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What’s for Dinner: Pizza Pockets

These pizza pockets are delicious and so easy to make!

You can use either a store bought pizza dough, or make your own. Click here to see my pizza dough r20140802-121720-44240578.jpgecipe.

Roll your pizza dough out to be a rectangular shape. Cut them into squares. On one half of each, add marinara sauce, cheese [and whatever other toppings you want inside]. Fold over, diagnonally, and seal the edges to enclose the filling.

Next, brush olive oil on top of each pizza pocket, followed by oregano and garlic powder.

In your preheated 400 degree oven, bake your pizza pockets for about 12-15 minutes [or until the top is golden brown].

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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: Chicken Patties

To ground chicken [you could of course use ground meat instead if you want], add: salt, black pepper, garlic, ginger, and paprika.
Cook your chicken without adding any water or oil.20140710-214835-78515714.jpg

When it’s cooked through and any excess liquid dries up, then: add in fried onion, lemon juice, and mint.

Next, take [thawed] puff pastry sheets. Cut into squares [depending on the size you want], add some chicken filling to one half before folding over the other half of the sheet  to close it. Primp with  a fork to get nice edges if you want!

Finally, brush on egg wash on top.

We make these in batches and freeze them, so they are easy to just bake in the oven when needed.

In a preheated 350 degree oven, bake for about 25-30 minutes… or until the top is golden brown!

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What’s for Dinner: [Baked] Bang Bang Shrimp

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This past Tuesday, I did a baked version of my Bang Bang Shrimp. It was just as delicious, and I loved that it wasn’t fried!

  1. Make your sauce: combine the 1/2 cup of [low-fat] mayonnaise, 4 teaspoons of chili garlic sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar in a small bowl. I let mine chill in the fridge in the meantime. This helps the sauce stick to the shrimp.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Spray non-stick cooking spray on top of the foil.
  3. I seasoned shrimp with: black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and cayenne powder.
  4. Next, I added in a [beated] egg to the marinated shrimp.
  5. 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.
  6. Transfer your coated shrimp on to the lined baking sheet. When all are transferred, spray another layer of non-stick cooking spray on top of all the shrimp.
  7. Bake the shrimp in your preheated oven for about 15 minutes.
  8. After a few minutes of letting the shrimp cool, transfer to a dish where you fold in the sauce with the shrimp before serving.

Like I mentioned in the original version, 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.

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What’s for Dinner: Cholay

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Cholay is another Pakistani dish that is served as a snack or appetizer… and I’m sharing it today as part of iftari food.

If you are working with dried chick peas, soak them in water [overnight].

When you are ready to make the cholay:

  1. To chana [chick peas], add salt, baking soda and enough water to cover all the chick peas to bring it up to a boil.  Keep your heat on high until it comes to a boil, then turn to extreme low heat for the rest of the cooking process.
  2. Add in [peeled and diced] potatoes to the chick peas half way through it’s cooking process [so it can just cook together]. You can remove liquid if there is an excess amount.
  3. Once it’s ready, add in diced tomatoes, one of the following [cumin or chaat masala, and imli [tamarind] chutney.
  4. When you are ready to serve, add in either mint or coriander leaves.

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] Sweet Chili Shrimp

Today, I made a baked version of Sweet Chili Shrimp.

I’ve made a fried version of this before [you can see that by clicking here], but today I decided to go the healthier route and bake the shrimp instead.20140708-205434-75274139.jpg

What I did today was:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheet with foil [for easy cleanup] and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. I seasoned the shrimp with the usual: black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder. I seasoned flour with the same seasonings and coated all of the shrimp.
  3. Lay them on the lined baking sheet. Spray the top with non-stick cooking spray as well.
  4. In your preheated oven, baked the shrimp for about 10 minutes. Half way in the baking time, I flipped the shrimp over.
  5. Once it’s out of the oven, let it cool a bit.
  6. After it has slightly cooled, fold in sweet chili sauce and serve!

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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. Grab and share my button:


What’s for Dinner: [Mashed] Potato Fritters

Since several people have asked me what is for iftari around here, I thought I would share some of my family favorites… starting with the recipe for [Mashed] Potato Fritters that I made [and shared] yesterday. I’ll be honest and say that Ami makes most of the “typical” iftari food… while I make more of the “fun” stuff. 

Most nights in the month of Ramadan we have typical iftari around here [along with whatever else I felt like making that day]. [Mashed] Potato Fritters [pakoray] are one of those things that we typically end up making only in Ramadan for iftari and is definitely one of my favorites. After popcorn chicken of course!

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This is how I make mine:

  1. I took [4] potatoes, peeled them, and washed them. Add about enough water to cover them 1/4th of the way.
  2. Next, pop it in the microwave for about 10-15 minutes until they are soft enough to mash. You could also do this, of course, on the stove.
  3. Drain excess liquid, but leave some in to keep the potatoes moist.
  4. Mash the potatoes!
  5. As you are mashing them, to your potatoes, add: salt, black pepper, paprika, chaat masala, and cumin powder. Make sure all the potatoes are mashed and the spices are mixed in very well.
  6. Let it cool before forming them into balls to fry. While you are waiting, work on the batter to coat them.
  7. For the batter to fry: to gram flour [besan], add salt, black pepper, garlic, ginger, cumin powder, paprika, and baking soda water. Add enough water to leave it a thick consistency to be able to coat the potatoes. Leave the batter covered until you are ready to use it.
  8. After the mashed potatoes are cooled enough to work with, form them into balls [as big or as small as you want them].
  9. Heat your oil up in a skillet. Enough to cover the potato balls at least half way up.
  10. Coat each of the potato balls in the batter and fry them until them are golden brown.

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: Garlic Knots

Tonight, I made garlic knots.

The semi-homemade way. I say that because instead of making my own pizza dough first, what I used instead was those refrigerated biscuits.

Easy to make, delicious, and ready in twenty minutes [prep and baking time included]!

Here’s what I used:

  • 1 [16-ounce] can of [refrigerated] buttermilk biscuits20140619-192121-69681884.jpg
  • 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of [unsalted] butter, melted

Here’s how I made it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line your baking sheet with foil [for easy cleanup].
  2. Cut each of the 8 biscuits in half. Then, using your hands, roll each of the pieces until they are about twice the length. Or even a little longer.
  3. Make a knot out of each piece of dough. and lay on top of your [lined] baking sheet.
  4. In a small bowl, combine together the Parmesan cheese, garlic powder,oregano, parsley and salt.
  5. Melt the butter and add it to the dry ingredients. Mix well.
  6. Brush each of the knots with the butter mixture. Don’t get rid of the leftover butter mixture just yet.
  7. In your preheated oven, bake the garlic knots for about 8-10 minutes. Until they are golden brown.
  8. As soon as you take them out of the oven, brush them with the rest of the butter mixture that was leftover earlier. The heat will help the mixture melt over the baked garlic knots and give the finishing touch.

Serve immediately!

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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. Grab and share my button:

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.