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What’s for Dinner: Olive Oil and Herb Dip

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To serve alongside my homemade bread last night, I quickly put together this olive oil and herb dip that is served at several restaurants.

I combined garlic powder, [very little amount of] salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, thyme, basil, oregano and parsley flakes. I also mixed in a little olive oil so the herb mixture would stick together.

Add some of it to olive oil and it’s ready to serve/eat.

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P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Mini Tacos

Monday night, I made some mini chicken “tacos” using wonton wrappers. This is how I made it:20140609-171540-62140852.jpg

  1. I took ground chicken and seasoned it with black pepper, paprika, garlic powder and paprika. You could, of course, do the same thing with ground meat as well.
  2. Over low to medium heat, I cooked the ground chicken in a non-stick skillet.
  3. Once the chicken was cooked through, I added [low sodium] taco seasoning. Mix well, and let it cook for a few more minutes before you remove it from the heat.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Take a [24-count] mini muffin pan and line each one with a wonton wrapper, pressing it down in the middle. Fill it with your cooked taco meat.
  6. Bake, in your preheated oven, for about 6-8 minutes.
  7. Once it is baked, add salsa [along with whatever other topping you like on your tacos].

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Baked Boneless Chicken Wings

I turned my boneless chicken wings recipe into a healthier version today [Friday night] by baking them. Full of flavor, without the oil/frying factor.

Here’s how I made it today:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking tray with foil. Spray non-stick cooking spray over the foil.
  2. I seasoned boneless chicken cubes with black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and onion powder. Mix in an egg.
  3. Meanwhile, [in a ziploc bag] season your flour with black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and chili powder.
  4. In batches, coat all of your chicken with the flour mixture. Just add the chicken into the ziploc bag and shake well until it’s nicely incorporated.
  5. Transfer your coated chicken onto the lined foil tray. Before transferring it into your preheated oven, spray non-stick cooking spray over the top of the chicken.
  6. Bake the chicken, in your preheated oven, for about 10-12 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, mix your [heated up] hot sauce and about a tablespoon of [melted] butter.
  8. Let your chicken cool for a few minutes once it is out of the oven before coating it with the sauce.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:


P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Sweet Chili Shrimp

For dinner tonight, I recreated the Sweet Chili Shrimp appetizer from Red Lobster. I made a homemade version of Sweet Chili Shrimp [and served it over a bed of lettuce]… and it tasted spot on. By the way, click here for my version of their Cheddar Bay Biscuits which would be great to serve alongside this shrimp!

What I did was basically make my popcorn shrimp recipe to start off. Minus the salt, since I was adding sauce. And I added chili powder and onion powder to the shrimp.

  1. So: I took [small] shrimp [peeled and deveined] and seasoned it with black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder and chili powder.
  2. Next, add in an egg [amount depending on how much shrimp you are working with… just enough to “wet” the shrimp so the breading sticks].
  3. When you are ready to fry the shrimp: in a ziploc bag [for convenience and easy cleanup], add in flour [amount depending on how much shrimp you are working with] and season the flour with black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper and chili powder. Shake well to make sure the flour is thoroughly seasoned.
  4. Add in the shrimp, in batches, to the flour. Shake well.
  5. Finally, fry the shrimp until they are golden brown!

Meanwhile, for the Sweet Chili sauce, I just used a store-bought sauce today. I wanted to make sure the taste would be accurate, and it was, so next time I’ll experiment with making the sauce completely homemade too. That’s not to say, the store-bought wasn’t a great help/alternative: I’m all about semi-homemade/getting some help from the store when I can, but I do like controlling the quantity/quality of ingredients in my food which is why I prefer homemade when I can. 

 

Today, I used the Sweet Chili sauce from the brand “Frank’s Red Hot”.

  1. After allowing the fried shrimp to cool somewhat for a few minutes, toss the shrimp with the sauce. Coat all the shrimp with the sauce.
  2. Once your shrimp is coated, transfer it on top of the [chopped] bed of lettuce.
  3. Optional: for presentation purposes, adding a sprinkle of chopped scallions on top would be a great touch.

 

 

Update: you can see my slightly healthier version of this by clicking here… and seeing the baked shrimp version that is equally delicious!

