster is pretty impressive. It also seems like a lot of work. You have to remove the lobster meat and then stuff it all back in with other seafood and stuffing? Come on…and then there’s the question, do you have to kill the lobster first??

In true semi-homemade form, I decided to attempt this without having to kill my own lobster, for my lobster.

lobster

What you need:

2 steamed lobsters from the store

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup of crushed butter crackers (I used Ritz but you could use Club or generic butter cracker or oyster crackers)

Salt and Pepper

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 TBS of Italian seasoning

2 TBS of extra virgin olive oil

6 scallops <– Here is the thing about scallops, they can be expensive and I didn’t see any that looked really great (and I hate bay scallops) so I bought one of those packs of frozen bacon wrapped scallops. There were eight in the package and it worked perfectly.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the bacon wrapped scallops for about 3/4 of the time on the package. You don’t want to overcook them and they are going back in the oven. When you take the scallops out, remove from the bacon and pour the bacon grease into you crushed cracker crumbs. I did not use the bacon for this. I ended up putting it back in the oven, cooking it crisp and giving a couple pieces to my pups, which they loved. The rest got thrown out but you could easily chop the bacon and put it in the stuffing.

Add herbs, half the extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, herbs and the scallops to the cracker crumbs.

Turn the oven on broil.

When that’s done, take your lobsters out and remove the tail meat but not the tail. I also recommend making sure you have claw crackers because I did not and ended up using scissors and the back of a knife as a hammer. This was not easy. I ended up removing the tail of one of them and then putting it back into the main shell to stuff (it worked). Take out the tamale, innards etc. I even rinsed it out so there was a “clear” space for the stuffing.

Put the lobster meat into the cracker/scallop mix. Stuff back into the lobster. Please note that had I had the claw crackers, I would have taken the claw meat out and added it to this stuffing.

Brush the remaining extra virgin olive oil over the lobster and the stuffing. Bake in the broiler for about 8 – 10 minutes until golden brown. Don’t overcook or it’ll dry out!

lobster

C’est si yum!

Baked Jalapeno Poppers

21 May

I love jalapeno poppers. They are so good and yet I imagine bad for you when you get them out of the box or in a bar. I was craving some and decided there must be a better way. If you search on Pinterest, tons of ideas come up, so I decided to try my own variation.

What you need:

4 fresh jalapenos, cut lengthwise

1/4 block of Velveeta cheese

1/4 cup of softened cream cheese

3/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs

4 slices of cooked bacon

1 bowl of water and a sink

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. To remove seeds, cut the tops off of the jalapenos and then cut them lengthwise. If you have gloves of some sort (latex or the plastic throw away variety) I would say you could use them. If not, just be sure to wash your hands after this part and don’t touch your eyes. Use a pairing knife to cut the white part and seeds out. For pesky seeds that wouldn’t come out, I put them in the bowl of water and got them out that way. I also put the sliced pieces in there as I went through the jalapenos.

Slice the Velveeta according to the size of the jalapeno slices. The stuffing part is up to you. Just pat the jalapeno dry and discard the water.

I stuffed each one differently and they all tasted delicious.

Option 1 – bacon pieces and cream cheese

Option 2 – bacon pieces, Velveeta and then cream cheese on top

Option 3 – bacon pieces and just Velveeta (if you do it this way, put the bacon in first)

Each of these options end the same way, in the panko. I did not use eggs or anything in this recipe. I simply pressed the cheese part and the back part of the jalapeno firmly into the panko. Place on a non-stick sprayed baking sheet and bake for about 10 – 15 minutes.

Jalapeno popper

You want the jalapenos to be tender but watch to make sure the inside does not ooze out. None of this bat ch did. They were delicious and only took about 30 minutes total time to make (including baking). The most time-consuming part was the seed removal.

C’est si yum!

Taco Rice (Side Dish or Main Dish Base)

11 Apr

Taco night is a great night. They are so easy and I am a big fan of the taco kits that come with everything you need. I made this super easy rice to go with the tacos last night. This would also be a good base for a taco bowl (just top with meat, lettuce, cheese and guacamole).

What you need:

2 cups cooked Jasmine rice (really any rice will do)

1/2 a container of those single serving Fage (or any Greek yogurt) cups

1/2 cup of shredded cheese

1/4 – 1/2 cup of salsa

Salt and Pepper

Fixins Rice

There are two options for this prep. 1) When you cook the rice and it is still hot, add all the ingredients and serve hot! or 2) Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 3 – 5 minutes and stir halfway through.

A great side or start to a main dish. C’est si yum!

Mini Turkey Meatloaf

21 Mar

Ground turkey and ground chicken are two products I love cooking with. They’re perfect to put in sauces, lasagna, soups and tacos.  I have definitely made ground chicken meatloaf before but this time I used ground turkey. Also, because it is Lent, I did not want to make a huge loaf because the leftovers would really go to waste and for some reason I think if I had made a whole loaf vs. six cupcake sized loaves, there would have been leftover. It’s all about eating with your eyes first right? This only took 20 minutes at 400 degrees and then another 5 – 10 minutes at 425 (because I wanted to make sure it was cooked through).

