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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.

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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: Bang Bang Shrimp

Bang Bang Shrimp. Need I say more?

I LOVE the Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer at Bonefish Grill. Actually, it’s pretty much the only thing I get when I go there… the appetizer portion is a great entree size for me!

I’ve been wanting to make this at home for a while now, and this afternoon I decided to try it out for dinner tonight.

What you will need:

  • 1 pound of raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails removed
  • 1/2 cup of [low-fat] mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons of Chili Garlic Sauce [found in the international food aisle]
  • 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • Oil, to fry (!)
  • [Romaine] lettuce, optional
  • Green onion, diced for garnish, optional

As for the shrimp, in the future: I’d probably use medium-sized shrimp [it’s what I ideally wanted to use when I made this at home], but I had the extra-large sized shrimp (26/30 count) at home today… so that’s what I ended up using as I decided just a few hours prior to try to make this at home.

To make the Bang Bang Shrimp:

  1. Season your shrimp with black pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Add in salt if you want as well, I didn’t think it was necessary with the sauce in the final product.
  2. Combine the mayonnaise, chili garlic sauce, sugar, and rice vinegar in a small bowl. I let mine chill in the fridge in the meantime. This helps the sauce stick to the shrimp.
  3. Beat your egg, and mix in the milk in another bowl; set aside.
  4. Next, combine your flour, panko breadcrumbs, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and basil in a separate bowl.
  5. Coat your seasoned shrimp with the flour/breadcrumb mixture. Then, coat in the egg/milk mixture before you coat them in the flour/breadcrumb mixture for a second time. Line them on a plate until all of your shrimp is breaded.
  6. Put your coated shrimp in the fridge for about 20 minutes. I’ve heard that this helps the breading to stick to the shrimp while they are frying, so I tried it out… and it did! I was worried about the panko falling apart.
  7. Heat your oil [on high] [in a frying pan, deep fryer, whatever].
  8. When oil is hot, fry your shrimp in batches for about 2 to 3 minutes [or until they are golden brown]. Whenever I fry anything [which is not often], I always line my dish with paper towels to help absorb as much of the oil as possible.
  9. When all of the shrimp has been fried, transfer the shrimp into a [large] bowl. Let the shrimp cool down for a few minutes before adding in about a quarter of a cup of the sauce you made earlier [that is chilled] at a time and mix/toss gently to coat your shrimp. I added in the sauce a little at a time to make sure I had the right consistency of sauce.

I served my homemade version of Bang Bang Shrimp over a bed of romaine lettuce, but anything similar would work well — iceberg is one I’d probably use if I had it on hand. For presentation purposes, garnish with chopped green onions if you would like [I didn’t do that today].

Tip: The ideal combination/process for a crispy breading [that doesn’t fall off — especially once you start to add the sauce]:

  1. Make the sauce first [and put it in the fridge to chill].
  2. Next, bread the shrimp [then put the shrimp in the fridge too].
  3. Wait to add the sauce to the shrimp until once the shrimp is a little cooler. Gently toss.

Update: So when I made this for a second time, I decided to try the coating for the shrimp a different way — the way I do it for my chicken tenders/nuggets/fried chicken. Both are delicious, but I like my simple [one method for all] way more and have used that each time I’ve made it since.

So what I do is: when I’m ready to fry, I add in a [beated] egg[s] to the marinated shrimp [same way as listed above]. Separately, in a ziploc bag [for easy cleanup], I add in flour and season it with black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and cayenne powder. Next, add in the shrimp to the ziploc bag, seal… and shake to coat all of the shrimp. You may need to do do this in batches depending on how much shrimp you are working with.

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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: Broiled Herbed [and Spicy] Shrimp

It was just my parents and I home for dinner tonight, so shrimp was the perfect thing to work with.

Today, I had extra large shrimp (26-30 count) at home. A couple hours ahead of time, I marinated my shrimp with: black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, rosemary leaves, basil leaves, and lemon juice.

When I was ready to assemble dinner, I skewered my marinated shrimp. I put the skewers on top of a foil tray. With my broiler on high, I put the skewers in the oven for about 2-3 minutes on each side.

Note:  I used the suggested 6 extra large shrimps for a serving size.

Tip: Don’t forget to leave your oven door open a tad bit whenever you use the broiler.

I served my [healthy] skewers of shrimp alongside my Caesar salad, and my [not so healthy] Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Click here to browse through other suggestions for sides.

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: Roasted Gold Potatoes and Baked Tilapia [with Crumb Topping]

My mom really liked the roasted red potatoes I made a while back, and wanted me to make that again.

Today, I made a similar, yet different version. I used small gold potatoes. And used a combination of different spice and herbs. Both: equally delicious.

I served it alongside baked tilapia that I topped off with a crumbled topping this time [see below for how I made it], along with biscuits and Caesar salad. Yum!

By the way, my Cheddar Bay Biscuits would be wonderful with this meal in place of these biscuits.

Today, I used the following to season my potatoes:

  • about 1 teaspoon salt
  • about 1/4 black pepper
  • about 1/4 teaspoon of rosemary
  • about 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • about 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • about 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • about 1/4 teaspoon oregano

Again, I say “about” for all of the above because the quantities will depend on your taste bud. 

