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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Garlic, Cream Cheese stuffed, Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

A couple of weeks ago I was beginning to think my creativity was gone so I posted a question on Facebook asking what every one's favorite main dish was, I had a friend mentioned this so I Google'd this and there were quite variations so I took what I learned from them as this is what I came up with and DANG.......  these are good.
A great garnish or an appetizer.

Cheese-Stuffed, Bacon-Crusted Shrimp - Garnish

10 large shrimp, peeled (leaving the final shell segment and tail intact)
2 garlic cloves minced
1/8 cup loosely packed chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1  ounces Colby Jack shredded
3 ounces cream cheese
10 thin slices of bacon, cut in half

Cut a 1/2-inch deep incision (without cutting through the shrimp) down the inside of each of the peeled shrimp.  Scrape out the (usually dark) vein.

Place the garlic, parsley, black pepper, and cheese in a bowl.  Mix, mash everything together, until thoroughly blended and creamy.  Taste and work in a little salt if you think necessary.

Scoop out a generous teaspoon of the filling and press it evenly over the butterflied part of a shrimp.  Wrap the shrimp in a piece of bacon—to ensure that the bacon crisps make sure it overlaps no more than an inch. Continue until all the shrimp are stuffed and wrapped.

Place a 12” Dutch Oven over medium-high heat 12-15 briquettes.  When thoroughly heated, lay the shrimp in the pan, overlap-side down.  Cook until crisp underneath, about 1 minute, then turn each piece a quarter of a turn cook another minute.  Continue until all 4 sides are browned in the same manner.   The bacon needs to be thin enough that it can crisp in the same time it takes for the shrimp to cook: you’ll know the shrimp are perfect when only a hint of pink translucency remains deep in the butterfly. 

Have fun Cookin'

Poor Man's Surf n Turf

Andrew has been on a seafood kick lately and with the economy being what it is, the expensive cuts of meat were out of the question. Flank steaks and Flatiron steaks are fairly inexpensive yet very flavorful. The most expensive ingredient is the Crab - and I lucked out and found it on sale. 

Poor Man’s Surf n Turf    aka: Rolling Tide Flank Steak

4 cloves Garlic - minced
8-10 Scallions - thinly sliced
¼ C Fresh parsley - minced
1-2 lb. Flank Steak or Flatiron Steak
1 C Parmesan Cheese
8 oz. Havarti Cheese
½ C Bread crumbs
1 Egg
1-6 oz. Can Crab meat or Fresh if you’d like
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, scallions, parsley, parmesan, crab meat and bread crumbs and mix well. Add 1 egg and mix well with your hands or a spoon. Set aside.

Cut ten 15” long pieces of kitchen twine. Put steak on 2 overlapping sheets of plastic wrap (each about 2 feet long) with the grain of the meat is parallel to you. Holding a sharp knife parallel to work surface and beginning on a long side, butterfly steak by cutting it almost in half horizontally (not all the way through), then open it like a book, arranged so the grain of the meat is parallel to you, and season exposed side with salt and pepper. Layer the Havarti over the meat leaving a 1/2 – inch border along the side furthest from you; Spread the mixture evenly over the cheese, press and gently pack the stuffing mixture onto the beef to keep it in place. Starting from the side nearest to you, roll up the meat like a jelly roll, pressing any stuffing that falls out of the ends back into the roll. Tie the beef tightly with twine, spacing the ties evenly about every 1 1/2 inches. Season the outside with salt and pepper all over, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Carefully unwrap the beef roll and cut between the ties to make the pinwheels. Brush both cut sides gently with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Clean and oil the grilling cast iron skillet or Dutch Oven. Place the pinwheels in the skillet and cook until well browned on both sides Place in a Dutch Oven and cooked until an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally 2 inches into thickest part of steak registers 145°F,

Transfer to a platter, let rest for five minutes, and serve.

We served this with Garlic, Cream Cheese stuffed, Bacon Wrapped Shrimp. As a garnish. The Recipe will follow. 

Have fun cookin'

Muenster Rolls

Our rolls from West Haven Days Cook-off is the recipe that I was going to make for the World Championship Cook Off last March and when I didn't make it to the finals, this was not cooked. Still one of my favorites...