What you need:

1 lb ground turkey (I only used 3/4 of the ground turkey and cooked the remaining 1/4 for future use)

1 egg, beaten

salt and pepper

BBQ Sauce

6 slices of bacon or turkey bacon (I used this)

1/4 cup of panko bread crumbs

1 medium red potato sliced thin

2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence (optional)

6 count cupcake pan

meatloaf

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients except for the BBQ sauce and the bacon. Don’t over mix the meat. Spray your cupcake pan with non-stick spray. At the bottom of each cupcake, I put one to two slices of red potato. Form six meatball shapes and put them in cupcake pan cups. Spoon BBQ sauce over the top of each meatloaf cupcake, just enough to coat. Don’t over sauce them. If you have extra potato, you can put it on top of the BBQ sauce. Top each meatloaf cupcake with some bacon. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes. I checked the doneness of each and they were almost perfect so I turned the heat up to 425 and kept them in for another 10 minutes (you might notice the middle left meatloaf cupcake still looks a tid pink. This was taken before the 425). You want two things: crisp bacon and cooked through meatloaf cupcakes.

Serve hot with your favorite side! C’est si yum!

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

12 Jan

My wonderful fella is wonderfully into fantasy sports. Last weekend while he monitored his line ups and points, I caught up on my cooking competitions. This season, “Top Chef” is in Texas and the last episode was barbecue themed. Of course he was half paying attention to the tv but the end take away was, “Let’s get some barbecue!” It was pretty late and in Boston, late night BBQ was not a delivery option. I decided to surprise him later that weekend with a surprise, homemade easy barbecue in the chicken slow cooker. He gave it a 12 out of 10 so you should definitely try it! The recipe I made, made three sandwiches and had some leftover.

What I used –

3 boneless chicken breasts

1 bottle of BBQ Sauce, I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Bourbon BBQ sauce

2 TBS maple syrup

Salt and Pepper

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 scallion, chopped

Set the crock pot on high and put the chicken in the bottom with the garlic and scallion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with 3/4 of the BBQ sauce and syrup. Leave for four to six hours on high. About four hours into it I added the rest of the sauce from the bottle. Check and “stir” and the chicken will shred easily the longer it cooks. Serve on a toasted bun! I served it with Bush’s baked beans and some corn bread.

C’est si Yum!

Buffalo Chicken Chex Balls

19 Dec

I’d say 99% of the time I’m waiting for my boyfriend to arrive, he mentions that he’s starving. Today, a football Sunday, I decided to make something inspired by a recipe I saw on Pinterest. I only made one dozen because I wasn’t sure how they were going to turn out and I used ingredients I had in my kitchen. I had one…the fella ate the rest and I will be making them again!

Here’s what I used:

1/4 pound of ground chicken

1 – 2 chicken tenders, cooked and chopped

I cooked both chicken items in some Sherry Wine and extra virgin olive oil

1 cup of crushed corn chex

1/2 TBS Cajun Seasoning

1/3 TBS Paprika

1/2 a package of Neufchâtel room temperature

1 scallions, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/2 cup of hot sauce (approximately)

Preheat your oven to 385 degrees F (I don’t know why I chose that temp but it worked out really well!). In a ziplock bag, crush corn chex and shake with Cajun seasoning and paprika. Set aside. Combine cream cheese, scallions, chicken, garlic and hot sauce. I recommend just shaking the hot sauce out of the bottle. This way you can judge how thick or thin the mixture is. You don’t want it too thin!! Roll mixture into 1/2 inch balls and shake up in the chex mixture. Place on a non-stick coated baking sheet. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes but I would watch them to make sure they don’t get too dark. When you take them out, let them sit a few minutes before plating. This makes about a dozen so I would recommend making a larger batch!

C’est si Yum!

Surprise Date Night – Trader Joe’s Tortellini in a Sherry Parm Sauce

24 Aug

Who says you have to go out to have a date night? I did a quick tortellini dish and brought it to my fella, only to be surprised with a candlelit setting, complete with roses,  champagne AND one of my favorite snacks, hot sauce and saltines (not in that order).

Here’s what you need, and this dish travels well and is quick to reheat in the microwave or in a saute pan.

1 Package of pre-made tortellini (I used Trader Joe’s)

1/2 Package of frozen peas

1/2 Pint of Grape Tomatoes (I would also recommend the small orange tomatoes if you can find them)

1 Garlic Clove, chopped

2 TBS Butter

Cooking Sherry (Notice there is not a set amount!)

Grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and Pepper

1 TSP of Plain Oil (Why plain oil? Because I am out of extra virgin olive oil)

Very simple. Cook tortellini according to the directions. Strain and set aside reserving about 1 TBS of pasta water in the pot/pan you cooked the tortellini in. Return pan to the heat and melt butter, oil and garlic. Add a couple of splashes of sherry. Let the wine come to boil but do not let it all reduce. Add peas. Return tortellini to the heat. Add tomatoes. Toss until warm. At this point you should sprinkle the grated Parm. I actually put it into the bottom of a to-go container and shook it (covered of course).

Easy and elegant for a weeknight. C’est si Yum!