To put your potatoes together:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil [for easy cleanup] and then spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray [to ensure your potatoes don’t stick].
  2. I, then, took small gold potatoes and halved each of them. A few of the potatoes were larger, which I cut into thirds. Essentially, cut them all into similar sizes, so they have even cooking times.
  3. The herb and  spice mixture that I mentioned above? Sprinkle that over your potatoes.
  4. Spray your seasoned potatoes with non-stick cooking spray, and then mix well [with your hands], making sure all the potatoes are coated evenly.
  5. Transfer your potatoes onto your lined baking sheet, facing all of the potatoes skin side down. Bake in the oven for about 40-50 minutes.

But I did several things differently:

  1. I left the fillets whole this time, rather than cutting them into smaller pieces.
  2. I used more lemon juice. This was to help keep the fish moist and help me for #3 below.
  3. Instead of coating each piece of tilapia with bread crumbs, I sprinkled on top a combination of bread crumbs and panko. Because I used extra lemon juice, when I went to mix my fish with the added panko and and bread crumbs… it left me with a nice crumb-like topping that coated the fish. I also had leftover that I liberally sprinkled over my fish on top.
  4. I baked it for about 25 minutes [without flipping them over this time].

The texture was great, and the topping melted in your mouth — absolutely delicious!

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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: Baked [and crusted] Tilapia

I think it’s no surprise how much I love tilapia. I’ve sautéed it, grilled it, fried it, baked it. What I hadn’t done yet: bake it with a breaded crust.

Let me tell you, it turned out moist, flaky, full of flavor, and absolutely delicious. I don’t know what it is about bread crumbs, but the flavored of the added seasoning and spices become more apparent with it.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

I quartered each tilapia fillet [you could certainly just halve it or even leave each piece whole]. Then, I marinated the tilapia fillets with my usual salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, ginger, chili powder, and lemon juice. No eggs, no flour, and no oil.

I ran each piece of the tilapia through [Italian-seasoned] bread crumbs, transferring each piece on to a foil-lined baking tray.

When you have breaded all the pieces, and lined them on your tray: spray a layer of non-stick cooking spray over them.

Transfer them into your preheated oven for about fifteen minutes initially. Then, take them out, flip all of your tilapia fillets over. Spray the second side with non-stick cooking spray, and put them back in the oven for another 7-10 minutes.

The end result is spectacular, and so easy!

I served it with homemade spinach and cheese swirls [recipe to come soon!], mashed potatoes, corn and peas. Other suggestions: my baked fries, biscuits [this or this one for example], or of course rice if you would like.

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: Spicy Lemon Shrimp

Today, I made shrimp similar to the one I made a few weeks ago. This time, however, I baked it. In my opinion, it turned out better (in comparison to the sauteed version from last time). I think baking it helped the shrimp cook evenly too.
As always, I kept it really simple- and used the spices I use in pretty much anything [and I mean everything]. I marinated the shrimp with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and lemon juice. I baked it in a preheated 400 degree oven for about twelve minutes, turning over all of the shrimp at the halfway point for even cooking.
The outcome? Deliciousness.
Today, I served it with salad, biscuits, and hash browns. Roasted potatoes and rice would work wonderfully as well.
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? Spicy Sautéed Shrimp with Pomegranate Caesar Salad

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. Grab and share my button:

 

What’s for Dinner? Tilapia (two different ways)

So for dinner today, I was working with tilapia (my absolute favorite fish!)

I didn’t want to fry it like I do usually. I thought about grilling it like I did last time, but I wanted it still to be juicy enough inside (without becoming tough).

I wanted a breaded crust, but I didn’t want to use oil (or anything of that nature) and I also didn’t want too thick of a crust and didn’t want to use egg to coat. I decided to try using those non-stick cooking sprays, but I wasn’t sure how well that would work.

So: I tested the tilapia two different ways using the non-stick cooking spray.

I cut each of the tilapia fillets in half, and marinated all of the fish with the seasonings I wanted. I used salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice. Besides the lemon juice, I use the combination of the aforementioned things in pretty much everything as a base.

Then, I sprayed the skillet with the non-stick cooking spray (just enough to coat) on medium heat.

Method one: I took the marinated tilapia, and coated it in Italian-seasoned bread crumbs before putting it in the skillet.

When I put it in the skillet, I didn’t get the sizzle noise I was hoping for (the kind you would get from frying or even pan-frying).

Method two: I just put the marinated tilapia directly into the warm skillet.

As soon as I put the fish in the skillet, I got the sizzling noise I was looking for. Plus, the fish was moist, juicy and absolutely delicious (and light!)

I did one of each in the same skillet the first time to test it out — both pretty much had an even cooking time.

The breaded tilapia wasn’t dry like I thought it would be (without the sizzle) and the inside was still moist. Surprisingly, the seasoning on the tilapia was more apparent in this version. What I didn’t like was that the second side of the fish would start to create a dark crust before cooking through properly (I guess I would need to perhaps spray the skillet when flipping the fish, but I don’t know…)

While I ended up liking the method two version better (without the bread crumbs), my mom liked the breaded one better… which is why I ended up making both for dinner!

Because I was working with eight fillets, for both methods, I cleaned the skillet in between every time I put a new set of fish in to cook.

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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: Grilled Tilapia

While I usually fry Tilapia as that is the way my family likes it the best, this particular day I didn’t have a few of the main ingredients I normally use.

Instead, I decided to throw some random spices in and grill it on our George Foreman Grill (which, by the way, I LOVE!).

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. Grab and share my button: