February 28, 2016

Italian Skillet Shrimp Bake

This Italian Skillet Shrimp Bake is a one dish comfort food feast for four.
Large tail on shrimp are arranged on top of a simmering, flavor packed tomato sauce then topped with feta or mozzarella cheese and seasoned lemon breadcrumbs before being baked to a golden brown.
Serve with crusty sliced bread for dipping and dig in!

As many of you know I love to cook in my cast iron skillet. So when I signed up for this year's 
Healthy Solutions Spice Blends 2016 Recipe Challenge
I knew I wanted to enter a dish baked in my well loved skillet.
I chose the Shrimp Scampi seasoning from the 16 varieties available from Healthy Solutions.
I decided to recreate a dish I made years ago after seeing a version by the Barefoot Contessa on TV.
My original dish included melted mozzarella cheese and lots of hearty tomato sauce and crispy topping. This version was just as delish, just mixed up a bit with feta cheese and garlicky Shrimp Scampi seasoning. 

Ingredients:

Makes 4 servings
  • 1 tbsp Healthy Solutions Shrimp Scampi Spice Blend
  • 1 lb large shrimp {about 20}, peeled but tails on
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled {or use cubed mozzarella}
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped for garnish
  • crusty sliced bread, for dipping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large over proof skillet {I like cast iron} over medium heat, add a swirl of olive oil {about 1 tbsp} and saute onions until softened.
  3. Add garlic and stir and cook another minute.
  4. Add wine and bring to a boil, stirring until liquid has reduced by half.
  5. Stir in tomatoes and Healthy Solutions Shrimp Scampi Seasoning Blend.
  6. Turn heat down to med low and bring to a simmer.
  7. Arrange shrimp in a circle in the skillet on top of the sauce, with the tails up.
  8. Sprinkle feta cheese over the top of the shrimp and sauce.
  9. In a small bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, lemon zest and 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  10. Sprinkle evenly over shrimp and cheese.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes until shrimp are cooked and topping is golden.
  12. Garnish with chopped parsley sprinkled on top.
  13. Scoop onto plates and serve with sliced French bread for dipping. 
For this recipe I chose to use my favorite large cast iron skillet.
However, any large oven proof skillet would work.
In a large over proof skillet over medium heat, 
add a swirl of olive oil and saute diced onions until softened.
Add garlic, stir, and cook another minute.
Add wine and bring to a boil, stirring until liquid has reduced by half.
Stir in crushed tomatoes.
 Then stir in 1 tbsp Healthy Solutions Shrimp Scampi Seasoning Blend.
Turn heat down to med low and bring to a simmer.
I like the Shrimp Scampi seasoning, with the flavors of garlic and butter, 
for this rich Italian inspired dish.
I used peeled, tails on large shrimp for this recipe.
Be sure to clean and devein them before adding to the skillet.
Arrange shrimp in a circle in the skillet on top of the sauce, with the tails up.
Sprinkle feta cheese over the top of the shrimp and sauce.
I have also used cubed mozzarella cheese instead.
In a small bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, lemon zest and 1 tbsp of olive oil.
Sprinkle evenly over shrimp and cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
The shrimp should be cooked through and the topping golden brown.
Garnish with chopped parsley sprinkled on top.
Toasted French or Italian bread is great for dipping in the sauce.
I slice and stuff mine with cheese and garlic then bake until crunchy.
Scoop onto plates and serve with sliced French bread for dipping.

View my recipe video here:


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February 24, 2016

Baked Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms


Stuffed Mushrooms have always been a favorite appetizer to serve during the holidays for my family.  They are easy to make and you can stuff them with just about any filling. In this version I used melted Boursin cheese, garlic, and Parmesan to fill my mushrooms and then topped them with crunchy seasoned breadcrumbs. 
My Thanksgiving Boursin Cheese HouseParty was a fun time for my family and I to meet up in Destin, FL and enjoy good food, good times, and, of course, eachother's company.
 I wish we got together more than once a year!

Flavored Boursin cheese was the perfect spread for veggies and crackers.
Such an easy and delicious appetizer!

My turkey veggie platter was a fun appetizer that took just minutes to make!

My Thanksgiving setup for my Boursin Houseparty.
I am so thankful for my family!

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February 23, 2016

Taco Soup with Homemade Taco Seasoning


It's Taco Tuesday and I am mixing it up a bit today.
Instead of sharing a traditional tasty taco recipe with y'all, I decided
to make a taco soup.
Similar to a chili, but not quite as thick, this soup's ingredients include not only beans and tomatoes but also your favorite taco fillings: corn, onions, and lots of cheese, sour cream, and crunchy wonton strips on top.
I make tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and other similar Mexican inspired meals at home for my family pretty often. Honestly though, I am not too crazy about buying the sodium laden taco seasoning packets at the store to flavor my food. So I decided to make my own taco seasoning at home. I make a mild and a spicy version and store in sealed mason jars in my pantry so they're easily accessible whenever I want to add tasty taco flavoring to my recipes.
This week's Taco Tuesday was a home run with my Homemade Taco Seasoning and delicious Taco Soup for our family dinner!


Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • Taco seasoning, to taste {I added 1 tbsp +1 tsp}
  • 1/2 large Vidalia onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped {I used 1 red, 1 yellow}
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10 oz bag of frozen corn
  • 1 15oz can tomato sauce
  • 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups broth {beef, chicken, or vegetable}
  • olive oil, for saute if needed
  • shredded cheese, sour cream, and tortilla/wonton strips, for garnish

Taco Seasoning:
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne {optional}

Directions:

  1.  Heat a large pot or double boiler over medium heat.
  2. Add beef and crumble then cook until browned.
  3. Add the onions and bell peppers and saute until softened, about five minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
  5. Finally, add in the beans, corn, tomatoes, broth, and taco seasoning.
  6. Turn down heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  7. Pour into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of cheese, and wonton strips.
Taco Seasoning:
  1. Mix all spices together in a resealable jar.
  2. Adjust heat {cayenne pepper} according to taste.
  3. Add 1-2 tbsp. to recipes for a flavorful kick!

For the taco seasoning:  mix all ingredients together in a resealable jar.
I like to use a small mason jar. Label and store in a cool dry place.
 Heat a large pot or double boiler over medium heat.
Add beef and crumble.
Cook until browned.
Dice sweet onion and bell pepper, I prefer red and yellow.
Add the onions and bell peppers and saute until softened, about five minutes.
Then add garlic and cook for another minute.
Now time to add more taco ingredients. I like to add beans, tomatoes and corn.
You can also add peppers, cilantro, and any other ingredients you would like.
Add in the drained beans, I used black and red kidney
but I also like pinto beans in this soup.
Stir in tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes, broth, and taco seasoning.
I use beef broth but any will work.
Now stir in taco seasoning.
I add 1 tbsp. then adjust according to taste.
I ended up adding another 1 tsp.
Turn down heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes,
stirring occasionally. 
Scoop into bowls and serve hot topped with your choice of garnishes.
I like to add a crunchy garnish my taco soup like a wonton strip,
tortilla chips, or even Fritos chips.
I also add sour cream and shredded cheese on top of each bowl of soup.
There's nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of chunky Taco Soup for dinner
on a rainy day like today!


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