Monster (Muenster) cheese rolls
2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk (instant)
2 tablespoons SAF yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup shortening or butter/margarine
1 egg
5-5 1/2 cups flour (bread flour or all purpose)
4 cups (1 pound) shredded Muenster cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 egg, white
1 tablespoon water
Mrs. Dash for dusting

In a large bowl, combine the water and the milk powder and stir so the milk dissolves. Add the yeast to the milk mixture, then the sugar, salt, shortening, egg and 2 cups of the flour. Mix until all the ingredients are wet. Then add another 2 cups of flour mix until the dough gets stiff.  At this point dump the dough out onto a floured surface and continue to knead and add flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough is soft and not overly sticky and not stiff (it may not be necessary to use the entire amount of flour). Pour a tablespoon of oil around the sides of a bowl turn the dough over in the bowl so it is covered with oil. (This helps the dough from drying out.)  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size.
In a large bowl, beat egg; stir in cheese. Punch down dough; roll into a rectangle.
Spread the cheese mixture over the dough.  Roll dough lengthwise like a jellyroll and cut into rolls. Place in a parchment lined Dutch Oven, allow to rise till double in size (approx. 1-1 1/2 hours). Cover Dutch oven and let rise for 15 minutes.

Beat egg white and water, brush over rolls, and sprinkle with a little bit of Mrs. Dash. Bake at 375° for 20-30 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes. Serve warm. 

Have fun cookin'

Raspberry Peach Baklava

Yesterday in 98 degree temperatures and windy - at times, windy, was an understatement, Andrew and I competed in the West Haven Days Dutch Oven Cook-off. For weeks we have been battling over what to cook at this competition  I wanted him to make something creamy with fruit, then I got and e-mail - (you know one of those that you unintentionally signed up for and then they come up with a great idea...) came to the rescue. They sent a recipe link for buttery Baklava, I forwarded it to Andrew and asked what he thought about trying this. Neither of us have worked with Phyllo dough so we figured we probably ought to try this one before competing with it. He stopped on his way home last Tuesday and picked up the ingredients, and after dinner he set out to make Baklava. What came out of the oven, was amazing!!

 So from this recipe we changed it up to add some additional flavors. We went to the Internet and searched different types of Baklava and found you can add fruit to it as long as it doesn't add too much moisture. So that got me thinking dried fruits - what I wanted to use was the oodles of Raspberries that are exploding on the side of my house, and Andrew has been on a bit of a Peach kick so we thought lets put the two together. The flavors were awesome together. Baklava is a traditionally winter / Christmas time dessert, nutty and cinnamonny, the peaches and raspberries put a nice summer touch on it.

Now as for the cook-off.... picture tissue paper thin pastry, wind, and trying to keep it moist, this was a battle... we ended up tossing out some of the Phyllo because it dried out beyond use, but we brought more that enough to replace it.

Sorry this is not the best picture....

Peach and Raspberry Baklava

20 -30 sheets of Phyllo dough
1/2 cup raspberry syrup
6 oz. Dried peaches diced
1 tablespoon Spiced Rum, Brandy or Apple juice
1 cup melted butter
2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons Bread crumbs (as needed)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Zest of one lemon

Toast and roughly chop the walnuts then mix in the brown sugar and cinnamon.  Set aside.  Dice the peaches sprinkle with Liquor or Juice. Set aside.  Melt the butter.  Set aside.

Butter the bottom of an oval Dutch Oven with a brush.  Cut Phyllo to the size of your oven. Lay the first sheet of Phyllo dough.  Butter the top of that sheet then add another layer until you have a stack of 5.  Each layer must be buttered.  Add some of the walnut mixture and peaches then a drizzle of raspberry sauce.  Add and butter 5 layers of Phyllo on top of that then all the toppings again. Add another 5 layers. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan, then bake@ 350° for about 40 to 50 minutes.

While baking, you can make the syrup.  Put everything in a 5” inch Dutch Oven and boil for about 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  Pour over the baklava immediately after baking.  Let it cool.  

Have fun cookin'

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