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:


P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Braided Pizza Bread

It’s a cold and snowy day [again]. We seem to be having a lot of these lately. Another foot of snow, making the total for the winter season thus far unreasonably high.
 

As a mid afternoon snack, I made this braided pizza bread using a refrigerated pizza dough I had handy. I lay the rectangular dough out on foil [for easy cleanup] on top of a baking sheet. cut the top and bottom parts of the dough to create strips.Down the center, pour marinara sauce, shredded mozarella cheese, parmesan cheese, oregano flakes, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Next time, I’d add strips of bell peppers and chicken too.Fold the strips on top to create a braided look. Brush the top gently with oil oil. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and oregano.

Bake in your preheated 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:


P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Pizza Pinwheels

This was a quick snack I put together this past Friday night… another spin on pizzas.

I took [rectangular] pizza dough [store bought or homemade] and topped it with marinara sauce. On top of that I added: garlic powder, red pepper flakes, oregana, shredded mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan cheese.

Roll it into a log [as neatly as you possibly can]. And using a sharp knife, cut them into even pieces. Lay them on a baking tray.

I baked it in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes and it was delicious!

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:


P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Breadsticks

For Ayaz’s birthday, yesterday, I made my bubble-up pizza, a chocolate cake [with choclate frosting] with rolo candies and drizzled with caramel… and these breadsticks!
You need:

  • Pizza dough
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Basil Powder

This particular day, I used the Pillsbury refrigerated pizza dough [thin crust]. You can find my pizza dough recipe by clicking here.

What I did was:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Roll out the pizza dough onto my pan.
  3. Drizzle olive oil on top, and use a brush to evenly spread over the dough.
  4. Sprinkle italian seasoning, garlic powder, and basil powder on top.
  5. Bake in my preheated oven for about 10 minutes.
Cut them into whatever sized pieces you want. Serve them with marinara sauce!

By the way, click here to get the recipe for my Garlic and Cheesy Breadsticks.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:


P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Popcorn Chicken

Slowly, but surely, working on posting old family favorite recipes that are a staple around here. These popcorn chicken are a must throughout Ramadan for iftari in our house.

To make the popcorn chicken (the following quantities are for about two pounds of boneless chicken cut into tiny bite size pieces):

I marinate the bite size pieces of chicken with 4 eggs, salt and pepper (to taste), 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 3/4th cup of flour and 3/4th cup of cornstarch. All the quantities are very approximate as I just eyeball them.

So after you marinate it, just check its consistency – it should be a thick gooey consistency.

All that’s left to do is is fry the chicken until they are a light golden brown color [in batches].

It’s perfect as is, but sometimes I add cayenne pepper for a little spice into the marinade.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:


P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Eggplant and Tomatoes

Last Saturday, for an iftari party, I quickly assembled a plate of grilled eggplant and roasted cherry tomatoes. My dad had been asking me to make something with the eggplant and I had some fresh cherry tomatoes from my aunt’s backyard vegetable garden. 

They turned out great, and I especially loved the seasoned tomatoes straight out of the oven!

I sliced the eggplant and seasoned it with a little oil, salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, and rosemary. Grilled these in my George Foreman grill machine.

I took the roasted cherry tomatoes [whole] and seasoned them with a little oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, and basil. Roasted these in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, I’d say? Just until right before they were ready to burst. Juicy and delicious!

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:


P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Popcorn Shrimp

I take shrimp [peeled and deveined for your convenience] and season it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Simple and quick.

While I don’t add salt to the shrimp if it’s being served with a sauce [like my version of the Bang Bang Shrimp], I do find that you will need to add a little bit of salt if you are simply just frying the shrimp for something like popcorn shrimp.

Add in egg and a little milk [amount of both depending on how much shrimp you are working with… just enough to “wet” the shrimp so the breading sticks].

When you are ready to fry them, in a ziploc bag [for convenience and easy cleanup], add in flour [amount depending on how much shrimp you are working with] and season the flour with black pepper, garlic, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Shake well to make sure the flour is thoroughly seasoned.

Add in the shrimp, in batches, to the flour. Shake well.

Fry them until they are golden brown!

Next time, I’ll try baking these and seeing how they turn out.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:


P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.