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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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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!

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. 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.

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: Semi-Homemade Seasoned Chips

Life has been hectic, to say the least, lately.

Anyhow, the night before a family party at our house at the end of August [a week and some change ago], I experimented with a semi-homemade seasoned chips at home. You know, because I didn’t have enough on my plate already.

It’s semi-homemade because I took store-bought potato chips and made it my own by seasoning it with my seasonings. I had seen this combination online somewhere a few weeks prior, and I had immediately bookmarked it to try.

What I did was:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheet with a foil sheet.
  2. Spread [store-bought] chips on the lined baking tray.
  3. Put in the oven to heat for about 3-5 minutes. Just enough to warm them up.
  4. Meanwhile combine: 2 teaspoons each of chili powder and paprika, 1 teaspoon of ground mustard powder, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder, and 1/2 a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
  5. Immediately after taking the chips out of the oven, sprinkle your  chips with the seasonings you just combined.
  6. Serve warm when possible!
It ended up being a perfect snack for our open-house style party too. The result is a smoky and delicious snack and definitely a must-try. So easy, and a great semi-homemade technique for sure! So good that I ended up making it two times over after making two large batches to begin with for the party!
The seasoning combination should be perfect for a large bag of plain potato chips, so you can adjust accordingly to how much you are using.

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.